Let’s Get Personal

I have been apprehensive to write this post. It is never easy opening up about personal struggles especially in a world where people my age have so much. I can already feel and hear the “What do you have to complain about? Millennials always want something for nothing,” sneers, but this is not complaining–this is a validation of my own feelings and experiences. I knew that I had been wanting to write something more personal while I have been on a second fly-atus, and funnily enough, it took listening to a track off of Ariana Grande’s new album, Sweetener, called “get well soon” to push me to write it. So today, I want to open up about where I have been mentally in the last three or so months.

I tried to articulate my feelings about my life in a post last year, but I have since deleted that post because I felt that I focused too much on trying to make it translatable to my readers rather than just being honest. However, I feel exactly the same now as I did then: stuck, disappointed, and unmotivated. I find myself in this mood more often in the summer months which really is a contrast to the common feelings toward summer: happiness, freedom, fun, etc. For me, it is a time when I am reminded of my physical insecurities which makes me feel uncomfortable in my clothes; which prevents me from wanting to socialize; which makes me stay indoors by myself; which further leads me down a spiral of being stuck with my negative thoughts about my choices with my life.

In a reflection about turning 24, I discuss how I am learning to accept that my youth is not over. People my age, including myself, freak out about getting closer to 30 because we have idealized that 30 is the age when everything should be in place. When you realize that 18 and 30 are the same distance away from 24, you are reminded of how much time has passed and how quickly you have been catapulted into a life of responsibility and routine. So when I am currently spending my three-day weekends sitting at a friend’s house in a different state (which is not as common as people think) or sitting at home doing absolutely nothing, I am torn between enjoying relaxing, and feeling guilty for not being out and living life to the fullest as a young 20-something. These feelings of confusion over what I “should be” doing are not new. Continue reading “Let’s Get Personal”

24: The Year of Letting Go

Yesterday, I turned 24! While that may not generally be a significant age/milestone, it has turned out to be for me and here is why.

Oftentimes, I find myself worrying about my youth. To others, 24 is not old and I by no means see it as old either, but I am constantly asking myself, “Where did the time go?” I graduated from high school six years ago and when I reflect on college just three years ago, I immediately think of all the time I spent studying, napping, and doing laundry. But what about the fun times? I would never downplay the priceless memories of living with seven other girls, joining my dance team, going abroad, and meeting people who will be my friends for the rest of my life; however, when all of those moments were taking place, I can’t help but feel like I wasn’t totally present. I was always one foot in, one foot out, constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop or prematurely mourning a good time because I didn’t want it to end. Of course we all want to hold on to great moments and if we could, we’d live them over and over, but I’m just talking about not allowing myself to be free and leave my worries behind.
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I feel like I lost a lot of my time during my late teens and early 20’s to fear, inhibition, and stress. If I had to explain why, you would be reading my autobiography, but I hate that I allowed that to happen. What I want from turning 24–and moving forward in the rest of my life–is to truly start letting go. I think I have actually written previously on this blog about “letting go,” but I am ready for the weight that I put on myself to be lifted off my shoulders. I spend so much time in my head and focus greatly on self-preservation and trying to build a better character. While there are great things about that, I am also hurting myself by not being physically present in everyday life. I need to just live my life in the way that makes me happiest. That includes reminding myself that nothing (and no one) is perfect and that I should not benchmark any part of my life against another person. It is time to stop punishing myself for not being someone else, and to start accepting myself for who I am.
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For me, the year of 24 is more than just being more outgoing and saying “yes” to things more often–it is about quieting that negative, doubting voice. It is about breaking down my own barriers and throwing away the hypothetical guide to life. What I expect, no, set for this year and beyond is more laughter, more openness to experience and others, and finally living with eyes and heart wide open. 24 is The Year of Letting Go.

xx, AE

Reclaiming My Time

Reclaiming My Time

I know this year has been so inconsistent in terms of my writing. I have had a lot of ups and downs and have mostly lost my inspiration, creativity, and zest for blogging. I will write more about that in an upcoming post, but I will still apologize to the few readers I have out there for being MIA. I have had two trips since my last travel post in Chicago, but I used both trips to disconnect and just be somewhere other than home while spending quality time with my closest friends. From my last post, you could probably feel that my mood has been out of whack for a little while now. Still, I am trying to be proactive about working on that by tackling my first and most important obstacle: time.
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In my short 23 years of life, I haven’t fully grasped that feeling of ‘not having enough time.’ Sure, there have been many moments that I wished could last forever or wishing I had an extra day before an event, a test, etc., but I have always been someone who is on top of things. I never adopted procrastination in any of my education levels and never desired feeling that pressure–or rush, for some–of watching the time run out and seeing if I could accomplish the bare minimum. It is honestly something I am proud of. On the opposite end of the spectrum, however, I constantly have issues with time in terms of centering in on the past and the future. Continue reading “Reclaiming My Time”

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”