Embrace Yourself

Uncertainty. If there is one thing I am sure of as a twentysomething, it’s feeling uncertain. I feel like I’m constantly saying and thinking, “I don’t know.”

Now, there’s nothing wrong with that. Your mid-twenties are meant to figure things out so eventually you can be more certain. However, it is nice to feel a little more in control.

In an effort to feel more in control and be more honest with myself I am going to share three things with you that people may not know about me. I feel like if I am more honest with myself and others I am taking a small step toward knowing more answers.

1. I have way more anxiety than I let on

I think my anxiety has increased somewhat since I graduated college, but even so I am way more anxious than I like to let people think. My boyfriend know this, bless him, but not a lot of other people do. I am anxious to the point where if I send a text message and don’t receive an answer I am sure the person I sent it to is mad at me. Facebook messenger is the worst. If I don’t hear from a friend for awhile I automatically assume they don’t like me anymore. And that’s just the start of my anxiety. I know, I’m ridiculous. I’m working on it.

2. I wish I knew more about makeup

I rarely wear makeup. I would much rather sleep in longer than apply makeup. I also cannot justify wearing it, just to sweat it off later in the day. However, I still wish I knew how to apply it. Even if I only wore it to special occasions it would still be awesome to know how.  I still cannot figure out eyeliner.

3. I secretly love ramen noodles

Yes, you read that right. I never stopped eating ramen noodles when I graduated college like most people.  I think they are delicious. I eat them all the time. I get it. You probably think it’s gross, but I promise not to make you eat them.

There you have it. Three things you probably didn’t know about me. I feel better getting them off my chest. Next step, life decisions.

 

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The Timeline Trap

It’s really easy to set goals and timelines for yourself. It’s the follow through that gets tough. Lately, I have been realizing how unrealistic timelines can be and not meeting those ridiculous timelines can result in unnecessary unhappiness.

It’s easy to say you’ll be married and settled into your first home by the time you are 25 or you’ll graduate college in four years when you are a naive 16 year old.

Even when you have had a taste of the real world, it is still easy to fall into the timeline trap. Has anyone ever told you that in order for them to have kids “on time” they need to meet “the one” tomorrow because they need to be dating for this many years and married that many years before they have kids? That’s a lot of pressure to put on yourself.

Now, before I go on I am going to stop myself so I don’t start overexplaining. Here’s the message I want to get out: Let yourself breathe. Do not commit yourself to a crazy timeline. Time passes faster than you think and life gets in the way more than you would like it to. Very few people follow the cookie cutter version of life that seems so attainable when you are young. So live life, don’t plan it!

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!

Microadventures and Me

Wisconsin. Lakes are always just a quick drive away. Hiking, biking, cross country skiing, fishing and canoeing- you name it, we’ve got it.  Plus we have the Packers, good food, great beer and even better people. You can tell I’m a Wisconsinite through and through. I’ve been exploring and “Travel[ing] Wisconsin,” as our state tourism slogan boasts, for all of my 23 years.

I grew up camping with my family who decided a cabin was never quite the right fit because that would be too much commitment to one place.  There are too many lakes to swim, rivers to fish, and trees to climb. Our cabin was a mobile rig that included a boat, a few tents and some air mattresses in the back of a truck. Sometimes we would get a little luxurious and take bikes and a kayak with too.  This idea has fundamentally shaped how I view the world- so many places, so little time. We’ve made our way around exploring not only Wisconsin but national parks and outdoor havens across the U.S. and Canada.

IMG_1177
Me –  majestically looking off into the distance at sunset. Peyto Lake, Banff National Park. Photo cred: my mom.

I studied abroad in college, taking trips every weekend and exploring as much as I could of Liverpool and the surrounding countryside. Once I hopped back across the pond, life seemed a little less exciting. Transitioning from having everything be new and exciting to returning back to the same college town was a little rough. I felt like a piece of me was missing. I wanted the excitement of discovering the best hot chocolate in town or hiking a hill to find an expansive view of a lake far below while the rolling Welsh hills surrounded me. (Pictured above- Connwy, Wales)

In order to fulfill this missing piece, I intentionally started taking microadventures. Microadventures are short adventures that are cheap and close to home yet still fun. I strive to check out new places often. Whether a it’s new restaurant that I’ve lived around the corner from for a solid six months, a new trail during one of my frequent visits to Lapham Peak State Forest, or an adventure across the country, I make an effort to keep exploring and pushing myself to never be comfortable. Some people strive for comfort, I strive for change.

So that’s what I’ve decided to write about in this blog. I will catalogue my microadventures and tell you all about the best beer I’ve had in Milwaukee or an adventure that happened while I backpacked in Ecuador. Or it might be a simple change of perspective on a normal day. I hope to inspire you to take a quick microadventure.  Microadventures are not just for weekends and days off, but it’s about taking on a perspective that allows you to be constantly surprised and never complacent. You may never know what adventure is waiting.

Career Day Dilemma

So tomorrow I have to, scratch that, get to present at a Career Fair at the local High School. Yup, you read that right I get to go tell high schoolers what I do, how I got here and offer any advice I may have as they head toward their future careers. WHAT?!

Here’s the issue. My career journey thus far can be described more like a tumbleweed blowing in the wind than a determined young professional chasing her dreams. How I am supposed to sound like I know what’s up as I talk to these curious young minds when there are days when I feel completely lost? I don’t know how I ended up here and I don’t know where I’m going.

Here’s the other thing. I hate presenting. Standing up in front of people and talking for any amount of time is my least favorite thing ever. I participated in Forensics all throughout grade school and high school in the hopes I would become a better presenter. Nope! I don’t think I improved at all.

When I think about how things will go tomorrow I flash back to when I was in High School and I felt like I was constantly being judged. Considering some of my fashion choices back then it shouldn’t be a huge surprise, but I was scared everything I did and said was being judged. Granted it was high school and that’s not entirely wrong it’s also largely blown out of proportion. Nonetheless when I think about tomorrow all those all feelings come back and I know that’s what’s going to happen.

I’m being ridiculous. It was not that long ago that I was one of those high schoolers. I know they won’t care what I have to say. More than likely, they are just excited to not have to go to regular classes all day. I could talk to them in a monotone for a half hour and they wouldn’t care because they basically have a free day.

I need to chill. I know I’m looking at this the wrong way. If I can give advice or inspiration to just one high schooler then I have succeeded. I need to look at this as a great opportunity and not a punishment. These students don’t need to know where I’m going with my life. They’re just starting out too. We’ll figure it out together.

 

The Unattainable Credit Card

It may be time for me to come to terms with the fact that I might not be meant to have a credit card. This is a part of adulthood that I cannot seem to master. The other day I received another rejection letter and I find myself nearing a quarter of a century still not possessing a credit card.

Now, don’t get me wrong I’m not foolishly applying for cards left and right like a desperate, crazy person. I just have horrible timing. The first time I applied for a big girl credit card I had just graduated college and hadn’t started paying off my loans. I applied for and was declined a Target card not long before because I’m cheap and I wanted a discount on the TV I was buying. The big girl card was declined because I didn’t have enough credit history and had applied too many times.

Unfortunately the week following my rejection prior to talking to a woman at Chase bank I was terrified. The reasons they listed for rejecting me were written in such a way where I was positive someone had stolen my identify. Not cool credit check people, not cool.

The lady with Chase bank explained to me after a few months of paying higher rent and making loan payments I would probably have a much easier time attaining a credit card and to consider starting with a store card because those are easier to get. Alright cool.

A few months later I acquire a Kohl’s Charge card and, more recently a Gordman’s credit card. Feeling like a pro I finally decide to attempt to apply for a real person credit card again. No dice.

This time there was a huge miscommunication I was not aware of. Somehow during my move last year my WE Energies bill stayed in my name for about two months longer than it should have. However, I did not know this. I never received the bills or any phone calls or anything so the account never crossed my mind. Well, it should have.

When I received my my most recent rejection letter this week one of the reasons listed as to why I was not eligible for the card was “serious delinquency.”  I panicked and immediately tracked down the free credit report I was allotted me following my application. I owed $127 to WE Energies. The charges were in collection and Harris and Harris was trying to get the money from me. Good to know.  Harris and Harris did call me a few times but I thought they were just telemarketer type calls and asked to be taken off their call list…oops.

I am willing to take the blame. I do not blame my landlord and, although I wish WE Energies would have made more of an effort to contact me, I do not blame them. I don’t even blame the new tenant living in my old apartment for waiting too long to change the bill over to her name. I should have made a phone call or something when I moved. I was terribly busy around the time of my move and am by no means surprised I forgot, but it sucks.

I have paid the fine and now I must wait to try yet again for a credit card in the future. Today sucks. Credit cards are stupid. Today I don’t want to be an adult. I am open to any advice and/or suggestions you may have on what type of card I should look into moving forward or how long I should wait. Anything really. Help me adult.

Questions young people hate hearing

Don’t you love it when curious relative ask those seemingly easy questions that leave you feeling lost? I bet you know exactly which ones I’m talking about. I certainly don’t have all the answers for those questions and I never have. However, when I entered my 20s I noticed I had less answers and there are were questions. I picked a few of my favorite questions to share with you and my thoughts on them.

Are you going to grad school?

No, I don’t think so. At this point it doesn’t make any sense for me to. Will I ever? I have now idea. It depends where life takes me.

Do you like your job?

Do you think I would tell you if I didn’t? I’m only going to tell you the highlights and what I love about it so you think I have my dream job. Heck, even if I love my job I’m still only going to tell you about the highlights.

What type of job are you looking for?

 One that pays. There are a lot of factors that go into accepting a position: location, pay, my interest and, honestly, if they’ll hire me. I’m willing to give you a vague idea or a description of my dream job but that’s about it. To be quite honest I’m not sure what’s next or what my dream job is.

Where’s the ring?

I don’t have one. I promise if I get engaged I won’t hide the ring so please stop asking me until I’m ready. Thanks.

Do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend?

Yes, he is in my back pocket. This type of information I would provide if I wanted to. I’d bring him if I was able to or tell you why he can’t make it. Chances are if there is someone I am interested in but it’s not official I’m not going to tell you about it because I don’t know what’s going on yet or it’s way too new.

What’s your plan?

Honestly my plan goes as far as the end of the day so there’s a good chance it involves me eating chocolate at some point. Past that I feel so lost most of the time I don’t know what’s going on at the end of the week much less years from now. What’s yours?

There are a lot of things to figure out after you graduate and become a real adult like getting a job, figuring out your insurance and budgeting properly to pay off student loans. Personally I’m super jealous of the people who land the perfect job and love it, have crazy budgeting skills or just seem to have all their ducks in a row. I feel like I can’t always find my ducks, much less put them in a row. Teach me your ways!

Lights, Camera, Action

Welcome to adulting!  And my first blog post to be honest.  So bear with me.  This could be super rough.

Things to know about me.  I am new to this.  No not only the blog thing, but this whole adult thing.  All of us are.  So in some ways we may need this blog more than you do… more than you need our advice, or more than when you want to see what we are up to.  Big life changes are hard.  Writing is apparently a good release…or something like that.

So because I can’t think of anything else to write about for my first post, take this as a little prologue, an overture to the rest of my work (you will find out that is a really smart reference… I work for a theater).a dult ing

This is a blog about adulting, or the state of being a post grad when you pretend to know what is going on in your life.  You will read the funny, you will read the sad.  At times you may not know what you are reading.  We, love every other young adult, are figuring it out as we go.

Thank you for joining us today, enjoy the ride.