All in Dreams

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.

FROM THE ARCHIVES: What to Expect When You're Expecting (to Graduate), Part II

In the first post I wrote for this series I talked about not wanting to leave Nashville after I graduated at the end of this semester. I talked about my fear of losing comfort and the home that I have built in a city I didn’t have to be convinced into adoring. I even emphasized the point by writing three times in italics—I don’t want to leave. I don’t want to leave. I don’t want to leave. When I went back to read this post five minutes ago, I almost laughed out loud into my mocha.

Since I wrote that post I have decided to stay in Nashville and the voice of fear that screamed loud about not wanting to leave screams even louder about not wanting to stay.

I don’t want to stay. I don’t want to stay. I don’t want to stay.

FROM THE ARCHIVES: What to Expect When You're Expecting (to Graduate), Part I

It’s 7 pm. The white Christmas lights that are lined with postcards from my semester abroad and the ones that are wrapped around my headboard are twinkling against their respective walls. There are two kittens curled up on top of each other at the foot of my bed and I have set up camp in the chair that barricades me into my “reading corner.” I just finished a short story I was assigned in creative writing that dug its claws deep down into my writer’s soul and as I type a Bath and Body Works candle spits fumes of vanilla marshmallow out into the air.

I don’t want to leave. I don’t want to leave. I don’t want to leave.

This Is What 25 Feels Like

I told a table of friends the other night that I haven’t yet had a crisis about turning 25. I am an ambiguous dreamer, not a future goal setter, so I’ve never had a picture in my mind of what 25 would look like. I didn’t necessarily think I would be married or having babies (Lord have mercy) or hitting certain career milestones by the time I hit my mid-twenties, so I didn’t feel like I was coming up short when I blew out my candles this past December.

Self-Deception Is The Worst Deception

All of these self-deprecating thoughts caused me to have an extreme amount of stress and anxiety during the entire semester. I made each assignment more difficult than it actually was by reminding myself that I was not smart enough to do the work, which resulted in a ridiculous amount of late nights in the library and all nighters.

FROM THE ARCHIVES: What You Should Know About Waiting

Over coffee one weekend, my friend poured out her thoughts in the vein of frustration with her first full-time gig after college. Her angst was stemming from the general discontent of routine and the initial feeling—3 weeks in—that her job was meaningless and seemingly dead-end.

As I listened, I felt the ping of familiarity with these sentiments—feeling discontent with the present and frustration of waiting for the future.

She asked me, “How long does it take for this to go away?”

The Lives We Won't Live

I like to write out what I imagine my dream life looking like whenever I’m facing a time when I find it hard to stay excited. Remind myself to prioritize the things I truly desire, invest my energy in the things that will transfer joy back to me. Tonight, in my leggings and my bathrobe, holding the mug of steaming green tea that burnt my tongue on the first sip, I curl my legs up on my kitchen countertop. Sit in silence with a notebook and pen.