Archive for the ‘life of a twentysomething’ Tag
I’m not going to sugarcoat it like everyone else seems to do. I’m not going to tell you that you should celebrate the life that lays ahead of you. The freedom that is granted to you, and the infinite opportunities at your fingertips. Nope, I won’t go there because I know, firsthand, how difficult it is to be twenty-eight and single. I know how lonely it can be to wake up without a boyfriend’s “Good morning, beautiful” text or your Starbucks drink in a to-go cup delivered with love by your doting husband or the cheery calls of an adorable toddler from the room across the hall.
I know that it’s scary to not know what life has in store for you. And even though many will stress how exciting the unknown is, I know it’s more terrifying than anything. I know that you spend more time worrying what you don’t have than fantasizing about what you do. For example, you focus more on why you don’t have a boyfriend, fiance, or husband rather than being excited that you still have the chance to meet the Love of your Life around any corner, or dark bar. Or grocery store trip, because for some reason I’ve been told that it’s the best place to meet someone. (Yeah, I’m not really sold on that, especially since most people at my grocery stores are elderly or obviously in relationships and/or with children.)
I know that when you’re single, at any point in your twenties, you tend to ask, “What is wrong with me? Why am I still single? Why am I always single?” Well, to be honest, I have absolutely no idea why you are single. Consider this one of the great mysteries of the world. But what I do know is that you deserve to be loved and deserve to love someone amazing.
And one day, I promise you, this will come true. One day you will look back on the time when you were twenty-eight and single and wonder why you ever worried in the first place. I really do believe this, so I hope you will to. You are too beautiful, too special to be anything less than ridiculously happy. Maybe twenty-eight isn’t the year you find the love you deserve, but who’s to say twenty-nine won’t be?
Just remember you are worthy of all the beauty, love, and happiness in this world.
As soon as I heard the lyrics, don’t be scared to walk alone; don’t be scared to like it, from John Mayer’s Age of Worry, I knew a post was in order. But I sit here, 2 days later not really knowing what to write. In a way I still don’t know, but I’m going to attempt this anyway. Heaven, help me.
If you didn’t (have the pleasure) to know me 2 1/2 years ago, then I’ll let you in on a little secret: I was terrified to move to Chicago. I was afraid of leaving my friends and moving further away from my family. I was worried about moving to a new place where I (really) knew less than a handful of people. I was shaken with fear of living on my own, something I personally vowed that I could never do. But fortunately those days are a thing from the past. Well…for the most part.
I woke up this morning and had this overwhelming feeling that I was in the wrong place. After seeing a few texts from friends and a message in my Inbox from another, I couldn’t shake the notion that I wanted to be anywhere but here. It pained me to rationalize that I couldn’t be in Cleveland and Cincinnati all at the same time. Life just isn’t fair. But, I thought, if I was living back in Columbus again then I’d only be a short two-hour drive to either place. Heck, I could even visit both places in one day if I really wanted to. (Note: Don’t prompt me because you know I’ll pull it off. After all, I am my father’s daughter.)
Now Kristin, before you start celebrating with wine in a leopard glass and dancing around with joy that your plan worked 😉 …know that while I hope it will one day, today is unfortunately not the day.
After responding to the texts and writing an email to another love of my life, I rolled over swearing that I could stay in bed all day. Okay, and maybe, just maybe, I wished that there was a boy laying next to me. Seriously, is there anything better in life than waking up next to someone…well…someone you really like? I guess that’s what happens when you fall asleep watching the Aidan episodes of Sex and the City. Back to my Aidan-less reality and the fact there, of course, wasn’t a guy next to me. Sadly just a laptop and an alarm clock playing some over-played pop song. So I pulled myself out of bed to make it to Kelly’s Spin Class in time.
During class my mind wandered to this thought: What if I wasn’t single? What would that really be like? Honestly, I have no idea. Minus a few whatever-relationships in my day, I think it’s fair to say that I’ve always been single. In fact, some of my very best friends are taken back (with shock first, then excitement) when I say, “I met someone”. (Note: This rarely happens, which you probably know from reading this open book blog of mine.)
I promise you that you’ll never hear me complain about being single. I’ll never whine about not having a boyfriend. I just don’t do it. Part of the reason why is because, truthfully, I’m ok with being single. Now there are several reasons why I say this, but one reason is my freedom. I mean how many people in relationships can travel to three different cities in Ohio for three straight weekends? How many single people can move-in with her friends for a week to help care for her children?
Now the dreamer that I tend to be wants to believe that Mr. Right with allow me these freedoms because 1) he loves me dearly and 2) wants me to do what makes me happy. However, in reality, I know this most likely isn’t the case. But isn’t impossible…right? Trust me, I hear the advice every day from my co-workers and other older friends, “Enjoy your freedom while I can. I wish I did more when I was your age.” While I value their advice, I tend to use my own perspective in seeing what faults lie in the single life.
For starters, it would be really nice to wake up next to someone and maybe/possibly/hopefully have them make/buy you coffee while you stay under the covers. Do you even know how many times I’ve daydreamed about that happening? And maybe I’ve also imagined the whole proposal scene from The Time Traveler’s Wife happening to me. But only once…or twice. (Take notes, potential suitors.)
In all honesty, for me, there’s just one thing that I constantly fight about being single. It’s so silly and probably the main reason why others in relationships desire to have their single man’s freedom back. So…sometimes…every now and then…I wish that someone would tell me where I’m going or what I’m doing. See, that’s the single girl in me. Let me rephrase it by saying that I wish someone would tell me where we are going or what we are doing. Yes, if I’m still blogging when I’m forty and finally in somewhat of a relationship, you can use this post against me. Actually, please do. But really this is how I feel. Call me crazy. Say, “Girl, I wish I didn’t have someone decided what ‘we’ are doing all the time.” And all I can say is, to each his own.
Two and a half years ago when I was getting ready to move to Chicago, for the first time since my childhood days I wished that I had a boyfriend. I wanted someone to be by my side as I veered far out of my comfort zone in the world of the unknown. But it was only me that moved in Apt 807. And it’s still only me, but with a whole lot of people by my side as I continue on this journey of mine. I mostly walk these Chicago streets alone as I head towards the train station, to volunteer or back home after a long day. But it doesn’t scare me anymore to be alone in this city, and in fact, some days it’s what I enjoy the most. Those rejuvenating walks when it’s just the city and me. Isn’t it funny how the one thing that used to scare you can one day become the thing you enjoy the most?
Last night after a rejuvenating spinning class with Stef (Thanks again, Stef!), I ran into a former friend from my hometown- right here in the big city of Chicago. Of course Facebook previously notified me of her arrival and we communicated via a few messages, but seeing her in the middle of the streets was a great surprise. And being the fact that it was my birthday, it was one of those unexpected moments that reminds you exactly where you came from and how far you’ve traveled– sometimes literally, like in my case.
My birthday has officially come and gone, and now I sit here wondering what’s next? What’s in store for me this year? I’m 27 now. Where are the fireworks? Where are the answers? Why do I still feel like so much is missing? And then I remind myself that one’s birthday really is just another day and age is only a number.
Am I allowed to have a weak moment on here tonight? I’ve already talked to Adriana, Stef, and Julie this evening (thank you ladies!) and now I’m contemplating calling Joe to have some to shoot-the-shit with and calm down my weary mind. I’m not sad. Maybe my feelings can be best described as confusion? Like when you’re on the verge of a change and you’re not quite sure how it all turns out and therefore you end up second-guessing yourself. Okay, now you’re probably confused too so let me try to explain myself.
(Just called Joe and left him a voicemail. I could use his distracting stories and nonsense tonight.)
Yesterday was wonderful. It really was. Other than the disappointing news that began my work day (I’m over it, mostly), it was just how I wanted it to be. Simple, memorable, and a bit sweaty (Yay for spinning class! Thanks again, Stef!). Anyways, yesterday I had a mini quarter-life crisis (?) epiphany. I’m 27 years old now and my life is still practically the same. Kristin, bless her heart, got to deal with that email and reassured me that I am nowhere near the same person that I was because of the experiences that I’ve encountered from living in The Crazy Windy City these past two years. She’s right and I know this, but sometimes we all need someone else to remind us when life clouds our ration. (Thanks Kristin!) I know I’m not the same girl I used to be, and in fact I have a blog full of posts to prove it.
So that epiphany I had centered around the idea of adopting a puppy…finally. If you know me outside of this blog then you know that this is something I’ve talked about for awhile, especially since moving to Chicago. However, so many factors have contributed to me not following through with these plans (yet). But yesterday, in my ripe old age of 27, I decided to pursue one of my dreams and take a look a the lovely pet adoption organizations here in Illinois and let fate guide me along my way. Que sera, sera.
There’s more behind this decision but I won’t waste your time with all the details. But I will say that after a playdate with Hazel & George, as well as a summer of Bachelorette Parties, Bridal Showers, Weddings, Engagements, Babies, and Pregnancies, I feel more maternal than I ever have before. Perhaps it’s the Curse of 27. Idk. But whatever it is, I am overcome with the emotions that I want something to hold on to. Something to be responsible for other than myself. Something to believe in. Something to call mine.
I want to love and be loved, and if that just so happens to be for/from a dog for the mean time, then I’ll just have to accept my fate. I have so much to give, and give I will. Even though I’ve been doubting it all evening, maybe I really am ready to adopt a puppy (tomorrow/this weekend/soon). I always knew that 27 was going to be a milestone year and if this is how it begins, then so be it.
I could have walked those streets forever last night. It was just one of those breezey evenings when everything felt peaceful and you’re perfectly content with where you are at the time. Sure life here in Chi-town isn’t perfect and I really am starting to see truth in Adriana’s theory about Chicago slowly breaking up with me. There’s not much here to hold on to but still I find myself trying to hold on to something.
And that’s why I want a puppy. Not entirely true, but there’s some truth behind that. In all honesty, I just want to take care of someone(thing) other than myself. Maybe this is a little too deep but I just want to know, maybe, that I”m worthy of having such a thing.
Oh well, Mr. Joe Zummo just called me back so it’s time to end this post. Good night, kids! I’ll be sure to let you know if a puppy finds his/her way home with me tomorrow.
With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.
The title of this post comes from lyrics of City by Sara Bareillis. (Stef, add this song to your playlist.)
There are two kinds of people in this world: Givers & Takers. The definition of these groups is self-explanatory and the characteristics of each are night-and-day. Takers never give. Givers never take. However, it was brought to my attention during a conversation a few days ago that sometimes Givers need to take which is a foreign concept indeed. Givers make very reliable and loyal friends, but in order for a friendship to stand the test of time, Givers must take every now and then. The perfect equation for friendship seems to be Giver + Giver, but as we all know by now, that doesn’t always happen. Takers need a Givers in their life, with the my hope being that the giving part will eventually rub off on the Takers, but does a Giver need a Taker?
Last night two Givers played hookie from their workouts and stayed out a little late for a ‘school’ night for some quality friend time on the patio of my infamous Starbucks. It’s a tough job but someone has to do it, and who better than these two Givers to give back to themselves and to one another. Afterall, Give & Take. Take & Give. If I can say so myself, it was the perfect way to spend a Wednesday evening and as always, I left my fellow Giver, Stef, feeling refreshed and inspired. Another great conversation between two girls from Hampton soul-searching in the Windy City. While I want to write about every last detail, I’m going to stick with a concept that stood out to me the most and see where that takes me.
“It’s exhausting,” Stef explained about her own lifelong search for happiness and love. Especially love. From one single girl to another, I agree 1000% that this motif is downright draining- in every single aspect. (Pun intended.) Now I am speaking from my own experience and others that I know share my perspective, so you may not agree with what I have to say. To each his (her) own. But frankly, I don’t know that many females (single more than not) in this age range that are not exhausted by the never-ending world of soul-searching.
You give, and give, and give some more until you feel as though you have nothing left in you to give…but you still give anything you can muster up, and give again. You give everything you have in hopes that there is meaning behind the giving. As all Givers know, it’s not about getting something, but it’s knowing that your effort means something. You want to know that you’re at least getting close to something, whether it’s the dream of living in (insert city) that you’ve had since you were a little girl or perfect job that you’ve been working to achieve since college. And when you’re single, well, you want to know that love is finally near. You need to know that it’s not only possible but that you’re deservant.
Life as a twentysomething during the Quarter Life Crisis is far from glamorous. The To-Do List seems never-ending and you can never find a pen when you go to cross off an item on your Personal Check List. And, if you’re single, well it’s just that much more aggravating as you try to provide yourself with the additional love & support, that would could from a significant other, as you venture through your trial-and-err0r twenties. So besides being the protagonist in your story, you must also play the role of the Best Friend, Best Parent, and Best Boyfriend each and every day (to yourself). Simple, right?
Once a Giver, always a Giver. A Giver only knows how to give. A Giver gives to everyone, even those who are not necessary deservant of such kindness and generosity. A Giver never expects to get anything back from their giving, and truth to be told, a Giver sometimes has a hard time taking something in return. See a Giver gets pleasure from giving and for the most part that proves to be enough. But there are a few things that every Giver needs, and one is LOVE. Everyone needs love. It’s so easy to love a Giver, but for some reason I know a lot of Givers that without it these days.
So what gives, people? (Yes, another intended pun.) Seriously? Givers need love to AND are certainly worthy of it!
Spoken from a Giver and one without love-love, my rationale tells me that we, Givers, are so used to being everything to everyone that we fail to let ourselves in on the action. You know there’s something that Givers can learn from Takers: To be selfish, to put yourself first every now and then. Last night I told Stef that one of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever been given, as well as something that sounded so illogical to me at first. My aunt, who is a Taker, told me upon moving to Chicago, “This is the time in your life where you need to be selfish.”
As a daughter of two Givers, a sister to Giver, and a friend to many Givers, that idea sounded quite foolish to me. I’ve spent my life condemning selfishness so why would I try such a foolish idea? But once I figured out what ‘be selfish’ mean in this scenario, it was plain as day. She was right. In this context, being selfish doesn’t isn’t an intention of harm nor deceit. Instead, it means allowing yourself to get a little in return for all of the giving that you’ve done.
Once a Giver, always a Giver. But why not be a Giver who gets a little back in return every now and then.
Songs of the Moment: Pretty Baby by Spin Doctors & Sweet Disposition by Temper Trap
I met a guy. His name is Ganesha. Actually, it’s God Ganesha. I met him at the Art Institute of Chicago on Sunday afternoon, and it appears that we hit it off quite well- in my opinion at least. And didn’t say anything to make me think otherwise. In fact, he didn’t really say much at all. A man of few words, I guess, and maybe a little shy.
When I first saw him I swore we’d met before but couldn’t place him, nor did he provide any details of our possible previous encounter. Perhaps he just reminds me of someone? We didn’t spend too much time together nor did we exchange information; however, he did allow me to take his photo, which was nice of him. Call me crazy but I have a good feeling that this was the beginning of a beautiful friendship and our paths will cross again. Still, I swear we’ve met before. Hmm.
God Ganesha: Remover of Obstacles. The Hindu Lord of Beginnings, Lord of Obstacles. We all ‘know him’ and know him quite well indeed. As I come to the end of Eat. Pray. Love. and finally able to making it through the final chapter of Indonesia, I am reminded of the beauty that comes along with each and every obstacle. Most times we don’t recognize the beauty until the obstacle is overcome, but it’s always there. Always. See the beauty lies within us and around us. It’s in the strength and perseverance that we gather and in the tears that we may (need) to cry.
“Remind yourself that this is only temporary. The pain is only temporary.” My former yoga instructor used to say this during those difficult poses and since then I’ve learned to introduce it into my outside-yoga class vocabulary. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve reminded myself this is only temporary to get me through a mini-anxiety attack.
Obstacles seem like a universal concept these days, especially in the lives of (most) twentysomethings. When people ask me how I’m doing I tend to respond with a “Well.” or “Fine.” only to be followed by a “Good days and bad days.” This is the most honest and accurate response for the twentysomething year old dreamer (lost) in the big city that I am.
Unfortunately I’m not the only twentysomething going through this. Right now it seems to be the common factor amongst my circle of friends. Libby, Laura, and Julie are just a few of the ones experiencing the good days & bad days curse. The only thing worse than dealing with this yourself is seeing people you love under the dreadful curse. But this too shall pass. I promise you, girls, it will pass.
What would life be without challenges, without obstacles? Who would we be if it wasn’t for the struggles and the fears we’ve overcome?
I was riding the elevator last night after coming home from my volunteer shift at the hospital and caught the tail-end of a conversation between (what I presume to be) a couple. The guy said, “I might as well just go for it since I have nothing to lose. I mean why not?” I minded my own business, but after he stepped out and said “Have a good night”, my “You too” ended up being followed by a “I agree. I say go for it.” (Having absolutely no idea what ‘it’ is.) I’m guessing ‘it’ wasn’t the easy decision in the world to make and ‘it’ may bring challenges to his life too. But as he acknowledged, he has nothing to lose.
That’s how I felt when I moved to Chicago. Why not? The opportunity was in front of me and the only decision I had to make was “Yes” or “No”. Of course “Yes” came with a lot of follow-up decisions (ie. where to live, how much to pay in rent, when to move in) and many life-altering changes, but “No” would be a lifetime worth of ‘what if’ and regrets galore.
Aha! Now I remember God Ganesha. He’s been with me for many years, but I’ve never seen his face. He’s the breeze I feel when the world seems calm on a cool summer evening. He’s the voice I hear in the form of my final thought before falling asleep at night, and the sunlight through my window when I wake each morning. The breeze, the voice, and sunlight always remind me that any anxiety that may surface will pass. Afterall, “it’s only temporary.”
Obstacles are part of the journey. They are thrown into our pathway forcing us to re-examine what we’re fighting to achieve. Sometimes reassurance is gained through the challenge and other times reconsideration points us in a new direction. No matter what the outcome may be, it’s a guarantee that God Ganesha is by our side bringing us to a new beginning.
There is nothing permanent except change. ~Heraclitus
I ended this morning’s post fairly quickly so let me share a few more thought as where my anxiety-ridden mind was/is. To recap, I’ve been feeling very much not like myself these past few days and trying to figure out why & how to change that. Today my optimism was noticeably absent as I mention that I’m pretty much going day-by-day carelessly (which I strongly dislike) and with absolutely no obvious direction. As exciting as that may sound, it’s not when you’re a twenty-six year old single girl, living paycheck-to-paycheck in a city that still doesn’t feel like home after 2 years. (And breathe.)
The title of this post is a line from The Notebook as Noah poses this question to his beloved Allie. So let me play Allie and answer this question accordingly (for me).
You know earlier today I mentioned that I’m questioning what I currently believe in, if anything, and my desire to have something to believe in. I also shared that I just want to know it all ends to give me some necessary momentum to keep going or, if necessary, to figure out the right path to get me there. Let me clarify that I’m not asking for my life to be perfect nor my journey to be perfect. Quite frankly, I need challenges in my life. I don’t need my life to be a predictable movie script either. What I do want is for this heroine to be reassured that she’s headed towards her happy ending- or at least a chapter of serenity is in her near future.
I used to be able to imagine what my ideal life would look like in Columbus. The city was comfortable for me; many of my friends were there, or at least within driving distance; my family was only a short drive away; and most importantly, I felt like I knew I belonged there. But now, it’s a totally different story. I know what I’d like it to look like…but I know that it never will. Those friends are all scattered across the country now, and as I’ve mentioned before, I’m not even sure if I see myself in that city anymore.
So while I know what my the dream life would entail, reality sets in and paints a blurry, unreadable image. I cannot decipher the setting (city, state, country) nor the role players (friends, family). And to be honest, right now I’m not even sure what the future me is doing (career). Like I said, I know what I’d like it to look like, but is any of it possible?
Any other questions?
May 31, 2010 officially marks the end of a month full of good memories, friends, families, weddings, and lots of travel. I’m beyond exhausted, but as I mentioned in one of my last posts I am merely running on pure adrenaline, love for my friends, and Starbucks.
Shout out to my lovely baristas for that extra shot of espresso every now and then when they knew that it was the only remedy that could cure my tired body and the dark circles underneath my eyes.
I just got back to Chi-town after a weekend with the MacPhersons. Again, I have to thank them publicly for their never-ending hospitality, love, and support. I’m part of their family somehow, I just know it. I’m not sure if I mentioned it before but I see them as the New York-version of my own parents. Mr. Mac and my dad are both hard workers; good-hearted men; dedicated husbands; devoted fathers; and connoisseurs of wine and beer. As for my women of the families, my mom and Mrs. Mac are almost clones, minus the NY accent. Both women are prime examples of the perfect wife and mother. They are the definition of a giver; wonderful hostess; and beautiful soul.
My hope is that one day these four can finally meet and be friends for life.
As I said in the beginning of this post, the month of May is finally over…but not forgotten. I consciously cannot even remember where I’ve been and when. I actually feel like April and May were blended together because now I’m recalling how busy April was with Easter Weekend with A, PDoug, and the Littletons (Cinci), Kristin’s Bridal Shower and Bachelorette Party (Columbus), Julie’s Bachelorette Party with Laura and Morgan (Chicago)…is that it or was there more in April?
So May, bear with me: Jen & Matt Morel’s visit, Kristin’s Wedding (Columbus), DC (Work) Trip with Laura, Julie’s Wedding (Cleveland/Akron), Lakehouse with the Macs (Lake Michigan). A trip to Pittsburgh to visit with my parents was thrown in there something else, and honestly I think I’m missing some other trips/excursions but thinking of all this back-and-forth is enough for me to process right now.
Can I be honest about something because I cannot figure out who I really want to say this to? I have a fantastic network of friends, family, and confidantes but this is just something that I don’t want to waste anyone’s time with…anyone except my blog readers. So I think you deserve a huge THANK YOU for dealing with, well, me being a girl.
I really didn’t want to go back to Chicago today. I never want to go back after having an amazing weeknd wherever I am- even when I’m in Pittsburgh or Cleveland. It’s not that I wanted to stay at the lakehouse forever, but I wanted to stay in the state of serenity and happiness that I was feeling this weekend. I hate that it never seems to stay whenever I get back in Chicagoland, and even worse, by the time I’m trekking to Skokie the next morning I have completely lost my entire blissful state of mind. Actually, I feel like my blissfulness melted away as soon as I boarded the train this afternoon.
Maybe I am just tired. I mean that very well could be the case. However, I keep coming back to this same feeling. It never seems to change. All I’ve wanted to do all day is cry, scream, curl up in a blanket, work out, and maybe even run away and start something new. I want to do anything except be back in Chicago and wake up tomorrow morning, put on my optimistic face and attitude, and go to Skokie.
I was on the phone with my mom earlier and I really just wanted to hash everything out to her. Instead, I remained quiet on the other end – listening to her talk about Hampton (my hometown)- and let her end the conversation. After I said by goodbye I wanted to cry. The tears were welding up, but I did what I always do in trying my best to hold them back. Be strong. You’ve been through my more difficult things than this, is what I told myself as I looked down at the Purple Heart tattoo on my wrist. My badge of courage and reminder of how strong I am.
Is there such a thing as trying to be too strong? Should I let myself cry? Will that really help anything?
Libby used to tell me in college how strong I am. I never believed her. But today I found myself sitting on the train thinking about all of my struggles and maybe she was right. I mean I’ve battled (bitchy girl) bullying, eating disorders, anxiety, loneliness, and longtime heartbreak, not to mention moving to a new city own my own and dealing with the stress of a anxiety-ridden work environment and financial struggles.
…and through all of this I have never said “woe is me” nor will I ever. I’ll never go on-and-on about being single and not having a boyfriend/fiancée/husband, although it crosses my mind at least once a day. And my heart has been broken for 6-7 years and the only time I’ll ever is want anyone’s attention/sympathy is when I’m on tequila (now called t(h)e- killa)- which is why I make the No Tequila Pact with my friends.
I’ve been lost in this world for awhile now and heartbroken for more years than I’d like to admit, but I’ll continue to wear my poker face and remain optimistic that one day I’ll figure it all out- acknowledging that each and every struggle really was worth it.
But tonight, after stress-reducing workout , I will curl up with my OU sweatshirt blanket and watch The Bachelorette to officially close out May 2010. Thanks for the memories, and the anxiety.
Note: I did let myself cry, and then I couldn’t stop. So yes, I was that girl wearing sunglasses on the train today. So lesson learned: Always carry sunglasses. Sometimes those ‘cloudy/rainy days’ need them just as much as the sunny ones- if not more.