Baby Steps: The Power of Yes and Breaking Out of Your Comfort Zone

Since taking that first step, I’ve made the trip back to speak in numerous classes and even at other events. Yes, the introvert in me still needs plenty of time to recover after public speaking. But every time I went back to campus, it got easier. With every step—every time I said “yes” when I wanted to say “no”—I gained momentum.

That’s another great thing about baby steps: every step you take builds momentum—stamina to keep going, strength for the journey.

FROM THE ARCHIVES: When You Want to Do Everything

In all seriousness, though, I felt like I had transported right back to where I was my senior year, caught in the in-between of trying to hold on so tightly to those last few months of my life as a student, and looking so forward to venturing out of it. But it brought back that old familiar, restless feeling—the same feeling I had when I got back from London, and when I first moved here—of wanting so many things and trying to figure out a way to make them all coexist.

FROM THE ARCHIVES: Finding the Happiest Hour

Between stressing for Walter White’s father-of-the-year-campaign and my ambiguous job future, the happy hours continued. I have the utmost appreciation for these friends that took me out of my own darkness and enjoyed a beer or two. We treasured our three dollar drinks, our pita and chips, our half off cocktails, our half off wines, our chances to escape the pressures of “do you have a job yet?” and the looming student loan emails. The bitter hops of a summer ale washed away our problems, reminding us that if Emily Blunt and John Krasinksi found each other, we too can find jobs and futures that welcome us wholeheartedly.

FROM THE ARCHIVES: It's Okay That People Leave

It’s okay that people leave—I think that’s something we rarely hear anymore. Our emphasis so often heads toward the dramatic. Big fights, long-distance forgetfulness, regrets and bitterness over something that used to fill you with so much sweetness. But then there are the people who just left, or maybe you left them. Your lives took you in two different directions and you drifted.

The Problem with Broken Expectations

Last winter, as I hid under a blanket and bemoaned the graveyard that is modern dating in the city of Nashville, Tennessee (where every boy is contractually obligated to include in his I-don’t-actually-want-a-relationship script: “But I think you’re really cool!”), I told Chelsey that we should just stop having expectations altogether. Because rarely are expectations met, so why bother having them in the first place? I figured I could protect myself from any future disappointment by kicking expectations out completely. Expect nothing, I argued to her.

FROM THE ARCHIVES: Mountaintop Moments

Removed from the college bubble and re-planted in a new life, the field is wiped clean again. I have to again make a real, conscious decision about where I fit in and how I stack up. There seem to be metrics in place for who’s “winning” post-grad—high-power job? committed relationship? best apartment? coolest city?—but there’s no prize. New York is enormous, and social media is a daily tidal wave, and there have been days when I feel so small.

FROM THE ARCHIVES: Redefining Failure and Moving Forward

It’s been six months since I graduated from university and if I’m perfectly candid, it’s been a rough ride. People keep telling me that it’s okay to not know what you’re doing at this stage in life. “You’re so young, take time to figure it out!”

I have been told some variation of that statement hundreds of times since April. As reassuring as it is to hear, I haven’t felt content with what I’m doing since I was in school. I miss writing every day. I miss being challenged, studying, learning new things and that fly-by-the-seat-of-my pants adrenaline rush I get anytime I’m working under a strict deadline. 

FROM THE ARCHIVES: What the Hell is "The Dream" Anyways?

I will never forget the night leading up to graduation that I had lain in my apartment crying and texting my brother about not wanting to celebrate my accomplishment. I had been through interview after interview yet had nothing to show for it. I felt like a failure. My parents and I had both invested so much money in this dream of mine and here I was, two weeks from graduating college and only having a part time job paying barely over minimum wage to show for it.

Looking for Life

Our deserts will look different—a job loss that flattens you, credit card debt that seems endless, a family drama that has yet to resolve, a breakup that breaks you, an addiction that controls you, a depression or an anxiety that plagues you. Deserts can look so much like a place of despair.

FROM THE ARCHIVES: On Finding Your Calling

On the greyest of days, my decision to take the comfy corporate job felt like a step back in the career I never had; a red mark on my shiny post-graduate résumé, previously filled with all things English major-y. And it was in the moments of restlessness that I couldn’t help but wonder… Did I sell out? Did I give up on my dreams too fast? Was I wasting my talents? My forty thousand dollar education?

Was it all for nothing?

Imperfect, Not Failing

Typically, if I know something is going to be imperfect I will probably not do it. Or, the second something starts revealing its imperfections I dip out. Relationships, goals, Wednesday night yoga—if I am standing face to face with imperfection I will use it as an excuse to distance myself from whatever the thing is. Because if imperfection means failure, and failure means making a fool out of myself in front of the whole world that is obviously watching and judging my life (I’m looking at you, Yoga Wizard behind me at the 6pm Vinyasa class), I need to get out of Dodge before shame and the opinions of others get some pitch forks and angry-mob-style force me out.

FROM THE ARCHIVES: A Letter to the Recent Grad

I took graduating really hard. Like, really hard. I left school having absolutely nothing figured out with absolutely no answers, and spent most of the summer crying to my parents and denying the fact that I could no longer get dollar drinks at the bar (one of the rudest awakenings about post-grad life…). I felt lost without my friends, without the walls of UNH that protected us all so neatly, and without my identity as a student.