Man I’ve missed writing. There’s something about sitting down and organizing all my thoughts in words that is vastly therapeutic. In the past, I’ve kept diaries, online journals, tumblr blogs- the whole lot. But so far, Urban Mermaid 603 is the only one that just feels right.
So where have I been for a month?
Have I run out of content to post? Hell no, you should see the various sticky notes in my planner and desktop with ideas for posts on clothes, beauty, food, life. So if I have things to write about, why have I neglected my beautiful little blog that maybe no one but my mom reads??
Truth is, your girl’s been overwhelmed.
The end of June (the last time I posted) left me facing a few issues
(1) I was still jobless
(2) I had full blown post-grad depression
(3) My plans for independence were foiled
(4) My body/health was not as on track as I hoped
I had been trying my best to either improve or ignore these things, but couldn’t shake the anxious pressure in my center chest or the stress-breakouts on my cheeks. My optimistic attitude was being challenged and I was feeling less and less like myself every day.
Now, the timing of these issues fell perfectly into that certain time of the year where I like to reflect on myself/my life…. NATIONAL HOLIDAY: MICHELLE DAY, AUGUST 7TH!!
Screw New Year’s
Just kidding, I do like New Year’s resolutions. But we’re talking about Birthday Reflections people!! I am actually unsure how long I’ve been doing this, but for the past x amount of years, I like to reflect on the past year of my life once I reach a new year of life.
Although this sounds completely obvious, unoriginal, and self-explanatory… I find myself an introspective genius!! One day, people will say, “She was brilliant! She chose to reflect on her OWN new year! Not our calendar new year! A true visionary!”
Please, hold the applause.
My classic format of reflection is usually:
However, since my end-of-June life issues seem to line up almost perfectly with my necessary bday reflections, I’m gonna try something a lil’ different here : ) BOMBS AWAY
Issue #1 // CAREER
I’m pretty sure I’m going to write an entire post on its own about the woes of post-grad job searching and how it makes you question your worth as a human, so I’ll keep this one pretty short.
While stumbling through job boards and countless resume revisions the past couple months, I seriously questioned what the f*ck I wanted to do with my life. I think up until graduation, I had convinced myself that I knew… but when it came down to it I was quite lost. I had an interest in the fields I got my degree in (psych and justice studies), but I had a ton of sales and management experience from past jobs. I had many options and few options at the same time.
Just when I was starting to feel hopeless, *boom* random recruiter e-mail in my inbox turned into a phone conversation turned into a web interview turned into A JOB OFFER BABY!! Quick synopsis: its a sales position that seems super dynamic and interesting, and I start in a week. It’s not quite the location I wanted, but it’s close enough and expansive enough for me to be happy.
TAKEAWAY: Jobless shouldn’t mean hopeless. It’s okay to not know what direction you want to take your life in, and it took me some time to accept that. Honestly, I’m still working to accept it.
GOAL: Abssoooolutely kill it at this job. Impress everyone, even myself. I think I’m most excited to put my energy into something other than my current summer tasks (best time to tan, what to eat, what to do at the gym). Oh, and if it doesn’t work out, don’t let it bring me down too hard; just keep pushing forward.
Issue #2 // FRIENDS
This issue is a two-fer. Is that how that would be typed? Two-fer? I mean like two-for-one… ah, whatever hopefully you know what I’m saying, I’m not checking google.
Post-grad depression includes a LOT of things, but I find my particular diagnosis focuses heavily on the adjustment of my social life. I’ve talked to some of my friends about this, and a lot of them are experiencing a similar feeling (so I’m not nuts).
On one hand, I miss my college friends. I miss living with them as my roommates, being a short walk from any of my other friends on campus, going to the same bars every night, random adventures, etc. There was a predictably and a life that I had built over 4 years… and it was comfortable as hell. Graduating and moving out of my college apartment, that’s comfort dissipated.
On the other hand, though, I’ve got my friends from home. Friends from childhood, high school, old jobs, whatever. Lifelong, dependable buddies… who I’ve been in and out of touch with since being away at college. Don’t get me wrong!! I love my friends from home and I could go months without talking to them and still feel like our friendship was tight. But, I knew when I moved home that I couldn’t expect their lives to stop and open right up for me when we were both so accustomed to my 48-hours-or-less visits home. So its been an adjustment all around.
I lied. This is a three-fer.
More broadly reflecting on the last year, I feel its also important to include the biggest thing I learned about friendships since my last birthday. They’re not perfect. Seems silly to say, but I think once you find a friendship where both people understand this… it clicks. I touched upon this in my post about letting your friends make bad decisions. Just to reiterate though, don’t crucify your friends for screwing up, and don’t let your friends crucify you.
TAKEAWAY: As I get older, friendships are gonna get a bit tougher. The life problems and stresses that come with our early 20’s (jobs, moving, more serious things) put an extra pressure on everything-especially friendships.
GOAL: Put in the effort. Visit when possible, make dinner plans, check in frequently… maintain the friendships that mean something to me. Oh and continue to make new friends 🙂 *throws sparkles into air*
Issue #3 // RELATIONSHIPS
This one’s a doozy. You might remember a little post I wrote about how being in love is exhausting and being young, single, and empowered is my dream yada ya ya… Don’t remember? Here it is. I suggest reading it before I let you guess whose (ironically) currently in a relationship.
Let’s backtrack a little, because a major part of the past 365-ish days was learning how to let someone go. I think I wrote the aforementioned post in a head space where I was truly, completely, tired… but of falling out of love.
Break-ups are painful. Year long break-ups are excruciating. It’s not a stabbing, shooting through in chest kind of pain, but rather like a dull ache that sits behind your eyes, or a sense of dread that spreads outward from your belly. You ignore the inevitable pain while ignoring the inevitable end. It sucks the life out of you.
So biggest takeaway?
A partner in a relationship should be a helping hand, not a driving force.
In other words, relationships are part of your life equation, but it cannot be the entire thing. Once you put all your eggs in one basket, your dependence on that person will be suffocating to them, and they will want out.
And, sometimes people just aren’t right for each other. Personality, interests, aspirations, etc. At first it could seem like a good fit, but sh*t changes and suddenly it’s not working anymore. And that is totally okay… just recognize it before you spend months dragging it out.
Oh and another takeaway!! Never regret, just learn. Learn what you like, what you don’t like, what you want from someone in your life, and your own strengths and weaknesses as a girlfriend/boyfriend. Apply it to relationships in the future.
Which! brings me to quote ~myself~ from my anti-love post: the right person could come along tomorrow.
Soooooo, the right person kinda did.
Just went back and checked the date on that post and yep, almost spot on to the day.
From my “just learn” takeaway, I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted from a future boyfriend. Ambitious, driven, confident, caring… gotta love dogs, enjoys healthy stuff, good with people, adventurous, and able to keep up with my weird sense of humor. Pretty tall order, huh?
WELL my plan for complete autonomy has hit a bump in the road, as I happened to find my tall order… annnnnndd I’m very happy about it : )
Still gonna be an independent, empowered, boss ass b*tch though, don’t worry.
We already got our takeaways, so:
GOAL: Let down my guard a little more, stop second guessing myself so much, and just have fun and enjoy. *more sparkles are thrown*
Issue #4 // ME
For those of you still reading (or skimming), WELCOME… We have reached the pinnacle of Birthday Reflections. The deepest level of introspection where I must evaluate how I have grown, blossomed, and probably failed in my 21st year of life.
It feels like Year 21 was split in half.
The first six months, I struggled a bit. I was newly 21, entering my senior year of college, questioning my future, left a company I’d been with for 4 years, trying to end a already dying relationship, and navigating through all my different friendships. It wasn’t the worst, but it was a lot.
The second six months were better. They were by no means a piece of cake (as I mentioned, end of June was overwhelming), but they were definitely better. I made incredible memories and started embracing every moment I could. And as Issues 1-3 began to become non-issues, I was able to focus on something I tend to overlook: myself.
Self-love is a funny thing. I’d like to say I’m comfortable with myself inside and out, but that would be a lie. There’s things I like, and there’s things I don’t like. I’m learning that’s the case for most people, some more than others.
I’ve found that I feel best about myself is when I’m active/exercising and eating decently healthy. When I’m not doing that, stress goes up, mood goes down.
My two halves were reversed for Issue #4. First six months, I was active and eating as healthy as a college senior could. Last six months, almost no time for the gym, and many-a-night of wine and drunk nachos. It was fine while at school because I was distracted with everything else, but once I moved home, I realized I had probably put on a solid 5-10 pounds and all my muscles were sad and weak, and I was bummed. The numbers or how I looked weren’t really important, I just didn’t feel good.
Happy ending here though, folks! Initially, the motivation was hard to find, but I knew I had to get myself back on track if I wanted to stop stressing about my body and health. Slowly but surely, I’m feeling like myself again.
So let’s wrap this puppy up.
TAKEAWAY: Make time for things that de-stress me or make me happy, like exercising, or making a healthy meal.
GOAL: Find other things to de-stress if I cannot do the above, like working on this blog, or reading, or Pinteresting shoes… and make time for those, too. Because sometimes snuggling on the couch and mowing down a plate of cheesey Italian pasta is the best way end my day.
Like Urban Mermaid 603 on Facebook to stay updated with new posts! Since now I’m going to actually post. Pinky swear this time : )