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Things Can Change

Lately I’ve been feeling a bit nostalgic. When adulting hits me hardest I reflect back on how easy life seemed 10 years ago. Realistically I even remember things five years ago feeling like a walk in the park. So, for your reading pleasure, today I will reflect on the changes that have happened in my life over the last few years.

The value of $100

Then: I used to think it was basically impossible to hold $100 in my hand. However, I thought if I could I would be rich. My meager once-a-week banquet server paycheck seemed like a lot to me.

Now: Today I still think holding $100 in my hand is basically impossible. However, that’s because after rent, my phone bill, gas, roller derby fees and a few groceries I feel like there’s nothing left. Part of that is my tightwad mindset, but also adulting is hard.

Snow

Then: There was never enough snow. Snow meant snowmen, snow tunnels, king of the mountain, sledding and maybe, if we were super lucky, snow days!

Now: I hate snow. I hate cleaning off my car. I hate driving in snow. I hate shoveling and, most of all, I hate driving to work knowing some lucky kids have off school.

Bangs

Then: Until I was 16 I “rocked” the ugliest set of straight bang there ever was. I FINALLY came to my sense and grew them out, but I should have done so years sooner. Photos make me cringe.

Now: For some reason I have bangs again. They are side bangs this time and I thought they would be fun. Some days they are great. Some days, not so much.

Running

Then: I HATED running. The only reason I went out for track in high school was because I lost a bet with my sister.

Now: As weird as it is to say, I like to run. For some reason I decided to run track in college and that’s when things shifted for me. In fact, I completed my first half marathon in September and will be running my first 10k in March. The transition from sprinting to jogging was brutal, but worth it. My competitive years are behind me, but I prefer it that way.

Internet

Then: When I was growing up we did not have internet and our computer was 3GB…my current flash drive is 6GB.

Now: Just under two years ago I got my first smart phone. I feel like a magician.

Selfies

Then: From film selfies to digital camera selfies, I did it all. I was pretty good at it too, although I think having long arms helped. The only downer was paying for the failed selfie when I still had a film camera.

Now: My IPhone has a front-facing camera. Again with the magician skills. A young Becky would be so impressed.

 

I finally got a smart phone in summer 2015 and my selfie game went through the roof. Now, I was never really one to take selfies of just me but I took tons with other people. I’m finally one of the cool kids.

Bedtime

Then: Who needed sleep? I was an invincible teenager/college student who worked jobs with weird hours. There are only three buildings on the UWSP campus I haven’t napped in.

Now: I go to bed at 10 p.m. during the week. I am no longer invincible.

I just want to take a moment to shout out to all the 90s kids out there who have similar recollections. It’s crazy how things change! But just remember, we got this.

The Evils of Social Media

I would like to start off by clarifying that this post is purely about my personal social media and has nothing to do with my job. I would also like to say I am not judging anyone or looking to start an argument. That being said this post is for everyone that loves posting on social media but has also considered deleting their accounts. These are my thoughts on the love hate relationships I have with my social media.

It’s a time suck…

Five minutes on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter becomes 15, 20 or even 30 minutes before you realize it. There are studies that tell us just how much time social media sucks up every day. I’m sure the numbers are crazy. Look them up. Hang on, here’s one.

…but it’s a great way to keep in touch.

While social platforms may steal time like a thief in the night they are also a great way to keep in touch with people. Personally, I absolutely love being able to see what my friends from Australia and my cousins in another state are up to. I’ve also lived in four cities in the last two years so social media makes it really easy to keep in touch with friends from all over.

You feel compelled to share things…

Did you ever notice if something great happens in your life, or something not so great, you almost feel compelled to tell all your Facebook friends? I sure do. The more proud of the post you are the more you want to be acknowledged. Why aren’t there more likes? Why does Jane Doe always get so many more likes than me?! Why didn’t that one girl you said hi to at the bar one time like the post? What’s her problem? Jerk.

…but it also feels really nice to share things.

Sometimes when something awesome happens to me I want to shout it from the rooftops and let everyone know. Fortunately a Tweet, an Instagram post or Facebook post reach a hell of a lot more people than when I shout from a rooftop and it was really cool being at the Packers-Giants playoff game!

You find yourself judging people and “creeping” on people…

I don’t know about you, but if I become friends with someone new on Facebook or one of my friends gets a new boyfriend or girlfriend I find their Facebook profile and “creep” on them. It’s only right. I have to make sure they picked someone good. I’m only looking out for my friends and curious about their type and wondering if there’s an age gap…

Then there’s the more judgmental part of me. Did that guy seriously post another photo of his protein shake? Is it just me or does her shirt blend into the wall behind her? They used the wrong there! Just so everyone knows I’m a horrible person. There are people I remain friends with purely so I can judge them and hate on them a little bit. What?  I told you I’m horrible!

…but you’re not ready to get rid of it.

Even though I hate myself for what I just typed I am not ready to get rid of my social media accounts. The truth is as awful as it is, it’s human. It’s also nice to think about all the good things that come out of social media. It’s an easy way to build relationships and spread the word about causes or fundraisers, etc.

The pain of Timehop…

Sometimes when I see my memories or Timehop from years ago, especially when I first joined, it’s almost physically painful. I’m honestly not sure how I had friends. I was SUPER whiney and annoying. There are some things I am reminded of that I truly wish I could forget.

…and the joy of TImehop.

On the flipside, sometimes Timehop reminds me of something truly awesome and it can make my entire day better. For example, I studied abroad in Australia a few years ago and those memories will never get old. Or that one time…

Sometimes it feels like people overshare their lives…

There are some people who live through social media. I’m pretty sure I know when they change their socks. Those notifications and posts can get annoying sometimes.

…but that dog though.

I’m pretty sure I could live to be 100 and never see enough dog pictures and videos. SHARE MORE! THERE AREN’T ENOUGH!

Honestly there are days all I want is to delete my social media accounts and be done with it. What happened to calling people on the phone? Well, that’s just it isn’t it? No one is stopping you. Make more calls, spend less time on social media. Or don’t. We live in the age of technology and you can keep in touch with more people, more easily if you keep your social media accounts. On days when I feel lonely, I love that. 

Up in flames

Black plumes of smoke littered the sky and my nostrils filled with the smell of burning. It was not hard to find the fire, but it was a little tougher to get close enough to snap some good photos.

Approximately 10 minutes earlier a colleague contacted me and asked if I was near enough to check out a fire. I was, so off I went to snap some photos of my first fire.

4-5 Ixonia fire 2The reporter in me was driven to find a way to get closer to get those stellar photos and I did. It wasn’t until I had a few good photos and was feeling confident about having something good for the front of the following day’s paper that it dawned on me that I was drawing excitement from someone else’s misfortune.

A garage/shed had burned to the ground taking the lives of five dairy calves inside. The owners also lost a lot of equipment including two four wheelers, a snow blower and a lawnmower. As I gathered this information for what was shaping up to be a “good” story of public interest, shame and reality set in.

I felt shame that my success stemmed from the death of five baby animals and $70,000 of damage to the garage owners. While I felt relief that the home had been spared, acquiring minimal damage to some siding I also felt disappointed in myself for being proud of the photos I had taken.

The fire started less than 20 minutes before I arrived and the entire structure had burned to the ground in that sliver of time. Watching the firefighters sift through the rubble is when the reality settled in. This family lost not only possessions, but animals. In less than 20 minutes.

Fire knows no discrimination. It knows no boundaries. It just burns. DSC_0689

That was the first time I really started to second-guess my profession. It also got me thinking about the important things and what I would hate to lose. At first I thought of my new shoes and my softest sweater, but then I thought of the people that matter most in my life and the memories I have made over the years. Of course, there are a few possessions I would hate to lose, but at the same time I’m happy to know they aren’t what matters most.

As a twenty-something trying to figure out where my next step is, if my lease will mess me up and all the other stress-inducing obstacles that accompany early adulthood it’s nice to take a step back and appreciate.

No, I’m not saying the the things that stress me out are unimportant. I’m just saying others things are more important. Like all the times my mom mailed me letters just because she loves me or the time my roommate knew I was feeling down and staged a civil war between Brisk bottles on the floor of our dorm room just to make me laugh. Or that time a friend woke up extra early on the morning of my birthday to bring me hot chocolate before my 8 a.m. class and those times my sister drove out of her way to pick me up for a get together in the opposite direction because I didn’t have a car. People can be pretty great sometimes. Cherish those memories. Remember what matters.

Locked In

My Senior year of college my roommates and I found ourselves locked inside our apartment. It was like our own little escape room, free of charge. Except there were no riddles to solve and we had to wait inside until someone from maintenance freed us.

Let me tell you how I found out about the situation. Now, before I start with the story, I would just like to mention that at the time I was working for campus security. It was a wonderful job but called for some overnight shifts so my sleep schedule was pretty out of whack.

At about 8:30 that morning banging and sawing sounds woke me up. Somehow I knewdeadbolt-3 immediately the sounds were coming from the front door or our apartment and I was positive it was being broken into. So what do I do? I scrambled out of bed, which was far from easy from the top bunk, grabbed the closest weapon I could find and charged into the kitchen ready for anything.

In my head I looked menacing enough to stop whoever was breaking in and I was properly armed. In reality, I simply looked like an idiot dressed only in underwear and a large T-shirt wielding a plastic lightsaber. Although I probably did look a little terrifying since I had been awake for all of 30 seconds and I am not a morning person.

Before you ask, no this is not the first time I made a fool of myself. I once wore a shirt inside out all day without realizing it. Sometimes I feel like it was almost like training for this part of my life. If I could look unflinchingly in the eyes of the guys I drooled on during a flight to Missouri or walk away with my head high after punting a security alarm at a museum in Australia I can totally navigate my twenties.

If you haven’t picked up on it yet I am a bit of a walking disaster. But that’s what this blog is for right? Don’t worry I promise to share success stories as well.

Do you have something you would like to share? Message us on Along Those Lines or get ahold of me. I’d love to hear from you. I’m willing to take post requests, assist you with writing a guest post or just listen to anything you need to talk about. I’m here for you and not just to share ridiculous stories about my life.

Oh, and I should probably mention we were able to “escape” our apartment that morning not long after my “display of bravery.” You wish you were as a cool as me.

Thanks for reading!

LateNight Blog Rant #2: New Years Revolutions

Happy New Year Everyone!

We kissed 2016 goodbye and welcomed in this shiny new 2017. With all its promise of change and glory, it’s a nice reason to look at life a little differently. So here is probably the MILLIONTH blog post on New Year’s resolutions/ reflection.

Everyone seems to be complaining about 2016. I mean hey, complain away. I didn’t have a perfect year either. I could go on and list all the just shitty things that happened to me this year (trust me, there has been a lot), but instead let’s raise a hypothetical glass.

Raise a glass to the new friends made in 2016; the new places explored; to the night’s we didn’t go to the gym and watched an entire season of The Office instead. As a pivotal point in our young lives don’t forget to find the good in all of life’s challenges. Take a second to just think back and appreciate all those wonderful moments that I know are hiding in your memories (Remember that first time you finally listened to the  Hamilton soundtrack?). And  finally give yourself a pat on the back for every time you you didn’t stay down.

2017 will bring a lot of change. As we get older we know how hard it is to find time for ourselves, hold on to old friends, and have an alcohol tolerance (SERIOUSLY, when did drinking become so hard?!)…But we aren’t in this alone.

So here’s to you fellow post-grads.  We got this.