Like Nike.

So I am not going to poetically dodge around the point of this post: put yourself out there.

Is there something that you have always wanted to do? Do it. This is the best time to pick up a skill, try something new, and just break out of your shell! Gonna keep this really short and sweet…

This past weekend I entered my city’s Chalkfest. I spent almost ten hours in the beating sun, trying to draw on a city sidewalk, getting shown up by kids literally half my age (yes, I am talking about you 12-year-old, lake landscape kid)…and know what? It was awesome.

I had just an amazing time. I had received so much support: from my friends who brought me water throughout the day, the fellow artists that gave me tips to actually make my chalk stick to the pavement, and then the support of just strangers, stopping on their rounds to say a few kind words or take a picture, say hello…it was unreal.

What I’m trying to say, if you are debating anything. Picking up an instrument, joining a sport, entering a chalkfest…get out and do it. You won’t regret it.

This is our time to get out there and show the world what we got! We are awesome.

That is all.

Coping with Literally Everything

You know how you said you were stressed in college?  Like I have a paper, lab report, painting and video project all due on the same day?  Yeah.  It sucks.  Like literally.  Nothing more stressful than that, right?  WRONG.

It will only get worse.  Now it’s launching an new season, juggling a long distance relationship, insanely long nights in the office, and right when you think you are getting a grip on everything, losing a loved-one. Not to mention you aren’t simply letting yourself down if you fail, you may be letting down an entire organization.

Okay that is just me, but we all know that feeling.  It’s finding a job, or keeping your job.  Paying loans, bills and your car that has decided that now is the time to break.  It’s family, friends, work…or not having those things.  It’s hard.

But before you decide that you give up and you’re staying in college forever, hear me out.  It doesn’t always have to be a bad thing; stress can be your friend.

It is proven that stress can act as a burst of energy.  Thus this burst can be a great push to get your gears in motion and motivate you to be productive!  I can say that some of my best work has been done when I am under tight time constraints.  The trick is staying on top of your stress, not letting it over-whelm you, and guess who has some tricks for you…this gal.

Breathe.

It sounds cheesy, but it works.  So don’t knock until you try it.  Feel stressed at work, during an exam, taking care of your kid that won’t stop crying?  Just sit up straight, close your eyes, open up your chest and take three deep breaths.  If you are like me with three different inhalers, maybe you can multi-task.

Take a Break.

If breathing doesn’t work, TAKE A BREAK.  This can be as small as taking a quick lap around the office to planning a weekend away in another city.  Reward yourself for your hard work and turn your brain off for a second.  Watch that extra episode of your favorite Netflix show, treat yourself to a bath, take that extra second getting up in the morning… anything that can keep you relaxed and your stress down.

Exercise.

Yes, yes another cliché and if you are like me that is always the last thing on your mind.  But you ever hear anything called a runner’s high?  Exercising makes you happy!  You don’t have to go on a three mile run.  Gross.  Who wants to do that?  And if you do can you teach me your ways?  Kidding.  Kinda.  But you don’t have to do a serious workout. Go on a walk, dance around like an idiot, go outside and try to catch a squirrel… just get movin’!

Don’t Self-Medicate.

Let me better explain.  Don’t self-medicate with BAD things.  Drugs, alcohol, putting Burt’s Bees on your eyelids…that’s bad, don’t do that.  Commonly the effects of these drugs will actually make you more stressed.  Yes even the Marijuana.  Listen to your D.A.R.E classes, kids.  Instead look into positive alternatives.  Looking to do some deep breathing?  Try yoga, it’s relaxing and is kinda the king of stress-relief.  They even let you nap at the end!  Thirsty?  Make some tea.  It’s good for you and will boost your immune system which stress can take a toll at.  Looking to put something on your eye-lids…really just don’t.  It was a bad time for our world’s youth.  Literally do anything else besides that.

Wake Up Early.

Get up an hour earlier than you do, or even a half an hour.  It opens up so much more time to your day, allowing you to be more productive.  Eat breakfast before you go to work, take the long way on your walk to class, or even just get there early and knock another thing off that list. It’s the morning!  Embrace it!  You are refreshed.  You don’t have a bad day hanging over you preventing you from being motivated.

Reach Out.

Truth is we are all confused, and stressed, and depressed, and feel like we are alone in this world.  But guess what.  We aren’t.  There are a million people that are just like you that would love to help.  Just venting or getting things off your chest can feel so freeing, and will help you relax.  Plus people have advice.  Good advice!  Take it!

Let it go.

Don’t let stress control your life.  It will pass.  But sometimes it won’t.  At that point you may have to realize it just isn’t worth it.  This can come in so many forms.  A bad habit, a destructive relationship, a job that you aren’t happy with… sometimes you are just better off without them.  That’s a lie.  Always you are better off without them.  Take care of yourself and you will feel better.  Also, you have Frozen stuck in your head? I do.

Stress is a part of life.  But by staying on top of it and transforming it into a positive energy, you can to it all.

There’s no wrong way

I bet you want a Reese’s now. I know I do. Bear with me as I create this metaphor though. I feel like it’s a pretty good one.

One of my very good friends recently informed me that there’s a bet in place for which one of us will get engaged first. This isn’t the first I’ve heard of this. A few months ago he told me I would definitely get engaged before he proposes.

At first I panicked and then for the rest of the night I denied it. The competitive part of me needed to win and get engaged after him. And then I thought about it…

There’s should NEVER be a contest for this sort of thing. He shouldn’t propose until both he and his girlfriend are ready and I shouldn’t get engaged until both me and my boyfriend are ready. If that means my friend gets engaged first, great. If that means I get enaged first, also great.

Much like there is no wrong way to eat a Reese’s there is also no wrong way to go about being in a relationship. Or, likewise, there is nothing wrong with being single. Take it from someone who, until pretty recently, did not believe in love.

coupleThere is no set age where you will meet “the one.” There is no time limit for when a relationship needs to take the next step into engagement or marriage. There is no age where you become too old to be single and should grow desperate or settle for who you are with even if they are not right.

Being single is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, it’s probably better for you. You can take all your time and focus on making yourself happy and what you want. There is nothing wrong with not wanting to get married. There is no age where you are “doomed” if you haven’t met anyone yet.

For those in a committed relationship, you should not feel pressured to take the next step. There is no “right” diamond size size or ring price. If you are dating someone who is older than you who feels ready to settle down that does not mean that you have to feel ready. Yes, you are one  half of a relationship but that does not mean what feels right to your significant other feels right to you at the same time.

For those that have lost a spouse or significant other, there is not allotted amount of time for grieving. There is no magic number of days that should make you feel better. Like  the consumption of Reese’s, the grieving process is unique to every person. reeses-peanut-butter-400x400.jpg

You can be that person that eats all the chocolate off the peanut butter center of a Reese’s before indulging in the nutty goodness. You can be that person who seeks out a white chocolate Reese’s or Reese’s Pieces. Heck, you don’t even have to eat a Reese’s if you don’t want to. There is no wrong way.

Adulting Advice Told by Candy Slogans

I’m only wearing one sock today. I realized this two hours after I started working today. It’s been a rough week and, honestly, some days I wish I could take a break from adulting. Clearly I can’t handle it.

That being said I’ve been pretending I’m a real adult for almost two years now. Today is a less than impressive day for me, but most of the time I do a decent job. Here is some advice I have for my fellow fake adults and almost adults I picked up these handy tips from all the candy I eat which, for anyone that doesn’t know me, is a lot.

Give me a Break –Kit Kat

Maybe it’s the fact that Kit Kats have four parts, but in my opinion they’re pretty smart. We’re human. We all need breaks. Take a night off adulting and thinking about anything stressful and do something fun! Take a vacation! Let your mom take care of you when you’re home for the weekend. Let’s face it, you both want it.

Only Smarties have the answer. –Smarties

Be smart. If you don’t know the answer, it’s okay to ask questions. There are other adults, real ones even, out there that can help you. Your boss would rather have you ask the question than do something wrong and your parents know the answers to everything and love hearing from you. Heck, even your friends know a little about what’s up so ask those questions.

There’s no wrong way. –Reese’s

I’m pretty sure everyone I know is getting married this year. No, that’s not actually true but there are quite a few people that are. There is a small part of me that thinks they are all crazy. However, I’m wrong. They are ready. I’m not. Simple as that. For those of you that are single, good. It’s better to be single than with someone who isn’t good for you or makes you unhappy. The truth is, much like eating a Reese’s, there is no wrong way. Single, engaged, married or confused, you’re doing it right.

Melt in your mouth, not your hands. –M&Ms

I’m pretty sure most adults are superheroes. That or they practice magic. How does anyone have time to work all days and have dinner ready before 8 p.m.? This is still something I am trying to figure out. Granted I usually work out between work and super, but still even the days I don’t it can be a challenge. My solution? Crockpot recipes. Throw it all together before you go to work, or even the night before, and a “melt in your mouth” meal will be ready when you get home. Almost like magic.

Hungry? Why wait? –Snickers

Leftovers are your friend. They save a ton of time and taste almost as good. I used to hate them. But it turns out if you’re the only one around no one else will eat them and wasting food is no something I like to do. Therefore I suggest we all be like Snickers and embrace leftovers!

Well, there you have it. You should always listen to your candy. Which probably mean you should eat more of it. Please feel free to share any advice you have with me….or your candy. I welcome both.

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.

No Place Like Home for the Holidays

So as you embark on this new park of your life,it may lead you to areas far from your family and friends. With this, sometimes you can’t always make it home for special occasions; sometimes you live too far, don’t have enough money, or your job just won’t allow it. This can be really hard. And that’s okay.

Let’s be real.  It sucks.  The food isn’t as good, your studio apartment doesn’t smell like cookies, you don’t have all the channels to watch Elf for the THOUSANDTH time… it’s just lonely.  The absolute loneliest.  No matter how many Christmas you hang up and how many bottles of RumChata you chug… it’s just not the same.

It doesn’t have to be the most iconic winter holidays. Nothing hurts more than knowing the fact that your entire extended family of over 50 is tanning on the boat and you are racing wiener dogs.

In the times that you can feel the most down though, the most alone…just remember that we all are going through this or have at one time. Because even if you are lucky enough to make it home for the holiday season, there are still the ones that you love the most that can’t make it home.

With that just know that one day this will be in the past. It may not help hearing that right now; but trust me, it will come. Until then: wine. And lots of it.

I’m kidding.  Get out there and experience all the great things your area has to offer. Ski hills, botanical gardens, and ice rinks: every place has it. Get out there and chase away your holiday blues; because face it…those people that you aren’t able to be with, they are still going to love you, and miss you just as much as you miss them.  Also, it’s two days and then everyone returns back to the office hungover and wayyyyyy fatter…

Also remember: wine.

Happy Holiday Folks!