Waiting for Happy

For my entire life, this has been my dream. Freezing cold, sitting on the roof of my apartment, staring out at New York City in all its glory, at 2 o’clock in the morning, listening to Billy Joel. It really, truly does not get better than this.

But at the same time, it could.

Because there’s something that no one tells you about getting your dreams: Sometimes, it’s not what you thought it would be. Because sometimes, dreams change.

To The In Between

I am writing to inform you that I have decided to accept your offer to stay here for a to-be-determined amount of time. I’ve decided to occupy the space that you’ve provided me with here because it seems I have no other choice. I’ve tried my hardest to get out of this space, to crawl and dive and roll my way out of this weird and uncomfortable living situation. This is worse than any bad roommate I’ve ever had, for the record. I’ve tried to avoid giving people this address when they ask “what are you doing with your life?” or “where are you now?” because I quite honestly haven’t bothered to memorize it either. Every time I think I’m moving out and I’ve convinced myself this is it, I fall right back on my ass and am reminded, abruptly (and painfully if I must say so myself), that it is not my time.

Surviving the Pink Slip

But what happens when climbing the ladder of career success suddenly comes to a halt? How do we respond when your 5 year plan is thrown a curve ball in the form of a pink slip and a cardboard box? No one tells you how to process the words you will never forget, “It’s not working out; we’re letting you go.” I will tell you from personal experience, nothing can top the feeling of failure like being let go without warning.

Life Is Messy

Life is messy. A few weeks ago, as I fell asleep with my sister in bed beside me, this thought played through my mind: life is oh-so messy. For all of us. No one is spared hardship or heartache or challenges. We all have something. For some, the weight, the battle, the uphill climb is greater than others.

Before You Burn Your Bridges

I interpreted the advice I received as an excuse to heartlessly cut people and lifestyles out of my life. There were no calm conversations to be had. There were no apologies to ask for. There were absolutely no explanations. Instead there were subtweets, ghosting, and a whole lot of judgement. If you brought negativity to my life by way of gossip or lifestyle differences, not only did I not want you around, I passive aggressively let you know about it through the grapevine.

Cultivating Community in Post-Grad Life

I work about an hour away from where I live, so finding those same connections has been discouraging at times. I cannot tell you how many Google searches I have done for “young professional groups near me,” “young adult singles ministries,” and every variation you can think of only to find myself hours later with no better answer than when I first unlocked my phone.

The easy route that seems so appealing because it requires no effort is to simply wait it out—wait for the “right” people to fall into your lap. But not making a decision is a decision in and of itself. I have found that looking for brand new, unfamiliar territories right off the bat can be daunting and intimidating, especially for an introvert like myself.

The Value of Boredom

When we devote our time to something, we are asking it to shape us. In the best case scenario, the time we spend in-between things on Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, Snapchat, etc. isn’t wasting the time we allotted for work or gym or pleasure. But even if it’s taking up only the in-between-time, it’s still shaping us. And beyond shaping us, it’s making it more difficult to focus on the worthwhile when the worthwhile becomes boring.

And the worthwhile is more boring than sexy.

Don't Hold Back

I walked out of the interview how I had walked out of high school: Discouraged. Lost. Uncertain of the future. I had built up the idea of the flight attendant career so much in my head and after waiting three months to get there, it was completely different from what I had expected.

On Letting Other People's Opinions Define You

You see, I knew I had the potential to create something impactful. I’ve fought through my own darkness and have sat with enough friends in the thick of their mess to know that there is a whole army of people who need to know they are not hopeless and they’re fine just as they are. But whenever I took any steps to bring it to reality, I would get shut down by fear and sent back to the depths of YouTube.

Surviving the First Two Weeks of A New Job

Work-wise, that first week, I was given what I was told were "simple" and "basic" meetings to attend and assignments. I had no idea what was going on, how to pull these reports, or even what the heck my boss was saying half the time. I'd sit in meetings and feel like a child at the adult table during Thanksgiving.

Learning to Loosen Your Control on Life

I like to have things mapped out and know exactly what I’m working toward. I prefer to weigh out the pros and cons and then make one rational decision after another. For as long as I can remember, I’ve kept endless to-do lists and goal charts. And to be honest, that’s worked pretty well for me. Until after college, when the possibilities were endless and nothing seemed to go according to plan.

Having an image in my mind of how I wanted my life to be and then having things play out very differently inevitably led to a lot of anxiety. My self-critic became debilitatingly loud.

FROM THE ARCHIVES: Making Time for Yourself

I’ve allowed myself to fall into this routine that is toxic to my personal productivity. And I’m the type of person who cannot be fully satisfied from just work, I need to see advancements in my personal life to feel a real sense of accomplishment. But lately, I’ve spent every free moment thinking of all the things I need to do and dreaming up all the things I want to do that I don’t leave myself enough time to actually do them.

Rebuilding: An Invitation to Hope

There’s not much I remember about this year of my life. I remember sleeping a majority of the time, and crying almost all of the time I was awake. I remember having to run out of classes and meetings because I was crying and painfully anxious and I remember being holed up in my dorm room, literally fearful to open the door and exit the space. I thought I had known Rock Bottom from previous years and experiences. But this was it: the lowest I had ever known.

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?