Quarter Life Crisis?

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24 in a nutshell – I am currently reminiscing about the past 12 months. My 24th year of life was  a roller coaster to say the least. It began with one of the worst weeks of my life, but after coming to terms with certain revelations that had been made, I learned I needed to make the most of my time here and the time I have with the people I love. 24 was a year of many ups, downs, highs, lows, tears, and laughs. There were times I woke up content and at peace with my life and other times where I wanted to crawl into bed and hide from the world. This year has been one of growth: personally, mentally, and emotionally (even physically, but we shall get to that later). I made new friends and said good-bye to others.  I had the opportunity to experience so many new places! My first time in Paris, my first time in London, my first time in California, my first SOLO trip to Miami. I have been to hockey games, baseball games, basketball games. I have gotten to go to see Jay-z & Beyonce, Ellie Goulding, the 1975, Ed Sheeran, Katy Perry, John Mayer and more. I have fallen in love with new places, made amazing memories with my family & friends & have learned a lot about myself and this world we live in. The most important realization I had in the past few months is, it is the memories that matter, not the material things and the memories are what I have begun to focus on. I want to thank my family, friends, random people on the street, coworkers, dancing folks on the subway and New York City, for providing me with a book full (not kidding I have a book full of ticket stubs, etc.) of memories I will cherish forever.

NYC – At times it seems as if it is the worlds most inimidating place and at certain moments, it is. You can feel as if you are lost in a sea of millions of people, but that encourages you to stand out, make a name for yourself, accomplish your goals, and do things you would never be able to elsewhere. Growing up I had a great life in a small town. While home will always have my heart, I realized that living there can be a bubble, even though I love going back to that bubble when the city overwhelms me. If I had stayed there, I would not have this job that has granted me so many opportunities, I would not be able to walk out my door and be immersed in such a cultural masterpiece, I would not be able to stumble into my apartment at 6 am, try a new restaurant every night, go to exhibits on weekends, attend sporting events and concerts whenever I feel because they are two stops on the subway, attend one of the many festivals the city offers, develop daily crushes on strangers on the subway, and just have once in a lifetime experiences. New York City is an incredible place, it brings out both the worst and best in everyone. It challenges you to figure out who you are, what you want, and why you want it in a few short weeks. It is a place for growth and self  discovery & I really love this city with all of my heart.

FAMILY – 24 has been a year of horrible first dates, great first dates, having my heart broken, mood swings, self discovery, hair cuts, HORRIBLE hair cuts, gaining weight, losing weight, ups, downs and everything else in between, I have gotten through this roller coaster of a year with my family. I had been dreading 25, because I felt as if it meant my life was passing by too fast, and you know what it is. Just yesterday I was 16 with braces, scaring the shit out of my parents with my learners permit. Now all of a sudden I am 25. Everyone around me is growing older too and that I have come to realize, is the scariest fact of all. It puts things into perspective and makes you realize it is important to cherish every moment and spend time with those who love you and you love the most. The things I used to dread doing with my family when I was a stubborn 14 year old, are memories I now cherish and look forward to! I would give up any night at the bar to spend a night at home, watching movies with my mom, even though she falls asleep five minutes in. I would rather go on dinner dates with my dad, than with some random guy, one because my dad picks some good restaurants, two because I can order whatever I want, and three because my Dad is the bomb. My dad and I have standing weekly dinner dates and they are what I look forward to after a long day at work. Even though my sister and I are polar opposites and she texts me only once in a blue moon or when she needs advice, I actually like being able to be the one to give her advice because even though I am only three years older, those three years make a huge difference. I used to never care about holidays, but now they are what I look forward to. I absolutely love Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve, because they are an excuse to get the whole family together, have some drinks, eat some food, and just have some laughs.

LOVE – My family began to get on my case about my love life a few years ago, asking why I am being so picky, when will I have a boyfriend, when will I get married, when will I have kids because “the clock is ticking”. You know what, a year ago (hell, even a few months ago) I freaked out because people started getting engaged, were in serious relationships & there I was all by my lonesome. Now, I am happy for those who are in relationships, but I am also happy for myself. I realize that yes I am EXTREMELY picky when it comes to men & out of all the dates I have gone on this year I have found something wrong with every one of them, but I know what I want and I am not ashamed. I have not been in a relationship in three years & I am perfectly fine with that. To be honest, being single is one of the best things about my life right now. With my job, this incredible city, my family, my friends, I do not have time for a relationship & am not ready to give up my life as selfish as that seems. Sure I will keep going on dates, but I guarantee I will find something wrong with them too. When the right guy comes along then yes, maybe I will settle down. But for now, I am enjoying going on dates, meeting new people & hearing their stories even if it leads to nothing. And through these dates I enjoy discovering things about myself that I never knew.

HEALTH- At 23, I was diagnosed with a metabolic disorder and while it is not life threatening, it has changed my entire life and the way I have to live it. It alters my mood, my weight and many other things. I have seen a bazillion doctors, had countless amounts of bloodwork done, and have been to a nutritionist because apparently I can only eat leaves and cucumbers.  It is both really easy to be healthy in this city and really hard. There are an abundance of gyms, fitness crazes, healthy restaurants, health food stores, active things to do, and on the flip side there are amazing Mexican joints, boozy brunches, happy hours, great Italian food, and plenty of reasons to skip the gym when the opportunity arises to go out and do something fun. It is a constant struggle to find the balance. I do not feel 100% healthy at the moment & that is something I hope to change this year. I have begun to change my life slowly and because I am stubborn beyond belief, it is proving to be a challenge. Baby steps people, baby steps.

25- 25 is here & I honestly cannot believe it. I am going to go into this year with a positive outlook & I am going to say yes to everything. I am going to get my life together, my health together and make myself an all around better person because I feel you can never be done trying to improve yourself or the lives of others around you. While yes, I am scared about hitting that quarter of a century old mark, I plan on embracing it, and everything that comes with it. I plan on making even more memories, meeting new people, strengthening relationships, and making the most out of every second I have. When I was 16 I thought by 25 I would be established, be engaged or married, living in the suburbs, getting ready to have a family. While my 25 years did not go as I had hoped at 16, at 25 I hope my next 25 years are just as wonderful and spontaneous as my last. Everything happens for a reason, we are exactly where we are supposed to be in our lives, and that is a fact because one thing is for sure, I am laughing at my 16 year old self. There is NO way I’m ready to move to the burbs, get engaged, or have a family at 25…maybe at 35?

We shall see 🙂

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24 Things I Have Learned In 24 Years.

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1. It is not about the quantity of friends you have – Really the only thing you need besides family of course, are a few close friends who always will have your back, there’s no need for fake/useless friends…in the past year I have cut a lot of them out of my life and you know what, my life has been 110% more amazing.

2. Get some ZZZ’s – Sleep will keep you young, it will keep you going. Those all nighters are a thing of college past. My current bedtime if not a weekend is usually 10 pm, Grandma status and I could not love it more.

3. Metabolism is not magic – I go through phases. Sometimes I am on a crazy health kick and others I buy all the Cheddar and Sour Cream chips out of the vending machines in my office. You only have one body, eat healthy, workout, meditate, cleanse, cherish it.

4. Be passionate about something – whether it be art, music, working out, fashion, find a passion you can call your own.

5. Take risks, don’t always do what is expected – take an unexpected job, move to a new country, town or city, get a puppy, take unexpected trips, do something wild.

6. Move to a different city – Everyone should live in New York City at some point in their life. It forces you to look closely at who you are, what you want, and why you want it.

7. Be humble – self explanatory.

8. Graduating college is not the end all- I remember graduating and thinking my life is over…but now I am starting to realize it has only just begun.

9. Save money but also spend money – Some days I wake up and think “OMG how am I going to afford college for my kids” and other days I wake up thinking “I really want those shoes”. Just go with the flow. Save a little here spend a little there, it will all work out.

10. Everyone else is winging it too, don’t sweat it. – Seriously though. I do not have a 10 year plan…not even a 1 year plan, everything falls into place.

11. You have to stop explaining and start doing. – You don’t owe people your time or energy so they can validate what you feel. There are few things that you actually have to justify doing, go out, do not care what others will think and just live.

12. Travel as much as you can – Growing up I traveled to the most generic (but amazing places) with my family. After working at my job, I realized how much the world has to offer and I plan on spending my $$ to take me to those places.

13. Develop your own personal style – Do not let others influence you, take risks with your fashion, it is the only way you’ll figure it out. Vintage stores are incredible oasis of style, no one else will have a piece you have and you can make any outfit your own. Fashion is a way to say who you are without speaking in the words of the always wise Rachel Zoe.

14. Learn to cook – Buy recipe books, test recipes out, fail miserably at some, excel at others. Practice makes perfect. Note to everyone – do not try to boil pasta in a microwave *cough brianna cough*

15. Seriously, do not sweat the small stuff (still trying to teach myself this) – I get severe anxiety over the smallest things, whether it be a restaurant reservation, planing a weekend with friends, a missing bikini, the little things stress me out. Be zen, do yoga, relax.

16. The most important things you’ll ever learn will come from someone with a different outlook on life than your own – Listen to others. Every single person has a story. Every single person can teach you something new about something you know nothing about. And every single person can teach you something new about yourself. You just have to be open to it.

17. Make a bucket list – As cliché as it sounds, just write one. Even if it only consists of a few things, you will feel remarkable when you can finally cross something off you have been wanting to accomplish.

18. Fall crazy in love with someone who treats you like dirt – DO IT. It will teach you what you deserve and how you deserve to be treated. You need to get your heart not only broken, but crushed, stomped on, and ripped to pieces. It will suck, but it is necessary, you will find yourself never wanting the “bad boy” again.

19. Your parents really do want the best for you – My 13-17 year old self would laugh at this statement. When they give you advice… listen. When they tell you not to do something… listen. I remember thinking at the time “ugh my parents are soooooo annoying, they never let me do anything” but now I just want to bow down at their feet and say thank you.

20. Slow down.  Really, though.  SLOW. DOWN. – I was 16, getting my permit, and my braces off yesterday, and now I am 24 with a job, an apartment, and responsibility in the blink of an eye. Just enjoy the ride, one day at a time.

21. Home truly is where the heart is. – the ocean breeze, the smell of the salt water, the roar of boat engines, the feeling of sand between my toes. NOTHING will ever compare to home.

22. Your family is your family. They are your people. In the end they will be the ones who have your back no matter how idiotic or stupid something you do may be.

23. Your SAT score, your grades, your freshman seminar biology class didn’t determine your destiny. You did. – I remember crying hysterically because I missed the Boston College SAT score by 50 points, you know what, I went to an amazing college, met amazing friends, graduated and got an amazing job. If i could go back in time I would tell my 17 year old self to shut up and stop worrying, you have the power to go out and do what you want to do and make yourself into anything your heart desires.

24. Make sure you collect a book full of experiences and memories – Go out make memories, fill scrapbooks, fill photo albums, save ticket stubs, save anything you wish. These little mementos, when looked back on, will remind you of the experiences you once had, no matter how small and meaningless they seem at the time. Travel the world, try a new hobby, go to dinner with friends, spend time with family, in the end experiences not things are what truly matter.