25 Lessons in 25 Years

So, I recently turned 25 and, whilst having another casual quarter-life crisis, I’ve been reflecting back on decisions I’ve made and experiences I’ve had.

Here are 25 lessons (of varying importance & in no particular order) that I’ve learned in my 25 years:

  1. Most things don’t go as you originally planned, but Plans B, C, D or even E usually aren’t so bad. They might even be better.
  2. High school sucks and it feels like it will last forever, but it doesn’t. In fact, you’ll be able to laugh with friends later about how much it sucked.
  3. Mental health issues are always hard to deal with, but they’re made much easier when you let people help you.
  4. Punctuality might not be something that everyone can master.
  5. The job you think is “the actual worst” is most likely not. Things can almost always be more terrible.
  6. Having awful jobs will help you appreciate the better ones.
  7. Who you work with is just as important as what you’re doing.
  8. Finding and keeping at least one hobby that centers you and chills you out is super-duper important.
  9. You can, at any point, return to a hobby you had given up.
  10. Old friends are hard to beat, but you’re not required to keep all of them around just because you’ve known them for years. You’ll realize which friends you’ll always have room for.
  11. Recognizing that someone isn’t good for you, and acting accordingly, doesn’t make you a bad person.
  12. Not everyone is going to like you. This is sometimes hard to accept, but you’ll become more okay with it the older you get.
  13. You don’t always have to be agreeable and “nice.” Some things are worth getting angry and passionate and frustrated over.
  14. Trust your gut, it’s usually right.
  15. Being organized is important, and it does not come naturally to some of us. But it’s always worth improving on.
  16. Literally everyone is dealing with difficult stuff. Some people are just better at hiding it.
  17. College can be great, but thinking they’re the absolute “best years of your life” can make you feel stressed about appreciating it. The years after are different but can be just as great.
  18. Keeping up with college friends is so important, and sometimes all it takes is the occasional text or call.
  19. Starting in college, coffee will probably become one of your best friends.
  20. Even when experiences with dating turn out to be terrible, they’ll help you figure out your deal-breakers.
  21. Being single is usually really nice, despite what society tells you. You don’t need anyone to validate you.
  22. Most people don’t know what they’re doing, it’s not just you.
  23. It’s important to take risks because you will definitely regret things you didn’t do more than things you did.
  24. Sometimes all you need is a good book.
  25. Being able to laugh at yourself will make everything easier.

xx bits of prose and whimsy

Needing to Create

As a small child, I would cut and staple computer paper together and make tiny, lopsided books of my drawings. I drew people, bunnies, houses, and clouds. I painted wooden birdhouses and made things out of pipe-cleaners and popsicle sticks.

Creating something out of nothing was what I loved to do, and it kept me busy. I would tell people I wanted to be an artist when I grew up.

From my younger years through high school, I was always in art classes, whether in or outside of school. I honed my drawing skills and began painting. My favorite thing to draw were faces, and I loved making them as realistic as possible. I used shading and highlights to make them look just right.

Towards the end of high school, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my artistic abilities. I began college as a double major in studio art and political science. My painting class during my first semester was particularly inspiring. It taught me so much that I still refer to now.

After a year at that university, I transferred to another in my hometown. And while I loved my new school, I strayed from the arts (for the most part) and concentrated primarily on the social sciences.

And now here I am.

I am more than two years out of undergrad, taking a graduate-level English course, and still not knowing where exactly I, and my creativity, fit into things.

I’ve realized that naturally creative people will always have the need to create, and denying this side of myself will only make me unhappy.

I’m trying to decide what kind of creative life I want to live.

xx bits of prose and whimsy

Office Work

Working in an office is not like it is on The Office. (Surprising, I know.) In my admittedly limited experience, working in an office means navigating people’s annoying personalities. It means trying (and failing) to understand why certain things are important to your boss and others are not. It means consistently toning down your outward frustration. It means being bored out of your mind sometimes and often wondering how the heck people work in an office for their entire adult life.

So, I guess it’s sort of like The Office, except without all the hilarious moments, ridiculous situations, and endearing personality quirks that help you get over the fact that you work in an office.

I work in a small office, by the way. This isn’t one of those cool, trendy, open-concept offices with mostly young people and modern furniture. I work with only three other people, all women, and I’m the youngest and only non-married person.

I’ve been stir-crazy lately. Again. I am 100% positive I’m not doing what I want to do. I work at a non-profit, and that’s about it for how it lines up with my own interests or with what I thought I wanted.

There’s nothing like a not-so-great work situation (along with some late-night motherly counseling) to get you motivated to really change things up.

I have some personal creative goals I’ve set for myself. In vague terms, I’ve promised myself I will draw more, write more, and really delve into what makes me legitimately happy. (And I will almost certainly be applying to master’s programs in the near future.)

I’m really trying to listen to myself now more than ever.

 

 

This Grass is Kind of Dead, Let’s Go Over There

WOW, a lot has changed over the past 12 months. I’ve now had 3 different jobs, made some awesome new friends, attempted to clean my room at least a dozen times, and had multiple quarter life crises.

My new job is a somewhat “legit” job, one that could eventually offer promotions and raises and whatever. But when I mention my new job to people, sometimes they say, “That’s great, is this a permanent job?” And then my mind starts screaming, “OH GOD NO DON’T SAY THAT.” Because it’s not what I want to be doing longterm…

However, I still don’t know what I want to do with my life. I don’t even fake it that I have my shit together unless I absolutely have to. Sometimes it feels like I’ve mostly been accumulating a long list of things I DON’T want to do/have/be. It has also been a lengthy process of figuring out what I prefer to be stressed out about and what I would rather not experience on a daily basis.

I guess I could be considered a fickle person. Not exactly a “grass is always greener” person, but “This grass is kind of dead so I might as well wander over there at some point, maybe sooner rather than later.”

I am also somewhat idealistic, still hoping that one day I’ll find a career that is (mostly) fulfilling.

New jobs blah blah I know, it’s probably not that interesting.

My new goal—one that I’m going to try my hardest to accomplish—is to post once a week on here. I genuinely enjoy posting, and I’ve been reading (a reasonable amount) and drawing (pretty often) so I’m feeling somewhat creative. (And maybe marathoning It’s Always Sunny for the first time isn’t the only thing I should be doing on my computer.)

If you read this whole thing, thanks a bunch! Let me know if you can relate at all to these thoughts, it’ll make me feel less crazy. 🙂

Back from an unintentional hiatus…

Hey. So, I haven’t posted on here in quite a while. And that wasn’t a conscious thing at all. I’m just really good at vaguely intending to do things and then never doing them. And I’m really good at convincing myself that I will.

I’ve honestly been sort of wallowing in my lack of direction in life. I’ve been in a funk pretty much since I graduated from college in December. The transition is really strange and I’ve always been pretty terrible at dealing with transitions. I’m not one of those go-getter types, so I usually feel lost in the shuffle. But, I think (and hope) I’m slowly getting out of my funk. So that’ll be good news for my reading and writing and art, which have all been lacking as of late.

Here’s to being more active (on- and offline) and consistently posting! (I hope I didn’t just jinx myself… Nah.) I’ll be back with another post soon!

(I’m terrible at) Taking Risks

Risks are sort of terrifying.

A few nights ago, I went out for drinks with a college friend who is about to jet off to Argentina to teach English for 8 months. She’s the type who’s traveled all over–by herself! She absolutely loves to travel, having already gone to South America several times. It’s stuff like this that makes me envious of people and their risk-taking ways.

My friend and I have very similar personalities. We’re both emotional and somewhat reserved, but are generally in good spirits. I mentioned to her that I wish I was better at taking risks. This is one of my greatest weaknesses, and it always has been.

Then she told me that when she travels for long periods of time, the transition is difficult. She always cries and has a period of adjustment. It’s easy to assume, at least for me, that the people who are out there doing the cool stuff and racking up these awesome life experiences are able to breeze through these decisions and through every step of the process. That they easily go with the flow of everything that comes their way. And perhaps this is sometimes true. But it’s important to remember that everyone has reservations about new experiences, and that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try our hardest to make them happen.

Adulthood is all about taking risks, and I really ought to take more of them.

Settling into Change

“Things change. And friends leave. Life doesn’t stop for anybody.” – Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

This quote is especially relevant when you reach your early 20s. It’s a time of instability. It’s a time of moving and growing and giving in and letting go. It’s a time when it’s not just you who’s doing this. All of your friends are, too. The people you went to college with are discovering what makes them happy and, hopefully, are getting out there and doing what they love.

It’s easy to feel sad about all these changes. I’d say that I’m naturally resistant to change. I enjoy the idea of it, but not the actual process. When the moment of change approaches, panic and fear set in. I cling onto what is familiar until I have to let go. It isn’t all at once, though. Pieces of my life change until it feels so much different than before.

But it’s just something everyone has to deal with, and I’d better get used to it.