Go Hug Your Parents

Note-to-self

I was never one of those girls in junior high or high school who was best friends with her mom. I was, for the lack of a better term, a quintessential teenager who was mortified to even be seen with my parents. I was totally the:

“Please, dear God, drop me off around the block. YOU ARE SO EMBARRASSING, DAD… UGHHH” (Wasn’t I a peach?)

I never understood how these other girls in my grade were always hanging out with THEIR MOM. Really, you’re going to the mall with your mom? No thanks. I’ll do that twice a year, once for the dreaded back-to-school spree and maybe again when I need some new gym tennies.

My mom would tell me stories of her friends who had daughters older than me:

“One day, you’ll just hit a point and realize that I’m not crazy.”

Yeah, OKAY mom. Ugh, could you please close my door on your way OUT? (Again, ‘daughter-of-the-year’ quality here)

Well, like most of you have probably realized, in some frightening dimension of the universe, our parents were right… about basically everything. I can almost pinpoint an exact time in which I woke up from the cloud that was my indifference towards my parents.

It was sometime during college. I don’t remember why or how exactly, but I just began to see my parents a little differently. Aside from the fact I realized that I was extremely lucky to have two parents who loved me unconditionally and really didn’t screw me up in the head too much, I began to see my college friends and work acquaintances who had suffered from receiving the short end of the stick on the parent tree.

These other parents put extreme pressures on their kids to succeed, or their body image, or even brought their own petty dramas down onto their children, etc. Making a comparison, I was SO lucky. What was I so bent out of shape about? Growing up with these knuckleheads, I had two loving parents who stood beside me my whole life with unwavering support. Slowly but surely I began to not only respect my parents but also appreciate them.

Now, I can’t imagine my parents playing in the chorus of the big, dramatic play that is my life – they are leading cast members. My parents became the main people I could count on in my life. Chances are, the troubles I have or the stresses I face, they’ve been there before. I can’t think of a better person who you’d want to get advice from than those who simply will always want the best for you. Now when I’m broken hearted (yet again) I click “Home” on the speed dial. Or when an amazing job opportunity comes my way I can’t decide who to email first, Mom or Dad?! (Or just send it to the email address that they still share – aren’t they adorable?)

It turns out they were right all along about how I’d finally come around. Also turns out, they are right about everything else. They were right about the little things like, making sure to eat your vegetables, how to check out the sales rack first, that there is a Bob Seger song that fits any situation you’re going through, and to say “please and thank-you”.

And they were right about the big things like money and savings, that heartbreaks will eventually pass, how sometimes change can be good, how my sister would become one of my most trusted friends, and that time does heal all. Before the tune, “I wish that I knew what I know now, when I was younger,” starts in, I’ll confess, I do look back and regret how much time I wasted fighting against the current. But I probably wouldn’t appreciate them as much as I do now…

Now, if you’re feeling similar to what I’ve been blabbing on about, go thank your parents! Do it now. We always hear parents saying, “My kids are the best thing I ever did.” Go thank them for doing that! These people, these amazing people who created you out of nothing are the two most enthusiastic cheerleaders you are ever going to have. Relish in this. Feel lucky, feel extremely lucky. Go give your mom and dad a hug.

A Tale Of Two Headaches: Dating & Job Hunting

office-romance

When I was a little girl, I had a vision of what my dating life would be like once I got older. I would be swept off my feet, ride off into the sunset, happily ever after, etc. etc. As you may have already guessed, this hasn’t happened. (For future reference: I don’t really want to ride off into the sunset. Preferably, I’d rather sit back, drink in hand, and watch a sunset. “Riding off” sounds exhausting).

I’ve also had a vision of what my working life would be like. I’d go to college, study hard, have fun, graduate, and get a job.

Bing – Bang – Boom.

This also hasn’t exactly happened. I have been fortunate to be employed and I don’t want to downplay how grateful I am for my job – – However, I am continuously looking for a career – – A career where I can fully immerse myself in a company and see growth, potential, and a future.

So, while I’ve been on both the dating and job hunt – – I’ve noticed how similar the two are.

1. Seeking “The One”

Whether it be searching for a job or a partner-in-crime, most everyone is looking for “The One”. I don’t know many people who are like, “Well, I’d rather date some crappy people for awhile,” or “Sure, I’d like a job where I see absolutely no future and I’m not using any of the expensive college degree I have.” Most people are looking for “The One”.

2. White Lies

If you are applying for a job or getting to know someone that you may want to pursue romantically, we all know there are little white lies that are presented. You fudge the truth, but only slightly. BECAUSE – – If this escalates (the job or lover) you know that they’ll eventually check your references. So, I suggest not explaining you had a two-year internship at Google when you actually worked at your Dad’s law firm, filing and flirting with the UPS guy. Or explaining how much of a family oriented person you are, when in fact you haven’t made it home for Christmas in three years. Here, honesty is truly the best policy.

3. Networking

Of course, you’ll hope to be set up by a friend but you’ll most likely end up turning to online dating. Just like you’ll hope to network your way to the top, but have to turn to Monster.com at some point. (Sigh).

4. Interviewing vs. Dating

If you get past the initial screening, you have made it to the interview/first date portion. Interviews and dates have more in common than you’d think.

There are always lots of smiles, combined with nerves. A great amount of thought put into outfit selection – – nothing too over-the-top, but nothing too frumpy either. The Q&A portion, where you try not to bring up anything too serious too soon and you’re of course very anxious to see how it ends.

5. Full Circle

At first, you’re super picky. Nothing will do. “Oh please, I went to college and got my MBA – – that job is so below me” or “Right, like I’d go out with a guy who lives in his parent’s basement”.

Then you’ll take anything you can get. Anything and everything. “Well, it can’t be thaaaaat bad, right?” or “Yeah, so? It was white collar crime! He’s a nice guy!”

Then you’ll wake up. You’ll become picky again. “What THE HELL was I thinking??”

Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

6. The Aftermath

Here, you’ll now wait by the phone. Anxious to hear from Mr./Mrs. Right and or the HR Recruiter of your dreams.

The “One That Got Away”: Job hunters, daters, and, well, serial killers have this.

Unrequited love: Ah, the worst. Nothing stings like rejections. It hurts, burns, leaves a scar, and takes time to get over. But you have to bounce back. You’re resilient, you can do it! Remember, you can’t control the process, only your reaction. Try not to take rejection personally. (If you figure out how to not take it personally, would you please let me know?)

Going your separate ways: You and your past employer or significant other may have just lost that “loving feeling”. Now it’s gone, gone, goneeeee – – and you have to go on.

At the end of the day, to find your best match, whether it be a job or a future companion you have to know what you want. You have to find that perfect mixture of being open and also selective to opportunities both romantically and within the business world. There will be days when you are constantly second (or triple) guessing which aspects of yourself or your resume to highlight. What will make me stand out? What are they looking for? Who the hell knows…

The most important piece I will leave you with is this…

Give it time. We must try to understand that the job/love search can’t be a one-night-stand or even a summer fling. The process is probably going to take upwards of several months (or more – possibly much, much more) to find something worthy of you

You will get your heartbroken, at least once. Losing a job prospect, not getting a phone call after a great date – – These things will happen. There’s nothing worse than a follow-up email that features the word “unfortunately” or a text message that reads, “I think we’re looking for different things”. My advice is to have a good support network.

Actually, have an amazing support network. With that, you’ll be able to face anything.

Six Things We Need To (…Attempt to) Stop Doing

Stop Means Stop

1. Thinking The Grass Is Greener: One day, you’re just surfing good ol’ Facebook, minding your own business, and the next thing you know… It’s been two hours and you’ve stalked everyone who was in your middle school earth science class. You then come to the conclusion: What the fuck am I doing with my life?! How much easier was it when social media didn’t exist to constantly remind us of how “we’re doing”? Pictures of graduation ceremonies, engagements, house hunting, ultrasounds, etc. etc. It’s easy to think that you’d be happier if you lived somewhere else, or had a better job, or earned more money, or were in a relationship.

These are really nice lies we tell ourselves – – but they just distract us from fixing the actual problems we have with our situations. Don’t buy into this delusion; the grass isn’t always greener.

2. Posting Everything: Speaking of Facebook, can we all just sign an imaginary agreement that we will stop posting every, single thing we are doing at every moment of every day. This isn’t going to be easy, let’s just really try and work on it together.

3. Dating Someone & You Know It Won’t Work Out: Ah, this one. We really need to stop this. Whether we tend to ignore the important signs pointing to why one should walk away or that we tend to keep someone “on the hook” just to… keep someone “on the hook”, let’s snap out of it!

Ignoring the important signs: C’mon, we’re better than this. Let’s end this – – Immediately. Red Flags: They avoid meeting your friends/family. Your friends/family don’t like them. They don’t make any sacrifices. They’re too controlling. The “What are we?” conversation fails, miserably – – Multiple times. The attraction is “meh”. They violated your trust. It’s hard to have great conversations with them. They don’t make you laugh. Your gut is telling you that this just isn’t the person for you. Ultimately, avoiding these obvious signs can lead to some major, unnecessary heartache.

“On The Hook”: This euphemism for keeping someone around until someone better comes along NEEDS to stop. I’m definitely not free of guilt on this one and I’ve also definitely been stuck on someone else’s hook. Nothing about this situation is fun. It doesn’t feel very good to be dragged along by someone who “likes” you just enough to keep you around but not enough to fully commit. And on the other side, it’s not fair to keep someone on your hook just because it may feel good, or you’re lonely, or you’re “in between relationships”, or whatever. The hook is worse than the friend zone. At least when you’re in the friend zone, you know where you stand – – You may not necessarily be where you want to be, but at least you’re swimming around in a giant ocean full of other fish that may actually be interested in you. But when you’re on the hook – – You’re harnessed in, dragging behind the boat’s propeller, water splashing in your face, holding on for dear life – – Pretty much torture. Everything about the hook sucks. Let’s get rid of it.

4. Stop agreeing to do things that you know you’ll never actually do: I am terrible at this one. Like, super terrible. I don’t know how many times I run into old friends and leave the conversation with, “Yes, totally! We HAVE to get together soon, I’ll call you!” And I rarely do. It’s not because I don’t care about this person or value their friendship. It’s just life gets busy! Right? Ugh. Maybe I am terrible. This needs to stop.

I refuse to be labeled a “flake” and you should too! Believe me, people will notice when you don’t follow through. The problem here doesn’t lie in the fact that you need to do everything, every time someone asks – – You need to stop just automatically saying YES. It’s okay to just be honest. If you have no intention, what so ever, of follow through… JUST SAY NO.

5. Stop seeking approval! Approach life, situations, people, etc., with the belief that you’re awesome. It’s completely normal to want the people around you to like you. But it becomes a big problem when almost all of your time, energy, and behavior toward certain people are designed to constantly reassure you of their approval – – Breathe easy, you are awesome.

6. Wondering When Your Life Is Going To “Begin” I’ve talked about this before… How it seems to become increasingly more difficult year-by-year to figure out what I’m doing with my life. I always thought this was supposed to get easier as I got older. One day I would just hit a magic day and a little man dressed like Mr. Peanut would come out with confetti and say, “Congratulations, you’ve made it!”

This hasn’t happened yet.

And maybe we need to stop wondering when this is going to happen… and maybe even stop thinking it will happen.

Why do I feel like this? Does everyone feel like this? Am I literally crazy? I think the reason why most twentysomethings are so fixated on age is because we feel some sort of pressure to be a certain way at 21, or 25, or 28, or 30, etc. These ages all represent invisible deadlines that we have given ourselves regarding careers, love, family, etc. “I can’t get drunk and throw up anymore, I’m 25!” “I need to be in a serious relationship by 27.” “I need to have a baby by 30.”

We put all of this pressure on ourselves which results in a whole lotta’ guilt for essentially just acting our age. Movies, TV, magazines, friends, teachers, and parents have all made us obsessed with the idea of being domesticated and having our shit together. It makes me sad to think that we are always so caught up in this stuff that we miss out on the other stuff. Other stuff = Our actual youth. By being so focused on doing everything THE RIGHT WAY, we are skipping out on doing things in the wrong way. Which could end up being the best way of all.

***If you can tell me how to actually stick with any of these, please message me 😉