All in Life

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.

FROM THE ARCHIVES: It Doesn't Have to be Forever to be Good

Have you ever done that thing, where you see someone cute from across a room and before you’ve so much as exchanged names, you’ve pictured all the ways they’ll make you fall in love with them before they eventually break your heart, and then all of a sudden they’ve picked up their coffee and left the building before you even said hi? I am a master of that game.

Words of Comfort

Through my studying and teaching, I am reminded about the importance of words. We study words and better ways to use words so we can become better people. When we build our lexicon, we are better able to express and communicate. Words are our survival tools. Words are for formulating that speech in the shower that you wish you said to your friend the other day. Words are for practicing our retorts for tomorrow. Words are for empathizing and spreading kindness. The best part is that we have so many words at our disposal in our minds and in our books.

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.

6 Tips for Renting Your First Home

Dealing with landlords can be a serious game of chess. In my first rental home, I didn’t tend to the daily maintenance that was required on my behalf and karma came for my roommates and me when it came to moving time. We were required to give the rental a deep clean before we moved out, which we overlooked in the contract. Since we didn’t tend to these areas throughout our time living in the house, it required much more work than if we had.

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.

Make An Effort: 5 Things I Learned About Keeping Friendships After College

About a year ago, halfway through my senior year, one of my friends who had just graduated said, “Maintaining friendships in post grad life is hard, but it’s all about making an effort.”

I believed this at the time but I was still in denial that I wouldn’t be as close to my best friends as I was in college. How could everything change so quickly? Would all of the effort we had put into these friendships these past four years just go to waste?

FROM THE ARCHIVES: Learning to Be

The amount that I miss college has grown vast and visceral these days. The new school year started on the same day that I started my job, and it felt wrong to be running to catch the subway when I should have been running to class. I don’t have my friends around to ground me, to remind me of our four-year and forever home. I used to find God at nighttime Mass, on service trips, in philosophy discussions; without those elements at my fingertips, I’m restless. My nostalgia is beyond what can be prettified by an Instagram filter; it’s heavy, and lonely, and I have felt inexplicably and irrationally isolated in bearing its weight.

Go At Your Own Pace

I know I’m not the only young person in this situation. So many people in their twenties, sometimes thirties even, are completely unsure of what they want to do with their lives—myself included. I’m used to hearing certain thoughts creep into my head, such as, “Why am I even here right now? Shouldn’t I have my own apartment, a job, and some sort of really amazing, glamorous life by now?” This especially happens after I see updates from my friends (and former classmates) on Instagram, Facebook, the whole shebang.

The Year of No Bullshit

A dozen times, so far. That’s how many times I’ve been there in 2018 as I write this—so, on average, once a week. And with margaritas between us, I’ve listened to friends put words to heartbeats: fears of being disposable, fears of falling behind in careers, fears of making mistakes, fears of commitment, fears of vulnerability. All broken, fearful hearts shared over reasonably-priced Mexican fare.

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?”

FROM THE ARCHIVES: On Making Decisions When You Are Afraid LITERALLY Always

I fear more than just speaking up in a coffee shop. I fear doing anything that may be slightly risky to my physical health, like white water rafting (trying to buy concert tickets when they go on sale is enough adrenaline for me, thank you very much). I fear disappointing the people around me – friends, family, co-workers, and anyone who has crossed my path ever, really (getting honked at is a truly sad occasion for me). I fear making decisions of any sort because WHAT IF I MAKE THE WRONG ONE?! (Cue the panic attack.)

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.