Kanye West once tweeted: "She asked when is fashion week…. uuuum… I thought it was every week??!!"
This year's fall fashion has been on. fucking. point. And by that I just mean that I am loving the leopard print. I am loving the tall boot/sock thing that's happening. And I'm loving the anything-goes-crop tops-sure-why-not attitude. Basically I'm obsessed with anything that makes me feel sexy and confident and ready for anything.
From dive bars to date nights to coffee runs (I think you can figure out which outfit is for which) here's a few picks from last week:
I'm not proud of this, but an episode of Teen Mom 2 just gave me a huge life epiphany. But first, let me back track for a second. The post-grad, early twenties situation that I've been warned about (and warned about, and warned about) was suddenly a reality. And it hit me hard.
To sum things up- I found myself saying goodbye to summer with no job, no boyfriend, no kitten and no friends within a 50 mile radius. Which was a complete 180 turn from everything I had known for the past few years. I was like, I've seen this shit happen in movies… but it was never supposed to happen to me. So I did what any 22-year-old with no crucial life commitments would do. I ran away. I escaped. I ran to Philadelphia. Then to Florida. Then back to Philadelphia. Then to Brooklyn. Then back to Philadelphia. And back to Philadelphia again. I reconnected with friends from all over- from high school, from college, from elementary school. I spent time with my mom, eating everything from sushi to escargot. I got super ambitious about a video game hobby and bought a 3DS. I developed a crush on Ansel Elgort, which even I admit, was long overdue. I tried a lot of different wines. I ventured into bars with sand on the floor, but in NYC (ironic, but I was into it.) I met a boy. He was great. Handsome. Hilarious. Awesome. I got a "big girl" job at one of my favorite clothing companies. And just as things began to look up- the post-grad-early-twenties situation came down hard again. And then I had to return to reality, and face the cold hard facts: Timing is everything, and your early 20's isn't really the time for anything.
So, back to Teen Mom 2. As I was scrolling through Twitter with my left hand and shoving unhealthy portions of shrimp lo mien into my mouth with my right hand, I heard this:
"This is life. You gotta learn your lessons, then you go."
And I'm not sure why, but it made something click. It made me realize that nothing right now is permanent. Nothing is worth over thinking, and stressing, and trying to change. Because that isn't what your early 20's are for. They're for the mistakes, the memories and the moments of life clarity (even if they are few and far between.) So in this overwhelmingly optimistic spirit of being 22, (and happy, free, confused and lonely at the same time) here's a collection of tumblr quotes that I just wanna put on teeshirts, paste on my walls and tattoo on my body. (by the way, I'm totally kidding, but they have been giving me some peace during this miserable and magical (oooo yeah *t swift voice*) time.)
Post-grad life consists of day-long marathons of The Hills, copious amounts of Burger King chicken fries and a lack of showers. But despite what you may think, it's not easy. It's often a lack of good food, lack of money and a lot of self-loathing.
Though the job searching process is a rough one remember that some time off is good for the soul, even if it isn't for the wallet. This time off means you have no schedule and no commitments- if you're going to do that inexplicable lifelong-goal trip to the Kentucky derby, now is probably the time to do it. If you ever gonna learn Japanese just for fun, this would be the opportunity. You have all day long to work on that Miranda Kerr body, so you're out of excuses.
To keep yourself sane during this "in-between" period of life (and keep some dollars in your pocket) here are a few things I find that help:
1. LUSH shampoo bars - I recently discovered these and I swear I will never go back. I have oily hair, and often buy multiple brands of shampoos hoping that some combination will work. Upon using the Jumping Juniper bar (which smells like lilacs!) I knew that I had found my miracle. These bars ($10 a piece, but completely worth it) don't take much to lather up and are said to last for over 80 washes. Plus, it leaves my hair silkier and shiner than ever before and wards off oil for days.
2. Great jeans - In the few months of post grad, your weight will fluctuate. College jeans may not fit anymore. Anything but leggings feel like torture. American Eagle doesn't really cut it anymore. My solution came in an accidental sale where I needed a good deal: buy one get one free jeans at New York and Company… where I had a coupon. The jeans (which are actually great quality denim leggings) fit like a glove, adhere to the right places on my body (extra room in the hips and bum), and are super comfortable. Plus, one pair was free. The stretchy material also allows me to gain or lose pounds without having the "jeans" become completely useless. Good deal.
3. A good book - There are only so many episodes of Dating Naked that you can watch without thinking the world has completely and totally lost it. A good book will keep your brain from completely turning to slime after 8 hours of Spongebob. A good book will keep you company on a Friday night when you're out of bar money. A good book is your best friend. I swear by this.
BONUS: Great book recommendations: Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn, Dare Me - Meg Abbott, The Hunger Games Trilogy - Suzanne Collins, Crank - Ellen Hopkins, Piece of Cake - Cupcake Brown, Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac - Gabrielle Zevin, 13 Reasons Why - , White Girl Problems - Babe Walker
4. Duolingo app - This free app makes learning languages easy and fun. In a game-like format, the app offers basics in a wide variety of languages including Spanish and French. The app won't make you fluent, but it will definitely get you through a dream vacation (or a possible future business trip!)
5. A shoe for all seasons - Shoes aren't cheap. (Sadly.) So buying 18 pairs of sandals and flip-flops right now is probably not your best bet. While shoe shopping, opt for a pair that will transition smoothly into fall and winter. I personally love Vans slip-ons. They come in a lot of patterns and colors so chose one that suits your style best! Also, these are chic.
6. Blankets. - You can never have enough blankets at this stage in your life. They're great for when you have visitors. They're great to keep you warm without cranking up the heat (aka save you money). They are awesome to cuddle with during those Netflix binges. A big, soft one will be a little pricier, but I promise you it is worth a few extra bucks. The softer the better- you'll know when you feel it. You can get the on sale at TJ Maxx if you're looking for a really good deal.
7. RAMEN. - Okay, okay this is a personal comfort food. (I love it.) But in all honestly, it's awesome. On days when I didn't really want to cook, it was the perfect solution. On days when I just wanted something warm, it worked. On days when I forgot to go grocery shopping, it was my best friend. But the best part about ramen is, you don't just have to eat it as soup. Lately I've been using the noodles in stir fry dishes with chicken and vegetables, and it tastes awesome. Some people even add the noodles in salad for a nice crunch, or add peanut butter in the noodles to make a pad-thai type dish. All in all, ramen is pretty much all you need. Ramen is life.
xo hope you survive.
also, don't stop job searching even if you cry.
Miley Cyrus once said, "Going out doesn't make you a bad person, just like going to church doesn't make me a good person." I never expected to call a twerking ex-Disney star wise, but I'm gonna go ahead and call Miley pretty damn smart.
As I enter the battlefield of the job market (aka some sick and twisted version of The Hunger Games), I noticed a lot of interviews that absolutely have to mention my university's reputation. With a wink in their voice each time, it's like I can almost hear them saying I know what you did for the last four years you crazy animal, through the phone. I've tried laughing along with it, tried defending it, and once just flatly responded with "haha ya." (Which I really don't advice because it's basically the bitchy cousin of the "K" text.) I haven't decided if my school's reputation is helping or hindering me yet- but seeing as I currently don't have a job with a salary, I'm going to go ahead and assume that it's not exactly helping.
Looking back on my college career,and painfully reflecting on the X amount of dollars of debt that I'm probably most definitely in, I began to realize that all of my lessons and knowledge never took place in a classroom. Every skill and talent that I value myself for was not taught to me by a professor or a text book. I look back on the long weeks of classes, notes, papers and tests, and realized that while all of those things look good in my portfolio and reflected in a number (also known as a GPA), they aren't what make me a good communicator, a good writer or most of all, a good team member and friend.
So, for everyone who's currently attending a party school with hopes that your education will be valuable someday, or for anyone who has just graduated from a party school hoping that your university's name isn't a scarlet letter on your resume- just remember that your education is/was so, so much more than what you have on paper.
Oh, and for all of the employers throwing any resume with a party school name directly in the trash, you might want to go dig them out asap.
Here's why party school students are great:
Time Management Skills are Top. Notch.
Do you think we made it to graduation by blacking out every night to Rihanna's latest single with no sense of responsibility? Hell no. Every minute of our day was planned in order to meet every deadline. Every detail was thought out and executed from eating tons of carbs post-night out to drinking about 14 water bottles the morning after. We made it to every class on time, with time to stop at Starbucks in between. Every duck was precisely in a row while simultaneously dealing with a hangover- and if that doesn't make us superheroes, then I don't know what does.
You Can Handle Pretty Much Any Crisis. Ever.
Your friend did what last night? You ruined who's new Steve Maddens? You tweeted what lyrics and tagged your crush? Where are your keys? Oops. Good thing you are a pro at fixing problems by now.
You're practically a CEO at dodging exes at the bar and consolidating your best friend when her crush leaves with another girl. You're a trained veteran at helping the girl who had a little too much at the party get home safe, and most of all, you know how to handle your own mistakes.
I know what you're thinking, if you were a responsible adult, you wouldn't make these mistakes. As a dedicated viewer of the adults on The Real Housewives of Orange County, I know this isn't true. Also, how would you learn to deal with mistakes if you never made them?
Also, you begin to learn that apologies are your best friend and to not sweat the small stuff- valuable for when you send that unnoticed grammar mistake in an to your boss.
Socialization Skills = Off. The. Chain.
Yeah, okay, we drank. We went to parties. Someone most likely has an embarrassing picture of us somewhere on their phone. But we met people that we never would have met in classrooms, from different majors and with different experience and skills that you've never even heard of. Conversations and connections were made with interesting people who you may have never talked to.
One of the things that bothers me about the school system is that you're immediately filtered into classes that only include students in your majors. Even many of your gen-eds were designed on a schedule centered around our majors.
Some of my favorite friends have no idea what public relations actually is- a nice breather from conversations about news releases, campaigns, and tough news reporting professors. Some of my best friends are training to be nurses, nutritionists, physical trainers, businessmen and teachers- people I never, ever would have met if I stayed in the Media or Journalism buildings day in and day out. I know people who only have friends in their major, which is awesome- they must have a great network of people to rely on throughout their career, but one of the things I'm looking forward to most in life is hearing the stories about these different careers, these different departments of employment, and learning from them.
Money Budgeting Is Something You Learned Early On.
Okay, if you're being honest, this probably took all four years to fully learn. There are probably many nights of ramen and scraping pennies together just to buy a gas station hot dog involved in this lesson. There are probably chilling memories of ordering $40 dollars worth of pizza and McDonald's receipts you found the next morning that made your stomach turn. (Or maybe that was just the hangover). But the fact of the matter is, you eventually learned your lesson- even if it did take awhile and cost you $150 dollars in french fries.
You also learned that nothing is free, going out to dinner without your parents requires you to actually pay for your food and that shots become 8 times more expensive after midnight. SAD.
Most importantly, you have life experience.
You're strong as hell. You know how to deal with rejection- which is great when about 30 companies don't even email you back. You've learned when to trust that "this is bad situation" intuition. You've learned that not all people are what they seem to be, and that just because someone buys you a drink does not mean he wants to marry you. You learned that you're not a good dancer, but it's okay. You also learned that you should maybe stay away from karaoke nights for the rest of your life, but that's okay too. You got real about the fact that you're probably not going to be a millionaire a year out of graduation, and that you need to work hard for what you want.
Most of all, you've learned about yourself. Something no textbook, no teacher, or no university curriculum could ever teach you. Cherish that. Forever.
And just remember, while an Ivy School degree looks badass in a frame on a wall- your actual, valuable skills are badass. And you don't need a piece of paper to prove it. XO.
This morning I spent 10 minutes of precious getting ready time staring in the mirror in my underwear pinching my love handles, sucking in my stomach and squeezing my thighs in hopes that it would magically create a thigh gap. "I'm going to go on a run after work today," I promised myself as I skipped breakfast and opted for a less-delicious coffee at Starbucks because it had fewer calories.
I really like keeping my blog posts fun, non-controversial and focused on things that make me happy- things that make others happy. I want my writing to be light-hearted and enjoyable to read. But as I wandered the internet, I came across a picture of a blonde girl in some tight green skinny jeans. I wish my legs looked like that, I thought.
Then I stopped and thought, when have my legs ever looked like that? Even in high school as a size two from running track or soccer, taking three dance classes a night and trotting through choreography at musical rehearsals my legs had always been muscular, never thin.
And I stopped again, would I be as happy without those spontaneous trips to Sonic with my best friends? Probably not. I take a second to remind myself how I feel every time I order a salad for dinner when I really, really, want pasta. And the days when I make the last minute decision for fruit for breakfast solely because it's less calories than a bagel cream cheese. Some days, yeah, I want the fruit. Other days I definitely, really want the bagel.
This isn't a declaration to eat Chipotle for breakfast, lunch and dinner or drop your evening work out (even if it's just 30 crunches during the commercials on Pretty Little Liars). It's a declaration to be realistic. If you're staring in the mirror pinching and squeezing parts of your body with the image of a Victoria's Secret model in mind- remind yourself that it's their job to look like that. Their occupation is dieting, working out and looking good half-naked. And in all honesty, Miranda Kerr doesn't even look like Miranda Kerr.
It's a declaration to be happy.
A declaration of being mindful of what my body wants, choosing what would make me happy. Pizza for dinner? Do it. I'd rather read a book for an hour than run? Fine with me. To me, being healthy isn't all about the six-pack flat abs or the thigh gap. To me, healthy also means being happy. Want those love handles gone? Work on it- it doesn't have to happen overnight.
All in all, having a Beyonce body would be great. But what makes me happy the most is a plate of chicken tenders and fries, in a dress that looks great on me regardless of my love handles and muscular legs in front of an episode of Grey's Anatomy with a boyfriend that would rather me be happy, healthy and sane than miserable, hungry bitch that's been eating nothing but salads for a week.