The Thing about Engagements.

At the ripe old age of 25, I am frequently bombarded with engagement posts all over my social media pages. It seems like every weekend, someone else I know either pops the question, or is asked for their hand in marriage. One by one, my friends are vanishing into wedding planning and settling down to spend their life with ‘the one.’ It seems like only yesterday we were studying for history tests in high school, and chugging beers on frat row in college. Yet, here we are attending showers and discussing bouquet arrangements. And, let me tell you, it’s getting so damn old.

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Now I need to clarify something, because I feel like this could be taken the wrong way. The reason I’m so annoyed with all these engagements has nothing to do with the fact that I doubt my boyfriend has ever even thought about the possibility of proposing. It’s that, at the age of 25, I still feel like I’m 17 and I have no idea what I’m supposed to be doing. I’m barely a functioning adult and you have the audacity to think I can be someone’s wife?! I’m have quite a bit of student loan debt, and you want me to plan a wedding?! It takes me 25 minutes to pick a movie on Netflix, you honestly expect me to pick a venue, meal and 4-5 friends to stand by my side?? You’re funny.

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Honest to goodness, I am so happy for all the friends I scoff at on Facebook when they post a photo of their ring. I honestly cannot wait to attend the wedding (or creep on the Facebook photos) and see the looks of joy on their faces. I cry at sappy romance films, I LOVE love and I love ‘happily ever afters’ even more. I just don’t why everyone is in such a rush to do this thing (and then the next thing which I cannot even begin to fathom, yes I’m talking about babies). To me, marriage is scary. It’s this serious adult thing that means something. You stand before your family and friends and God and vow to choose this person every single day for the rest of your life. And it seems like everyone is racing towards it.

Now, I love my boyfriend, and I love what we are together, but I’m content with where we’re at. I honestly wouldn’t care if he didn’t propose for another 5 or 10 years. Or never (again to be honest, I do want to get married, but planning a wedding sounds like literal hell with so many decisions and money down the drain, why would I do that)? I just cannot wrap my head around the fact that friends my age (or younger) are like yes, let’s do this thing that is (well, should be) permanent and really serious. Am I just overthinking it? I get that I shouldn’t compare my life journey to someone else’s, but it’s hard not to when it seems like literally every other person my age is doing this one thing. Every time I see another post or picture of a ring, I think of Amy Poehler’s wise words, “good for you, not for me.”

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Does anyone else feel this way about engagements? Or has anyone else survived their twenty’s and lived to give advice to the rest of us wandering souls? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear about it!

New Year, Same Me.

Happy 2018! How’s your new year so far, Reader? Mine has been pretty quiet, so I’ve been trying to reflect on the last year and what I hope to accomplish in the new. While 2017 was full of ups and downs, it had more downs than I care to remember. As I turn 25 this year, I come to realize that I will never follow the ‘New Year, New Me’ mantra; I am who I am and no resolution is going to dramatically change that. I spend too much money on things that don’t matter. I eat eggs at least once a week for dinner because I’m too tired to cook and I have anxiety that causes me to assume the worst at almost every moment.

So here are my goals for 2018. I’ll probably fall short, and if I’ve learned anything in the past 25 years, it’s that…. that is okay. Life is a journey, blah blah blah, *insert inspirational quote to get you through all the bullshit that life throws at you.

  1. I want to spend time in the kitchen making an actual meal, at least once a week. I have so many cookbooks and Pinterest boards full of recipes that are unused. I’m no chef, but I would like a better understanding of food and flavors and hope to develop a skill in 2018 (making chili for the 1st time ever as I type!).
  2. I would like to read at least 12 books over the next year. I’m going to start with something off Barack Obama’s 2017 list and see where that takes me. I miss getting lost in the story of a good book. This is a cliche goal, but reading is so important to me and I’m sad that I have forgotten this.
  3. I want to spend more time with friends and loved ones. Life is short and nothing is as important as the people you surround yourself with. In 2017, I was very lax in spending time with much of anyone and I regret that. I let my anxiety cripple my social life and I’m not letting it happen any more. I have wonderful friends, a wonderful boyfriend and family and I want to spend time with them while I can.
  4. As I said above, I want to stop letting my anxiety rule my life. I spend most days worrying about my family and friends as well as life scenarios that could or could not happen. Whether the fact that my boyfriend didn’t come over for dinner means that he’s over me, or that my boss’s quietness means I’m about to be fired, I need to stop letting these things ruin my days. Much of 2017 was lost to these thoughts and I’m tired of it. I’m taking back ownership of my life, even if it takes me the next year, or the next five.

Reader, what do you hope to accomplish in 2018? Or, better yet, what did you learn in 2017? Let me know in the comments, and I hope you have a wonderful new year!

-Sara

Does it get Better?

Last month, my grandfather passed away. At 24 years old, it was the 1st time I ever had to deal with death. To say that I cried is an understatement.

I cried because he is no longer on this earth. Who would I share peanut butter cups with? Who would sing me songs that had my name in them? Who would tell me I was his favorite granddaughter (I was his only granddaughter)?

I cried because I felt like a jerk for being sad about his death. He had been sick for awhile and was no longer in pain; wasn’t it better this way? I also felt like a jerk, because death is not a unique situation. It happens to everyone and we all have to deal with it multiple times over the course of our lives. I wasn’t special for losing someone.

I cried for my grandmother, his partner of over 70 years. They danced together, laughed together, and held hands every night as they fell asleep. They were lifelong companions, still as in love with each other as they were on the day they were married. It was hard to imagine her living a life without him. I will never forget my grandmother’s hand in mine as we stood next to his casket at the cemetery and she asked if she had to leave, if she had to say goodbye.

I cried for my father and my aunts and uncle. They no longer had their father on this earth, and I was so sad for them. The man who had raised them, the man they all could tell hours of stories about. That great man they all admired and loved for 50 odd years was gone. I also cried for my cousins and brother; like me, they had lost someone important, someone who had always been there.

I cried because for 24 years, he was my biggest fan. He came to every soccer game and tennis match and stayed until the very end. Every school play, choir recital or school ceremony, he was usually in the font row with a big smile on his face. Who would be there now?

I can’t say that things are better. Every time I see a peanut butter cup, I feel a tinge of sadness. I still hear his laugh in my head and I fear for the day when I can’t hear that sound, my favorite sound.  Even as I write this, my face is wet with tears and I feel a dull headache forming. I have cried so much, I think my sinuses wish they could extricate themselves from my head, just for some peace.

When do I stop feeling sad? Is it just one day, I’ll wake up and it won’t hurt? I won’t feel my own hurt and the hurt of others in my family? I don’t want to forget him, but I wish I could stop feeling sad. When is it going to be better?

via Daily Prompt: Better

Vanity Upgrade

One of my favorite things in my room is my vanity, which also doubles as a desk (when I’m not working from bed). I am currently using a white desk that I got at Target, with a white mirror and lighted vanity make up mirror. Recently I decided to spice things up and add the marble top (marble is my new favorite). I bought this adhesive from Amazon, it was seriously so easy to apply! Would definitely recommend getting this for sprucing up an old space, plus it makes a great backdrop for photos!

6 AM Thoughts: What’s Next?

6 AM Thoughts: What’s Next?
road
Source: Moody Nature.

Once again I find myself needing to answer the age old question, “what do you want to do with your life?”

At 5, we were asked this by our teachers in order to make cute “When I grow up I want to be…” signs for our parents to look at when they came on parent night.

At 16, we were asked this by our guidance counselor in order to find appropriate schools so we could go to college and get a degree.

At 22, we were asked this by our college advisors in order to help us find a successful job with that degree.

At 24, I had assumed that I was done hearing that question, let alone answering it. I had two degrees and a successful job where I was happy. Why was I being asked this question AGAIN? Well, jobs don’t last forever. I work at an international fashion retailer (who shall remain nameless), but with the ever changing retail landscape, who knows how long I can stay there. Gone are the days of our parents who worked at jobs for 30+ years. Gone are the days of living in the same place all your life. Millennials are job hoppers, that’s the norm now.

For example, my boss is from Virginia. She moved to Columbus, then to the D.C. Area, then San Diego and now Columbus again. My co worker is from Pennsylvania, moved to New York City, then to Columbus and now she’s off to LA. I look at both of them (at 32 and 31, respectively) and I admire them both. They (seemed) to do it with ease, and when the time was right, they answered the question of “what’s next?”

So “what’s next?” for me? Honestly, I hadn’t thought about it, since I had assumed I was done answering those questions. I do want my masters degree, but I’m still in a massive amount of student loan debt from my undergrad. Is it wise to incur more debt for achieve another degree? Then once I have that piece of paper… what do I do with it?

Its funny that I was just going through some old art pieces in my closet and I found the above drawing. I had created this for a college scholarship in high school; the theme was to draw your future. I got the idea while nannying one day after playing The Game of Life for the eighth time in a row. At 17, it seems like I had it figured out. It’s even funnier now that I look at it, I did graduate, move to the city and get a job in the fashion industry. Who knows how the rest of my story will play out. I do know the last life piece is correct; whatever I’ll do,  I’ll follow my dreams.

Reader, what’s next for you? And how do you know when you’ve found what’s next?

6 AM Thoughts

“Where do you see yourself in five years, one year even?”

My boss asked me that question yesterday in my review. Luckily, he also said that I didn’t need to answer right then and could think about it. He wanted to know so he could better shape my experience, giving me tasks and goals that would help me get to where I wanted to be.

Long story short, my job is a hybrid role of two roles, which is quite confusing and can be quite stressful. In the next few months, the role will no longer be a hybrid role; it will change to be just the duties of one of the sides. I have to decide which side to leap to. Thankfully my boss is traveling for the next week or so and I have some time to think.

I keep thinking back to just one year ago. When I would spend most waking moments looking for jobs on Indeed. I was obsessed with LinkedIn and my resume. I wanted to leave college and do something with my degrees, even something my heart wasn’t set on. Just something that would help me get there. What was my heart set on?

And that’s the thing, I can’t quite remember.

Well I sort of can, and my heart was set on one of the sides of my hybrid role actually. But you know when you’re looking at a Monet and it’s beautiful, but up really close it’s blurry and mushy looking, nothing pretty? Not quite the same with this job, but since I’ve been in the role and seen the day to day, it’s different than I thought it would be in many ways. And I wonder if I’m up to par for it. Does that role match my skill set? Which role will I really excel at? Which will challenge me? I know which one pays more and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think about that (I’m human), but I’m not using that as a major factor, to be honest.

There are dozens of more specifics that I would need to relay to you for you to understand the ins and outs of this decision. It’s hard, so hard, that I was up on a Saturday morning at 5:30 just thinking about it. Of course, when someone asks you where you want to be in five years, you begin looking larger scope than just your job. You think about your life, would I be married, have kids? Or would I be married to my work, social and fitness routines as I am now? Would I have a dog, 4 cats? I know one thing for sure, I will have wine in the fridge.

In five years, I’ll be 28. Where do I want to be? More importantly, who do I want to be?

Reader, have you ever been sitting in my boat? Any advice?

Love, B.