All in Life

How Contact Lenses Changed My View of Life (Literally & Metaphorically)

I’m very quickly overcome with the urge to see it all. I begin to fret over all of the things I’ve likely missed—glances exchanged between strangers or friends, the Grand Canyon could have been even more breathtaking, the intricacies of veined leaves on trees, paths I should have taken, missed moments where I could have made an impact.

I wonder how often we miss things or take things for granted and how much of a difference approaching each day with a fresh lens could make? I wonder also why I hadn’t made this decision sooner?

FROM THE ARCHIVES: The End of 23

Twenty-three has been the hardest year of my life, straight up. And I say that with zero melodrama and with the common sense that there will be years ahead that are worse and years ahead that are better. I know many of you can relate. Maybe this is just our early twenties, or maybe this is just life—this pendulum swinging between the dark and light, wandering and arriving, wondering and knowing, grief and joy. 

You Don't Have to Starve

I remember coming home from college that summer. My hands were shaking and my laundry was dirty and I echoed with emptiness. An emptiness that was so expansive I wasn’t sure if I would ever feel full again.

I was finally realizing what everyone else had been trying to tell me; something was wrong. I was fading fast, and it wasn’t normal; this anxiety and need to control everything from my breakfast to what the person in front of me was thinking.

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.

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.

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.

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.

When Silence Tries To Tell You Something But You'd Rather Avoid It

Yesterday I challenged myself to take the entire day off—no work whatsoever, not even checking my email; social media, obviously, was a huge NOT TODAY SATAN. Laundry, errands, cleaning: a firm no. But from the moment I settled under my blanket on the blue chair with my coffee, I felt an intense urge to scrap this idea of no work and get busy anyways. It was as if my “no” to work suddenly ignited in me a rare motivation to straight-up OWN my to-do list. But my planner remained closed on my desk, taunting me with all the things I could be doing, all the progress I could be making. I had plans with friends later in the afternoon, but the whole morning was mine. What was I supposed to do if I couldn’t work?!

FROM THE ARCHIVES: A Time to Reassess

There are things about myself I wish I could change. Not in a dramatic, self-hatred kind of way: largely, I’m pretty happy. But there are habits and tendencies that I wish I could just shake off. I wish I was more disciplined, stuck at things when they’re hard. I wish I trusted my voice more. I wish I was more compassionate, went out of my way more to love people. I wish I went outside more and watched Netflix less.