Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Quarter Century Life Lessons.

After I turned 25 (almost two years ago.. time really does fly), I really do feel like I went through a bit of an existential crisis. It was just that "what the eff am I actually doing with my life?" kind of experience, where I felt so stagnant when I wanted to grow. It was depressing to feel like I was so young (because 25 is still YOUNG), but was an adult at the same time, and the blending of those two mentalities was just weird and hard to wrap my head around.

I feel like I never truly knew myself before I hit 25 - and obviously it wasn't this snap your fingers change where I woke up and decided I had life figured out (most likely because I woke up hungover on my actual 25th birthday... sorry mom and dad).

However, these are some of the quarter life things I've learned, that I think are pretty universal. I need a reminder of some of these, and writing them out helps to reinforce in my mind the things that I need to stay on top of and keep encouraging myself to follow through with!

1. If you eat shit all the time, you will probably feel like shit all the time.
When I played soccer in high school, I ate like a MONSTER. And I ate Wendy's double bacon cheeseburgers and baked potatoes with extra cheese, and then washed it down with a Frosty. I could handle that and felt invincible.
Those days don't last. Eat some vegetables (even if you get veggie pizza), preferably a salad before your real meal. Drink a green juice for breakfast and become one of "those" people. It's become pretentious, but I promise you'll feel so much better. I don't beat myself up when I eat a cupcake, don't get me wrong, but if I eat carb heavy foods for an entire day and have limited fruits and veggies, I feel like shit afterwards and then it takes me double the time to feel more myself.

2. Don't spend time with people who are always the victim.
These people will legitimately suck the life out of you.
They will always, always be right no matter what facts are presented. You'll go into arguments preparing, like you're a lawyer because you know it'll be an uphill battle. Why spend time willingly with someone like that? Don't - cut this person out and you'll very quickly realize that friendships shouldn't be about trying to prove to someone why/how they've hurt you (if they do).
We all mess up, but someone who can't admit when they do without spinning it is someone who is going to be a life sponge for you very, very quickly. 

3. Thank your mom. 
My mom is wound VERY tightly. Very, very tightly.

(I asked my brother the other day, "How do you prepare someone to meet mom?" He responded, "You tell them she's f*cking crazy."). 

She cleans her house obsessively, to the point that when she would tell me about tip ABC for cleaning, I ignored her because I just saw it as absolute ridiculousness that someone would be so anal retentive about cleaning (like, she cleaned BEFORE the cleaning woman came.. scrubbed).
But seriously.. I owe her an apology because upkeep and housekeeping really could be a freaking full time job (and I have a four room condo, not a house). I appreciate everything that she does so much more now, because I can see what happens when you push those things off. Sorry, mom (but seriously - you don't have to organize your closet before a dinner party).

4. Learn how to say no without offering an explanation or feeling guilty. 
I'm at the point where if I don't want to do something, I don't do it. You want me to come with you to stand on line and wait for the iPhone six? Pass. You want me to drive three hours away to do xyz when I'm stressed to the max with work? Sorry, maybe another time. Optional work meetings/workshops on a Saturday? Yeah, I'm good.
It's all about realizing that FOMO is some bullshit, and that if you're not up for going to whatever function, don't do it. If you're feeling sick and don't want to go to the bar or out dancing? Don't do it. Put yourself and your own needs first versus what you think are the expectations of others. There will be another Friday.

5. Don't run from things that scare you. They'll still be there when you get your shit together and decide to deal.
This should be a duh, but sometimes it seems like if you run from your problems, they'll go away with time. It's immature and embarrassing to explain later on why you couldn't face whatever the situation is. Answers are always better than wondering what's going on (particularly if it's about your health).
I was an idiot a few years ago. I got a call that a routine test I had taken came back with abnormal results and they wanted me to follow up. Well, because it scared the hell out of me, I decided to do the mature thing and ignore it. So I ignored calls from the doctor and nurse staff, and just went on my life.. and you know what happened when I went back? The problem was still there, and I was basically called an asshole for ignoring it. Dumb, dumb, dumb. Even if things are scary, tackle them head-on.

6. There is nothing wrong with staying in on a weekend night. 
A little Netflix and red wine is good for the soul, whether you're on your own or are with someone. Don't become a hermit, but have a TV binge night every so often.

7. Wear whatever you want and whatever works best for you.
Can't walk in heels? I promise you, you'll always look better in flats.
Want to go to brunch in a dress even though your friends are casual? Who cares, you do you.

8. Say thank you.
Always. For whatever you want - saying thank you is always better than looking like you're taking something or someone for granted.
The security guard at work brings me coffee three times a week - he doesn't even ask anymore, but he always gets a thank you (and usually muffins or cookies as an extra thank you). I found out from a coworker that he said I'm the only person to seek him out to thank him. I'm no saint, but to me, showing that you appreciate someone or something is a little thing that goes a long way.

9. Stop with toxic relationships.
Don't pick up your phone for the girl/guy who says all the right things via text and then never puts them into action.
Over the years, there was a guy in my life who was always there and made me feel like he was this carrot dangling in front of me (bear with me) - always just outside of my reach, but still right there in front of me.
He made promises - he wanted to plan dates to take me on, he wanted to come over and take care of me when I was sick, when he thought of who he wanted in his life, it was me... however words are bullshit and actions speak louder (to the point that I was telling my brother about it last year, and my brother just laughed. He said to me, "This guy always does that to you right before he drops off the earth for a year." My brother is pretty clueless and 0% overprotective of me - so this just goes to show how blatant it was).
The best way for me to escape this cyclical process was to just cut it out... and I swear, once I put myself first and stopped this vicious cycle, I met someone who says all the right things, but also follows through. And that's what it's all about - no part of you needs to settle, because you're beautiful and powerful.

10. Stop shit talking other women.
I've become painfully aware of just how hard we as women are on one another. We need to eliminate critical conversations about other women from our vocabulary. If women could come together more often and praise one another instead of using words like bitch, slut, whore, whatever, maybe we could make a difference. We've got it hard enough (periods, misogyny, workplace discrepancies) so why are we constantly tearing one another down instead of building one another up?
I've also noticed just how insecure it comes across when as a female, you're constantly knocking other women down - when you love you, you won't be threatened by someone who is beautiful, intelligent, well put together, whatever.

What are some of the things you learned that have stuck with you/shaped your beliefs?

Currently listening to: the I Need R3hab podcast while I procrastinate cleaning my house. A huge thanks to all of our veterans, past and present for being incredibly brave and self sacrificing. We owe so much to you! 


BLovedBoston said...

Oh I love this post!! We both turned 25 at the same time and I learned all the same things and some of them just recently learned lol! I think the biggest thing for me was to rid myself of the people that weren't necessarily true friends...you feel much better when the drama leaves you!

Amanda Elizabeth - Meet @ the Barre said...

These are seriously all the life mottos I try to live by! Honestly the no shit talking is so important! Why do women always resort to it??

HiFashion said...

I'm 26 now and I've at some point learnt all these lessons. Some were learnt a lot harder than others (toxic friendships) but I'm glad I went through some of the crap I did. It turned me into the (hopefully) strong, fun and independent person that I am.

Selma @ Crazy Little World Of Mine said...

You hit the spot, girl!!! Great mottos to live by. I am currently trying to live by these; at least as best as I can. The shit talking is so important...as in not to do it. Why are we women so mean at times? Love #6. Wine and Netlix make a great day. It's the little things...always has been and always will be. Sometimes we are just too busy enjoying them.


Kathy @ Vodka and Soda said...

all of these! i tend to call my friends bitches but it's out of love. we do it all the time and it makes us laugh.

kick those toxic people out of your life. they do nothing but inject bullshit into your life that you dont need.

haters gonna hate. i really don't like that phrase but it's true. EVERYONE will have an opinion, someone will hate what you do/wear/say/act/look like etc so why even bother with them? you do you, that's all that matters. i wear combat boots to work. some guy always makes fun of them but guess what? HATERS GONNA HATE. he tries to bother me but i look at him, spread my arms wide and legit say: look at all the fucks i give. i guess he's realized IDGAF so he's stopped bothering me. OWN IT. people don't say shit to you when they know you don't care about what they have to say :D

Tracy said...

Such great lessons! I definitely didn't know wtf I was doing before I turned 25 (not that I still do - it's only been 2 years since then) but I'm definitely glad to have figured some of these things out :)

B @ The Sequin Notebook said...

Ok, as usual I loved everything in this post (you're quickly becoming my zen guru!)...you already know how I feel about #2, and #3 really can't happen frequently enough. For some reason #4 got much easier for me once I turned 30 - no one has unlimited time, and you need to be protective of it! Thank you ALWAYS makes a big difference, and you never know when something that seems so small can truly brighten someone's day. And yes to #10...I always hate to hear women say they "don't get along with other women because they're so catty" because we need to be on each other's sides!

Shannon Rice said...

These are all seriously such great points that we should all take in to consideration no matter the age! I really need to work on not feeling guilty about saying no...that is a struggle for me, but I recognize it :)
And staying in on the weekend is my favorite thing. No need to feel guilty!

Clothes & Quotes

Pink and Fabulous said...

These are all awesome! I completely agree with them all!

Kizzy Von Doll said...

Loved this and I completely agree with all of them!! Time to take more control of life and be happy. Keeping toxic people and things out of one's life is so important, they will only bring you down. I've had to learn that real quick!! I hope your week is going fab doll, loves xx

Elle Sees said...

there are a few of these that i am still trying to get over. i swear i have done more work on myself this past year than ever. i'm just a litttttle behind. hehe

Sara Louise said...

All of your bits of advice are spot on. It's amazing how we continue to learn as the years go by, but I guess that's the point... just keep swimming, just keep learning :) x

Sierra said...

I loved reading your life lessons because I have gone through many of these myself! Ironically when I was 25 this was when I was in panic mode too, and I made the changes necessary and now I love my life all the more. Saying no to people? I'm still working on this. I always feel guilty when I shouldn't. Glad we are always learning and growing...I just turned 30 and I feel like I'm still growing into the person I want to be!

Jenn @ Bliss to Bean said...

Seriously, I could have written this! LOVE it lady. You're spot on and have such an incredible outlook. I just love these quotes. Do you have a favorite personal growth book? I love sharing those!