The Pros and Cons of A Snow Day

First day of spring and a snow day! Well, who doesn’t love paid-time off? I sure as hell do. However, that’s not the case for every employed person; some still have to work, or work from home, or some don’t make money for that day, or they may eventually have to make this day up. Here’s a list of my opinions on snow days sorted by the pros and cons!

PROS: 

-In the likelihood that you don’t have to work from home on your snow day and get a free day off, then this has to be the biggest pro! It’s like a vacation day to do absolutely nothing.

-Even if you do have to work from home, at least you can do it in the comfort of your pajamas and bed. The bright side is you’re still getting paid and don’t have to leave your home.

-Food & drinks. You can day load with friends or family, either at home or at a local bar, make a ton of food that tastes so good but is so bad for you at the same time, or a combination of both.

-This makes the week go by so much faster! Returning to work tomorrow with only 2 more days until the weekend is a godsend.

-Relax, relax, relax. Snow days for me are the least stressful days. I can catch up on some shows, do some online shopping, nap, read, etc. I have no one to entertain and I don’t have to feel guilty about laying around in my pajamas from the time I wake up until the time I go to bed.

-Not have to deal with your co-workers for 24 hours. I think we can all be thankful for this.

CONS:

-Not having a snow day. Commuting to and from work in this weather has to be incredibly frustrating and slow moving. Hopefully most companies can sympathize with this or at least let you out early! Obviously if you work in a health professionals field or public safety, you probably have to go regardless, but hopefully the day is pretty easy.

-Not having a free day off from work is unfortunate in this case. I remember in my last full-time position, the owner closed the company for the day but we weren’t eligible to work from home and he wasn’t willing to pay us for the day unless we made up by staying an hour late for the eight days following. Which was pretty much bullshit since it wasn’t our decision not to come to work.

-In another case, some people do have the availability to work from home, which I’ve never done, so I can’t say what it’s like, but it’s definitely still a bummer having to work from home even if you are getting paid.

-If you’re in the same position as me and still living at home, snow days can be somewhat boring if you are looking to drink and get drunk. The only two drinking partners I have under the same roof are mom and dad which isn’t too appealing. Snow days in college were 10000x better.

-You could be living alone which I can imagine would be pretty boring.

-If you’re a teacher, all of these snow days are most likely getting added on to the end of the year which I’m sure isn’t ideal as your summer is repeatedly becoming delayed.

-Shoveling. Can’t say I’m a victim to this labor, but most of my guy friends are so I sympathize.

Whatever you’re doing on your snow day today, if you were lucky enough to have one, stay warm & try to make the most of it, because it’s back to work tomorrow!

 

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College Life to Mom Life

I remember being so jealous of Maureen’s life in Los Angeles, it was the definition of living vicariously through someone.

She was studying at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (where LC went for any Hills fans), living in an apartment building with a roof top pool, meeting celebrities like Mariah Carey, partying at high end clubs, and working in fashion day in and day out. She was living out my sixteen year old dreams that were based off of Lauren Conrad, and as her best friend, I couldn’t have been more happy.

 

During college, as well as after she moved home too, Maureen was presented with various experiences, tribulations and opportunities. Although our undergrad years were drastically different, post grad life hit us like a brick wall.

‘What now?’

That haunting question that keeps you up at night, the one that is impossible to silence, struck Maureen upon moving home to Philly.

While reflecting back on what her initial expectations were for life after college, she notes that she thought it consisted of “freedom, partying and doing whatever you want, which does happen during a short window of time, but reality hits when you’re back living with your parents, loans kick in and you’re basically forced to find a full-time job. You have to grow up really quick.”

Stress is something that is inevitable for all of us, and Maureen often finds herself stressing over is being too hard on herself even when she realizes she shouldn’t be. On a more professional level, she stresses about not being in complete control which is why she hopes to one day be her own boss.

And speaking of stress, she advises all soon-to-be grads, to NOT stress and cherish the last moments of college life and have fun. “Whatever you’re stressing about will eventually be over with sooner or later. Don’t worry about getting your dream job right away. Do what works for the time being and the right job will come at the right time.”

So now three years out of college, Maureen has not only found the right job, she found her dream job: becoming a mom, which she comments is both the toughest and most rewarding job in the world.

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When talking about parenthood, I asked Maureen if she felt that others view her only as a mom now and no other role, and she responded by saying, “Yes and no. I think more so yes for those who don’t know me very well. I think people innocently assume that moms are just moms because they might not know any better. They assume that your life only consists of your child, which is pretty accurate because your child will always be your whole life, but they have no idea what you do outside of your kids. Some are so quick to assume that moms do nothing but be moms. I think being a young mom makes it harder for people not to judge me. Age is just a number, your actions show the kind of mother you are. I defy this stereotype by just being myself. I still do the things I want to when I can and it works. My boyfriend and I are truly an amazing team. Without someone by your side who truly loves you, parenting would be a completely different ball game.”

I admire and respect Maureen for balancing everything she does. While living in New York she had the opportunity to work for Armani, now she works at a high-end bridal boutique in Philadelphia which she comments on and says, “it’s a different side of the industry that I never saw myself falling into but I enjoy being able to be a part of a girls big day and helping them feel their best, it’s a rewarding job.”

On top of working and being a mom, I don’t know how she balances it all but she does and hats off to her for it. I can barely balance my life and I have significantly less responsibilities! Addmittedly, Maureen finds herself frustrated sometimes that she isn’t able to work out as much she would like to and not always being able to follow through on personal goals.But I know that when the weather is nice, she loves walking as much a possible with her daughter, Ava!

As I said in the beginning of this post, I was so obsessed with Maureen’s life while she was living in L.A. and I can confidently say I’m obsessed with her life now too. She has found something some people never find: true love. Not just with her boyfriend but in her daughter, too.

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The future is never clear, and sometimes it presents obstacles, but it can also present opportunities.

Post grad life for Maureen is going pretty well, I’d say. She has a job she’s passionate about, a supporting family, and the most beautiful daughter who is so full of life and love, it’s hard not to be jealous.

I want to finish by including some words of advice from Maureen that seem to be a similar response for those doing these posts. Every response I’ve gotten holds the central theme I’ve created for this blog.

“Be yourself and never doubt it. If you are still figuring yourself out that is okay too. Embrace it, it is okay to not always know the answers to everything or how you feel about everything. Whatever you do, do not let others mold you. You will get lost. Stop caring about what other people think.  People are always going to talk no matter what, thinking about it solves nothing. Do you and don’t look back!! You’ll be happy when your older and can say I didn’t give a shit what people thought of me!  Lastly, as cliche as it sounds, follow your heart. So many people our age feel obligated to get that big job or buy a car or even a house. Do what feels right. You might find a job you love that has absolutely nothing to do with what you went to school for. Does it make you happy? If it does, then that’s all that matters. Life really is simple if you take a step back sometimes. Don’t get caught up in the drama of what you think you should do, do what you WANT to do!’
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The Pros and Cons of Being Single in your 20s

With some people, being single sometimes has a negative connotation, and in some situations? Sure, that’s fair. Like when you go home with that creepy/not so hot/desperate guy from the bar because, let’s face it, you’ve been on a dry spell and you’re 4 shots deep. Or you consistently have to RSVP for one to every wedding you’re invited to with a plus one because you’re still not in a serious enough relationship to commit to bring a guest, and the person you’ve been non-exclusive with  has also been non-exclusive with several other people.

BUT, aside from the drawbacks of being single, there are a lot of positive aspects as well. Here’s my list:

PROS:

  • Being more independent
    • Not that you can’t be independent with a significant other, it’s just more probable that you have to be independent while single. Actually, it’s kind of forced upon you. Sometimes your friends and family aren’t always around to do certain things and you conform to a lifestyle of only relying on yourself for company or a good time, which can be fundamental for various situations in life. Independence is good.
  • Time with friends
    • Let’s be honest, you’re going to have more time for your friends when you’re single. You’re more than likely more inclined to go out and get drunk with your friends on the weekends, there’s no decision making between his or her group of friends, and when you wake up hungover in the morning, you go get drunk again with your friends. In contrast, when you’re in a relationship, things can be a bit different; the decision to stay in on the weekends is definitely easier because you have someone to stay in with, which is fair, but you also now have two different friend groups and two families to divide free time with, which ultimately decreases the time you would usually dedicate to friends. I’m just gonna say it- I think people have more of an appreciation for their friends when you’re single.
  • Your focus is sharpened
    • Your focus on things in general, but also your focus on you and only you, is sharpened to the clearest point. You have yourself to look out for, so your discovery of self-love reaches its highest point, which is daunting. You have more time to focus on being a better version of yourself, more focus on your career and goals, and more focus on anything, really. Relationships can sometimes be distracting between jealousies and disagreements, and being single allows you to be more selfish which I think is more than acceptable in your 20s.
  • Meeting and experiencing new or different people
    • Of course you can meet new people while in a relationship, but you have to admit it’s more difficult. There are boundaries and lines you have to be conscious of, certain plans you can’t commit to, and there’s an awareness of which conversations are acceptable or not. It’s much easier to meet new people when single. Also, being able to experience new people, not just  strictly in a sexual way, but in a friendly manner, is definitely rewarding and beneficial in early adulthood.
  • No bullshit
    • There’s no perfect relationship, that’s common knowledge. But sometimes while listening to my friends bitch about the dumb things their boyfriends did or didn’t do, said or didn’t say, all I can think is “wow, I’m so glad I don’t have to deal with this bullshit.”

With all that being said, I’m sure there are a lot of people thinking I have it all wrong, especially those in relationships, but let me stop you there. There are also a lot of cons to this lifestyles as well.

Cons:

  • Not having plans
    • When you’re only other single friend has plans without you, you may as well just stay on your couch all night, find something to watch on Netflix, and order a pizza because more than likely, you won’t have any other plans. All your other friends are either staying in with their boyfriends or going out with their friends or families. Buzz kill.
  • Constantly dodging questions regarding your relationship status
    • “So, are you dating anyone?” No, mom, and the answer hasn’t changed since you last asked me just a few short weeks ago. Maybe it’s a generational thing since most of our parents were probably married, or at least dating each other at our age, that they find it so abnormal when we’re not on the verge of marriage and babies. But yeah, the question get very old, very quick.
  • Dry spells
    • As nice as it is to have the ability to spontaneously make out with different people, the opportunity doesn’t always occur and there are periods of time when you almost convince yourself you’re a virgin because it’s been so long since you’ve had sex. Inappropriate? Sure. False? Hell no.
  • Wanting to go out but also wanting to stay in
    • It’s so hard to force yourself to sit in on a Friday or Saturday night if you’re not working or have no one else to spend the night with. Sometimes, there’s nothing I want more than to just stay in and watch TV or read, but then the creeping voice inside my head that calls me a loser speaks up and I force myself to go out because society makes me feel pressured to do so. But, when you have a significant other, you can silence these pressures and have someone to cuddle up on the couch with.
  • ‘Ms. Megan Keough accepts with pleasure.. and I’ll take the chicken’
    • As I touched on briefly in my opening, it does become a tad depressing when you have no one to bring as your date to a wedding when you’re invited with a guest. I don’t want to bring just anyone and I won’t, but I guess it would be nice to be able to invite someone so I could get both the fish and the chicken. And also not be the reason there’s an odd number of people at the table…

So, there’s a lot of ifs and buts, pros and cons, and probably a lot of arguments surrounding these points. But either way, cheers to all you single people and cheers to all of you in relationships!

It’s Always Darkest Before The Dawn

The best kind of happiness is the kind that comes into your life when you least expect it. Between toxic relationships, endlessly job searching for months, anxiety, 2017 wasn’t the easiest year. But just like everything else, pros and cons go hand in hand. Although I struggled from time to time this past year, I also had a lot of great opportunities to experience and I’m so grateful to reflect on the better times because good always outweighs the bad.

I had the chance to visit a few new cities, spend a lot of time on the beach, read new books, focus on myself, start a new job and develop new friendships. I’m happy about everything good that has come my way, but I’m not entirely sad to see 2017 come to a close and I’m more than happy to embark on 2018.

As many of you know, I’ve had a difficult and defeating time seeking full-time employment this past year, which I know some people can relate to and I wish you all the best of luck in your process! However, I do not have to continue my search as I accepted a full-time offer right before the holiday. When accepting the offer over the phone, I literally said to the woman, “This is the greatest Christmas gift I’ve ever received”, and there is so much truth behind that.

The past few weeks, knowing that this is the last of my excessive free time, have been so stress- free and relaxing. The weight I feel has been lifted from my shoulders, from both external and internal pressures to find a full-time job, is indescribable.

As the saying goes, good things take time, and I guess time is what I needed. The past year and a half as post-grad have definitely been unconventional from the outside looking in, but I feel I’m right where I’m meant to be. I’m learning that as you get older, people’s opinions of your choices become more and more irrelevant, and I think that’s something everyone should keep in the back of their minds. I think my biggest regret of 2017 was caring so much about what everyone else thought and ignoring what I actually cared about. Maybe it’s easier said than done, but it’s an empowering feeling when you finally conquer this tactic.

Even though it’s just a change in date on the calendar, a new year can be an opportunity for change, growth and fulfillment. Although I don’t have a resolution, and I don’t normally do, I’m definitely more committed than ever to focusing on me in every way, shape and form. Whitney Port posted an Instagram that resonated with where I am right now and I couldn’t love it more.

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She captions the quoted picture with “Loving yourself isn’t only the greatest revolution, but the greatest resolution.”

Wherever you’re at in your life, don’t forget to love yourself. If you’re in a tough place or confused or lost, just remember, it’s always darkest before the dawn, as Florence and The Machine says.

Happy New Year!

Life’s A Marathon, Not A Sprint

It’s definitely been a year filled with a multitude of changes, highs and lows, and unexpected opportunities. I guess I haven’t been able to write in a few months because I was short of inspiration, or maybe I was just tired of talking about the same topics and sounding like a broken record. But I think it all really boils down to me beginning to care about how others viewed me; for reasons varying from not climbing the career ladder to living at home to even not having a boyfriend. However, the past few weeks have changed my perspective and silenced these external pressures because what I’ve realized is that no matter what I’m doing, or how much money I’m making, or where I’m living or living with, my family and real friends won’t judge me, they’ll support me, and that is a powerful feeling to embrace.

All of these external pressures of finding a full-time job, finding a boyfriend, moving out, having a plan, etc.– they’re always going to be there because life is constantly changing and that’s pretty exciting. As I talked about in a previous post, life is full of setbacks in which we cannot prepare for, it’s all about how we choose to handle them. I don’t necessarily want to know what the rest of my life holds right now, I just want to take it day by day. I’m not insinuating it’s wrong to have a plan, but it’s also okay not have one as well, but sometimes it’s hard to live in a society that constantly criticizes, instills ideas of conventional-ism and expects you to have your shit together the second you graduate college.

There have been plenty of things that have knocked me down since graduating, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who has faced a plethora of obstacles, and maybe I take some comfort in knowing I’m not the only one, sorry if that makes me selfish but your 20s are all about being selfish apparently.

My resilience has been a great asset to me, particularly in recent months. Between unsuccessful job searching, relationships, frustrations of living at home, financial struggles, it felt like the skies were never going to clear and I was always going to be walking with a rain cloud above my head. Then I stopped feeling sorry for myself  and everything changed; the happiness I’ve found is something I can’t explain, but I found it through different things which I’ll explain in a future post.

Some questions that I really cannot stand and get farther under my skin than possible, are those of “So, what are you doing now?” and “Why aren’t you dating?”. First of all, do not ask me what I’m up to when there’s a 90% chance you follow me along social media and probably know the answer to your own question- just ask how I’m doing, and if I choose to elaborate further then great, but chances are if I don’t see you very often, you probably don’t care that much so stop using that as a filler for small talk.

The dating question primarily comes from family members and since I haven’t dated in a while, they probably all think I’m a secret lesbian, but that is in fact, NOT the case. I have different reasons for being single, but primarily I just haven’t met anyone worth the time yet and I’m content with that because right now is all about me and I want to love myself before I love anyone else.

I think what I’ve really learned this year, virtually through social media postings, is that everyone is on a different path, some are overcoming larger obstacles or taking more significant steps, but that’s just how it is. Half of my generation are getting engaged, married, starting families and buying houses, while the other half is getting blacked out every weekend and soaking up their 20s; I’m happy to say I fall into the second half of that sentence. Whatever your path is right now or how far along you are in this marathon of life, be proud of it because it’s your life and your life is something you should always take pride in.

I was asked in an interview a few weeks ago, ‘What do I define success as?’, and my answer was as simple as this: Being successful, for me, means being completely confident both personally and professionally. When I finally stop second-guessing myself or my work that is when I know I’ve been successful. In addition, the qualities I’ve found that are fundamental to possess in your 20s include, but are not limited to,  perseverance, resilience, strength, confidence, and ultimately, being true to yourself.

                 Remember that life is not a sprint, it’s a marathon, so go at your own pace, you’ll arrive where you’re supposed to be when it’s time, so enjoy the run.

Stay tuned for next week when I discuss the books that have aided me through the frustrations of post-grad life!

What You Want to Do Vs. What You Should Do: The Noise of Life

“Noise” is defined is defined by the dictionary as “a sound, especially one that is loud or unpleasant or that causes disturbance”. Life noise, however, has a different connotation in regards to many aspects.

Throughout life, there can be different forms of noise day to day. This noise is a distraction for many people when focusing on what makes them happy. Too many are focused on what makes others happy instead. Anyway you swing it, sacrifices are made for people we love and care about, but that’s part of any relationship. However, making life decisions and being indecisive because you don’t want to hurt others feelings is in turn constantly hurting the individual. It’s difficult to distinguish between looking out for those you love and looking out for yourself. The hardest part is that there is no right answer; the answer is within each person’s way of living life.

People, places and things create a lot of noise in life. Personal appearance in social situations is one of those noises. What is there to do tonight? Who is going to hang out with me? I’ve had this outfit since high school and still wear it, does it matter? My makeup isn’t the newest addition of naked (or any type of naked for that matter), will they notice? There is such a stress on the way people look in social situations, it’s crazy. Everyone is judged on how they look, whether it’s a positive or negative judgement. Stressful, unnecessary noise. The way anyone presents themselves is individualized and is important to be left that way. The way someone dresses or looks does not need to change the way that person is perceived. Too many focus on external characteristics instead of truly getting to know people for who they are internally. Next time you meet somebody new, try talking to them with more decency. Even if you are already with friends, invite someone new in; find out who they are.

Another noise ringing constantly is about the way life is “supposed” to be like?

1. You should have a steady job by the age of 23.
2. You should be looking to date someone long term so you can have a family by age 30.
3. You should have a budget and be saving your money to buy a house, not spending so much of it.
4. But then there’s also: enjoy life while you’re young, you can save money later.

The word SHOULD is thrown around way too often. Life isn’t about right and wrong. The real question “should” be, what do YOU want your life to be like RIGHT NOW? Do we have to stress so much about the future? Who cares what’s going to happen in a year, or ten years. Why is it so frowned upon to just live for now and make good decisions based upon the way everyone wants them to be made? Because, in the end, life is about embracing feelings of the individual and who better to make decisions than the individual who is actually living that life? It’s up to them, not the rest of the world and the way things have been set into a precedent by our parents’ generation.

The loudest noise, in my opinion (because this is what I constantly feel), has become: will I upset “so and so” if I decide to do this? After all, it is what I want to do, isn’t it? But repeatedly I notice thoughts like, “but they don’t want to do that (or they disagree) so I should change my mind to make them happy”. It’s a way of unintentional perfectionism that I’m noticing is taking over these decisions. Perfectionism can be dangerous. I won’t tell them certain things because I feel they won’t agree/will judge me. And don’t get me wrong, I have learned that boundaries are very necessary to have. However, if you’re talking to someone, you shouldn’t feel like you must discount your feelings because you feel the other person will get upset or disagree with you. Avoiding upsetting others is close to impossible, so what’s the point of risking your own happiness to stress about others’ happiness when we cannot control that? I believe that everyone has a bit of perfectionist qualities; it’s important to not let them run your life.

Venting is something everyone needs, so it’s important to find a few people you can tell many things to without feeling judged. Sometimes it’s good to have those people to discuss different things with: one person for work situations, one for relationships, one for advice about friends, etc. Extra people means extra noise and that noise makes people second guess. For me, I find myself asking people, what would you do? Or what do you think? When in reality, does it matter? No. It’s more noise, it’s more unnecessary opinions, and it makes me feel like there is a right and wrong in every situation. Noise while making decisions really gets in the way and hinders the way people live their lives. Living a life this way is utterly exhausting and stressful, and for what? Live YOUR life the way YOU want to. Make your own decisions.

I’ll go a little bit in a different direction to finish. I truly believe the things I discussed and really am working on all of that for myself in my own life. However, there is another side as well. Most of us have people we are close to whether that be friends, family, significant others, or more than one. As much as it is important to live the way I have described above, it’s also just as important to make time and do things with those who mean so much. So sometimes, sacrifices should be made. And that’s okay, it’s part of life as well. Don’t want to go to a family reunion? Doesn’t matter, that’s something that is important. You’re not just attending to make others happy, but to spend time with those you love. And most importantly to enjoy it, because you truly don’t know how often you’ll get to do those things. That goes for friends and significant others as well. Sacrifices are always made in any type of relationship. Something may sound “better” or more fun than going to something “obligatory”. But that’s just the thing, it doesn’t always have to feel like an obligation, if these people are important to you, you will want to go. This is just as important to consider.

Life has so much noise in it, it is exhausting. But at the end of the day, the importance is to not get so caught up in all of it. Living your life and doing things that make you happy are so crucial. As well as making time for others. As the “entitled” generation, it’s important to have a balance between these things, which is extremely difficult but totally doable. Extra stress about decision making isn’t worth it. Simply, think, what do I WANT to do? Instead of what SHOULD I do? You may “hurt” people in the process or maybe they won’t agree with you, but that’s the noise we need eliminate from our minds. It takes a conscious effort to think in this way, and it’s challenging. But it could truly make a happier, more enjoyable life for years to come.