Staying Afloat

Staying Afloat

It is my favorite time of year. Fall (Autumn if you’re not from the states) is not only a time where I feel my wardrobe truly comes to life, but there are also many events that bring my friends and family together. Not sweating everyday is also a plus. But I too know this time of year is very hard for some people; between the sun going down a lot earlier and holidays not being a happy time for everyone, the colder months often bring on sadness and depressive thoughts.

So far, my fall has been off to a weird start. I have run into some major impasses which have definitely thrown me for a loop, to say the least. They have managed to knock my faith in many things I never previously had issues with. If you know me, I definitely try to be a realist and rationalize or make logical sense of almost everything; however, I also try to see the good in everything, even when I’m anticipating the worst. Unfortunately, finding ‘the good’ has been quite difficult for me these days.

Things I was previously excited about have me wondering when the other shoe is going to drop. I find myself reflecting on everything that has happened between now and last October–a particularly dark time in my life. I fluctuate between tension, nausea, and an overall mental state that I can only describe as melancholy. But that’s why I decided to write this post. Aside from needing an outlet to get these feelings off of my chest, I thought it might help just one person to know they are not alone.

If I had to sum up this past year, it would probably be what most people from the baby-boomer generation consider becoming an adult: all things related to money, paying attention to what is in writing, and deciding what actually deserves your time and energy. While I am definitely still finding a balance, the speed at which things have been happening are teaching me that nothing is set in stone and that you just have to roll with the punches sometimes. Without change–good or bad–we never learn to adapt. I have never wanted to get stuck in my ways, despite what my zodiac sign might say, and in order to stick to that, I have to change my way of thinking.

We live in the time of social media, a.k.a. everyone’s highlight reel. You can easily end up comparing yourself to others and wondering what you are doing with your life while others seem to be living the best version of theirs. Not to mention, the colder months seem to have an underlying focus on being in a romantic relationship. While this time of year can be quite festive, it can also cause people to feel lonely or other versions of sadness. But at some point, we have to remind ourselves that we have some control in the way we perceive things.

While I know what I am feeling won’t go away overnight, I know that eventually I will feel better and I need to focus on that. It can feel like the end of the world when a lot of things are changing at the same time and not in the way you want them to, but it isn’t really. I will have to remind myself daily that I am only 23 and I will have all sorts of things to worry about for the rest of my life. No sense is driving myself up the wall now, is there? So I have decided to just move forward because that is something I have control over.

I’m sure I have written about some of this before, but I think it is important to cross the same paths every now and then. It’s not to say the fall and winter months cause grievance for everyone, but it is simply to say that no matter what age we are, some things that we thought we ‘fixed’ tend to come back around and that that is okay. It is all about what you decide to take away from these moments and choosing not to let it define or consume you. You will be surprised at how resilient you can be when you take things head-on.

xx, AE

The Latest

The Latest

Some of you may have noticed I have taken some time off of traveling for most of this month. This was entirely intentional, and while these three weeks have flown by, I am excited to hit the road–or should I say the skies–again next weekend. Until then, I thought I would share what I have been doing these last few weeks.

I have been doing absolutely nothing. Well, not nothing, but what has consumed most of my ‘time off’ will be shared at a later time. Other than that, I really have been just sitting around, and for the first time in a long time, it felt great. In the last post with an update on my life, I discussed the new adjustments I had going on and the toll they were taking on me. I have since found that the catalyst for the change, and partly what filled the inexplicable void in my life, was traveling. I have been to four places since that post: Cabo, Los Angeles, New Orleans, and Boston. It may sound weird and I am at the risk of sounding like the girl in this video, but since I have introduced travel back into my life, I have seen a shift in the way I have been leading other parts of my life.
ANE_0023 Continue reading “The Latest”

How to Press Reset

How to Press Reset

Kind of a long one, but there has been something on my mind lately.

Aside from my birthday celebration, I have been stuck in a rut of sorts. I thought once I got a job, the rut I was in before would subside (for obvious reasons). There were a brief couple of weeks where everything was exciting because, well, I was starting a new job and my work schedule was ever-changing. The gear-shifting within the team was different and kept me on my toes. Once I switched into my official schedule, however, that is when I noticed my everyday life started shifting tremendously as well.
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When I was still in training at work, I worked a typical eight-hour day/five-day work week with weekends off, starting at 1:30 p.m. and ending at 10:00 p.m. The week of my birthday celebration, I switched into my new schedule which meant officially moving into a 10-hour day/four-day work week. My shift is now 11:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., Friday through Monday. At first, I was very excited about the switch because how can you not love the idea of a three-day weekend? But I knew there would be some major disadvantages I would have to adjust to with having mid-week off. Initially, I thought my biggest hurdle would be that my social activities would be few and far between. What I didn’t expect, however, was how it would affect my daily life.
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For most people, getting off at 10:00 p.m. isn’t so bad. Technically, if I wanted to go out on weekends, I could just leave straight from work and still be able to sleep in the next morning. As an introvert and an early bird, getting off at 10:00 p.m., and not getting home until 10:30 p.m., means only one thing to me: time to go to bed. Naturally, my body wakes me up around 7:00 a.m., but I have been pushing myself to sleep until 8:00 a.m. to get the maximum amount of energy needed for my shifts. Yes, my job only requires me to sit and stare at a screen and/or take phone calls for 10 hours, but that is still 10 hours of mental and physical attention. When I get home, I am less likely to spend time on my bedtime routine and even more less likely to motivate myself to get up and work out in the mornings like I had gotten used to when I was not working.
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Almost immediately, I started to notice weight gain and breakouts on my face. Since I am sitting for so many hours, my usual [and unfortunate] snacking habit only amplifies because I have a scheduled, 30-minute lunch break everyday. I tried to combat and, frankly, justify this habit by working out on my off days, but eventually it just started to feel like I was staying at the same weight because I hadn’t changed anything about my routine at work. I also stopped focusing on my skincare rituals because I just wanted to get to bed as quick as possible. When you’re borderline falling asleep, who has the energy to stay up an extra 15 minutes just for a face mask?
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That feeling of laziness further translated into me really falling into the casual dress code at work and overall just looking and feeling like a slob. I did not like what I was seeing in the mirror and I was losing my self-confidence. I know it seems like these “daily life problems” are extremely vain, but personally I like the feeling of taking care of myself. At first, I too did register this as vanity and trying to ‘keep up appearances’, but then I realized, the things I used to do everyday when I was unemployed were things I enjoyed. I enjoyed working out four times a week. I enjoyed my morning and nightly skincare routines. I enjoyed being in my own skin! I have always believed in the saying, “When you look good, you feel good.” All of these little things that seem vain from an outside perspective truly affect my self-confidence and ultimately takes an effect in the way I operate.
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I decided to bite the bullet. I needed to press reset. This meant waking up a little earlier on a couple of work days to get a quick workout in. This meant staying up a little later to prep my skin to repair overnight. This meant choosing healthier snacks and eating full meals. Overall, it meant that in order for me to feel like me again, I had to make some small sacrifices that I knew would ultimately make me happier. Now, I am definitely fortunate that my only problems right now outside of student loans are trying to work on looking and feeling better about myself, but we all have our own personal struggles. Self-confidence has always been an issue for me and I know it will never really go away. The issue is, I am always looking from the outside in instead of the inside out and telling myself, “Things could be worse.”
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I realized, however, that I should not let others/other things dictate what should and should not be important in my life. What is important to me is working on that so that I can ultimately be a better person for myself, for my job, for the people in my life. So yes, liking what I see in the mirror reflects in other areas for me personally. Naturally, we sacrifice parts of ourselves for different things whether that be a job, a relationship, or a personal goal. The lesson here is that we have to always remind of ourselves of what brings happiness into our lives. It is about making sure that every now and then when we get lost in it all, we remind ourselves of those things that bring us a sense of confidence; things hat help us restart, refresh, and renew.

xx, AE
photo cred: Ilse Campos

The Epiphany

The Epiphany

A few weeks ago, I had a breakdown. I passed my seven-month mark of unemployment and I could no longer focus on the idea that change was around the corner. While I am completely aware that millions of people are in my current situation, knowing this did not bring me a sense of peace or comfort. I felt that I had accomplished so much through my college career that I could not understand why, at the very least, I was not getting interviews. I started to rethink and regret everything.
I gave in to the belief that my major was useless. I started to overanalyze job descriptions, convincing myself I did not have a skill set beyond knowing “how to talk.” I especially beat myself up for participating in the internship program this summer in London at the expense of a potential full-time job opportunity with a company I love. But something changed–I had an epiphany. Continue reading “The Epiphany”

Under Construction

Under Construction

I feel like I am constantly writing a “sorry I’ve been MIA” post as if I have a major following. Still, I feel like if I say I have new posts every Sunday, I should uphold it. Funny enough, I say this as I am posting on a Monday evening, but I felt like some form of update was due to explain the last few weeks as well as what you should expect moving forward for as long as I am in my current state. Continue reading “Under Construction”

3 Steps in the Right Direction

3 Steps in the Right Direction

We are officially halfway through January and I can’t help but wonder how many of us have gotten off track for our New Year’s Resolutions.

I know I have which has inspired me to write a three-step “cheat sheet,” if you will, for ways to achieve your new-year-goals. I think we can agree that the new year symbolizes a fresh start so naturally, we dive in head-first to try something new, whether it be hitting the gym more or making specific career moves. It is easy the first couple of days when everyone is recharged after the holidays, but once we fall back into routine, everything falls back into routine. So how do we fight this?
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Continue reading “3 Steps in the Right Direction”

16 Lessons from 2016

As the year [finally] comes to a close this weekend, I thought I’d share 16 lessons I learned from 2016:

  1. Adversity comes in many forms.
  2. You can’t please everyone, so follow your own path.
  3. Success is subjective, but not relative.
  4. Support those who support you.
  5. Give without expecting to receive.
  6. Communication is still key even in confrontation.
  7. Show your friends and family you appreciate them.
  8. When someone shows you who they are, believe them.
  9. Embrace vulnerability.
  10. Continue to be kind, but don’t let others take advantage of your kindness.
  11. Life hardly goes according to plan and that’s okay.
  12. Letting go, in every way, is healthy and necessary.
  13. Relationships change because people change, but change is good.
  14. Personal growth is a cycle, so soak in the sunshine and weather the storms.
  15. Say yes more.
  16. The longest relationship you’ll ever be in is with yourself–cater to it.

I hope everyone had a happy holiday and please be safe this New Year’s Eve.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!


xx, AE