Being rejected can really knock you down. I'm really lucky to be surrounded by wonderful, strong, smart and amazing women in my life. Friends that I can call about anything at any time. Friends that will not only let me analyze my problem out loud, but analyze with me. Providing insight and advice, as well as love and support. The kind of friends I wish everyone could have.
As we were analyzing a recent failed possible relationship, one of my friends stopped me and said, "It's really nice that your considering his feelings, and what he's thinking- but nothing can go anywhere until you decide what you really want."
That's when I decided that I didn't want a relationship. But I didn't want him to want anyone else. I wanted to like him when it was convenient for me, yet still have some level of commitment from him. I wanted to cute Instagram pictures and texts, but I didn't really want to put any effort into it. Something that wasn't fair to anyone. Ever.
That's when I realized that I needed this time. I. Just me. No one else.
I don't even want to use the word "single" because I don't want to decipher any relationship status at all. As far as I'm concerned, I'm in a growing relationship with myself. I just want to be me. 22. Indecisive. Reckless. Unattached. Confused. And free to be all of those things.
Free to make my mistakes on my terms. Free to travel when ever and where ever and not miss someone, wanting to run back to them at the first chance. Free to Free to post whatever I want on social media without wondering his reaction to it. No apologies to be who I am, at any time. Free to make visits to friends new homes. Free to put time into all of things I'd put on the back burner. Free to take chances I never dreamed of, and apply to jobs I never saw myself in.
Free. Free. Free.
I also began to realize what I wanted out of the relationships I get into- a future. Because in reality you are either together forever or it crashes and burns. I don't know who I am right now, no idea where my future is leading and not in the mind to even incorporate another person into any of my plans. And then I thought, how lucky am I to have this freedom and this chance to figure all of this out without having to think about anyone else. How lucky am I to have maybe the once chance I'll ever have in my life to be selfish.
He may come back in my life when the time is right. Maybe I'll meet someone better. But as far as I'm concerned, I'm planning a future with the most important person in my life: Myself.
Whenever winter comes around I always want to wear the same thing everyday: hoodie. leggings. Ugg boots (not safe in the snow but…) and a face to match my hatred for the cold.
Though it's not new years eve yet, I've decided to start my resolution a little early: Dress chic. Even in winter. Lately I've been gravitating towards a lot of black accessories, a lot of red lips and a little bit of leopard print. I also have a long-sleeved maxi dress, a duster cardigan and a pair of Steve Madden ankle boots on my Christmas list this year that I can't wait to start wearing basically, like, every day.
Another resolution I'm starting a little early is the commitment to making at least one day a week a "me" day. A that is full of food, coffee, books, Netflix, journaling, tumbling… whatever I want. I plan for this day to also be full of comfy oversized sweaters, cute socks and an all-day top knot.
Take a look at a few of my dream outfits for this winter and hopefully they will inspire some of yours:
I'm not a stupid girl. I have two college degrees. I can call out a PR stunt from a mile away. I can recite to you a detailed analysis of Jay-Z and Beyonce's relationship scandals. I have read more post-apocolyptic novels than I know what to do with, but I'm sure that if you ever needed a heroine in a zombie plague- I could save you.
College has taught me quite a few things. Mainly how to recognize a booty call from a promising relationship, a good friend from a bad friend, how to get ready in less than 10 minutes, that nobody actually has their shit together, and to stay away from anything called Jungle Juice. (Just to name a few). But it hasn't actually taught me anything about life.
The only thing I've truly learned in life: Listen to your gut. All the time. No excuses. No regrets.
It wasn't until I read a blog post on EliteDaily that it all came at me at once, that this "gut feeling" is something everyone has- and that it is usually always right. Lately, this has become clear to me in a lot of different ways. Some good, some bad.
Looking back on a recent relationship, I realize that my gut told me it was not supposed to work out long before I was willing to admit it to myself. I regret not listening to this voice sooner, as it resulted in a few bad decisions, months of feeling lonely even though he was a great boyfriend who cared about me a lot, and ultimately feeling even more broken hearted in the end.
When this relationship ended, my gut was practically screaming at me: It's going to get better. It's going to be okay. He wasn't the one! But I decided to take the route of being dramatic, wanting to roll around in my bed clutching a tub of mint chocolate chip ice cream. I refused to believe my gut feeling, I just wanted to wallow and believe that I was never going to love again. Until one day my gut told me to call my friend and go see her in Philadelphia.
This gut feeling came at me again that night when I met someone who literally made me feel like I had electricity in my body. It all felt unreal- every inch of me knew he was something special. But my gut told me to wait. We hung out a few more times, and began to really like each other. It was a high that I never knew existed. But in my heart I knew he wasn't ready for anything serious and I wasn't ready and being on opposite sides of the state, we had decided it just wasn't the right time. My gut also told me not to trust him too much, not right now.
After a month of "i miss you" texts, missed opportunities to visit and daydreams of seeing him again, I was finally back in Philadelphia. A month of not seeing each other and these feelings were still there- right? But our reunion didn't go as planned. Actually, the word "disaster" kind of sums it up. And it killed me. I felt embarrassed, pathetic and stupid. It became clear that I was not a priority to him and that he did not have the same beautiful daydreams of a reunion that I did. It made me question everything- including my gut.
"You're not supposed to steer me wrong," I wanted to scream. And then I vowed to stop listening to it.
A day later he apologized, but I couldn't straighten all of the events from the night before out in my head. Worst of all, I couldn't straighten out my feelings because my gut was still telling me there was a chance. Unfortunately, listening to your gut is difficult when your head becomes filled with the different facts, statistics and confusion of the differences between what is "right" and what is "wrong" and I began to write him off completely: changing his name in my phone to NOPE and contemplating blocking him on all forms of social media. But then something stopped me. That gut feeling again. Wait, wait, wait echoing in my head.
Yeah fuck you, gut feeling. I thought to myself. But just as I signed onto my computer out of confusion, frustration and a little bit of rage to erase him from my online life, that EliteDaily article came up on my screen. Conveniently all about your gut, the gut feeling you get about certain situations and well, trusting that gut feeling. And that article hit me hard. I began looking at the entire situation a little differently.
Ultimately, listening to my gut has also taught me one other important thing: Forgiveness is important. I believe that my gut feeling is guiding me in the right direction. Only time will tell what will happen in the future regarding this guy- Maybe it will be something great. Maybe it won't be anything. Maybe I'll never hear from him again. But my gut is telling me that the world has a funny way of working out. So I've decided to do what it is telling me to do and wait, wait, wait.
When I started this off by saying that I'm not a stupid girl- I mean that. I've always been afraid of looking stupid. Of the embarrassment and shame that comes with the connotation of being a "Stupid Girl." Living passionately, intuitively, impulsively and forgivingly can be perceived as weak, stupid and naive. I believe quite the opposite. I believe that these qualities can make some of the strongest people. The people who gained the secret weapon of trusting their intuition and acting on what it tells them. The people who gained the power to forgive people, as people are people- mistakes happen and their past can't always reflect their future. (I'm not saying to give forgiveness away all willy nilly- but that it is important, and people need it.) Most importantly, I believe that the strongest people are the ones who trust that it will all work out in the end- and if that puts me in the category of a "Stupid Girl", then call me the Stupidest of Them All.
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.