Life Lessons

As I get closer to my 25th birthday (it’s in August and I am just excited, okay?!) , I can’t help but feel that there is something extremely great on the horizon. I feel empowered and happier than ever and am so grateful for the opportunities I have had placed before me and the ones to come.

Recently, I have gone through a lot of changes. 24 was definitely a year of growth in many ways, even though sometimes it felt like pure hell. But the thing is, I have always been fortunate enough to have a guiding voice and hand in this life, even at the darkest hours. The voice has helped me to be self aware and to know what I need to do to get to where I want to be.

I was very down on myself for the past couple of months because I was going through a really rough time in my relationship and it was messing with my emotions more than I had ever experienced before. Because of that, the voice got very quiet. I felt weak and like I had lost my vibrancy, and I felt a lot less confident because everything to do with my relationship was playing on my mind constantly. Even if things were getting better, it wouldn’t take away the things that had happened and the way that I felt. I seriously believed that there was something wrong with me, that I have overreacted and that it would all disappear. I tried to move forward and was always genuinely honest about the way that I was feeling, thinking that that communication would free my mind from the constant emotional turmoil of things that had really left a harsh impact on me. But the truth is that deep down, I knew a part of me was not being true to myself, and there’s the rub.

Needless to say, despite my love for my boyfriend, I had to end things. It’s weird because all through my life I had never understood when people would say that their relationship had failed but they both still loved each other regardless of their differences and no longer being together. I had always thought that they would be able to get through it, because…well because LOVE! If you love someone, then you work hard to make things work when they get fuzzy or difficult. It just made the most sense in my mind until this experience.  Things are not always black and white and that sometimes only becomes evident through your own experiences.

So here are some lessons that I have learned over the past 24 years. Hopefully they speak to you and can help you to know that things will actually always be okay, no matter what occurs.

  1. Recognize that your emotions of negativity are valid, but do not cling to them for long at all. They do not define you. Learn to detach and move forward.
  2. Go through life with a sense of empathy and kindness. Everyone is going through something and it is easy to judge, but make the effort not to. Help and be there along the way.
  3. Surround yourself with people who make you happy and people who motivate you to be better.
  4. Go to new places and experience the world. It helps you to grow and be happier as well as de-clutter your mind.
  5. Let go of other peoples expectations of what you should be doing and think about what you want and how you will achieve it without comparing yourself to others.
  6. Take breaks from social media. It is a way to stop comparing your journey to someone else’s and to stop stalking people. Really. Social media has reached a new low in making sure you can see when someone is active, where they are and who they are with. This is borderline stalking, people.
  7. Be more decisive. Don’t let other people make decisions for you.
  8. Form your own opinions and do things that make you happy, without harming anyone else of course.
  9. Enjoy your youth! We only have one chance at being young. Take advantage and make plans to do the things we love! Don’t jump the gun or become overly anxious at the age of 21 that you are not at your peak of success. It will come. Just plant some seeds for now!
  10. Be more present.
  11. Follow your heart, but always be true to yourself. Relationship’s should NOT be difficult or strenuous on your mental and physical health. No matter what the other person is saying, if it is toxic you DO have the choice to end things, even if it might hurt for a bit.
  12. Start new hobbies!
  13. Don’t move too fast when starting a relationship. It can be exciting, but don’t make promises that you might not be able to keep in a years time.
  14. Your happiness is extremely important. You are too young to be miserable.
  15. You are amazing! Love your body, take care of it, expand your horizons without becoming overwhelmed. These things may take time for some, but make a conscious effort and make small habits that will stick with you throughout life and you will feel so much better. You have power over your life!  Don’t let the bastards get you down 😉
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Ch-Ch-Changes

Being in your early 20’s is really weird. Basically, you find yourself in strange situations that you never had to deal with before such as going to the post office or calling to get out of jury duty or buying milk. Weird. But what is really strange about your 20’s is the way things change.

Since I was about eleven years old (?) I have been the same exact person…I think. Of course, there has been a lot that has happened since then that has helped me to become the woman I am today. I have had great, insane, extremely fortunate adventures and don’t plan on having those end any time soon. I always think about this idea of a world that requires every single human being to write a book about their lives before they die. Like a true, real requirement before death and if they don’t complete it, there is some sort of major consequence like a version of hell or listening to country music on a loop until the end of time. Of course, many people compare life to a book and how there are different chapters. But what if for some reason at the end of each year we were all required to tell the truth in detail about each and every day of the year that was coming to an end only to compile them all into a selection of books ranging from birth to death? Obviously, anything before age 9 might be difficult to have captured by you yourself, but maybe the parent would be required to write theirs and yours? Who knows.

Okay. I got off topic. ANYWAY. I have been greatly influenced by the things that have happened to me, but I don’t rightly know if I have drastically changed as a person before. Sometimes you see people and they have had a major change in attitude, appearance, career, mentality, etc. I still think Spongebob (only the old episodes not this new fangled garbage they are trying to pass off) is an incredible source of comedy. I still have the same two best friends. I still do acting and singing and have never doubted that that will be what I do with my life. It’s interesting. But when you are in your 20’s, suddenly things around you begin to change and you question yourself and you are just going along with it because, well, that is how life works. You have to pay rent, bills, schedule appointments and meetings, buy groceries, go to work all while maintaining sanity, a good relationship with friends and family, and most of the time dating. These times are sometimes manageable, but most of the times at least one or more of these things are in complete chaos. I find myself worrying about moneyandthenextgigandmyrelationshipandfamilyandfriends pretty often. I also find that I am so aware of the changes that the people closest to me are going through and how it really can effect those around them and even themselves. You notice that your friend group starts to shrink and that the people who really care and matter most will always find a way to make time for you and be there for you, even if you haven’t talked for months.

I am very lucky to have my close friends in my life. I’m not sure what I would do without them. I have seen them all endure changes. Some bad, some amazing, some life changing. But they have always remained in my life. I guess what this whole post is about is just…have patience with the changes. Sometimes things will seem like the end of the world and you will have to start all over from scratch. That’s okay. Sometimes you will feel like you have no one in this world. You do. More than you know. Sometimes things will feel like they will last forever when it seems things aren’t going your way. And sometimes you think you have all of your ducks in a row with no cares and something or someone comes out of nowhere and throws you off completely. It’s all okay. That’s part of life and is placed before you  to challenge you and help you to grow, not to drastically change every single part of who you are. People are so resistant to change. They are worried that if they leave their job, their lover who things aren’t going well with, change their look, meet new people, travel to new places, that it will all change them as a person or change their lives drastically. The truth is, you won’t really change that much, you will just have more experience and will be growing and learning. Don’t be afraid. Most of the time, we know what is best for us and what will make us happiest. And sometimes, that means a little bit of change is in order.

“-4%. What happened? See me.”

Waking up in the rather frantic environment of New York City each and every day is not for the faint of heart. Each day millions of people crack their eyes open, throw some clothes on, and get ready for their commute to work while also dealing with about 1,245 other things going on in their heads. Did the lady across from you just find out that she is getting a promotion? Did the guy next to you just find out his wife has been cheating on him for 3 years? Did the woman who bumped into you and spilled coffee on your freshly pressed shirt recently deal with a major life change? Did the small child staring out of the train window just let out a silent but deadly fart? The possibilities are endless. And the thing is, whether we want to believe it or not, just about everything we do has an affect on those around us. The times where we least expect things to matter to others is usually when they will matter most, especially to people we don’t know.

For a long time I have been a people pleaser whether I want to admit that or not. As you can see through my last post, anxiety and people pleasing kind of went hand in hand for me for quite a while. Well, I mean basically my whole life who am I kidding. I was always sure not to step on any toes, always try to give compliments, always be the funniest and brightest in the room. I don’t know if people necessarily would think “Wow. Katie is trying too hard.” but of course anxiety would tell me that that’s clearly what people were thinking even if it wasn’t remotely true. I was in constant competition with one person: Myself. The thing is, sometimes being a people pleaser is not bad. It’s just that you have to remember your core values, what matters to you, how your attitude is when approaching pressing situations or even every day situations, and really just know who you are. It’s easy to get lost in other peoples thoughts and worlds and, really, that is not something that you want to do.

It’s hard to remind yourself that sometimes the things that are having an affect on your loved ones and especially with strangers really may not have anything to do with you. Be honest with yourself and see if that is the case or not and remedy the situation or know when to walk away. Only you know your limits. Be there for your friends, family, significant others, and even the strangers, but do not allow yourself to take on certain energies that do not have anything to do with you. It’s hard and it’s a cycle because, again, everything you do is affecting at least one other person.

I guess this was all kind of a random thought rant due to circumstances that I currently am dealing with. Don’t get me wrong, I am in a very good position and really figuring out certain things about my career, life, maintaining at least a shred of “balance”, but of course we all have our private matters to tend to. Lately, I have learned not to be a situational narcissist which basically means “No, Katie. The fact that they didn’t give you extra guac on your burrito does not mean that you ruined their day and that they hate you.” This is a silly example, but you get the idea. Not everything is about you. And sometimes, it’s hard to believe that when there is so much going on. But even when you have a lot going on or a friend is dealing with a lot or a parent is struggling or filling you with a feeling of pressure, just remember that sometimes it might be on you, sometimes its on them. Becoming aware of yourself is key. Have you not been pulling your weight? Did you not send that important message after your mom asked you to about 5 times? Did you not study enough? Life is kind of like that. Sometimes, you prepare for the big test and get the best grade in the class. Sometimes you think you were prepared, but you get your paper back with a big red “-4%. What happened? See me.”. Other times you literally don’t study a lick and get an A, and sometimes the teacher has it out for you and gives you a grade worse than you deserved because they just don’t like you.

This has probably all sounded kind of jumbled. Welcome to my brain. Or maybe it has           made perfect sense. An even bigger welcome to my brain! Grab a drink and make                      yourself comfortable! The idea behind this whole…essay? Piece? Blob of my                             brain?…is really just a gentle reminder today to be understanding, stand your ground,           know when enough is enough, and understand that sometimes you might not                         understand. And that’s just fine.