I’m in the process of cleaning out my Gmail drafts folder and I found this link tucked away in an unnamed draft from July 2013. I find Thought Catalog to be somewhat insufferable as of late but their earlier (2011 – 2012) stuff contains some select gems. This is one of them and it’s a special piece of writing, particularly since it’s 2 years later and I still enjoy it. Here’s an excerpt:
“You can set an alarm, mark it on a calendar, tattoo it on your skin and still the last time doesn’t need your permission. What you count on is that you have the power to end things, to label people ‘never again,’ to say farewell forever and mean it. What you count on is having a choice. But you don’t, and you’ll know that when you allow your heart to get broken again despite the protests you made and the caution you took.”
Well, it’s happened again. It’s been another year since the last life-altering event that made me ponder aloud: “I wonder where I’ll be a year from now.” That “event” this time being the loss of a job. I can’t even wrap my head around how much has changed. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to process what a year can bring. You’d think after doing it twenty-three times, I wouldn’t be so shell shocked. But, alas, cue the soundtrack of Rent and leave me and my nostalgia be. Here are some things I’ve learned this year:
1) Having money in the bank is vital. I will never again not have a nest egg or outstanding credit card debt. I recently paid off all my credit cards and it was the most exhilarated I’ve felt in months.
2) Don’t be afraid to ask for help. I was always someone who felt like I could do things on my own. I never had a problem asking for help on smaller scale things but I came across a lot of things this year that were too big to battle by myself. Whether it’s needing to talk to a doctor or asking a mentor for job advice, I’ve learned that it’s okay to be weak sometimes. It’s okay to fall down and say, “I can’t get up alone.”
3) Getting your heart ripped out and stepped on has one silver lining: it is a great diet. Getting dumped was a fantastic catalyst for going to the gym and eating better (well, slightly better…). Twenty-two pounds lighter than last year and still workin’.
4) Throwing yourself into your job is so worth it. I lost my best friend this year and that was easily the hardest thing I’ve ever had to deal with. That said, having an awesome company to spend 40+ hours a week in made things seem not so grim. Yeah, my coworkers don’t understand all my quirks just yet but they’re great people and the more I get to know them, the happier I find myself in the mornings on my way in to the office.
5) You can only ever trust yourself. This is a big one and I feel like I’m really only writing this out to remind myself because I so frequently forget it. There’s really no certainty in any facet of life and knowing that makes things complicated. I’ve always been an open and honest person and this year has just strengthened my desire to keep being that person. Between jobs and friends and boyfriends, I’ve learned that there’s always something someone’s not telling you and there’s always things going on behind closed doors.
6) Family is more important than anything else. This needs no explanation.
7) Love yourself. Now I know what you’re thinking. I know this is one of those clichéd #basic white girl things that’s used in fitness videos and tampon commercials. But after spending a year on a roller coaster of emotions, I can safely say that when all is said and done, you just have you. And if you don’t love who you are, how can you expect someone else to? I lost who I was this year. I was lucky enough to have had a very privileged childhood to early adulthood. This year showed me the only first-hand adversity I’ve ever known. Like a cold bucket of water to the face, I’m finally aware of how harsh life is. So, as trite as it sounds, I’m working on finding me again.
8) You have to let things go. This is another one I’m writing more as a reminder than as a thing I’ve newly learned. I feel things on a massive scale and I hold on to them because I love being passionate. I’ve learned this year that you can’t let the things you can’t change get to you because they will eat you alive. As the hardest lesson I’ve learned this year, I’m still working on this but, hey, maybe next year I’ll be an expert.
Posted in Essays, Life, Writing
Tagged a year in the life, advice, awkward, corgi gifs, corgis, essays, exercise, family, gifs, harry potter, harry potter gifs, help, hermione, jenna hamilton gifs, keeping up with the kardashians, kim kardashian, kim kardashian gif, let it go, life, lion king, mad men, office gifs, real housewives, real housewives gif, rent, seasons of love, the office, things i learned, writing
“Well, for fuck’s sake, I’m not cool. And I want to fall in love; I might even want to fall in love with you. I have this tremendous capacity to love and I am drowning in it. With the effort it takes for me to remain aloof and unattached, I am quietly, quietly submerged in this innate and overwhelming need to love. But here’s the thing, I can’t “kind of” love you. I can’t fall “a little bit” in love with you. I am going to love you in a way that is going to warm you, in a perpetual sort of way.”
There are dozens of proverbs and worn-out clichés about how every person you cross paths with in this life – friends, lovers, one-night stands – is supposed to be there. The reasons why they are there are unknown. Are they to teach us a lesson? Are they to help us to grow? Or are they there simply to prove we aren’t alone? Whatever the reason, there are always those people that you come across that change your entire world, if only for a moment. They make you question everything you know or have known and in a flash, they’re gone. These people rattle your mind and leave you opening door after door in search of them but as ephemeral as a puff of smoke, they’re gone into the wind.
Posted in Essays, Life, Writing
Tagged college, creative writing, essays, fraternities, friendships, girls, hannah horvath, hbo, heartache, heartbreak, lena dunham, love, nonfiction, parties, patrick wilson, relationships, solo cups, writing
I’m not afraid to break your heart. I’m not afraid to break anyone’s heart, really. I’m even fairly certain I’ve already done it before. It wouldn’t be too strange to do it again, I suppose. You’ve already broken my heart once before so why shouldn’t I return the favor? I guess because I know I really don’t want to return the favor. I want to keep you and hold onto you with every fiber of my being because, oh god, I don’t want this to end like it did last time.
I’m not putting any weight on this, whatever this is, this time. I’m not going to hem and haw and berate you with things like labels or titles. A title won’t bring you any closer to me and if it pushes your farther away from me, then I don’t want it anymore anyway. I’m trying not to invest myself or jump in too deep because I know what lies at the bottom of this well and I need to stop praying for a soft water landing. There can’t be expectations but, dear lord, you make me want to make a thousand plans for today, tomorrow, and every day after. Continue reading
Posted in Essays, Life, Writing
Tagged 500 Days of Summer, creative writing, dating, essays, fake dating, false love, friendships, heartache, heartbreak, Ikea, life, love, manhattan, new york, relationships, romance, twenty-somethings, writing