Tag Archives: family

How Do You Measure A Year?

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:

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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.

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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.”
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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’.
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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.
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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.
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6) Family is more important than anything else. This needs no explanation.
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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.
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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.

Shaking, Not Breaking

When it comes to natural disasters, New York has fared pretty well over the years. She comes out with minor scrapes and bruises but mostly, she keeps her good looks. Maybe it’s because she’s very urban or maybe it’s because her inhabitants are as strong as well-fed oxen. Whatever the case, it takes a lot to shake her. Today, New York has faced her first real threat in a long time and she goes by the name of Sandy. Dubbed affectionately as “Frankenstorm,” Hurricane Sandy has been tearing up the east coast since earlier today, this October twenty-ninth. While I have no clue of the full damage she has incurred, I hope for everyone’s safety and strength through these next few days. I’ve been fortunate enough to not have had any harm inflicted on me but Sandy has turned my life upside down in a different, not quite bodily way that is scary, enlightening, and informative all at the same time.

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Comforts of Home

When you leave home for any extended period of time, it’s known from the start that you’ll miss it. Maybe you won’t miss all of it but you will miss pieces of it, fragments here and there. These morsels of comfort don’t appear as you expect either. They crystallize in the puddles on foreign grounds, manifest on the faces of strangers, and ruminate in the smells of unfamiliar foods.

Perhaps food is the biggest trigger for desiring home; that hankering feeling stems from the stomach first. It stabs suddenly and is almost painful but it isn’t. It complicates all senses and immediate activity, making you question what it was that you were doing and why you were doing it. It’s that ineffable emotion that leaves us wondering, when we are home, bored, and safe in our beds, why the feeling even comes at all.

As much as I want to deny it, I do miss home but it’s not that I want to go back right now. It’s more that I miss the goings-on at home. I have a major inability to overcome the fact that other people’s lives still go on even when I’m not with them. I just wish I could have pressed “pause” on all aspects of my life at home – people, especially – and hit the “play” button as soon as I returned but life doesn’t always appease wishes now, does it? I just find it extraordinarily baffling how I can be having such an incredible experience here and yet still feel as though I’m missing out on things. And I know it’s because I am missing out but they’re always such silly, trivial things – birthdays, parties, school functions, movie openings, etc.; things that don’t mean much when you’re in attendance but feel crushing when you’re on the outside looking in. Granted, those moments are usually fleeting because by the time I’m ready to break out the ice cream and the Adele playlist, I’ve usually mentally slapped myself and said: “You’re in Europe, stop being a martyr and go enjoy this amazing experience. You’re an ingrate.” My conscience can be quite the snarky bitch sometimes.

All in all, I’ve come to learn it’s part of the trade – one life for another. You can’t try something new without leaving behind something; be it a person, a place, a feeling.  And yes, sometimes it’s not always the greatest decision to leave what you know but sometimes, it’s the best one you’ll ever make.  So, while I miss dinner at my grandparents, the fluffy face of my dog, my ridiculously comfortable bed, Chipotle, crazy nights with my friends, and most of all, my parents, I know they’ll be right there waiting for me when I get back. No more rushing my time and no more wishing I was elsewhere for everything we know, my friends, is temporary.