I’m not behind, my timeline is just different than yours

I’m not behind, my timeline is just different than yours

I’ve never done things at the same time as other people. My life has always seemed to march to the beat of its own drum. When I was a teenager and my friends were getting their first boyfriends, I still hadn’t even had my first kiss. I remember feeling embarrassed and confused. “Is there something wrong with me? Why am I so behind?”

Ten plus years later and I still feel that way at times. Now my friends are getting married, getting promotions, going to grad school, buying houses. Meanwhile I’m single, starting over in a completely new career, unsure what the future holds. I often wonder if I’m doing something wrong. Those same fears from my teenage years creep back into my mind. “Why am I so behind?”

I have to constantly remind myself there’s no “right” time to do things, no “correct” timeline for my life. Just because other people are doing things sooner than I am, doesn’t mean I’m behind. When I did finally get my first kiss and my first boyfriend, I remember thinking in hindsight that the timing was perfect. It may not have happened the same way, or at the same time, as my friends, but it happened the way it was supposed to for me and my life. Just like my first kiss and first boyfriend, I know all of the things I want to happen in my life will happen for me in due time. I just have to be patient.

Everyone’s timeline is different, and that’s what makes life so unpredictable and beautiful at the same time. Imagine how boring life would be if you knew exactly what was going to happen to you, and when? Where’s the fun in being able to predict, or control, the timeline of your life? Part of what makes life interesting and exciting is how impossible it is to plan what will happen next!

A year ago, or even six months ago, I never would have guessed where I would be today. I had no idea I would make a huge career change to become a preschool teacher. I didn’t know I would be moving into a condo by myself in an area of town I’ve never lived in before (blog post about my move coming soon!) I may not be getting married or buying a house this year, but I’m sure I will have other big milestones happen that I never would have imagined a few months ago. I’m ready for whatever life wants to throw at me! I’m just along for the ride.

Do you ever feel behind? What do you do to help yourself feel better? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. I’d love to hear how you relate to this topic!

What I Love About Being Single

What I Love About Being Single

In a recent post, I opened up about the difficult parts of being single. I’ve noticed those feelings come in waves. I’ll go weeks or months feeling great, and then suddenly get hit with a wave of sadness. And I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling a little more sad this week due to Valentine’s Day, when other people’s happy relationships are plastered all over social media.

However, there are also many things I love about my relationship status. Instead of complaining about the fact that I’m single, I thought it would be nice to make a more positive post and share what I LOVE about it!

I love the chance to focus on myself

I’ve always been a very selfless person, and I often find myself paying more attention to my partner than myself when I’m in a relationship. Being single gives me a chance to focus all my attention on my own wants and needs. It also allows me to discover new hobbies and interests, and really figure out what I enjoy doing with my free time, without worrying about what my partner wants to do.

I love spending more time with family and friends

One of the things that stresses me out the most when I’m in a relationship, is when I have plans with my boyfriend and I have to turn down spending time with friends or family, or vice versa. Being single has given me the chance to get extra quality time with the people in my life, since I have more free time than I do when I’m in a relationship! My family and friends are the most important part of my life right now, and I’m so happy about that.

I love having one less thing to feel anxious about

Relationships, or even casual dating, can bring up a lot of anxieties for me. I’m a classic over-thinker, and I constantly find myself worrying about little things the person said or did, wondering if he is “the one”, etc. Frankly, I have enough to feel anxious about without an added stress of a relationship. Whenever I hear dating horror stories from friends, or have to give advice about their relationships, I often think, “Man I’m glad I’m single!”

I love being independent

If I want to plan a spontaneous vacation with my friends, or decide to make a big life decision, I can do it without worrying about how it will impact my partner, because I am my own partner. Learning how to be okay being alone, and making decisions for myself, has been such a gift for me. I haven’t had the option of relying on a boyfriend for emotional support, so I’ve been forced to learn how to take care of myself and be my own biggest support system. I think this time alone will make me an even better person in my next relationship, because I’ve learned and grown so much.

Were you single or in a relationship this Valentine’s Day? What do you love about your relationship status? Leave a comment and let me know! ❤

Opening Up About Being Single

Opening Up About Being Single

In one of my recent posts, I talked about wanting to be more vulnerable, both in my personal life and on my blog. For me, blogging is all about sharing my experiences and aiming to help others. If I can touch even just one person with my writing, I am happy. Lately, so much of blogging and social media in general has become about this facade of perfection. But that’s just not me. I’m not going to pretend for a second that I’m perfect. I’d rather be authentic and share the real parts of life, in the hopes that someone else can relate to me.

With all that said, today I wanted to write about my experience being single. It’s a topic I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, and I even opened up about it in a Facebook post which you can read below. Yay, vulnerability!

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To give some background, I’ve been single for a little over a year. Before that, I was in relationship that lasted for over two years. This past year I have actually genuinely enjoyed being single. I like having independence and being able to fully focus on myself and what I want. I’m planning to write a blog post all about the perks of being single, because I do feel like there are definite perks. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t difficult times too. As I mentioned in my Facebook post, it can be overwhelming to constantly be surrounded by couples. Though I know none of my friend’s relationships are perfect, as no relationship is perfect, seeing all of them happy and in love makes me covet what they have.

Having been in a long-term relationship before, I can remember what it was like to have someone by your side, and I want that again. I want that person who I can call and vent to when bad things happen, or get excited with when good things happen. I want someone to travel with and experience new things with. I want someone who will always support my dreams and help me be a better version of myself. Sunday morning I woke up thinking about all of these things that I want and that I feel like I don’t have, and then it hit me. I do have those things, just not in a romantic partner. I am really lucky to have amazing friends and family. They love me, they support me, they make me feel more confident in myself, and they even travel with me. Realizing this doesn’t diminish my desire for a romantic partner, but it does remind me that love is not absent from my life.

I’m writing this from one of my favorite Austin cafes, Cenote. I was writing outside, but then I got bitten up by mosquitos and had to come inside. I’m adding this in here because I realized it has a parallel to what I’m talking about in this post. Mosquito bites suck. It isn’t fun to have itchy bites all over your legs. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that I’m having a great night at one of my favorite places, enjoying good food and a nice glass of wine. Sure, I could choose to focus on the mosquito bites and let that ruin my night, but I am choosing to focus on the positives.

Being single sucks. It is not always fun. It can be lonely and make you doubt yourself. But if you look around you and take everything in, you’ll realize there are still wonderful things you can focus on. This past year has given me so many gifts and offered countless lessons. I’ve been able to focus on myself and my goals and dreams, and it has lead to some amazing memories. I started a new job, I’ve traveled to three new places, I’ve made many new friends and reconnected with old friends, I’ve started learning to play the keyboard, and so much more. By all accounts, this has been a great year. And it all happened without a boyfriend by my side.

What I want and what I need are two different things. When I see my friends in happy relationships, I want that. But if this year has taught me anything, it’s that I don’t need that in order to be happy and successful in life. It doesn’t meant that I don’t still want it or think I will have it eventually, because I definitely do. But it does mean that I am choosing to focus on the present and what I currently have, instead of being sad about what is missing.

If you take anything away from this post, let it be this: Focus on the love you have in your life, not the love you feel you’re missing.

 

Finding my voice: a journey to vulnerability

Finding my voice: a journey to vulnerability

I’ve always been a private person, which I know may surprise some people considering I have a blog, and have talked about fairly personal things on here in the past. But generally speaking, I have a tough time talking to people about the difficult things that I’ve been through or am currently going through. I also have a hard time sharing the exciting and wonderful things that are happening to me. I just tend to keep a lot to myself and process things internally.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had to try extra hard to convince myself to share things with people. My earliest memory of this is when I was in second grade, and finally, (after months of her prodding me), admitted to my mom which boy in my class I had a crush on. I can still remember that feeling, of almost sheer panic, as I said his name aloud, as if I was giving away something I could never get back.

Fast forward to my college years, where this pattern continued. I joined a choir my freshman year, and I’m not exaggerating when I say it took me an entire semester to tell any of my friends I was in choir and invite them to one of my shows. About a year later, one of my best friends said to me, “You never tell us anything! I feel like I don’t always know what’s going on with you.” She didn’t say it in a rude or accusatory way, her tone was more of disappointment at the things she was missing out on knowing about me. This has stuck with me all this time, and it’s been a constant reminder for me to try to be better at letting people in.

“It’s very hard to put yourself out there, it’s very hard to be vulnerable, but those people who do that are the dreamers, the thinkers and the creators. They are the magic people of the world.” ― Amy Poehler, Yes Please

Much like my personal life, I think I could stand to open up more with my blog as well. I feel as though you, as my reader, are like college friend, who just wants to truly know me. I want to start letting you in more, to show you the truth of my life, in the hopes that you may be able to relate or at least learn something. I have so many ideas for topics I want to write about, from mental health to relationships, but there’s always a voice in my head telling me “you can’t talk about that. You can’t share that on the Internet!” 

Consider this post my official proclamation that I am going to start ignoring that voice, and start listening to the other voice that’s telling me “Go for it! You have something worth sharing, and people who want to listen.” In the coming weeks and months, expect to learn a lot more about me and the things I believe in. Project Let People In begins….now!

“Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.” ― Brené Brown

Do you have a difficult or easy time being vulnerable with people in your life? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

June Recap

June Recap
SD’s 5th Anniversary in Wimberly: June 1-2
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I kicked off June with a few exciting anniversaries, the first of which being my company’s five year anniversary! I remember when I was an intern and we celebrated two years, so it’s pretty cool to see how far we’ve come since then. Our founder, Kristen, planned a fun getaway for us in Wimberley. We all spent one night there and enjoyed the beautiful views, delicious food and drinks at The Leaning Pear, and good company of course. The picture above is Kristen standing on a bridge over the creek that was right by where we stayed.

Year and a Half Anniversary: June 5th
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The second anniversary I was lucky enough to celebrate was a year and a half with my boyfriend. He asked me to be his girlfriend on December 5, 2015, and I gotta say I am very glad I said yes! This is my first long-term relationship, so 18 months seems like a long time to me.

To celebrate our anniversary, we tried a new restaurant my mom suggested called Chez Zee’s and it was a great night. The ambiance is really cute and romantic, and the food certainly did not disappoint. We will definitely be going back again soon!

Houston Weekend Trip: June 10-12

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The following weekend I made a slightly spontaneous trip down to Houston to visit one of my best friends from college, Lauren. She just moved there from Chicago, and had been wanting me to visit since we live so much closer to each other now. The trip was a lot of fun! We spent a lot of the time playing with two adorable dogs, one of which is Lauren’s bulldog Daisy, and the other was a Rottweiler Lauren was watching named Brutus. In the picture above, Daisy and Brutus were play fighting on the couch. It was hilarious to watch! I don’t have a dog of my own, so I always enjoy playing with other people’s when I get the chance.

When we weren’t dog sitting, we spent our time at Lauren’s pool, trying new restaurants, and spending time with some of her new friends. It was a great weekend!

Plano Weekend Trip for Flag Day: June 17-19

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I had two weekends in a row of short road trips. This weekend my boyfriend and I drove up to Plano, TX for a family-reunion-of-sorts, which was centered around the often-forgotten holiday, Flag Day. Basically Brian’s uncle just built a pool in his backyard and was looking for an excuse to have a party, so he decided they should celebrate Flag Day and invite the entire extended family to join in on the fun. Each person (or couple) was tasked with representing a certain flag, and bringing the actual flag if possible. Brian found the Earth Flag on Amazon (above), so we brought that. I think ours was the most unique, if I do say so myself.

We spent all day Saturday spending time with his family, playing various games including pool volleyball, corn hole, and beer pong, and of course eating yummy snacks. I’d already met a lot of Brian’s family, but it was nice meeting more of them and putting a face to some names. Unfortunately we somehow left that weekend without a single photo, so you’ll just have to trust me when I say it was a blast!

Quantum Leap: June 24-26

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Last but not least, I ended the month attending Quantum Leap, which I mentioned in my last blog College Grad Ramblings: No More Classes. It was a three day event, beginning with a welcome reception at a hotel on Thursday night, where my sister and I met a few new people who were also attending the seminar the next day. The funniest thing that happened that night was when a guy asked if I had a business card, and when I actually pulled one out he seemed shocked and I realized he had been joking. He then asked if he could add us on Snapchat. I’ve never felt more old. Is Snapchat the new networking platform?

Friday we listened to Gary Keller talk all day, and it was very inspirational. He talked a lot about goal setting, and it really motivated me to set goals for my blog. I’d love to grow my audience on here!

The final day was a few hours on Saturday, where we discussed what we had learned on Friday, and got the opportunity to actually write down our goals and how we plan to achieve them. All in all it was a very informative and motivational few days, and I’m really glad I went!

 

That’s it for my June Recap. I hope you all enjoyed hearing about some of the highlights of the past month! On another note, I’m really close to hitting 400 followers on Twitter, so if you have an account go ahead and follow me! I mostly tweet random things I think are funny as well as live tweet The Bachelorette (no shame).

 

Long Distance Relationships

Long Distance Relationships

 

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Hi everyone! I’ve been wanting to write a blog about long distance relationships for months now, and this finally felt like the right time to talk about it. After about nine months of long distance, my boyfriend Brian and I are finally going to be living in the same city again in a couple of weeks and I couldn’t be more excited!

A little background on our relationship for those that are curious: Brian and I went to the same college and were friends for years before we became boyfriend/girlfriend in December, 2014. We had an awesome five months together, and then I graduated in May and decided to move back home. Brian still had another semester of college, so this put us in a long distance relationship for about nine months. Which brings us to today. Brian just got a job in Austin and will be moving here in a few weeks!

Long distance has been very difficult at times, but although I couldn’t be happier that it is ending, I do feel like I learned a lot from the experience. I also think that it made our relationship stronger in a way, because it forced us to learn to have good communication and to never take time together for granted. Because of this, I thought I would share some advice about long distance relationships (LDRs) that will hopefully be interesting or helpful to some of you.

Commitment

Before even considering an LDR, you and your partner need to really think about whether or not it is worth it. The level of commitment the two of you have for one another is one of the most important indicators as to whether an LDR will work out. You need to make sure you care about this person enough to want to end up in the same place eventually. Brian and I avoided the topic of whether or not we would stay together after I graduated for as long as we could, until we finally went ahead and discussed it. We both agreed that an LDR would only be worth it if we were both equally committed to ending up in the same city as soon as possible. We determined that we were, and from there all we had to do was plan to make the long distance as easy and enjoyable as possible.

Communication 

Communication really is the key to a happy relationship, and it becomes even more important in LDRs. Because you can’t see each other frequently in person, being able to still feel connected emotionally can be difficult, and becomes even more difficult if the lines of communication are not strong. For my boyfriend and I, different avenues of communication really helped. Although we texted throughout the day like most couples, we also sprinkled in extra modes of communication such as emails, phone calls, Skype calls (almost every night), Facebook messages and even the occasional letter in the mail. This variety adds excitement and creativity to the relationship. Which brings me to my next piece of advice…

Creativity

Although LDRs are very difficult and may seem impossible at times, there are certain perks. They allow you to utilize different communication styles such as the ones I mentioned above. They also allow you and your partner to use your creativity a bit. Brian came up with lots of fun ideas for how to make our time apart more bearable. On Skype calls we often play a game of Hangman, and make up words and phrases that have to do with our relationship. He also created a crossword puzzle for me, and all of the words had to do with the two of us. Another fun idea he had was to create a Spotify playlist which included all of the songs that have had an impact on his life, from his childhood to present. I loved all of these ideas, and I really think that they allowed us to stay connected in a unique way. When I was missing him I could turn on the playlist, or take a look at the crossword puzzle he made, and it was sure to put a smile on my face!

Compassion

Lastly, I want to talk about the importance of compassion. Understanding your significant other’s needs and feelings is very important. If they seem extra stressed or irritable one day, it is likely not your fault and may very well be stemming from the fact that they miss you and wish that you could be together in person. Listen intently when your partner talks to you, and make sure you are giving them everything they need emotionally to be able to continue with the relationship. They may need you to communicate better, or open up more about your feelings for them, or even try your hand at being creative. If there is not a good foundation of compassion in the relationship, I don’t think it will stand a chance.

 

Well, there you go! Those are my top four categories that I think are important to remember in long distance relationships. I’d love to hear your opinions, advice or personal stories about long distance relationships or just relationships in general, so please leave your thoughts in the comments below! 🙂

Why I Hate #Goals

There is a new trend I’ve seen lately, which is the use of the word “goals” (often used in hashtag form with a word in front of it) in association with people (often celebrities). For example, I have seen countless comments on Instagram saying “#relationshipgoals” for pictures of celebrities, friends or YouTubers and their significant others. I have also seen an even more disturbing trend of “#bodygoals”. Why am I calling this disturbing? Let me explain.

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There is no denying that we live in a society where worshipping celebrities and coveting things about their life or appearance is common. Magazines are constantly bombarding us with tips for how to look more like Celebrity X, or how to obtain Body Y. Many people tend to get far too wrapped up in articles like these, thinking that if we only drank the juice blend that our favorite celebrity drinks, or copied the exact workout that she performs daily, we would magically become her. But obviously this is not the case.

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A goal, by definition, is: the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result. In my opinion, making the object of your ambition a person is very damaging because it leaves no possible positive result. We will constantly be disappointed because there is no way to actually achieve this. Our boyfriend will never be the exact same as our favorite YouTuber’s boyfriend. And our body will never look the exact same as our favorite celebrity’s. Is it really fair to place an unattainable goal on ourselves and expect to achieve it? Why not focus on setting goals that are unique to what we actually believe we can obtain?

For example, instead of making someone else’s body your “goal”, why not set a goal to work out a certain number of times per week, or to get your body back to how it looked a few years ago? The key here is that both of these goals have to do with you and not someone else, and thus are attainable with hard work and effort. And if you think someone else’s relationship as perfect, why not take a look at your own relationship, and decide on specific ways you and your partner could improve, separate from how you perceive the relationship between two strangers to be.

In a nutshell: try to focus on yourself, not others. You will never obtain someone else’s body or boyfriend. You will, however, obtain your individual goals if you set them to be obtainable for you. When goals are centered around yourself and your own life, rather than someone else’s, they have a much better chance of being accomplished.

Hope you enjoyed this blog! Like and comment to let me know if you agree with my annoyance at the #goals trend on the internet. I would also love to hear some positive goals you have set for yourself!

 

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