Saturday, May 3, 2014

Why Are Your Late 20s So Awkward?

My 28th birthday is in 2 months and lately I've been feeling like I'm in a really weird place in my life.  I'm no longer 21 and partying all the time, but I'm also not settling down like everyone else on my newsfeed that's getting married, buying a house, and having a baby ( and not particularly in that order).  Not that there's anything good or bad about either of those things, but I just can't seem to figure out what side I'm leaning to these days. Some days I can't wait to be married, buy a house, and have a baby, and other days I feel like my youth and freedom are falling out from under me.

The more and more I think about it, it's kind of like being in those awkward tween years as a kid.  You couldn't wait to be older and do "cool" things, but you still held onto some of your "childish" tendencies.  So I guess now I'm a tween in my twenties... and it's just as awkward as it was then.  I can't decide if I wan't be reckless or have a baby (although at this time in my life, having a baby might just also be reckless).  

I think I just thought I would have it more together right now - that I would be on the verge of doing all those "grown up" things I spent so much time dreaming about in my early 20s... but now I'm not sure if that's what I want.  Part of me wants to rebel against this next stage in my life and hold on the person I was 10 years ago, hell even 5 years ago, and the other part feels like I should be doing all the things my peers are.  

I'm just not there yet and I don't know when I'll be.  

I'm sorry if you came upon this post looking for advice on how to traverse this awkward stage, but I don't have many answers right now.  The only thing I can think of is do what feels right for you... you just have to figure out what "right" is.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Do You Really Need Those Yoga Pants? And Other Musings On Delayed Gratification

Today I was waisting time on Instagram and came across a friend's picture of her wearing some fabulous leopard yoga pants.  I was in love.  I have a slight problem with leopard items (to the point where the boy refers to me as Peg Bundy) and had to have them, so I asked her where I could possibly procure this article of clothing.  She responded back and sent me to the Kira Grace website.  

Well imagine my disappointment when I saw that the price tag on these babies was $98. I was actually considering buying them despite the hefty bill, because they're that fucking awesome, but ultimately had to close out the browser window and settle for pinning them for the time being.  It sucked. A tear was shed.

Now I can certainly afford this item now.  The shitty reality is that I shouldn't buy these pants that would make me feel like a badass and quite possibly help me nail my crow pose (okay not really, but at this price they should) because I want bigger and better things that require saving and paying down my debt.  For example, I would like to pay down the almost $150,000 worth of student loan debt that I accrued in undergraduate and graduate school.  I would also like to get married soon and buy a house and have a child and buy a new car and... you get the point.

The problem that has arisen in my late 20's is that I've realized how expensive shit is.  It would be nice to have these pants, get my nails done whenever I would like, go out to eat all the time, and take a trip anywhere I want, but these are all things I shouldn't do.  I know I'm being so negative aren't I.  The reality is that I just can't yet afford to do and have everything I ever wanted now if I also want things later.  It's called delayed gratification, or the ability to resist the temptation for an immediate reward and wait for a later reward, and it's a bitch.

I'm sure at one point you've heard of the Stanford Marshmallow Experiment where researchers presented small children with the option of having a marshmallow immediately or waiting for two rewards later.  They found that the children who were able to exercise their willpower and wait for the rewards had better life outcomes.  Crazy right?  Being able to delay your gratification actually relates to cognitive processes like your executive functioning (e.g. inhibiting your responses) and makes you a better human.  Now I won't get all into the nitty gritty about this and will keep the psychologist in me on lockdown, but my point is that delaying gratification can have positive benefits. 

This doesn't make not being able to buy those pants any less sucky (yes, I said "sucky"), but it helped me to refocus what's important to me. Looking that far into the future for things like a home when I only just started renting can be very daunting at times, but as I get older I've noticed that life moves faster and things you thought were far away will be here in no time.  So with that I've recommitted myself to prioritizing my money and not spending so blindly.  I even implemented a self-imposed restriction of no clothes purchases for 6 months to see if this helps at all (stay tuned to see how this turns out).  And in the meantime I will share here how I'm making progress with my debt and life goals.  I would also love some advice on how you all have saved money and achieved your goals?  

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Why Your Vacation Needs A Vacation

So today is the last day of February Vacation and I'm in denial that I have to go back to work tomorrow (insert pity party for one here).

I always tend to enjoy this vacation a little more than any others, just because it's not filled with event after event.  Don't get me wrong, I love the holidays, but sometimes it can feel like they're over in an instant and I'm left wondering where the time went.  Often times during "Winter" Break I feel like I've crammed so much into a small amount of time and I haven't really had time to do the things I want to do.  Hence why I feel like each vacation you take needs a day or two just for you.  Spend the day in bed, don't schedule anything, and watch crappy TV if you want.  Make breakfast, savor the day, and enjoy doing nothing.  These are the days that allow you to really recharge and connect with yourself.  So next vacation make sure you dedicate a day to you, doing what YOU want.  Whatever that looks like.  It'll help to appreciate the days that are filled with things to do and not wind up wondering what you actually with your precious time.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Spring Pinning

Like most New Englander's I am over this snow.   This is my current view from my living room... not pretty. Ugh.   

So to tide us over until Spring actually shows up, here are some pretty pins :)

1.) I can't wait for Boston in the spring.  In my imaginary life I would have an apartment here. Image credit.
2.) This outfit screams spring/summer to me.
3.) How can you not love the Make Way for Ducklings in the Boston Public Garden?  I especially love when they get dressed up in our favorite sports team's jerseys.
4.) What's spring without fresh flowers.
5.) In love with Nicole from Pumps and Iron.  She has great workouts and a great fashion sense, even when wearing workout clothes!  And she's a hometown girl!  Spring is the reminder to me that lacrosse season starts and it's finally okay to start running outside again.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

5 Things You'll Learn Moving in Together

Recently the boy and I moved in together I couldn't be happier... No more dealing with drunk boys up until all hours of the night.  No more scouring the fridge for something to eat besides milk and beer.  No more having to pack my overnight bag and forgetting something important for work the next day.  Living together has certainly been more convenient on my end and I feel like it has been nothing but positive for our relationship.  That being said, this is the first time I've lived with someone else since my freshman year of college, and there are definitely some things I can share about this experience.  Here's what I know so far...

1. You'll learn a lot about yourself.
A few weeks after we moved in my best friend's fiance asked me how things were going and I immediately went into a rant about all the things I wanted him to do differently.  My friend's fiance laughed and offered some advice about living together and then closed with, "Well you're definitely going to learn a lot about yourself."  This simple statement really stuck with me because I hadn't realized how much I was focusing on what he was or wasn't doing to my standards and never once thought about what I could or couldn't be doing. Ugh. It sucks when you realized you're not perfect either, doesn't it?

Just two months of living together has really brought all the negative (and positive) things about myself that I probably knew, but never took the time to evaluate.  For example, I never realized how bossy I can be and how much it annoys me when things don't go according to how I planned them. Oh hello Type A tendencies, I didn't see you there... On the bright side, I hope that I will be able to use this life event to help work and improve on myself for the better.  This does not mean, however, that I seeing dishes in the sink isn't going to annoy the shit out of me.

2. You have to talk about what your expectations are.
And then understand that things are still not going to go the way you agreed upon.

Before we moved in together, the boy and I talked a lot about how things would change and what would stay the same (e.g. not going out to eat as much, who would go grocery shopping, etc).  In my idealistic head I thought I would come home from work and cook dinner the majority of the nights, but the reality is that this doesn't always happen.  Nor does someone else take care of the dishes after I've cooked, like they had previously agreed to (insert deep breaths here).   What you have to understand and accept is that the future doesn't always go the way you imagined it in your head and life tends to get in the way of your plans.   That being said, you should still talk about the important things like how you will split the bills, what you can and can't live with, and the level of messiness you can tolerate.

3. The way he lived before will translate into the way you live together.
Speaking of the level of messiness you can tolerate... You should know that the way his room looked when he lived alone or with roommates is the way he is going to treat your bedroom and home.  That pile of clothes that sat on the floor for weeks and no one knew if they were clean or dirty?  Yup, that'll still happen.  The lack of food in the fridge besides milk, beer, bread, and cold cuts?  Yes, he will continue to eat like an idiot and insist that he doesn't need anything when you go to the grocery store, but complain that he has nothing to eat at dinner.

I have no solutions for any of these problems yet, as I am still trying to deal with my annoyance (see # 1) and figure out how to compromise on issues like the dishes and clothes being everywhere (you won't believe where I have found socks in this apartment).  I will say that I was again a little idealistic, and somehow thought that this would all change when we moved in together.  Spoiler alert, it hasn't.

4. You'll feel like an adult...sort of.
It's strange, but living together has somehow legitimized my feelings about myself.  Moving out in general has given me the opportunity to prove to myself that I can handle things without begging my parents for money (yet).  Moving in together though has helped us move forward in our relationship and for me, helped to make me feel like its a bit more serious. I'm not quite sure how to explain it, but there's definitely a difference between dating and living together.

Side note: You also find out how expensive shit is.  Like where does the oil to heat my home at 60 degrees go?!?!  

5. You'll miss your home.
And even though you feel like an adult, you'll still miss where you were living before and the level of independence your felt.   For me, the first couple weeks of not living at home were weird.  Like, okay this is great and all, but I'm ready to go back to my own bed in my own room.  This apartment didn't feel like my home yet, but that went away after we settled in and we started to make this place our own.  Don't get my wrong though, my family are some of the best people I know and I miss them all the time.  I can't imagine having to move far away and not be able to stop by whenever I want.

Stayed tuned for more adventures and life lessons that arise from living together.  I'd also love to hear any advice from you about living together!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Older I Get, the Less Cool I Feel

Image via Pinterest

So I somehow got sucked into going through all of my Facebook photos... and I mean ALL of them... and now I'm left with this feeling of disappointment.  Those 438 photos have become a reminder of how cool I used to be.

There was a time in my life when I didn't care what anyone thought, where I went out all the time, and where I enjoyed being around people all the time.  These days my life is much different and I'm struggling with this as I inch closer and closer to 30.

Is this what happens when you become an "adult," move out, start a career (not a job), and have real life bills?  Jesus I hope not.

My late 20s have become this weird limbo where I yearn for marriage, a house, and a child on the one hand, and nostalgically remember the times where I was the sassy, tattooed, butt smoking, listens to metal chick.

I feel like we can lose ourselves very easily if we're not paying attention and that just may have happened to me.  I've been so busy with work, moving, and trying to plan for the future, that I forgot the parts of who I used to be that I liked.  So thank you, Facebook, for that kick in the ass.  I promise to be cooler before it's too late.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

I'm Back! And 2014 To Do

2014 Desk Calendar via Sugar Paper

Oh hey friends... so it's been a little while since I've posted, but for good reasons.  I moved, celebrated the holidays, and was very busy at school before winter break.  Now after a solid two weeks off (thanks to two snow days just in time for our return today), some time to unpack and decorate, and a chance to enjoy Christmas, I felt like I could finally devote my time to this little old blog.  I have lots of ideas for posts coming up so stay tuned for new content... in the meantime I suppose we should deal with this whole "New Year" thing.

I have a love/hate relationship with New Year's Eve and New Year's Day... on the one hand I'm a huge fan getting dressed up, being fancy, and making resolutions and lists, but on the other, I hate the excuse for people to get drunk and sloppy, the let down of lofty plans, and the standard "I'm going to loose weight this year," resolutions.  Quite frankly, I would have been quite content with sitting in on NYE watching Miley Cyrus twerk it on the countdown, drinking a little bubbly, and hanging out with some close friends (maybe there are party hats involved... if you're in to that sort of thing).  My night didn't exactly turn out that way (a compromise with my better half who loves to go out and socialize in large groups), but it was enjoyable nonetheless.  

New Year's Day obviously had me thinking about resolutions (thank you everyone for your FB posts about what your resolution is this year and your 2013 recaps).  Now I'm not one to throw stones... each year I vow something to the effect of : quit smoking / loose weight / eat healthier / brush and floss my teeth everyday.  Not this year though.  While I certainly plan to do a little detoxing from all the sugar I've been eating, get back into my yoga practice, and cut back on smoking, this year I want to do something different for my 2014 resolutions.  And by different, I mean not make any resolutions at all.  Now before you get all "Mer?" on me let me explain.

Instead of resolutions I'm making a To Do list for 2014.   I'm much better with lists and find that they help me narrow down tasks... and I'm a super lame and love checking things off the list when they're done.  So without further adieu my tentative 2014 To Do List (subject to additions and subtractions as necessary).
  • Bake one item
  • Complete a DIY project
  • Meditate everyday
  • Complete one painting
  • Eat dinner at the Top of the Hub
  • Take a horse and carriage ride through Boston
  • Go on a Duck Tour
  • Grow an indoor herb garden 
  • Host one party 
  • Brush my teeth and floss before bed
  • Buy fresh flowers once a week
  • Make a garland for my office

Check out my Instagram account @samantha_gabriellee and #2014ToDo for updates on my progress!

Talk to you soon,