I Woke Up Like This

So I didn’t post yesterday. Eep! I’ve been very good about posting every weekday and keeping up a schedule and routine. But yesterday I just could not think of anything to write about. I was feeling very uninspired and didn’t want to write anything just to write.

Since I was feeling uninspired yesterday, I turned to something that normally perks me right up: music. On my commute home from work I listened to the best, most empowering and inspiring music I could think of.

Beyonce.

Listening to Beyonce always puts me in a good mood. I listened to ***Flawless on repeat a few times and felt a surge of girl power and self-worth. Hell yeah I did wake up like this! Whenever I’m feeling lazy or unmotivated or helpless I like to remind myself of an important fact: I have as many hours in a day as Beyonce. If she can accomplish everything she has in her life, if she can be as amazing as she is, if she can be such an incredible role model and hard worker, then damnit so can I!

So everyone listen to a little Beyonce today and be as inspired and motivated as I am!

Bad Mood Slump

I am in the worst mood. Literally. The absolute worst mood. Like you probably shouldn’t talk to me today kind of mood. Any sort of request you make of me today will immediately irritate me. Make one statement and it could easily set me off.

And I have no idea why.

Nothing extremely bad has happen. No major fight or event or bad news. I just woke up on the complete wrong side of the bed this morning. My cat was bothering me at 4am. I thought today was Friday when it’s actually Wednesday. My roommate made a comment that got under my skin. My pants are too big. My phone was malfunctioning. My boyfriend said something that pushed my buttons. Coworkers are making small, but silly requests.

All of this adds up to me being a walking ball of negative energy. And I don’t know how to shake it. I don’t want to feel this way. I hate feeling this way! I would do anything to snap my fingers to get rid of this negative energy. But I can’t.

If I hadn’t been at this job for just under 2 months I would have taken a sick day to get my head in the right frame of mind. I would have slept in. Watched Netflix. Treated myself to Starbucks. Just had a lazy day where I didn’t have to interact with anyone and mentally get my head straight. But I can’t do that either.

So now I’m struggling to force myself into a better mood. While sitting at my desk. I can’t listen to music. I can’t go for a walk. I can’t flip through a magazine. All typical things that would make me feel better. But I can’t do them.

I needed a solution.

So I went into the bathroom, looked in the mirror and smiled. I smiled a real, genuine smile. I smiled til my cheeks hurt. I really felt that smile. I felt the joy and happiness that smile is supposed to represent. And I let that smile carry me out of my bad mood. As crazy as it sounds, smiling actually did bring me out of my bad mood.  I’m feeling better, more positive, and less dragged down by the monotony of every day life.

It’s true what they say, a smile really can change the world, even if it’s just your own.

So I Guess This is Growing Up

I was talking on gchat with my best friend from college this morning (at work, #guilty) and we realized the last time we had our group of 5 from college all together was back in February. I honestly was shocked at this realization since it didn’t seem like so much time had passed since our solid group of 5 had been reunited. Earlier this month, we had tentatively put on our schedules to reunite December 6th (and yes we had to plan 4 months in advance for this). And even with so much leeway in planning time, there is always the chance life will get in the way (one of my friends is planning to move to Paris for 6 months! Eee!)

Thinking about how it is so difficult to get us all together is a bit strange. We were together almost constantly in college. We all lived together in an apartment senior year, which honestly could have been a disaster, but was really the best living situation ever. To go from being with each other almost 24/7 to not getting us all in the same room for nearly year is just plain weird.

But not uncommon.

This is the sad, but real truth about growing up. You move away from your friends. You have your own jobs, your own responsibilities and your own lives. Getting 5 girls all in one place for just a few hours, let alone an entire weekend becomes a nearly impossible feat.

The mark of a true friendship however is being able to pick up right where you left off. When you can see each other for the first time in months and it feels like nothing has changed. You haven’t even missed a beat. When you’re in distress or upset you can still call them up out of the blue and they will be there for you no matter what. Even if you haven’t seen each other in what feels like ages.

These are the types of friendships to cherish. These are the people you will want in your life forever.

One of my personal goals as of late has been to show more appreciation to those important to me. Your friends and family are truly the most important things in your life. More important than jobs, blogs, projects, money, etc. Life certainly will get in the way, but it is so important to prioritize seeing those people you so often cannot see. Even if it’s just once a year. You have to decide what’s important to you. If making an effort to see these distant friends is important to you, then you will make it happen. It will be hard work, you may have to sacrifice things in other parts of your life, but isn’t anything worth doing worth some work?

So make time for your friends. But it’s okay to accept that things will be different than they were. Life goes on. People grow. It’s about adapting to those changes and making the necessary changes to still feel connected to the people in your life.

Being Yourself vs. Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone

Be true to yourself. Isn’t that classic advice? It displays itself in many forms such as love yourself, be yourself, don’t try to be anyone else, etc. But then you also seem to get advice like the best things in life happen outside of your comfort zone and don’t be afraid to try new things.

When you think about it, these two pieces of advice seem to contradict each other. If I’m being true to myself that means I would rather stay home with my cat than go to a party. But if I’m following the other advice, I should go to that party because it’s out of my comfort zone and that’s apparently where the magic happens.

I do believe both of these ideas are true. You have to step outside your comfort zone in order to make things happen. But also you need to know who you are and what you truly want your life to be about. So how do these two somewhat conflicting ideas come together?

Honestly I’m still trying to figure that out myself. If I’m being really truly honest, I do not enjoy going out to clubs or bars anymore. In college, yes definitely. But now, not so much. I would much rather have a relaxing night in with some wine and Netflix. Or go for a walk by the river or stroll through town. Or go to a quieter, less crowded bar, sit down and have a few craft cocktails. Pregaming, going to an overly crowded bar, taking shots and dancing the night away are just not for me anymore. For the most part I do not find that fun.

But I have friends who still enjoy doing those things. I could turn down every invite they give me to go out with them and instead binge watch Scandal, but then I’m missing out on time with my friends. If I’m being true to me I would rather stay in, but if I’m trying to step outside my comfort zone I should go out to the bar. So how do I reconcile these two ideas?

I try to find a balance. I will go out with friends sometimes. It might not be my favorite night ever, but I will have some fun, get to see my friend, and do something different. But there are nights where I truly just want to have a quiet night. I accept these nights occasionally as well. If I can find the middle ground between being myself and pushing outside of my norms, then that’s a good place to be.

How do you find the balance? When do you decide it’s a good idea to go outside your comfort zone?

Advice for College Freshman

I’m going back to my parents’ house tonight so I can spend some time with my little brother before he heads off to college next weekend! He will be a freshman at DePaul University in Chicago. I am so, so happy and excited for him. College is an absolutely amazing experience and some of the best years of my life. I met my best friends in college. I met my boyfriend in college. I made some of my favorite memories in college. College seriously was the greatest.

But that first semester was ROUGH.

I was homesick all the time. I didn’t know anyone. I was shy, scared, and freaking out.

If only I knew in those first few months what the rest of my time there would hold for me. If I knew then what I know now, my first semester at college would have been so. much. better.

So here is a little advice from me to you college freshman, things I wish I knew when I was going to school for the first time.

  • Social media lies. Do not believe those posts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. People will say how much they love college. They will post tons of pictures with all their new friends. They will act like they don’t miss high school at all. They are lying. They are putting on a front because they think everyone else loves college too!
  • Everyone is freaking out. People will put up a front not only online but in real life too. My college friends and I continuously say we wish we talked about how we were feeling with each other. We wish we told each other how much we missed home and how awkward things feel in the dorm. Do not be afraid to talk to the people around you about how much you miss home. They are feeling the exact same way and you will be able to commiserate together.
  • Join clubs! Most schools have an activity night within the first few days of school where all the clubs on campus set up tables so you can get more info about them. Go to this! Sign up for the emailing lists so you know when the first meeting will be, and actually go to the first meeting. And go to the second. And the third. Clubs are a super amazing way to meet new people and make new friends. Find something that interests you and stick with it, even if the people you originally signed up with stop going. Upperclassman notice when you show up consistently to meetings and events and they will take a liking to you, trust me.
  • Don’t go crazy. My friends and I still tell stories about people on our freshman floor and the dumb stuff they did while drunk. We still laugh at them. Do not be the person who pees on the floor in the dorm (it literally happened). That stuff will follow you forever. Be reasonable. Stay safe. But still have fun.
  • Find a routine. College is weird. You have a few hours of classes a day and that’s it. Then you choose how to spend the rest of your time. You can even choose not to go to class (always go to class. Seriously. Always. Go. To. Class. You will thank me later). With so much freedom it can be easy to push off work and spend time making friends instead. Don’t fall into that trap. Create a routine for yourself. Find some time during the day to study and get homework done. Even if it’s only an hour here or there in between classes. Then you won’t feel as guilty when you participate in a floor-wide game of Heads Up in the common room that night.

Do you have any other advice for college freshman? What was your college experience like?

The Journey Towards Your Dreams

We all have dreams. They could be to start your own business. Move to Europe. Join the PeaceCorp. Buy a house. Get a new car. The list goes on and on.

And wouldn’t it be nice if we all had fairy godmothers like Cinderella who would come and grant us our wishes. Our godmothers would come down and grant us the means, the mind, and the funds to allow us to make our dreams come true.

But we don’t have fairy godmothers (sad but true). No matter how hard or long we think about our dreams they will never come true. Not without a lot of hard work.

There’s a quote from Dawson’s Creek (#guiltypleasure) that I love.

“Dreams come true, not free.”

Mull over that one for a second. Dreams really DO come true. They do not have to stay dreams forever. If you want something you CAN make it happen. But dreams do not come free. Dreams take sacrifice. They take blood, sweat, and tears. They take tons and tons of hard work. There will be days when the stress gets to be too much. There will be times when things seem impossible. There will be moments where you question why you are doing this in the first place and may just want to give up.

But don’t.

There is a reason this is your dream. There is a passion there. There is a deep-seated desire. There is the faith that you know this is what you want. That you know this is what’s good for you.

You need to push past those moments. Throw away those worries. Remind yourself why you are doing this. Give yourself fully to the journey. Because in the end your dreams are just half the glory. The other half is knowing you gave your all to get there.

Think: How Can You Define Yourself?

Obviously by the name of this blog I am interested in the definition of who I am. I recently overheard my roommate talking about how she has always defined herself against external situations or relationships. A lot things she used to define herself in life her have recently fallen away and she has been left wondering, who am I?

I brought this idea up to a friend of mine and we started discussing if we were able to define ourselves. In very simplistic terms I can. I’m a female. 24 years old. Administrative assistant. Daughter. Girlfriend. New blogger.

But I don’t really feel like these terms truly define me. There is a bigger idea than just my job, age, or gender. Even bigger than what I do in my free time or who I am to other people.

How I define myself really can’t be put into words. At least not easily. I think the definition of a person, or least how I would like to define myself, is based on how I see life. How I deal with it. What I want from it. How I approach situations. My outlook.

For a long, long time I was unhappy with who I was. I felt lost and confused. Life seemed like this horrible, huge monster that I struggled daily to understand and deal with. If someone asked me 3 or 4 years ago, could I define myself, I certainly would have answered no.

But as my blog name would suggest, I feel like I am able to define myself to an extent now. No, I cannot put the definition of Kelsey into words. But I feel an inner sense of purpose. I feel comfortable with who I am. Life doesn’t seem like the scary monster anymore.

Do I want to make some changes? Of course. Life would be pretty boring if everything stayed stagnant. But the good thing about personal definitions is they can change.  I feel good about where I stand now, and I have ideas for my future. And knowing I can fully take on the challenges life has to present me, well that’s the best definition there is.