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 😉

The 5 Friends Every Twenty-Something Needs

Travel-With-Friends2-600x450

Being a twenty-something these days is exhausting. We’re constantly pulled in a thousand directions – – “Be mature!” “Get a real job!” “But you’re so young!” “At your age I was already married with two kids!” “These are the best years of your life!” First, would someone please take a poll of society so we can finally agree on a common age that is, in fact, “The Best Years Of Your Life”? That would be much appreciated. Secondly, I’ve composed the following list of 5 friends that I believe every twenty-something needs – – To ensure survival of the twenty-something years.

The DeLorean: This friend encompasses your past, present, and you know they hold a place in your future.  While this friend holds a lot of stock in your friendship market, they are probably not a reoccurring character in your current, daily life. Hell, this friend is probably not around a lot. This isn’t because they don’t care or you don’t care – – There is just some space. This space can be literal proximity (moved for school, job, new direction, etc.) or the space can be that you both have just grown apart.

Growing apart from friends is always difficult because 99% of the time there isn’t rhyme or reason. The drifting begins and you try to keep up the friendship because the investment is there and you’re a smart cookie – – You know you can’t just walk away from a long-term investment.

So, you don’t walk away… completely. The DeLorean and you keep the friendship afloat by allowing one another to change. This friendship still works because you have both allowed one another to evolve into new people – – You allowed one another to grow up and in turn, grow apart.

The DeLorean may not be around for your daily new stories – – The fight you got into with your sister, the horrible date you couldn’t escape, or that celebration for the promotion you finally received. While they won’t be there for those moments, they were there for the past. They will always hold a special place within your heart/soul/memories because they know you. They know every scar, every wound (both visible and emotional). There’s not many people who can identify the scar above your left eyebrow that you hit on the nightstand when you fell out of bed on Father’s Day 1996. There’s also not many people who know exactly how often you lip synched to Britney Spear’s …Baby, One More Time with a hairbrush. And there’s definitely not many people who helped you compose the most beautiful poem for your waiter at Steak N’ Shake, circa junior year.

The DeLorean will always hold a very special place on your friend roster and while they’re in and out of your life a lot, you’ll always be able to count on them to transport you back to simpler times and memories you never want to forget.

The Magic Eight Ball: This is a special type of friend. The Magic Eight Ball (M8B) is the friend you can talk to about anything. They not only give the best advice, but they listen completely. The conversation is unhindered because no one is trying to “one up” the other or interject with opinions. You’re probably wondering why I call this friend the M8B… let me explain.

The M8B doesn’t care if you want to talk about the same story over and over again. You all know what I’m talking about. That one story that’s even starting to annoy you as you start from the top for the 99th time. But the M8B knows that for whatever reason, you need to talk about it – – Again. The M8B will dissect a break-up over and over (and over) again until you feel better about it. Then, when you feel worse about it again – – They’ll buckle up for the repeat.

After they patiently listen, the M8B also carefully dolls out advice. This advice is most likely paired with the ever-so-popular terms, “It is certain”, “Without a doubt”, or “You may rely on it”. The M8B can also be counted on to cut the bullshit with, “Don’t count on it”, “My reply is no”, or the pleasant, “My sources say no”. Yes, it might sting – – But its better than those super-annoying, middle-of-the-road, “Reply hazy, try again”, or  “Cannot predict now”. Well, why the fuck would I ask you if you can’t “predict” now, M8B?!

The Energizer Bunny: Oh, this friend. This friend is amazing. Amazing, yet exhausting. You can’t figure out how they can go, go, go, go, go, and never seem to tire. You can’t figure out how they still have the energy and stamina of a college freshman while you’ve transferred to the common, yet more sedentary lifestyle of a twenty-five-year-old.

The Energizer Bunny (EB) is the friend that drags you off the couch and out on the town. They insist you have time to grab a drink after work. They are insatiable and extremely persuasive. The EB is the only friend that is able to convince you to go out, even after you’ve put your hair up and PJ’s on for the evening. The EB is also the friend that wants to stay out and close down the bar. While you’re probably not familiar with the harsh lights of a 2am last call, the EB is making their last cycle around the bar, and bidding adieu to their favorite waitresses.

The EB seems to be living in a frozen undergrad moment. It’s hard to be on the same page as an EB sometimes because you have different priorities. You probably want to shake your EB sometimes and be like, “HOW ARE YOU NOT STRESSED OUT ABOUT THIS??” “HOW ARE YOU NOT WORRIED?!” The EB’s always seem so carefree. It’s not only hard to wrap your mind around but it’s also pretty fucking frustrating. The EB can be frustrating because you don’t understand why they won’t just grow up, too. Why can’t they be tired, too? Why can’t they understand that you can’t just book a vacation for next week because you’re saving for a down payment? (Down payment on what? Who the hell knows, but you’re saving for something.) Why can’t they understand that you don’t go out to 1am on weekdays anymore because you’re responsible?

While the EB will push you to your breaking point more than once, you hold your tongue because you know the EB will get their shit together… eventually. We all change and grow at different paces and the EB will get there at some point… right? And even if they take forever or never get there, who cares?

The best part of the EB is they help you step outside of your comfort zone. They help you remember how to have fun. The EB makes you feel young again. The EB reminds you that sometimes it’s okay to stumble home at 3am on a Tuesday night, after karaoke-ing The Counting Crows greatest hits, and eating greasy, bar pizza.

The Clock: The opposite of the EB. This is the yang to the EB’s yin. This is the mature friend. This is the friend who has all of their shit together – – Probably detailed in a very organized planner. You met this friend in school or from work. You can always count on this friend for anything. You can count on this friend to always do the right thing. You can also count on them to get jobs, get married, and have babies.

The Clock is a great friend. However, The Clock is someone who is always there to remind you of that one really, really, super, annoying thing – – Time. While you’re still trying to map out a “career path” (if that term even exists?) and find a significant other that you can stand for more than four weeks (four weeks sounds longer than one month, right?) The Clock just landed their dream position at Google and got engaged at the top of the Eiffel Tower last weekend. While you think the Eiffel Tower is a little cheesy, you still can’t help but feel a bit behind while all these amazing-life-altering things seem to be happening to The Clock.

You love The Clock and wish him/her all the best, but this goddamn Clock is beginning to make you feel behind the curve. You’ve had to adjust to the fact that people your age actually want to get pregnant and these beautiful children aren’t just “happy surprises” anymore. You’ve also had to practice your facial expression(s) so that when The Clock tells you that she isn’t taking her birth control anymore, your face that would normally say, “HOLY HELL, WHY?!” now looks more like, “YAY, SUCH A GREAT IDEA!”.

I’m not trying to degrade The Clocks out there – – I love my Clocks! The Clocks make the world go round (no pun intended). The Clocks are needed to balance out the EB’s and the other stragglers, like myself. I look up to The Clocks and part of me wishes I was more like a Clock. I wish I had more of a plan – – I wish I had more direction. I would love to embody the beauty that seems to exude from the stability, and calmness of a Clock. My Clocks are some of the greatest friends I have and I know I can count on them for the rest of my life.

The Rock: This person is your person. Out of anyone at anytime in anyplace this is the person you want by your side. The Rock can read your mind and know what you’re thinking even before you know what you’re thinking. For example, you and The Rock aren’t allowed to be on the same team at Game Night when Taboo comes into play – –  “It’s not fairrrrr,” say the whiners, “They know what the other is thinking, ughhh,” they’ll plead as they beg that you’re split onto opposite teams.

You can be your complete self with The Rock. Conversations with The Rock can start with discussing your biggest fears, then in the same thought, you can also admit to actually liking the band Nickelback. The Rock will go to parties or get-togethers that they know they’ll hate, just because you asked and know you’ll need reinforcement. They’re the friends that have been there when your family awkwardly fights in front of them and they’ve actually come back. The Rock is pretty much a member of your family. You can go some time without talking and nothing really changes. You know that annoying saying, “Friends are like stars, you don’t always see them but you know they’re there.” Ugh – – with a double side of ugh. The Rock is the friend that you want to see all the time – – And if you’re far away from your Rock, you don’t pretend that “distance makes the heart grow fonder” bullshit. You feel a little off not talking and seeing your Rock on the reg.

They’ve been there for the best days – – The graduations, the new jobs, the dates you fell in love with, the nights you both laughed so hard in the middle of State Street you fell over, the birthdays, the vacations, and everything in between. They’ve also been there for the worst – – The failed classes, the jobs we hated, the dates that broke our hearts, the nights we both cried so hard it seemed like nothing could ever be that sad again, the arguments, and everything else in between.

That’s the best part about The Rock – – They’ve been there for everything and you know they’ll be there for the rest.