Things Can Change

It’s been one heck of a crazy year. So many things have changed for me. Fortunately, most of those changes are for the good. As twentysomethings we’re at that time in our life where big decisions are made, change is commonplace and we’re all navigating vastly different courses.

Around this time last year I was terrified. Not only was I changing jobs less than one year after accepting the first position of my career, but one of the factors in play for this decision was my boyfriend. Now, please don’t miss understand me, I was smart with this decision. I made sure to find a job in my field, that I wanted and where I got a raise.  However, Mike’s location did play a factor and it was scary to include that in my decision making process.

The first two months were a HUGE transition period. First, adjusting to living under someone else’s roof which Mike’s parents generously offered me while I was apartment hunting and then setting up the new place while acclimating to a new type of position and worrying that I had made a mistake and I would find myself alone and heartbroken in my boyfriend’s hometown.

Fortunately, here I am a year later and my heart and my life are still in tact. There have been a few bumps and curves along the way, but that is to be expected. Despite the frozen tundra that enveloped the apartment when the heat went out and the ant invasion of 2017, I am moving soon to a pet friendly house where I can finally own my first puppy.

Over the last year I ran my first half marathon, bought my first set of brand new tires, attended a Packer playoff game and became a derby girl. I built my first 3D puzzle, published another poem and stayed in my first all-inclusive resort. I even cleaned out my closet.

Looking back over the last 365 days, it feels more like a lifetime. I am proud of all that I have accomplished and to have learned from the mistakes I made. The move was scary, but ultimately the right decision for me. Thank god! Things can change and that’s okay. Embrace the changes, attack the challenges and live life to the fullest.

To everyone that has Feels Good at First stuck in their head, here you go:

20 Animal Photos that Perfectly Illustrate Adulting as a Twentysomething

Recently I have gotten the sense there are a number of people out there having a tough time right now. I’m not sure if it’s the pollen or the time of the year or what the issue is. However, I thought it might be a good idea to post a few animal photos to try to put some smiles back on the faces of those having a tough time.

So I scoured all my files and gathered a bunch together to help illustrate adulting as a twentysomething told through animal photos. I hope you like them and, most importantly, I hope you smile. Enjoy!

1. Me right after I graduated college:

Who me?

 

2. Actual photographic evidence of me trying to stand out on my resume so someone will hire me into an entry level position:

Trying to stand out on your resume

3. She’s looks like doing it better than I am. Should I be doing what she’s doing?

Should I ge doing things like her

4. If I pretend I know what you’re talking about maybe you’ll drop it and then I can Google it later.

IfI act like I understand will you stop asking ahrd questions

 

5. Me when I successfully make a recipe: “I’m an amazing cook! Feel free to call me Betty Crocker!”

I'm an amazing cook

6. Me suffering through a recipe gone wrong: “This tastes like crap. I am never making this recipe again. Maybe I should just run out for take out?”

Less than average cooking skills

7. Please may I take a break from adulting?

Can I take a break from adulting

 

8. Me when I unload the dishwasher: Nailed it! I am the queen of being grown up!

Nailed it.JPG

 

9. There are not enough hours in the day to get everything done.

Too tired

10. Free food! It’s a miracle! Take some and run!

Because I suck at cooking.JPG

 

11.  Must escape! Can I go back to being a kid again?!

Must escape responsbilities

12. How I feel  as I look into my 401k options. 

Approach with caution

13. Me after I wash and fold all my laundry in one day: “Check me out! I’m a real adult!”

Can the weekend last forever

14. Eats one salad. “I’m so healthy! This means I’m covered all week right?”

I ate a salad I'm so healthy.JPG

 

15. I cannot be bothered with cleaning today, it’s imperative that I just sit here and do nothing.

I just don't care anymore.JPG

 

16. Actual footage of me leaving the office on Fridays.

TGIF

17. When you’re the only twentysomething in an important meeting.

Is it obvious that I stand out

18. Me on pay day while I wait to be handed my check.

I did it.jpg

19. If I dress the part and try to look as cute as possible maybe no one will know I’m nervous.

19021557_10156237731774606_1353464289_n.jpg

 

20. But WHY am I no longer allowed to have winter break?

19021383_10156237738249606_1576620070_n

That’s all folks! I hope these photos brought at least a little joy into your day. Have a wonderful weekend!

Coming apart at the seams

Chaos

As I tumble through the darkness I make one wish:
that when all of this is over and I step into the light,
even if things have changed and will never be the same,
for just one day let everything be alright.

As my feet attempt to navigate the unfamiliar, uneven ground
I try to take in everything I see.
I’m surrounded by a cloud of my own confusion,
and the walls feels like they’re closing in around me.

I dig for the strength I know I have hidden
so I can stay true to the person I know I can be
Even as things spiral of if control.
I will fight my way free.

This poem says it all. The past month has been tough for me. It seems like the harder I try to get back on my feet the more off balance I become. I feel like a toddler learning how to walk for the first time.

When my Grandma died my whole world tilted and it’s  been a little off balance ever since. My heart breaks a little again from time to time as I try to move on and help with things. On top of that I have been trying to figure out where I am going to live and how to start my 401k. That doesn’t include how busy things have been at work and the sense of being incredibly overwhelmed I simply cannot shake.

I miss my friends and I would love to spend a day with them not worrying about anything, but when everyone lives in a different city with a different schedule, getting together is exponentially harder.

I know it will get better and I have been staying positive. However, there are moments where it takes all of my willpower to function normally and keep it together. I have too many emotions and find myself feeling incredibly overwhelmed.

I know I’m not the only one who has felt like this and, honestly, that’s okay. Growing up is hard to do.

Here are some takeaways I have for anyone who feels like they are struggling to keep it together:

Weakness is okay

You don’t always have to be Hercules strong. Tears are okay. Sometimes putting up a brave front might make everything tougher.

Chocolate

Eating a little chocolate here and there is totally okay when when you’re feeling down. Ice cream is also a good idea. And don’t feel bad about eating it. Do you really need to feel guilt on top of all that? Let loose a little.

Lean on your friends

Lean on your friends. They aren’t just there to party with. If they are truly your friend, they will be there when things get tough as well. Take advantage of that. Embrace their support.

Breathe

Just breathe. As much as you might want them to, your problems might not go away as quickly as you like. They might not be easy to handle either. Just breathe.

That’s all I have for you. If you have any advice to share with me, I’m all ears. Also, on a unrelated note, I am open to suggestions of types of small dog breeds to own.

Crockpot recipe: Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana

I love Olive Garden. Their Zuppa Toscana soup is my absolute favorite. To be honest, I’m not even sure why I order a meal because I always end up eating a minimum of two bowls of soup and take all of my actual food home. Know what I’m saying?

Not to worry! I have solved all our problems! I have found a crockpot recipe for Zuppa Toscana! I have also tested the recipe…twice. You’re welcome.

Okay so enough chit chat, let’s get to the recipe. I have cooked it both on low and on high and did not have any issues. I also used Kale both times not Swiss Chard.

Zuppa Toscana

Serves 6

Ingredients

1 pound Italian Sausage

3 russet potatoes, slices into wedges then halved

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 large white onion, finely chopped

4 cups chicken broth

2 cups Kale or Swiss chard, rinsed and chopped

1 cup heavy cream

salt and pepper, to taste

Preparation

  1. Brown Italian sausage in a large skillet over medium-high heat, about five minutes. Drain and discard fat.
  2. Combine all ingredients except cream and kale in slow cooker. Cook on low 7-8 hours, or on high for 4-5.
  3. Add cream and kale to slow cooker, stir and cook until leaves are wilted and warmed through, 20-30 minutes.
  4. Ladle into bowls, serve immediately and enjoy!

That’s it! It’s as simple as that. If I can do it, you definitely can. I hope you like it. Feel free to comment with questions or anything you did to the recipe to make it even better.  Think of all the money you’ll save! Also there are still no updates on my housing situation. Cross your fingers for me!