and love what you do.
It is your life after all; and you do only get one…
Like what you do. If you don’t like it, do something else.
Life can only be understood backward, but must be lived forward. So live forward without worry. The lessons will come.
So, the “New Year, New You” can start anytime in January, right?! I may be a little late, but let’s talk about reflections instead of resolutions! Here is what I learned in 2012!
New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day and the corresponding month of January are a close second to Christmas in regards to may favorite time of year. Don’t get me wrong – there are times as we prepare to exit one year and enter another that I can feel the anxiety building up inside me; I begin to wonder, “What did I accomplish this year?” and “Was it enough?” We naturally compare our year and accomplishments with those of others, silly as it may be. However, a greater part of me conquers the slight end-of-year jitters and embraces the fact that I am about to begin again. The first day of January represents a brand new year, 365 days in which I have the opportunity to do more things right than wrong; cultivate more success and try to screw it up a little less.
The Goo Goo Dolls once sang “Tonight’s the night the world begins again” and I like to believe that to be true. In the same breath, this year I decided not to make any resolutions as they seem to only fuel the anxiety that so many of us feel with the closing of December. Rather, I will look back on 2012 and realize everything the last 365 days have taught me, figure out all the wisdom I picked up along the way (there was bound to be some.) So, while I may still make totallyplausible resolutions like going on a date with Dez Duron, I am mainly welcoming 2013 with a serious amount of knowledge. Whether heartfelt and philosophical or plucked from pop culture, a lesson shared is a lesson learned so let’s do this; 13 lessons to carry us through 2013!
1. We have very little power over the actions of others but it is no matter; our disappointment in others rarely lasts as long as disappointment in ourselves, so it is best to ensure that whatever happens, we uphold the people we know ourselves to be. Plain and simple, 2012 taught me that people will disappoint you but, that doesn’t mean you have to disappoint yourself.
2. I have a no love, all hate relationship with change. However, I have finally begun to understand that my distaste for life’s tendency to be ever-evolving does not keep things the same. What I now know to be true, is that the biggest thing that happens in our twenties is change. Jobs change; whole careers change. Cities change and friendships change. Your idea of success changes and your outlook on love changes. Your friends transition into parenthood and your parents transition into true friends. The concept of what independence is changes. There is infinite conversation and rationalization that could go along with each of these things, a deeper meaning found in what changes, but through it all, change itself turns out to be the most epic and influential event of the decade. I learned that just because I don’t get on the train doesn’t mean it isn’t leaving the station, so I better buy a ticket.
3. Twenty-somethings will do well to have a good imagination. In times of transition and in order to keep our sanity, we must often remember what life was like during “the good old days,” mentally place ourselves in a time of carefree happiness while proactively imagining ourselves living out our dreams. I have learned that we need to be the best we can be in the present, take advantage of the moment and have an active imagination that takes care of the rest; we must imagine ourselves in possession of what we had to leave behind to get us through the heavier days and dream of that which we have yet to attain to encourage our pursuit.
4. Friends often come from the most unexpected places. There is no deeper meaning here, you just never know when and where you will find a kindred spirit. This year, HelloGiggles gave me the most wonderful gift when the ladies allowed me share my writing, my random thoughts, with all of you. I thought the opportunity to share my words with people was the gift, but I quickly realized the real gift was each of you. I have made friends who support and encourage my writing, share experiences with me and teach me Everything I Need To Know. I learned to be loved and let love in for, when you do, you will often be graced with good fortune and good friends.
5. Home is where you go to remember who you are, and it is good to remember. Often times it hurts that you can’t go back; sometimes we long for a simpler time, a time where home was stable and friends were present for the day-to-day. However, it is good to step back and remember how things were even if the action brings pangs of longing. A peek into the past can be a reminder of what true happiness looks like or how far you have come; it can be a reminder of who you are, because I have realized it is easier to lose oneself that I thought. This year has taught me that everyone has a place they can go, physical or emotional, to remember. I learned that everyone gets a little lost but we are always able find ourselves if we can just find “home.”
6. I learn a great deal of things from watching Glee (which probably says a lot about me); it is likely I could have written about the 13 life lessons Glee granted me this year, but I decided to keep it to a minimum. 2012 was a big year for Rachel Berry, just as it was for me, but she had her ups (Hello, Brody) and downs (the end of Finchel and the evil Cassandra July). In one of my favorite episodes of the season, “Swan Song“, Ms. July is harping on how sub-par Rachel is and how she will never amount to anything in the real world of Broadway, which she does in like, every episode. This time, though, Ms. July, who is obviously a symbol for everyone’s self-doubt and the people in our lives who mock our dreams, is put in her place when Rachel proclaims that she doesn’t need Ms. July or anyone else is the room to believe that she is the best.
“No one else has to believe it. No one but me.”
I am way more likely to be compared to Rachel Berry than Cassandra July so it is only appropriate that I related to this moment of realization, bravery and slight rebellion through shaky, unsure proclamation. There is a real lesson here, though, that I will be carrying with me for a while; Nobody else has to believe in me besides me. I learned that the very minute I stopped worrying about what other people thought about my dreams, stopped seeking the approval of those that didn’t much matter in the end anyway, was the minute I truly started down the path to making them come true. I learned that I believe in me and that’s enough.
7. The premiere of The New Normal and the latest season of Glee have proved that Ryan Murphy is like a peeping Tom into my soul. In fact, my only 2013 resolution is to get Mr. Murphy on board for directing and producing a television series about being a 20-something in middle America. I learned that at the end of the day, we all just want to feel like we aren’t alone, like we relate to someone else somewhere; anyone, anywhere, really. Ryan Murphy has an uncanny ability to make millions laugh until they cry or feel like their heart is literally breaking along with the characters on screen. It may seem silly, but whether through song and dance or witty, inappropriate one-liners, Ryan Murphy has thrown us all a little love this year, giving us someone and something to relate to each week.
8. If it weren’t for Glee and a good old fashioned lyric, I am not sure I would have learned much about life or my twenties thus far. Despite my love of the small screen, I brought home some of the biggest lessons fromthe box office this year. Sometimes, you learn a lot about life from unexpected places and in 2012 the big screen granted us The Perks of Being A Wallflower, Silver Linings Playbook and People Like Us, each of which doled out a little wisdom that taught me about how life should be in the coming year…
“We accept the love we think we deserve.” -The Perks of Being A Wallflower
“This is what I believe to be true: you have to do everything you can. And if you stay positive, you have a shot at a silver lining.” -Silver Linings Playbook
Last but not least, the six rules of life as presented in People Like Us. In theory, I could have left everything else off the list and just started the new year with these wisdoms (and if Chris Pine was personally giving this advice to me, I might have….)
Read the rest of my reflections on HelloGiggles! Let me know what you learned too:) Happy New Year! Bring it on 2013! xoxox
Recently I had the honor of contributing to my sorority’s magazine, the Kappa Delta Angelos. I was tickled pink (or white and green!) to share my thoughts on being a twenty-something. Now I would like to share the article with all of you because, whether you were in a sorority or not, we all have a core group of friends we call family and we truly do learn how to navigate this life together! Enjoy! xoxox
It was Bette Davis who once said, “Old age ain’t no place for sissies.” Well Ms. Davis, I believe there are thousands of 20-somethings who would whole-heartedly testify the decade in which we are currently immersed isn’t for the faint of heart, either! The most unnerving part is I don’t think any of us saw it coming. I mean, who was worried about their 20s? No one ever, that’s who. “ Friends” and “Sex and The City” made it look so easy, like a cup of coffee, a good laugh and a great martini would fix anything we came up against. Instead, just as we found our place as young adults, we arrived on the horizon of a decade filled with dream jobs, hopes of disposable incomes and adventures ranging from new cities and shoe box apartments to engagements and weddings. Our 30s were intimidating, an age that seemingly signified true adulthood, but our 20s, those evoked only excitement. It is becoming ever more clear that we didn’t know what we were in for.
“So no one told you life was gonna be this way?” Well, Friends definitely got that part right. The most important realization however, is that there are thousands of other twenty-somethings who are just as shocked as you are. If we were all honest with ourselves and one another, we would soon realize none of us know exactly how to grow up into the adults we are trying to be. Each of us screws it all up at some point before we figure it all out and we should be talking about it; sharing the good, the bad and the ever-crazy along the way. There isn’t a single twenty-something who is inching any closer to sanity by bottling up emotions to present a perfect exterior, so let’s release some of that pressure. After all, it is a little known certainty that everything we need to know about life we can learn from each other…
LIfe Is Unquestionably Questionable…At Best. We want so badly for things to be conclusive, are constantly looking for unquestionable clarity. We want to know that the choices we make won’t breed regret and that there wasn’t a better option. The thing that we seem to strive for in every aspect of our lives is certainty. However, one lesson we learned long before entering our twenties is that in life, much to our dismay, we don’t always get what we want. It’s frustrating, our inability to ensure that the grass will, in fact, be greener on the other side, but obsessing over the outcome does not grant us the knowledge we are after. Don’t strive for a certainty that doesn’t exist; while we are obsessing over which side of the grass is greener, someone else is having a picnic on their side, taking in the view. Whether we seek unquestionable clarity or relish in the complication of it all, life is unquestionably questionable at best and we must accept that. The odds aren’t always in our favor but we do always have the opportunity to roll the dice and wait to see how they fall; have a little fun in the midst of the complication.
You Can’t Always Roar. There are some days when you just know you haven’t been your “best self.” Nobody wakes up in the morning thinking, “I just want to be average today.” It takes a lot of courage to be extraordinary and because of that, I have realized we are often too hard on ourselves for those days when we feel we have fallen into that middle ground- the average group. On days when I feel I have fallen short, I try to remember a few words I stumbled across once upon a time…
“Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying ‘I will try again tomorrow.’”
The reality is some days are better than others. While courage exists in the extraordinary, it also exists the ability to end our sub-par day, be done with it and accept that there is another opportunity to be better tomorrow.
My Kind of Crazy Most days, I am embarrassing – dancing around the kitchen, singing at the top of my lungs to relieve stress, endearingly awkward type of crazy. Normal is a word that rarely enters my vocabulary, and I have begun to find comfort in the off-kilter that exists everywhere if you take a look. I assure you, life is less about figuring out why you don’t feel “normal” and completely about finding people who just get you. Ashely Fink once said,
“Life is all about finding people who are your kind of crazy.”
None of us need to feel normal, we simply need friends who will sing along with us in the kitchen, assuring us we aren’t alone.
Home Is Where The Heart Is. They say home is where the heart is, and I believe that to be true. I also believe the older we get the more home is defined by people rather than places; maybe our heart resides in those whom we love and that’s why, when we are with those people, we feel at home. It often doesn’t matter where we are or what we are doing- whether in the house we grew up in, on the campus where we spent our college years or in the new city our best friend now resides, it is those with us who give us a true sense of home. I think luck strikes when we start to understand that home lives within the people we care most deeply for. We may not always feel whole when we are apart from them but, as long as we know who has our heart, we’ll always know exactly how to find our way home; regardless of the crazy adventures we are on. Home is where the heart is and our hearts are with one another.
It is apparent that I find a good quote can get us through much of what life throws our way and I recently found a few favorite words that I will leave you with…
“Lean into it. The outcome doesn’t matter. What matters is that you were there for it.”
Our sisterhood has granted us so many things; above all, it has gifted us one other. As a group, we often look at fate as a finish line, but I think that is a mistake. Fate just may be all the little pieces of luck along the way, like when each of us was gifted the sisters in our lives who sing with us in the kitchen; sisters that hold our hearts and are instrumental in making the complications of life look appealing. I hope the one lesson we all keep close is that we are never alone. Lean into your sisters. They will be there through new jobs and new cities; break-ups, make-ups and growing up; engagements, weddings, babies and all we stumble upon in between. Lean into your life and be there for it because at any given moment you could be in the middle of the best part. Above all else remember that it’s only getting better, we are in it together and we are absolutely going to make it after all.
It’s New Years Eve! At the end of the year, it only seems natural to countdown the Top 10 Biggest Crushes of the year! Who were you crushing on this year? Did you think The Warblers were total #GOLD? Hey girl, were you still hooked on Ryan Gosling? Check out our countdown on HelloGiggles below!
Happy New Year’s Eve!!
Friends, it is the end of the year. I could hit you with a witty introduction, but I find it unnecessary as we are about to discuss the most swoon-worthy men of 2012 and what makes us all crush on them so hard. As we prepare to leave behind the year we are in and enter a new one, I can only say thank you to those on the list for being so crush-worthy. I think I speak for us all when I say we hope to see you again, many times over, in the next 365 days. So, let’s get right to it and review the boy-crazy ladies’ top ten biggest crushes of 2012…