Taking the Red Pill – Part II September 18, 2015Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Finances, Following Your Dreams, Jobs and Work, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Real World.
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Design your own life, huh? Design your own life. Often times, when I’m looking for DLIH inspiration or reposts, I scour the internet for things that I think will be helpful or encouraging to twenty-something’s out there. When I stumbled upon Gilbert Ross’s article last month, I was so drawn in by the words on my screen. I felt like the universe had pushed me, head first, into that webpage. It couldn’t have come at a better time.
When I left my fulltime job six months ago, I had a plan. Just because you have a plan doesn’t mean you do anything about it. Albert Einstein said, “Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.” Everyone can sit down and write out a plan, all it is, is pen to paper. Sure, it’s a step, but if you take no action on that plan, then what was the point? Does it just make a pretty picture? The value is seeing your plan through, not just talking about how successful you want to be. For the last six months my friends and family had been telling me “do something about your plan. Just try!” In the back of my mind I knew I needed to, I knew they were right but I still didn’t do anything about it. The truth is, I was, and still am, absolutely terrified. I think the hardest part wasn’t taking the first step, it was admitting why I wasn’t doing anything about it. Telling people you’re scared is hard.
I won’t lie and tell you that after I got the ball rolling things were easy, they actually got harder. There is an element of embarrassment that comes with starting over in your late twenties. Putting yourself out there for jobs you are overqualified for or to be an intern is difficult, it makes you very vulnerable. Think about when you get rejected for your dream job, it sucks, but at least you tried; now think about when you get rejected for a job you are 100% perfect for, it’s annoying. Now, envision you get rejected for an internship when you’ve been in the workforce for ten years and have loads of experience…what is that, if not embarrassing?
It’s also hard to follow your dream when you’re a grown-up because you still need to earn money, somewhat. I’m lucky that I’m not flipping burgers or ringing items up at Target, I have a part-time jobs that’s in line with my career path but, once again, I’m being bossed around by managers younger than me, or often asked if “I’m in school” or “if this is my summer job”. No, I’m an adult. In fact, I’m so adult that the majority of my friends are either, married, have kids, or a mortgage, or all three! I don’t remember the last time I was out past 11pm and my favorite thing to do is watch movies with my cat. Ask me again if I’m “old enough to drink”, I dare you.
I’m not saying all these things because I want to stifle anyone’s ambitions. I’m saying them because I am confident there are other people out there who are starting over in their twenties and they are going through exactly this. When you’re tired, or confused, or don’t know which step to take next, remember that if not now, then when? One of my friends said something encouraging to me recently; I was telling her, over lunch, how hard this was, what bad timing it was with my wedding and all, and she just sat their with this huge smile on her face as I poured my heart out all over my salad. Then she said to me, “I think this is the perfect time.” It wasn’t much, but she brought a different outlook to the situation. There are people out there who reinvent themselves at 50. It might feel like we’re in a pressure cooker, like we have to make smart choices right now, right this second, because we want to have a nice life in three-five years, but take a step back and look around – people with three kids change careers, people who are forty-five go back to school, if it means having a happier life or following your dream you should do it, you will figure out how to conquer the obstacles later, and you will conquer them.
If starting over when you’re a little older has one advantage it’s that you have been through the ringer once before, you know how to handle life and you’re less flustered when things hit you. The last time you did this you were probably in college or simply younger and you were naive, you thought you’d get a dream job and have a penthouse apartment by the time you were thirty. Now, you know what life is, and how it works and you can handle it, even if you think you can’t. You can.
Just remember, if other people can do it, then you can. You can.
Remember When…Back To School Happened September 4, 2015Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Education, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Remember When.
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Recently, all I’ve been seeing are commercials for back to school clothes, back to school supplies, and back to school sales. As someone who hasn’t gone “back to school” in a long time, these commercials usually signal the freedom of the sidewalks and the parks, I’ll finally be able to walk to the store without a twelve-year-old whizzing past me on a skateboard. However, the other day I was sitting in a good ole Applebee’s and two school age girls behind me were desperately texting all their friends to find out which classes they had. It was all they could talk about as the replies poured in. Rather than feeling excited, I felt nostalgic. DLIH hasn’t seen a Remember When post in some time! So here’s a little ode to those precious back to school moments, the good, the bad, the “adorable”.
The sweet, yet somewhat depressing, memoirs of a once-was-a-fourteen-year-old:
- Getting your school supplies list was horrible…but then once you got into Office Depot you just couldn’t stop yourself from buying everything.
- Finding out which lunch period your best friends had was crucial! and finding out they didn’t have the same lunch as you was probably the worst thing that could have ever happened.
- Everyone walked in the first day of school with brand new, shiny shoes, and then all you heard was squeaking for the next month.
- Waiting, anxiously, to see how your crush changed over the summer and finding out they had only become hotter! Hoping the “mean girls” would come back hideous, and realizing they, too, only came back hotter and had a new car.
- Making your locker perfectly color coded, organized, and decorated…but having it last only one week.
- Procrastinating on your summer reading list, only to spend the last week of summer locked in your bedroom in a last-ditch effort to finish it.
- The refreshing smell of fall, new plastic, and floor wax…everywhere.
- Carefully plotting which classes you had with which friends and how you would walk together, while simultaneously planning how you’d escape to see friends you didn’t have classes with.
- The sheer awkwardness of new kids, and sizing them up to determine if you want to be friends with them or not.
- Feeling like you were one step cooler because you were one grade older…and if you were a senior, thinking you were the epitome of everything amazing in this world.
- Waiting to see who made varsity football and wondering how this will, or potentially could, affect your social status
- Scanning the new and familiar faces on the school bus like you were Iron Man.
- Picking this year’s SPOT for you and your friends to hang out, and make it known that your group had claimed it.
- Mentally picking out who you were going to get rides from…and how.
- Hearing the clicking of heels in the hallway and having that sheer terror wash over you…suddenly remembering why you love summer so much.
30 Is Not the New 20 – Now is The Time! August 30, 2015Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Dating, Finances, Jobs and Work, Life Lessons/Growing Up, marriage, Real World, Relationships.
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My entire life I have focused on a timeline; I want to be living on my own at 18, I want to be stable at 24, I want to be married by 28, I want a baby at 30. People thought I was crazy, they told me it was too much pressure to box myself into such a strict timeline, but I didn’t see it as an ultimatum, I saw it as a map, a series of gems to collect along my life path to the age of 30. To this day, people don’t get it but Dr. Meg Jay said it best – milestones are important!
If you want to know why your twenties are, not only, the craziest, but the MOST important decade in your life, mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually, read this amazing Q & A with clinical psychologist and author of The Defining Decade, Dr. Meg Jay. Here’s a quick taste:
“Our 20s are the defining decade of adulthood. 80% of life’s most defining moments take place by about age 35. 2/3 of lifetime wage growth happens during the first ten years of a career. More than half of Americans are married or are dating or living with their future partner by age 30. Personality can change more during our 20s than at any other decade in life. Female fertility peaks at 28. The brain caps off its last major growth spurt. When it comes to adult development, 30 is not the new 20. Even if you do nothing, not making choices is a choice all the same. Don’t be defined by what you didn’t know or didn’t do.”
My Deepest Condolences August 25, 2015Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Friendships, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Real World.
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I’m standing in Paper Source staring at all these cards. When it’s a birthday or an anniversary, there’s always one or two that are just right, you’ll always find a unique greeting that makes you open it to see what’s on the inside. Unlike a birthday, or an anniversary or any of occasion, none of these cards are ones I want to pick up and open, none of these cards are right at all. How do you pick out a card that says everything you’re feeling when you don’t know what to say?
When we’re younger, our parents handle the hard stuff. Sure, as kids we have feelings and emotions when people pass away, or get fired, or fall ill, but we don’t have to handle them out in real life. In my lifetime, I’ve yet to lose someone so close that it paralyzed me for a moment. I’ve never had to decide if flowers were appropriate, and then try to pick some out, or wonder if sending a card was a better idea. I’ve never had to decide if I should jump on the first flight out and go, or if I should make a phone call instead. What I’ve learned is that there is no right answer, because when you’re grieving it all feels wrong anyway. (more…)
Finding Your [Original] Zen August 18, 2015Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Cleanse Mind Body Spirit, Cooking, Health and Fitness, How To, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Tips and Tricks.
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We’ve all heard about finding our zen; mediation, yoga, running along the lake front. For many people “vegging” out, or finding their center means working out, dancing, going to a Bikram class or taking a singing lesson. For others, going to church or another religious institution, therapy or sitting alone and drinking tea while reading works. All these conventional methods allow an individual to take time out of their day for their mental, emotional and spiritual health. Something different works for everyone but there are so many of us out there who are still trying to find their zen activity. Running is great, but maybe it’s more work than relaxing. Some people get intimidated in a Pilates class or at the gym. Spirituality is individual, but for many, going to a church or temple isn’t something that gives them inner peace. Sitting still is also very hard, and while it’s important and healthy to just be, it isn’t something that often comes easily. Finding your zen means finding something you enjoy that also relaxes you and gratifies your soul – meaning, sitting on the couch watching TV is out, no matter how much you are trying to convince me that it “makes you emotionally healthier.”
Think about something you can do, a singular activity, that you can do without the need of other things. In example, maybe you love knitting, but you find that after ten minutes you get bored if you’re not watching a movie or TV re-runs. Find something that fulfills you on its own. Many people find cooking as a place of peace – it’s mentally interactive, focuses your attention on one thing, and it can be very cathartic. Most importantly, at the end of the process you are left with something beautiful, delicious and made from scratch! A zenful activity is one that satisfies, whether this means you have a finished end product or just a sense of accomplishment. (more…)
The Fear of Taking the Red Pill – Part I August 7, 2015Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Following Your Dreams, Life Lessons/Growing Up.
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Part one: The most amazing re-post I think I have ever posted/read!
This is an absolutely incredible article by Gilbert Ross, author of The Art of Simple Living and Soul Hiker, a blog. If you have ever wanted to be something more than ordinary, follow a dream, conquer an obstacle, break away from your parent’s ideas of what your life should be like this article will inspire you, up lift you, and motivate you to take risks and be brave. For me, finding this post on Primer Magazine came at the most perfect time in my adult life, and in my twenties (don’t care if it’s a men’s magazine!).
Take the time to read it all, don’t skim, and then read it again! Then keep your eye peeled for The Fear of Taking the Red Pill – Part II!
Wedding Planning – People Will Be Mean to You August 1, 2015Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Jobs and Work, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Real World, Wedding.
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Every movie you see, every reality show you watch, and everything everyone tells you makes you feel like once you’re a bride the world is all pink and fluffy and you have this impenetrable glow around you. The wedding industry is all about happiness, how can you not feel warm and cozy inside when you work with brides and grooms and you’re basically making their dreams come true? How can someone not be happy when they get to do that everyday? Well, the wedding industry gets the Oscar for best deception. I’m going to break it to you, and I’m going to break it to you hard; When you are getting married – people will be mean to you.
The Industry – Keep in mind that wedding venues, wedding cakes, wedding dresses, they are all part of an industry just like anything else. There are friendly accountants and there are rude accountants; you’ve meet really nice servers and really nasty servers; some doctors care about you and your feelings, some just care about getting you in and out the door. We have this perception that the wedding industry is somehow exempt from this kind of seesaw, but it’s a business like all other businesses. Not everyone who has a job loves it, and I know what you’re thinking, “how can you be miserable and you’re coordinating a freakin’ wedding!?”, but people are. They’re human. Most people will great you with smiles, handshakes and congratulations, but there are those who just want you to see the space, try the cake, have the meeting and then be on your way. Not everyone watches Four Weddings religiously, like you do.
The Pressure – People who are in the wedding industry deal with a lot. At any given point they are receiving multiple emails from multiple brides, phone calls and a thousand requests. They are only one person so they can only handle one thing at a time. A lot of these people just fold under the stress, so while they aren’t trying to be mean to you, personally, they’re probably just being mean to everyone that day. People who have been doing this a long time may also feel like they know better than you. When planning a wedding, it’s important you work with people who advise and guide but also hear your vision, and not try to force their opinions on you. We recently met a venue coordinator who was adamant that we get married in November (more…)
Here Comes The Stress July 20, 2015Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Following Your Dreams, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Real World, Relationships, Wedding.
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A little over three weeks ago I made a solemn DLIH promise to be more active, post more articles, and long story short, just be better. Then I went on two back-to-back vacations and, oh yeah, got a little ring to wear on my left hand. Traveling has never stopped me from posting before, so being overseas wasn’t necessarily the issue. The problem arose when all my “free” time was now suddenly filled with wedding ideas and planning. Let me just say, I’ve watched a lot of TLC and WE in my day so I was full prepared to not be a Bridezilla and not let this wedding take over my life, I also didn’t want DLIH to become wedding central. So, with my mind on a wedding and a wedding on my mind, you can imagine all other ideas involving life and writing were few and far between.
Then something occurred to me, talking about my wedding, or any wedding, does not mean writing a nine paragraph post on how to make a doily or pick out candle wax colors. What I am realizing is that I am feeling very alone in this process, this process that has been glorified by so many people before me. In all my searches online I have found all the standard advice “Take deep breaths”, “Don’t make rash decisions”, “Do what you want to do, not what your guests want”, but I haven’t found any real advice. (more…)
Repost: Make Work Life Work For You! July 1, 2015Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Jobs and Work, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Real World.
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Several months ago, I stumbled upon this great article by some “googlers” on what they learned working at, the famous, Google. As I read, I realized this wasn’t about Google, not really, it was about anyone’s professional life in the office and how to succeed. When stripped down, the message was about how to be successful, make good choices, be brave and make your work life work for you! As someone who is in the process of looking for that perfect job, it inspired me and I knew it would inspire others too!
I Do Not Have a White Picket Fence Family June 28, 2015Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Family, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Relationships.
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You know when you’re driving down the highway and you see a mini-van pass with those little family stick figures on the back window? Some have Mickey Mouse ears, others include pets, and then there are the cars that illustrate seven children and make you think “Ohjeez!”. I think it’s easy for us to believe what we see on TV, families who are large, and loving and perfect, or even families who are large and dysfunctional and imperfect. Whether it’s a happily married couple with five adopted children, or a recovering alcoholic single-mom and her son trying to make ends-meat, there is always an underlying lesson of “family is everything”. All these shows we watch, reality or scripted, they all end with the same theme, no matter what happens your family will be there for you, unconditionally and always.
However, I don’t have a family like that, and I know I’m not the only one. My father isn’t in jail, my brother isn’t on drugs, no one is verbally abusing me, or kicked me out of the house at sixteen, there is nothing over the top wrong with my family or it’s members, I just don’t have the kind of family you can always count on when times are tough. I didn’t grow up in a trailer park, or had a mom who had to work five jobs to keep food on the table, I had a very normal, great, middle class childhood. For many of us, not having this strong, dynamic, close-knit family is not a product of something that happened or didn’t happen, it’s just how our lives panned out. (more…)