You know those moments when your conscious mind separates from the body and you briefly become an observer of your own actions? You watch your lips move and hear yourself rambling on and on, lecturing your younger coworker about life. You’re horrified at how cynical you sound, but you can’t stop yourself. It is in that moment, watching yourself from the outside in, that you realize you have become a jaded thirtysomething. Do you know that moment? No? Allow me to elaborate.
I was talking to a 21-year-old coworker of mine. A sweet, hopeful, hardworking, lovely young gem of a person. He had overheard me discussing a friend’s failed marriage and seemed confused. I tried to explain to him that marriage was a wonderful thing, but it can also be, well, difficult. “I’m excited to get older and get married,” he said. “Life gets easier when you’re older.” My head spun on him like I was in “The Exorcist.” “WHAT?” I snorted, “Are you kidding me? Life just gets harder.”
His eyes widened. “No…” he argued, “it gets easier.”
“No, you’re wrong.” I pressed, and as I continued to explain the onerous nature of life, my tone becoming more insistent, I realized I wasn’t talking to my coworker anymore. I was talking to myself. Specifically, my idealistic 21-year-old self. Keep reading »
When I graduated from college almost 10 years ago, I remember breathing a huge sigh of relief. Finally, I thought, I’d arrived at the finish line and could begin the new, exciting chapter in my life. I walked (well, more like rolled, considering I’m in a wheelchair) across that stage to proudly accept my diploma, which I saw as my ticket to adulthood. I was on my way – or so I thought. And then life happened. Or didn’t happen, I suppose, depending on how you look at it. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not jaded. I’m proud of where my post-college journey has taken me; it’s just that the path looks different than I thought it would. After all, a decade has passed since graduation day – a decade full of ups and downs and twists and turns – so I’m not exactly the same person I was back when I donned my cap and gown. Looking back, it would have been nice to have a little advice to go along with that diploma – you know, a sort of cheat sheet for the “real world.” So, in the name of continuing education, here are five things I wish someone had told me about life after college… Keep reading »
After being in a relationship for 10 years, Nick and I have gotten pretty damn good at dealing with relationship-related issues. We are still learning, of course, and probably always will be, but when it comes to the challenges that arise from sharing a life with someone, we’ve got a solid handle on it. Balancing two people’s needs, addressing conflict in a respectful way, compromising, communicating clearly, owning your own moods, and giving and receiving love freely are all things we’ve become really good at.
And I use the phrase “become really good at” on purpose. These weren’t skills we brought into the relationship as two separate people, these are things we learned from being in a relationship. I’m so grateful to my relationship (and to Nick!) for providing a loving, supportive context in which I could learn these things. I’ve been able to apply them to my friendships, my family relationships, my work, and my writing. The skills you learn in a relationship aren’t only applicable to your relationship — they’re truly valuable in many different areas of your life.
I can’t help but wonder, though, if all the work I’ve done on issues relating to my relationship has been at the expense of work I could have been doing on myself. Keep reading »
For three years, I woke up at 4 a.m. every day. I spent two days a week as a full-time student; one of those, I was at school from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., and the other I split with one of my five weekly eight-hour work shifts. I did all of the driving in my household, which meant all of the grocery shopping and all of the car maintenance. When I wasn’t at school or at work, I was doing homework, determined to graduate with honors after three previous less-than-stellar years at a different college. On the one day off I had every week, I was usually visiting my then in-laws. Toward the end, I managed to squeeze in going to the gym three times a week as well. I got four or five hours of sleep a night, barely paid the rent and bills, and was running on ambition and self-confidence.
I was a wreck, but it was one of the best experiences of my life. Here are the life lessons I learned during my three-year stint burning the candle at both ends… Keep reading »
Contrary to popular belief, Tim McGraw is more than just sex on a stick. In his 24-year career as one of country music’s greatest singers, he’s racked up three Grammys, 14 ACM Awards, 11 CMA Awards, 10 American Music Awards, 3 People’s Choice Awards, and the prestigious Katie And Winona Award For Country Music DILF of the Year (spoiler alert: he ties with Luke Bryan every year). He’s also a father of three girls, married to Faith Hill, son of the late Tug McGraw, and the hottest man to wear a cowboy hat since … ever. To pay tribute to Tim on his 47th birthday(!) we’re taking a look at 15 of his classic song lyrics that have taught us valuable life lessons while we belted them out in the car. Turns out this country bad boy is full of fortune cookie-worthy wisdom! Keep reading »
I worked at Whole Foods for almost four years, the majority of which I spent in the bakery as a cake decorator in a fun, busy suburban store. It had some serious ups and downs and a variety of challenges that were unique to the company and their customer demographic. I’m glad I had the experience because it tested my mettle and grew some great friendships. After reading 7 Life Lessons I Learned from Working at Starbucks, I was inspired to write my own list, with an organic, artisan, locally sourced Whole Foods twist. Here are 5 indispensable life lessons I learned while working at one of the most beloved/hated grocery store chains in the country… Keep reading »