an ode to young adulthood: be here now.

2 Oct

hey, october.

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this morning on my way to work, the city was humming with semi-bundled joggers and caffeinated 9-5ers, moving all together in this continuous, dreamy state.

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and as we linger idly from summer to fall, the sky is a spectacular hue of oceanic blue—a true token to how much I appreciate colorado right now.

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I’m reminded of how much I miss all of the things I’ve deliberately neglected for the last six months—like my frye boots, dark wash jeans, and steel-cut oats.

and as we tip-toe towards autumn, the days are becoming noticeably shorter, but I welcome the chilly mornings with open arms.

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when I was little, summer seemed like this broad expanse of endless time:

we would spend our days perfecting the art of cannon balls and back flips, and our nights sneaking onto tennis courts to scream and laugh and come home with scraped knees and rosy cheeks.

but of course, summer plays out differently now.

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I said sayonara a long time ago to rolling out of my warm sleeping bag, blurry-eyed and foggy in the middle of the pine-studded sierra nevadas. I’d throw on a pair of shorts and dirty sneakers and spend the day capsizing sailboats, writing post cards, and failing to nail the bullseye in archery.

these days, it seems as if adulthood scoffs at me far too often, as if to say: deadlines and obligations rule your life, edie!

consequently, I sometimes feel like I’m hurtling way too fast into this vortex of commitments.

and I can’t find the brakes.

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but thankfully, october is here.

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and this month is one of my favorites.

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this time of year forces me to lower that inevitable sense of panic I feel when I realize I haven’t capitalized on all things summer.

because really, persistent, urgent ambition isn’t the stuff that late-septembers early-octobers are made of.

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things like milky iced coffee and carrying home the most spectacular sunflowers from the farmer’s market are.

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so,

 I’m trying to make a conscious effort to s l o w d o w n.

you know, ‘be present’ – a cliché woven through enough yoga classes you think I’d actually embrace it.

because I hate looking too far into the future.

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I start envisioning a narrative that isn’t, well, a narrative yet.

I find myself clinging to expectations instead of chasing my dreams.

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but,

yesterday and today and tomorrow are all a part of this greater story I like to call my ‘young adulthood.’ things like work and friends and travel blend together in a seemingly chaotic fashion, but it’s all a glimpse towards chapters that lie ahead.

if you know me fairly well, you’ll know I don’t mind doing things solo. actually, most of the time I really savor my independence and curiosity. I’m the type to chat up the maintenance guys in our apartment, just because I’m inquisitive by nature.

and suddenly, a stranger’s story nonchalantly changes my entire perspective, and the rising action to my young adulthood experiences a monumental shift.

so, as the weeks unveil themselves, I’m embracing them just like these luminescent fall days: with open arms (and a hooded sweatshirt).

happy wednesday, and happy fall!

(signed, the post-grad.)

4 months of travel, 2 overweight suitcases, 1 passport.

25 Aug

jones, my sister soulmate, this one’s for you.

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you steady your gaze as the quintessential california landscape coincides with the miles and miles of patriotic interstate beneath you.

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your consciousness weaves amongst the thick layer of chilly sea fog and scattered oak trees and purple-hued wild flowers, all rolling seamlessly over the summer-drenched hills.

with a tight grip on your vacant passport, you realize your dreams are so vivid and curiosity is at your fingertips.

you’re fully aware that you’re about to enrich your life beyond belief.

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and suddenly, your room, in our two-story home, tucked away on our proud little flag lot, warrants an american cliché of sorts.

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you’re filled with every ounce of hesitation and exhilaration, tipping the scale ever so slightly to the later.

but any sort of fleeting moment is, alas, behind you.

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eventually, once you’ve settled in to your everyday routine, leave room for spontaneity.

because i hope that one night, when the mediterranean rain grows heavy outside your new bedroom window, that you race like hell down the narrow staircase out into the cobblestone street and dance barefooted like that beautiful foreigner you are.

and just you watch:

the next four months are going to become a continuity of long bus rides and strong cappuccinos, drippy gelato and wine-stained lips, scenic countrysides and quaint, seaside towns.

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and before you know it, you’ll be returning home with insatiable wanderlust and a longing to do it all again.

so.

don’t fear getting lost. or for that matter, getting embarrassed. i guarantee you’ll be misunderstood, and you’ll automatically be perceived a certain way simply because you are an american. just…embrace it.

there will be certain times when you gotta just roll with the punches. things, inevitably, will not go according to plan. for this exact reason, always have extra euros (and snacks). also, patience is a virtue. whatever predicament you find yourself in will probably make for a hilarious story later.

pack like a boss. overpacking will only get you in frustrating tiffs with ryanair when they scoff at your oversized carry-on. i promise that if you can prioritize your suitcase, you’ll learn the difference between what you actually need…and what you can live without.

frame your study abroad in hundreds of photographs, but widen your lens. put an emphasis on capturing people and their interactions, not things. you’ll actually see life in your photos this way.

you’ll discover that through your travels, humanity is far more diverse than you could possibly imagine. you’ll come across people in all sorts of circumstances, faced with limited rights and poverty and it’ll ignite something inside of you. my hope is that you’ll come home (counting your blessings) and inspired to make a change.

finally, leave pieces of your heart in the destinations you travel to, as well as with the people you meet.

be safe, always.

i love you.

(signed, the post-grad.)

this summer: on the importance of adventure.

15 Aug

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when sky blue gets dark enough
to see the colors of the city lights
a trail of ruby red and diamond white
hits her like a sunrise

she comes and goes and comes and goes
like no one can

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i think that after awhile, we become entirely too caught up in living strictly by routine.

because sometimes our chronic workdays are suffocated by monotony, and we can’t help but feel this torrential downpour on the things that once electrified us.

but, with a bit of concerted effort, we’re able to wander off the beaten path. a temporary halt, per say.

and suddenly, voila! we find ourselves in a moment so full of appreciation for simply being alive.

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i’m not saying you need to travel outside the realms of your ‘hood to feel this sense of appreciation.

for once, unwillingly roll out of bed just before dawn, and watch the dark sky become a hazy prism of soft, picturesque colors.

(i promise you it’s worth it.)

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or maybe you decide to buy a cup of mediocre coffee from somewhere besides starbucks.

like from that cozy shop overflowing with borrowed books and worn sofas, vintage posters and amateur philosophers eating overpriced, gluten-free pastries.

you’re enamored by the vibrant, caffeinated space around you. but there’s no sense of urgency.

only an intrinsic feeling that your little heart is so content it could burst into tiny pieces and scatter across the floor.

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tonight she’s out to lose herself
and find a high on peachtree street
from mixed drinks to techno beats it’s always
heavy into everything

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as fall begins to approach, i can say with certainty that this summer has been really good to me. like, really good. 

i’ve continually departed from the comfortable nook that is my routine, to collide momentarily with new and old places alike.

it’s as if i’ve recently watched my life become a continuity of change and adaptations and uncertainty.

and well, unexpected adventure.

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i’m grateful for the places i’ve travelled to (and across) these last two months: exploring the colorado countryside, relaxing beachside in los cabos, and music festival-going in chicago.

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and finally, after i’ve returned to the current place i call home, back to the confines of familiar objects and people and places, i have to remind myself that the journey is far from over.

because if you’re like me, your suitcase remains packed for a week or two too long.

and you find your consciousness drifting in and out of the places your passport has yet to be stamped.

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she comes and goes and comes and goes
like no one can
she comes and goes and no one knows
she’s slipping through my hands

so in that sense, the journey is a continuum. your spirit yearns for the unknown, but at least your heart is content with the memories it now holds.

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so. with all of that being said, i’m having withdrawals. which is sort of inevitable. and i’m definitely not ready for summer to end.

but who is, really?

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i like that the warmth of the day lingers well into the late evening,

that the line for ice cream at the little tin man wraps around the block,

and that i can drive with my windows down so that my hair tangles around my bare shoulders.

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but i do love that the seasons change here.

and i love the glowing city lights right outside my bedroom window.

i love that my neighborhood is alive and bustling with noisy construction and 20-somethings walking in and out of the convenience store beneath my building.

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she’s always buzzing just like
neon, neon
neon, neon
who knows how long, how long, how long
she can go before she burns away

(“neon,” john mayer)

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most mornings, i wake up with a sleepy sense of contentment. grateful for a life that is so full of potential adventure.

and with a little bit of confidence, i can totally venture outside of the norm. and in turn, i find that it’s easier to lessen the tug. to stop enduring the ‘everyday’ and actually seize the moment.

to live a little recklessly. to take a few more chances.

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so, cheers!

(signed, the post-grad.)

p.s. i was convinced that my absence here went unnoticed…i didn’t want this space to feel like a chore, so i chose to neglect my little blog. and i’m sorry! so to those of you (you know who you are) who asked when i’d be posting again, thanks for the extra push.

i promise i’ll attempt to be a little bit more consistent.

but no guarantees.

a letter.

16 Jun

Faj,

Let me first confess that I’ve typed and re-typed this letter more times than I’d like to admit. There’s just so much to sum up (23 years worth!), that I’m sort of at a loss for words.

Perfection isn’t going to get me anywhere, so here goes nothing!

>>>>>

I can only begin to imagine the first time you saw mom’s ultrasound.

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You probably remember that tiny flutter of a heartbeat, my little heartbeat! From that profound moment forward, the nature of your unconditional love has been incredibly humbling.

Less than a year later, when I finally entered the world via c-section, you intentionally carved a place inside your heart for me—just for me.

And you probably made a solemn promise to yourself: to protect me and support me and love me, as much as humanly possible.

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More often than not, I’ve tested that promise you made to yourself 23 years ago. I know I’ve made you proud, but naturally, I’ve also failed you too.

For every grumpy, moody, self-involved, guilt-induced thing I’ve said or done (and will say and will do), I’m sorry.

I can be a rollercoaster of vulnerability and doubt and stubbornness, but you’ve always, always been there for me. Thank you.

You’ve encouraged me to be smart and ambitious, taught me to be kind, to work enthusiastically towards my dreams, and to never give up. From every hug and kiss and ‘ILY,’ to some of our more complex conversations, I’m blessed for everything you’ve shared with me.

You’re my role model, and one of my best friends.

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You’ve never been one to wear your emotions on your sleeve, so I am grateful for every time you’ve offered sympathy and listened to me sob about something deeply personal—or ridiculously trivial (like that time I got a ‘c’ in econ class).

You’ve comforted me in my heartbreak(s), especially when the light at the end of the tunnel was very dim. You have given me the tools to move forward, even when I’m really hurting.

You’ve showed me that to be strong and fearless in this journey of life is worth every obstacle and struggle. My ability to grow as a person is related to how much insecurity I can handle.

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I know that you worry about me (all the time), and I’d be shocked if you didn’t answer your phone with, “Hey, Eeds…everything alright?” “Haha yeah, dad. I’m just calling to say hi.”

I guess the first instinct of any father is to be overprotective of his daughter. But you’ve never discouraged me from going after what I want.

So in that sense, thank you for always worrying—but giving me my hard-earned independence—I hope I haven’t caused you too much grey hair.

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I won’t ever forget in August of 2008, when you and I rented beach cruisers on the Wharf and proceeded to bike across the Golden Gate Bridge.

We were surrounded by classic San Francisco fog and whizzing cyclists, and it wasn’t exactly the peaceful, summer-y bike ride we imagined. That was when you told me that Mark Twain once said, “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.”

During our ride, we stopped for ice cream and shared a late-lunch in the seaside town of Tiburon, then hopped on the ferry back across the Bay (I mean, God-forbid we bike all the way back). With wind-burned cheeks, fresh salt in our hair, and a new layer of freckles across our noses, I remember feeling overwhelmed with emotion that day.

That bike ride represented our last father-daughter bonding adventure. I was about to embark on the next chapter of my life in Colorado.

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I realized that even though I was leaving everything I knew as ‘home’ for the previous 18 years, nothing could ever come between us. Because when you love someone that deeply, they become your home, no matter where you are in the world.

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Sure, the older I get, the more I look in the mirror and see mom staring back at me. She gets the credit for my 5-foot stature, unruly blonde hair, competitiveness, and optimism.

But I am so much of who you are, too.

Everything from my love for books and writing, to sitting around a campfire squinting my eyes to catch a shooting start or a satellite, bbqing in the backyard in the middle of summer, cruising in the Jeep with the top down, and capturing that dreamlike MKB sunset on my camera—that’s all you.

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I cannot wait for the day you walk me down the aisle, for the day I show you my ultrasound, and for the day you get to hold the piece of my heart that I carve out for my little girl or boy. Just like you held me, please hold my baby facing the world—because beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

I know you will shower him or her with just as much unconditional love as you have with me.

Happy Father’s Day,

ILY.

P.S. Mom, thank you. Thank you for that one night in Tucson when you sat and enjoyed a beer with dad.

Who knew he would end up being the love of your life.

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You both won the lotto.

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And I think Alex, William, and I can equally say the same.

(signed, the post-grad.)

’tis the season for (comical) break ups.

5 Jun

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if you’re into sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll, read on.

otherwise—you have been warned—this post isn’t PG-rated.

it’s hump day, after all!

to begin? well, where it allllll begins.

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it’s either:

“we need to talk.” oh, about your day, baby?! mine was great too!

OR

“this just….isn’t working.” i know, i know. more sex, less arguing? i can totally do that.

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OR

“i’m studying abroad next semester.” …..so? i’ll like, skype you or something. no clothes required.

OR

“i just made out with your sorority sister.” babe, it’s fine. forgive and forget iiiiis my motto!

……..

ARE YOU F***ING KIDDING ME?

if you are guilty of ANY of the above break up banter, i’m probably judging you right now.

i will, however, give you a high-five for conversing face-to-face. whatta concept!

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on the contrary. IF you were notified via snapchat

…my god, that’s low. but so efficient?

READY, SET, GO SELFIE!

6 seconds of break-up time GLORY and then POOF!

it disappears into the vortex of every other pointless snapchat.

…f o r e v e r.

ummm, FYI. your ex probably sent it to like, a lot of friends.

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regardless, i SWEAR! break ups are trending faster than juice cleanses, crossfit, and the paleo diet. can vegans and cavemen love each other? I DUNNO.

anyway. after you start hyperventilating, your thoughts resemble a self-conscious, irrational teenage girl requesting tampons, chocolate, and a shopping spree:

….seriously? OF ALL TIMES. you’re breaking up with me right now?

FIRST: you selfish idiot,

allow me to make sure i have enough PTO days left this year (which, shocker! i don’t.)

BECAUSE THE THOUGHT OF PUTTING ON A NON-SLUTTY SKIRT AND A J CREW SWEATER AND FLATS THAT GIVE ME BLISTERS IS LIKE ASKING ME TO PUT ON A BATHING SUIT AFTER I’VE GONE HAM AT A $4.99 ALL-YOU-CAN-EAT BUFFET.

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also.

i am extremely sensitive. and emotionally fragile.

i WILL send bitchy e-mails without emoticons. watch me!

SECOND: i’m going to have a bon voyage party,

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invite your closest friends,

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and ask them to tweet and instagram until your newsfeed is cluttered with:

#bestbreakuppartyever

#pinata!

#whoamigoingtomakeoutwithtonight

#drunk

#imnaked

 THIRD: organize my funeral.

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but really.

now what?

1. save a horse, ride a few cowboys?

2. survive solely on bethenny frankel’s skinny girl cosmos and ben & jerry’s half baked?

and bagel bites?

3. channel your inner-taylor swift and write passive aggressive hate music?

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OR!

even more effective, shout (with 2-day-old mascara running down your face) taylor’s thought-provoking, mature wisdom:

WEEEEE ARE NEVER, EVERRR, EVERRRR, GETTING BACK TO TOGETHER.

you sound really good! and you look really good! no, really.

>>>>>

now.

on a more serious note,

i get it.

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you feel totally betrayed and abandoned and you hate everyone.

and you probably wish you could move on so effortlessly.

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because suffering is one of the most painful experiences in life (besides realizing you’re out of bagel bites).

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you’re adamant about defining yourself a ‘failure’ because the relationship failed.

but let’s honest, there were probably signs that pointed towards incompatibility. things that simply couldn’t be mended.

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preach it, lil wayne.

BUT.

take ownership of that failure.

allow yourself to be humble. ask for a little support.

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when your heart is finally pieced together, you’ll knock it out of the ballpark when it comes to your next relationship(s).

you will find your identity again. your ex didn’t steal it from you, you just became so god damn dependent.

you’ve forgotten who you are.

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i promise, that in this grieving process,

you’ll find bliss inside the mess.

break ups are not for the weak. it takes courage and WILL POWER to face your emotions head on.

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i just ask one thing.

don’t settle.

and keep an open mind.

this is YOUR chance to get it right. go out. have fun. meet all types of people.

because:

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(signed, the post-grad.)

finding happiness, without a set destination.

28 May

do you ever get in your car and just… drive?

miles and miles of unsolicited pavement and unfamiliar exits, white dotted lines and that ominous center divide.

a shuffled playlist with the windows rolled down, each note and lyric, a memory.

some good! some not so good.

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slowly, warmth settles on your dashboard,

the smoggy city air beckons as the hostile enemy to the fresh air you crave.

left hand out the window, it creates energetic waves, parallel to the ground below you.

sun on your cheeks and in your hair,

eyes gaze forward, stretched wide-open.

> > > > >

gas, break, clutch, wheel, mirrors:

the mechanisms to your indefinite finish line.

time doesn’t really matter,

and the rest of the world is distantyet calling—from the confines of your four-wheeled ignition.

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like driving, life is the result of actions and their corresponding reactions.

breaking abruptly and changing gears and switching lanes to get us where we think we’re supposed to be.

circumstances are not-so-pretty road blocks,

unforeseen and usually out of our control.

they challenge our happiness. like ULTRAshitty drivers. and even worse, traffic.

but! at the end of the day (err, the end of the drive?), WE are very much in control of our OWN happiness.

LOVE traffic. WAVE to the asshole tailgating you!

i’m kidding.

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actually. at this point in time, i suggest making the responsible, mature choice:

find the nearest taco bell or in-n-out drive-through.

cool dorito ranch taco with a side of animal fries? 

oh.

looks like i just condoned eating your emotions…

it’s FINE! we all do it.

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okay, okay. before i give up, just one last thing:

on my almost-empty-tank-of-gas drive this weekend,

>>yep, just me and my baby!

my mind was spinning in correspondence to my wheels.

as i drove nowhere in particular, i toyed with the cliché saying that it really isn’t about being the first one to get the finish line.

because in that sense, you’ve sort of missed the entire point.

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finding the thrill in driving somewhere, somewhere t o t a l l y new is much more real.

i promise you’ll find long-term happiness this way, instead of the reckless, temporary satisfaction that comes from always wanting to cross the finish line, first.

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with your hands on the wheel, YOUR happiness is, well, all yours.

every now and then, check your rear view mirror. we take with us where we have been.

but gazing forward will automatically propel you in a NEW direction.

one with adventure and opportunities.

and hopefully plenty of happiness

and more taco bell! obviously.

(signed, the post-grad.)

this time, last year: what i would tell my 22-year-old self.

21 May

a few weeks shy of this time last year, i walked across my university’s graduation stage.

i was embarking on the decade synonymous with the assumption: ‘i better have it all figured out. STAT.’

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trust me, if feeling the pressure to ‘have it all figured out’ isn’t an overwhelming sensation…i’m not sure what is.

i told myself i was supposed to have a set plan. and i put a pretty decent amount of pressure on myself to turn that plan into action.

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i think it all started before i even graduated. i felt the need to achieve. academically. professionally. athletically. socially.

to work part-time and take a full load of classes. to be president of my sorority. all at the same time.

to never cheat. and always act ethically. and avoid drinking underage.

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(no, my parents weren’t hard-asses. in fact, they encouraged me to play just as hard as i worked. and they supported me in my endeavors. and intervened when i needed them. and i’ll always be thankful for their guidance. always.)

but if i told you i never cheated and i always acted ethically and i didn’t partake in illegal drinking and experimenting, i’d be lying.

i mean, newsflash: perfection is torturous! and not even SLIGHTLY realistic. so…forget it.

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sure, i was able to create external results during my college years, but it cost me.

do i regret how i spent my time?

no, not entirely. i learned so much, and i’m proud of what i accomplished.

although sometimes i truly asked myself what the f*** i was doing trying to over-extend myself.

but regret is a stupid thing, really. if we spend our whole lives regretting decisions we made in the PAST, well then, we’re living in the past.

duh.

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at any rate, this last year has been challenging, but totally rewarding.

and a lot of fun.

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so. here are a few things i would tell my 22-year-old self on graduation day:

1. don’t be so hard on yourself, seriously. turn DOWN the volume of your inner-critic.

2. you think it’s soooo motivating to create results. ALL. THE. TIME. but it’s actually completely exhausting. you’re probably doing enough already. really.

3. that do-all! be-all! attitude is incredibly overrated. you will find your purpose. sometimes it’s just a matter of process of elimination.

4. let inspiration be your drive, and let curiosity be your road map. oooh and that was metaphorical of me! and probably just ‘fluff.’ sorry.

5. stop, stop, stop comparing yourself to others. just….stop. you are enough. and people are going to judge you no matter what. what they say is bullshit, until you actually start believing what they say.

6. you know that guy (or girl) that you’re obsessed with wanting to date? don’t force it. it isn’t worth it. if things are meant to be, they’re meant to be. i very much believe that.

7. on that note, you’re going to get over your heartbreak. cry it out. punch something. or someone? take the lessons you learned and move on. you will love and be loved again. that’s life.

8. have a generous heart. that’s how you’ll make a difference in the world.

9. most decisions you’re making are NOT ‘forever’ decisions. choose what feels best right now. these opportunities are a means to an end.

10. and my most recent epiphany: maintain your friendships. they become the family you get to choose.

>>>> and with that, ’tis the season for graduation! GO CELEBRATE.

if i were you, celebrate not having it all figured out.

it’s much more fun that way.

(signed, the post-grad.)

inspired here.

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