Archive for the ‘the 20-something view’ Category
“But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.” ― George Orwell, 1984
I’m starting to realize how much power words can have, and, more importantly, how much power they don’t have when you choose not to use them.
I’m a dweller. I dwell on things. It’s the one thing that as I grow older I’m continuously trying to work on. I especially dwell on people’s words. The things that people say to me. Which is obviously really silly for a number of reasons!
Especially in a world where we are constantly communicating virtually. Now a days words are so often taken out of context. For example, we all have that one friend who over analyzes every text message her crush sends her wondering what he possibly could mean when he texts her, “What are you doing?”
As a now 26-year old “adult,” I’m really trying to work on lessening my load, so to say. As in not carrying the burden around of other’s words and their negative thoughts about the choices I make. In the past, I have always had a pretty care-free attitude, but after getting dumped, changing careers to start from the bottom of the barrel and moving across the country I think I lost some of that edge/ self-esteem I had when I was once drowning in what many would call an overly comfortable zone.
I’m not making excuses! In fact, in order to focus less on other’s words I’ve tried to come up with some guidelines that have recently proved helpful and, not surprisingly, greatly improved my overall mood throughout the day:
1. Don’t repeat the negative things someone says to you. It does no good to relive the moment and the negativity that some person may have caused you over and over again.
2. Don’t try to understand it. This is another thing I’m constantly trying to do, to rationalize everything. “Why would someone say that?” “How could they do that?” Etc. At the end of the day we will never understand why people say or do the things they do. Humans are funny creatures.
3. Don’t purposely talk about the negative things in your life. I find it so easy to complain about my job or my apartment or my family. Though it’s often harder, it’s so much more rewarding to find the positive things in those situations. Or, if that’s too difficult, which it can seem impossible at times, find something else positive to talk about.
“The Golden Rule,” as my first grade teacher used to say, is: “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”
She was a wise, wise lady. Funny that at age 26 I’m still trying to learn what I was taught at age 6.
I first heard of this awesome little group years ago. My sister went to school with one of the incredibly talented members of the band. I liked them back then, but that was when I was more in a heavier rock stage of my life, not that I don’t still love heavy rock.
Anyway, last time I was home my best friend and I somehow ended up in my sister’s car having a serious dance party to this jam…
I don’t know if it’s the timing of where I’m at with my life, the memory from having so much fun with my sister and co. that night, the fact that Big Tree now resides in SF or the humble happiness the music creates, but I absolutely adore this song.
In this song you can individually hear how each musician contributes his/her talents to the song and yet when you listen to them all together it makes for an even more powerful tune.
In so many ways this song reminds me of moving to California. Yet, it doesn’t make me long for the way my life was when I first put my foot on the gas to leave the East coast. Instead this song acts as a reminder to me that this is the journey. Through the ups and downs life remains so beautiful.
As I’m about to turn 26 I try not to look back. It was a rough year to say the least. I finally feel like I’m at the end of such a dark chapter of my life.
When I came back to San Francisco from Portland last weekend I felt like I was coming home. This is where I’m supposed to be. I have no idea where I’ll be a year from now, nor do a dare venture a guess. To quote the writing on the inside of my Grandma’s memorial service program, “you learn to build all your roads on today because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans and futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.”
Moving to California didn’t turn out how I ever imagined it would, yet I know I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. This song has a fabulous way of reminding me of that.
Recently I’ve been continuously occupied. Whether it be with having fun with friends, working for the agency, working for my other client, reading/learning or contemplating some potential big life changes, I’m finding after a few days I have to stop, recharge and focus on me. Because ultimately, I’ve found that when I do that, all the other things, be it work or play, seem to improve and become that much richer experiences.
Here was number 6:
6. Get to Know What you Truly Enjoy
Take a moment today to make a list of 10-15 things you enjoy doing on any given day. My list might include sipping hot tea at the end of the day, bringing home an arrangement of fresh flowers or cooking a favorite meal while sipping a glass of wine at the end of the week. Now, try to incorporate at least one of these enjoyable activities in every day of your life. Simply having something to look forward to each and every day can improve the quality of your life.
I started mentally making a list the other day. Here’s what I came up with…
On any given day I enjoy:
- Music: pretty much any genre from new indie to classical piano to Louis Armstrong.
- Dancing (I’ve recently started having mini, solo 5 minute dance parties. They generally involve lip-synching into a hairbrush. INCREDIBLE mood enhancer.)
- Red wine (ESPECIALLY when accompanied by cheese)
- Drinking coffee and reading the New York Times in the morning
- Taking 5 minutes to read “#WhatShouldWeCallMe” when work gets too stressful
- Writing in my journal
- Reading a good book
- Watching a hopelessly romantic movie
- Calling my dad and making him laugh
- Running by the ocean
- Taking photographs
- Telling someone I love them, and truly, deeply, genuinely, meaning it.
- Lying in the sunshine.
Well, that’s my list! I’m now making a point to mix up this list and take the time to do AT LEAST one of these things every day. Actively setting out to make time for it makes it that much more enjoyable when it arrives.
What’s on your list?
Yesterday was one of those days where I woke up excited for the moment when I could get back in bed. Never a good sign. The past month has been go, go, go and it doesn’t appear to be slowing down any time soon. That being said, it’s really making me enjoy those moments I do get to just decompress.
Last night consisted of several of those moments. I couldn’t have been more content all cozied up in my over-sized Patriot’s tee with a cup of peppermint tea catching up on my favorite reads.
One of which is Verily, a great blog for any woman who is interested in style and class and enjoys thought-provoking, well written articles.
Anyway, one of the recent posts, was about Dr. Brill’s obituary in the New York Times. The post by Monica Gabriel starts out as follows:
“Alarms of sexism rang out across the twittersphere last week, as the New York Times scrambled to recover from the unexpected onslaught of furious chirping. The Times obituary on deceased rocket scientist and inventor, Dr. Yvonne Brill, began by describing Brill as a woman, a mother, a wife, and—the gravest offense—a good cook.
‘She made a mean beef stroganoff, followed her husband from job to job and took eight years off from work to raise three children…. The world’s best mom,” her son Matthew said.’
The writer, Douglas Martin, makes mention of Brill’s professional accomplishments in the third sentence:
‘But Yvonne Brill, who died on Wednesday at 88 in Princeton, N.J., was also a brilliant rocket scientist who in the early 1970s invented a propulsion system to keep communications satellites from slipping out of their orbits.’
As I read past the offending two sentence lede, I wondered who was really being censured as sexist last week. Was it the male obit writer who used Brill’s femininity to reduce her professional achievements? Or was it the proverbial messenger who was silenced for telling the story of a woman who wanted to be remembered as a mother just as much as she wanted to be remembered for her professional accomplishments?”
I really like Gabriel’s questioning as to who is being sexist in this instance.
When did it become a negative thing for a woman to WANT to be a mother? To put your children and your family BEFORE your career?
This is something I personally have struggled with. It has always been incredibly important for me to become successful. It is equally as important to me that one day I get to experience the joys of being a mother. One day being the keyword. In no way shape or form am I ready to take on that role yet! Still, I have often struggled with that desire and felt guilty for wanting to be a mom just as much as I want to have a successful career.
I feel as though there is pressure in our society to not want those things. That some people think a woman who would choose family over a career is not strong or smart. When in fact, I think just the opposite. I think it takes a very strong, caring woman to put her family first.
I am all about being able to have both. I think, as a woman, you most certainly can have a successful career and be a phenomenal mother. Dr. Brill is proof of that.
The furthest phrase from my mind today. Although as I get older I get better at attempting to keep perspective. The new music is really helping. Seriously if you haven’t given it a try yet, just do it.
That being said, naturally, since I’m leaving tomorrow, I’m stressed out. What’s the temperature? What should I wear? Do you wear black to a memorial service? Who do I need to see? When’s the bus? Did I schedule enough content for our clients through the weekend? How’s my grandfather doing? Several of the thousand questions running through my head at a mile a minute today.
After work I went for a pretty hard run to get some of that stress out and just smell the Pacific.
Why do we stress? It’s so not worth it. Preemptive anxiety about leaving, about a big event; it’s so silly. For we don’t know until we get there and we only have this moment so screw worrying about the ones that might never come. Right?
I was beautifully reminded of the joys of just living post my run this evening when sitting down to peruse my Twitter feed. I came across a tweet from an old acquaintance , Guillaume Marais. Guillaume was a tour guide turned friend on one of my many adventures in South Africa.
Anyway, his profile further directed me to his website of absolutely incredible photographs from all about.
You have to go to his site and check out the rest of the images. They are absolutely incredible and instantly brought me some much needed peace. Hope all is well, friend!
Like a true nerd, I came home post the gym last night to listen to a webinar on social media while eating my overcooked broccoli and salmon, which strangely tastes the way running by the water back in Maine smells. Cooking fish is a new thing for me. Life sure is different from say a year ago.
Recently I’ve been freaking out, per usual, about what’s next. I have a REALLY hard time with just being in the moment in terms of my work. I’m working on it but I just have all this stuff in my mind going on about what I’m doing compared to what I want to be doing. Furthermore, I always seem to come back to the question, “What DO I want to be doing?”
I know that I don’t want to settle. I’m not someone who usually settles for anything. That’s the stubbornness I inherited from both of my grandmothers, may they rest in peace.
I don’t want to just have an okay job where I can just pay my bills and then have fun on the weekend and go on a vacation for two weeks out of the year. I want my life to matter. I want it to mean something. Ya ya ya, doesn’t everyone? What does that mean anyway?
Well, it’s different for everyone. For me it means that I lived up to my potential. I felt fulfilled. Satisfied. To further explain, satisfied to me means that I did something good for someone. Not that I made a lot of money. Not that I became famous. But that I made a difference in someone else’s life.
When I was younger I wanted to help find the cure for AIDS by writing about it so much that it would get people’s attention to change it. I wanted to travel the world and write about those so much less fortunate than us so that people would do something about it. Those were my naive dreams once upon a time.
While dreams and ambitions change I think it’s good to keep those things in mind so that we don’t lose sight of who we are. Because maybe, just maybe, those dreams of our youth, those uninhibited dreams where we still believed anything was possible are really the ones that matter. I don’t know.
Am I’m saying where I’m at with my life is not good enough? Or that I’m not grateful for how far I’ve come? Absolutely not. I find I’ve come a tremendously far way, in fact, when I quickly glimpse back I stumble at the idea of just how far I have come. From those dark days of being 16 confused and heading down a scary path to where I am now is an incredible journey. Yet, I feel I have so much further to go and most days don’t feel that sense of satisfaction I crave.
But where to?! and how?! I want the answers! Naturally, in a society that’s so used to getting everything with the click of a mouse I tend to have less patience.
Relax. I know I won’t get these answers over night. I also know that the better you become at just being in the moment, living it and being content the more those answers may present themselves, or maybe it’s just about not needing the answers at all. The questions in my head are seriously endless.
Anyway, I think I’ve created a balanced two-step plan that will prove to help. It just dawned upon me this evening while listening to the webinar and it sparked such an intense idea that I naturally wanted to write about it.
Here it is…
One: Take time in the day to enjoy the moment. A moment, a few moments. Just bask in them. Be grateful because they go by so quickly.
Two: Do something that intellectually stimulates you. Read a chapter in an interesting book, listen to a webinar about social media, read a well written article of interest. Make sure it is something that challenges you to think or reexamine a perspective you have.
No one is going to tell us to continue to challenge ourselves, our view our perspectives, we have to do that and I think we have to do that for our own sanity. For our own unique, individual sense of peace, love, happiness and respect.
I was recently introduced to Haim, a group of sisters who formulated the band in LA, CA years ago but never became all that popular until their music exploded on the UK scene. Their music video for their latest track, “Falling,” already has over 739,000 views.
The few popular tracks they have recorded have exploded all over YouTube. I’m telling you, these girls are in the process of taking over the indie music scene. I’ve been following them on Facebook and it seems that almost every day they have added more tour dates, including this year’s Bonaroo music festival.
The sisters, who look like they just walked out of an American Apparel store at all times, are extremely talented and have incredibly unique voices.
While seemingly just another indie girl band embodying all that is “hipster” these days (even their music video has what we might call an Instagram filter over it). They are incredibly talented and are so much more than a style. I was absolutely convinced of this when listening to the acoustic version of their “Go Slow” track.
All of their songs have this 80′s feel to them that make it all too easy to dance to in your chair at work while your coworkers look at you like, “What the?! It’s 10 am on a Tuesday.”
Whatever, I totally dig their sound. Furthermore, as a 20-something girl always trying to find meaning in life’s everyday adventures and constantly stumbling and learning from the falls, the lyrics are very relatable.
“Don’t stop, no, I’ll never give up
And I’ll never look back, just hold your head up
And if it gets rough, it’s time to get rough
They keep saying
Don’t stop, no one’s ever enough”
Over the past few weeks my family and friends have shared many words of advice, of love, of wisdom and of encouragement. None of them asked for but all appreciated knowing they come from a deep place of love.
I adore quotes. As a writer I guess I would find inspiration in words. While I’m fond of quotes and love to infuse with my life with words of wisdom from others, I’m also a firm believer in finding your own path, your own words and your own way.
That being said, I’d still like to share some of my favorites over the past few weeks. I find I keep turning back to them at times when it seems the going gets rough and I start to falter.
Hope you enjoy!
“To lose balance sometimes for love is part of living a balanced life.” ~Elizabeth Gilbert
“And so Janus did close a gate
with a resounding thud
as one face looked East
and the other looked West
towards the light-
Always towards the light.” ~ from a sympathy card
“It’s still two human beings trying to get along, so it’s going to be complicated. And love is always complicated. But humans must try to love each other, darling. We must get our hearts broken sometimes. This is a good sign, having a broken heart. It means we have tried for something.” ~Elizabeth Gilbert
“There comes a point in your life when you realize:
Who never did,
Who won’t anymore,
And who always will.
So, don’t worry about people from your past, there’s a reason why they didn’t make it to your future.” ~unknown
” ~Irwin Edman
“Everything you need to know is within you.” ~ my aunt.
“This too shall pass.” ~ everyone always in a bad situation
The following was something my mom found in my Grandma’s papers a few days after she passed…
After a while you learn the subtle difference between holding a hand and chaining a soul and you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning, and company doesn’t always mean security.
You begin to learn that kisses are not contracts and presents are not promises.
You begin to accept your defeats with your head up and your eyes ahead with the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child.
You learn to build all your roads on today because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans and futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.
After a while you learn that even sunshine burns if you get too much, so you plant your own garden and decorate your own soul instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.
You learn that you really can endure,that you really are strong and you really do have worth.
You learn and you learn, with every goodbye you learn.” ~Veronica A. Shoffstall
~All little mediations I’ve been focusing on from a book about Eastern wisdom.
Last, but not least, a quote that has shaped me, in many ways, to who I am today.
“And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.” ~The Beatles.
My sister wrote it in a notebook when I was still in 8th grade. I thought it was so cool. I wrote it everywhere. In people’s yearbooks on the inside of my desk (sorry!). It just made so much sense to me. If I were going to get love, I would first have to give it. Despite how sometimes giving love only turns around to hurt you when it is easily dismissed, it is who I am. Instead of trying to change or love less, I have to embrace it.
One year ago today, I started the Leiter Side of Life in a post titled, “I wanted to write…”
In a blind leap of faith and excitement I set out on a quest to find more happiness and a sense of accomplishment in my life.
What’s so bizarrely ironic is that I found that, a lot of it, and lost a lot more. How far I’ve come is dulled by how much I also lost. Two of the strongest women in my life, the physical closeness of my family and friends and the man I thought I would spend forever with, my best friend.
I’m told that’s what growing up is and becoming a stronger more beautiful person and that life is never fair.
I guess I believe that, but honestly, some days I just long for the naivety I once possessed and the faith that everything will work out. It was so much more fun.
Still, I wouldn’t trade a second of it. Life is so beautiful even in the painful moments. I think that’s why I love piano music so much, and the ocean. They both can accurately represent sadness and phenomenal beauty at the same time, among other things.
I’ve been thinking for the past week that my ability to love so easily is a flaw. What I realized is that I was applying it to others, but I wasn’t applying it to myself. They say we are our biggest critic. That is most certainly true. It’s easy to judge ourselves and unbelievably difficult to forgive.
Looking back on the past year I made some big mistakes mostly caused in times of overwhelming emotions. Bigger than the mistakes, however, were the successes.
I went from being an unhappy waitress confused about where my life was going, to becoming a succesful and important part of an advertising team in downtown San Francisco. I write every day of my life and love every thing about that. It took a tremendous amount of discipline at times but was fueled by a strong desire to take control of my own happiness.
I learned another valuable lesson, however. That your career can’t bring you everything and it will never be who I am, it’ll always just be what I do.
My family and friends are incredible. Without their love and support I never would have made it through the work days.
Enough looking back though. Goals for the next year?
Write EVEN MORE Love myself a lot more. Stop letting my heart make all the decisions. Sign several new clients at the agency. Tell my friends and family I love them more. And have at least 5 minutes of pure selfish fun every day.
There’s a reason I used the term “leap of faith” at the beginning of this post. A dear friend of mine sent me this quote the other night and I feel it sums up much of my journey over the last year and also reminds me to keep moving ahead.
“There’s a reason we refer to ‘leaps of faith’- because the decision to consent to any notion of divinity is a mighty jump from the rational over to the unknowable, and I don’t care how diligently scholars of every religion will try to sit you down with their stacks of books and prove to you through scripture that their faith is indeed rational; it isn’t. If faith were rational, it wouldn’t be – by definition – faith. Faith is belief in what you cannot see or prove or touch. Faith is walking face-first and full-speed into the dark. If we truly knew all the answers in advance as to the meaning of life and the nature of God and the destiny of our souls, our belief would not be a leap of faith and it would not be a courageous act of humanity; it would just be… a prudent insurance policy.” ~Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Prey, Love
Today’s post comes a little late. After the heartbreaking loss of my grandmother on Thursday, my savior in many ways, and then some other setbacks this weekend I’m just getting to my Friday post now.
This photo was taken in the midst of Hurricane Irene in September of 2011. I think? I am not a very photogenic person, but I adore this photo of myself. It reminds me of a very fun day spent running around Fort Williams in the wind. There was something so liberating about being out in such tumultuous weather and not being able to do anything about it. It was warm and windy and yet we were running around acting like kids, playing tag, watching the waves and swinging.
I love this photo because it captures just how free and happy I felt. Nothing mattered but how high I could get on that swing. I was laughing the whole time.
I really need to swing more.
Year 25 has probably been the hardest for me. I’m actually really excited to be 26, I know you shouldn’t wish to be older but I’m just tired of the loss and enduring life lessons. I know it’s part of growing up, but I’m ready for my quarter life crisis to be over. Luckily May is only a few months away! I plan on spending the next few months getting back to that free and happy self.