Tag Archives: growing up

i’m still cookie dough.

So, I’ve been 30 for about three weeks now. And while turning 30 wasn’t a huge, life-altering thing to experience, saying “I’m 30” still feels strange and foreign on my tongue.

29 was a really good year. I got married, I traveled a lot, I did well at my job. For the most part, I felt like a functioning adult.

But there’s something about turning 30 that feels daunting for a lot of people, if not almost everyone. I know that it felt very much that way for me. It’s the end of a era, a notable transition from one decade of your life to the next. And the more I think about it, the more I realize that a lot of have a lot of preconceived notions about what you and/or your life should be like when you turn 30. We believe that we need to have achieved certain milestones or accomplishments before turning 30 or we’ve somehow failed ourselves.

I have friends who thought they needed to have done the following before turning 30: be married (or at least well on their way to being married), own a house or a car, understand how to create and maintain an investment portfolio, traveled internationally, climbed the corporate ladder, quit their 9-5 and chase their dreams, have a decent amount in their savings account… the list goes on and on and on. We all have a wide variety of intangible things we think we need to have done before beginning a new decade.

I know that my only stipulation for myself was “have your shit together by the time you’re 30.” And I honestly think I do. My marriage didn’t weigh into this, but traveling did. I own a car and hopefully next year, I’ll own a home. I have a savings account and I can pay off my bills with no issue or strain on my finances. I am doing well and, whether I like it or not, am now a 30 year old adult.

But, in the words of my favorite heroine*, I’m still cookie dough.

I think the fear of turning 30 also comes from the fear of being locked into who you are now or the life you currently have. As if it somehow can’t change once you leave your 20s behind.

I know that’s not true. I know that who I was at 25 isn’t who I am now. So who’s to say who I am now will be who I am when I’m 35? My life could look completely different then. There’s no real way of knowing but I learning to embrace the fact that the one constant will always be change.

Turning 30 is a milestone, just not to the extent I had dreaded it would be. If anything, I look forward to learning and growing and becoming whoever it is I’m meant to be. For this first year, and hopefully for a few more to come, I’ll try to live by this phrase:


So, I’m still cooke dough. I’m not done baking yet. But one day, I’ll be cookies.


*Brownie points to you if you know this reference, but for this who don’t, it’s from the series finale of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.


on turning 27.

So a week ago today, I turned 27. Weeks before my birthday, I had decided that outside of getting dinner and cocktails with Alex, I wasn’t looking to make a big thing of it. I didn’t want to plan and put together a celebration. That weekend promised to be a busy one (a housewarming party, dinner at a friend’s new apartment, and a bridal shower) and throwing in one more festivity sounded exhausting.

At least, that’s what I told my friends. I emphasized that I wasn’t looking forward to such a busy weekend and that in light of everything I had to do, celebrating my birthday wasn’t really a priority.  And it wasn’t, but not just for that reason. I also felt like celebrating was… unnecessary? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t feel like this every time my birthday comes around. When I turned 24, I didn’t feel a need to celebrate, so I didn’t. I went to Wicker Park Fest then went home and ordered my favorite dish from Cozy Noodle. When I turned 25, I went on vacation with my family and last year, I hung out with friends at a new bar/arcade.

So why was I left feeling so apathetic about 27? I can’t really put my finger on it. Maybe it’s a combination of work-related stress and the anxiety of apartment hunting. Maybe it was something else altogether. All I know is that even after I told my friends repeatedly I wasn’t planning a gathering of any kind, they insisted we at least do dinner and a few drinks.

So this Tuesday, I met up with them for dinner and beers. We eventually wandered over a nearby bar that happens to be one of my favorites in the area and had a few more. The night was filled with great conversation and laughs, not to mention a really ridiculous game of darts. I got home much later than I had planned to and woke up the next morning for work completely exhausted.

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But it was completely worth it. It was nice to break my usual routine of getting home, hitting the gym, and eating dinner in front of the TV, which is surprising for creature of habit like me. I’m glad my friends pushed for a low-key celebration, even if it was five days after my actual birthday. It makes me grateful to have people like them in my life. It’s also a nice reminder that not every birthday needs to be a big deal.

So here’s to 27. Here’s hoping this is the year I embrace life as it comes and appreciate every moment of it.

when life gives you lemons…

… they say make lemonade. Or find some tequila and have a party. Or throw them back at life and say you don’t want any freakin’ lemons.

Generally, there’s a variety of responses to being handed lemons. Your attitude and perspective tend to affect which one you go with.

I’ve been handed a lemon or two this week, much to my dismay. I’ve been struggling to keep an upbeat attitude about my job situation, but when other things look like the may straight to fall by the wayside, positive thinking tends to be the first thing that heads out the door.

I may have to consider the possibility of moving out of my apartment in a month. I love living there, but with the possibility of both my roommates moving out (one for sure, the other uncertain), I have to consider all my options. And finding a new, cheaper place seems like a better way to go, versus trying to find two new roommates (I’ve done the roommate hunt twice now and it stresses me out EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.).

I was pretty unhappy last night, to say the least. I was worried and anxious. I went for a run and it did little to assuage how I was feeling. Then Alex came over and I cried. I cried because I was at my breaking point and because I probably just needed to. I’ve never liked unexpected change and I clearly have trouble dealing with it. I’m terrible at being an adult and I felt like this was just an example of why.

So I cried. And then I weighed my options. And then I decided that I would have to roll with the punches and hope for the best.

I woke up tired this morning. I didn’t really want to get out of bed. But I did. I got on the train and went to work. I’ll figure everything out this weekend. But tonight, I’ll go out for dinner with some of my favorite people. And tomorrow, Alex and I will get tapas and sangria to celebrate our almost one-year anniversary.

As for these lemons, I’ll figure out what to do with them. Without the sour, the sweet wouldn’t taste so sweet, right?

make a wish or make it happen.

(print by Wicker Paper Co.)

February has never been my favorite month. Weird, I know. Maybe it’s because it’s the pinnacle of all things winter in Chicago. Maybe because I got dumped a week before Valentine’s Day in college. Maybe it’s because I reached the lowest point of my issues with anxiety and stress during senior year, it was right in the middle of February. It could be a combination of all these things and more.

This February was really no different. I let stress get to me sometimes and I definitely did that this month. I traveled home for a big family event and took Alex with me (thankfully that went over well). I had three job prospects… and they all fell through. It’s really discouraging to have opportunities suddenly pop up, only to fall away. I struggle with positive thinking sometimes and this didn’t really help matters.

My roommate, who I’ve lived with since moving back to Chicago, is moving out of our apartment early due to a bad break-up that resulted in her losing her cat (that she unfortunately can’t keep in our current place). I’ve thankfully been able to replace but the whole process of her moving out and my new roommate moving in is a little stressful. Our living room is a mess. All the bills are under her name. I have no TV when she leaves; although I’m inheriting one from Alex, I still have to get it from his place and drag it to mine. I’m losing a few other things that I can’t afford to replace right now.

It’s a just a random assortment of things that sometimes get me down. Staying upbeat is never easy for me. I’m thankful I have people like Alex in my life cheering me on and telling me I’m doing just fine.

So when March starts tomorrow, I’m going to put my best foot forward. No more wishful thinking. I need to work on making things happen. Taking action is the first step into moving towards what I want in life. So here goes.

hold on.

A confession: I’m not good at being optimistic. I never have been.

I’m actually fairly negative most of the time. I’m a stress case; I can be a downright nervous wreck who overthinks and overanalyzes every aspect of a situation. I worry when I shouldn’t. I’m cautious when I want to be a little more impulsive. I’m scared when I want to be brave.
We all have our moments like this. I just think that it tends to happen to me a bit more often.

I’m on my 3rd week of my new job. It’s been pretty good so far but I definitely had a moment yesterday where it all felt like too much, too quickly. The next thing I knew, the anxiety overwhelmed me. I sat at my desk wondering how the hell I was going to get everything done. Work stress happens, I know this. I tried to calm myself and say, It’ll get done somehow. You’ll be okay.

Then I had a phone call last night with my mom where she revealed that her health condition was steadily getting worse. There was talk of doctor appointments, MRIs and possible surgery. And just like that, the anxiety and stress returned tenfold, rising up as a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. There’s only so many times I can tell myself (and be told) that it’s going to be okay. I reached a point last night where I wasn’t sure if that was true.

There’s only so much I can do. All I could do yesterday was go to bed, attempt to sleep the day away and try again in the morning. So I did. And today was a bit better, but only by so much. I still feel a bit weighed down by everything and had trouble staying focused with so much going on in my head. I tried to get as much work done as possible. I talked to my closest friends (who all, strangely enough, live in NYC) to keep me grounded, offer e-hugs and keep me laughing. Then I came home with a cheap bottle of wine from Trader Joe’s and watched somewhat terrible TV.

What else can I do about my stress issues except attempt to manage them as best as I can? So that’s what I’m doing.

Sometimes all you need a (real) hug. (Working on that.)
Sometimes you just need to have a good cry. (Definitely done that.)
Or maybe a nice glass of white wine and an evening to recollect yourself. (This was tonight and most likely tomorrow night as well.)

And then you keep going. I’m making plans for the weekend, which so far includes a birthday dinner, possible retail therapy and tackling some work on Sunday afternoon.

I’m learning not to give up. Instead, I’m trying to hold on and hope for the best. I’m trying to allow myself to be hopeful. It’s taking some time. But I’m getting there.

[image: weheartit]