Archive | December, 2013

My Problem With All This Talk About the New Year

30 Dec

2014

With just a couple more days before the New Year, there’s a lot of talk about making resolutions.

Now I personally think resolutions are great, that’s not what I have an issue with.

Here’s what really frustrates me…

Sure, 2014 is full of promise. It’s a chance to start over or simply start something new.

But as the New Year approaches, we find ourselves making wishes.

We find ourselves begging and pleading…

2014… please be good to me.

And then when 2014 doesn’t turn out to be as good as you’d hoped for, suddenly it’s 2014’s fault. Suddenly you find yourself hoping for 2015…probably sometime around March.

But that’s kind of crazy, because a year is just a year.

What you put into that year… that’s what makes the difference.

You can have a terrible year, or you can have a good year.

Heck, you can have the best year of your life.

But it’s entirely up to you.

You won’t lose those 20 pounds you’re hoping you’ll lose without eating right and exercising.

You won’t land that new job if you’re not working on your resume and sending it out to potential employers.

You won’t make your relationship better if you sit in front of your new PS4 every night.

I don’t know how it happened or why it happened, exactly, but it seems that we’ve come to enjoy playing the role of victim in our everyday lives.

When something bad happens, it’s not our fault.

And when something good happens, it’s only because we got really lucky.

But my question, I guess, is the following: is there any personal accountability anymore?

We’re looking to 2014 as if it’s this magical place of hope and joy…

A place where suddenly we have more money and have better relationships and we’re just overall much happier.

But it’s just a freaking year.

It’s just a number.

After 1 comes 2 and after 2013 comes 2014.

Your 2014 will be what you make of it.

If you put effort into it, chances are, it’ll be a great year for you.

And if you sit back hoping that good things are just going to magically happen to you, then I’m sure you’ll find yourself disappointed.

So use this time wisely.

What I love the most about this time right before the New Year is that it’s an opportunity to reflect on the things that have happened over the past 365 days.

I ask myself a series of questions…

What’s been awesome?

What really sucked?

How can I do better?

What do I need to work on?

What do I want?

But most importantly…

How can I make that happen?

Because at the end of the day, you can make all the wishes you want while eating your grapes on New Years Eve, but if you don’t realize that the success of 2014 is up to YOU, you’ll just be making the same wishes next year.

So make your new year count.

Make it the best one by far.

Make it so good that when 2015 comes along you’re just so damn proud of yourself.

Because you were responsible for it.

Because you put forth the effort.

Because you went after everything you wanted.

And you got it.

Hope your new year is absolutely wonderful and that 2014 brings you the determination to be the very best version of yourself.

Really, there’s nothing better than that. xoxo, Kayla

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Millennials: Don’t Be Afraid to Operate Solo

19 Dec

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I think we’ve finally accepted it: being in your twenties can be slightly lonely. Lone-ranger status… a lot. I used to be one of those people who needed to be around 50 other people in order to feel happy. But as I’ve grown, I’ve come to absolutely LOVE the time I spend alone. Because we need it- for our sanity. And I also feel super-cool when I can get things done on my own. Today’s guest post from Jessica is perfect, reminding us that there’s nothing wrong with operating solo. Enjoy!

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What they don’t tell you about your twenties – the decade of late nights, traveling, reconnecting with high school friends and indulging in happy hours – is that it can get lonely.

Maybe you’re moved into your first apartment without roommates, or you’ve felt a creeping sense of self-consciousness at weddings and baby showers. Perhaps you’re newly single and feeling like you’re waiting at a stand-still, trying to navigate “real life” after college whilst friends are scoring awesome industry jobs and packing up for a new city. Regardless of the scenario, you’re beginning to realize that not all relationships – romantic or platonic, The Notebook-esque or General Hospital-worthy – will last forever, and that’s okay.

Because you have yourself to keep you company. And if you’re introverted, maybe that’s something you understood back in middle school the summer after your peers returned in September, extra mean and extra pimply. If you’re extroverted, maybe it’s something you’re only just coming to terms with now.

Learning to be comfortable with yourself and your thoughts is an understated and yet highly important skill. Knowing how to relish in “me time” is a serious benefit to your emotional and physical health. Relationships complicate and convolute your inward perspective, but being alone will teach you who you are and what you want; what gets you off and what makes you tick; what breaches your tolerance level and what fuels your passion. Introducing yourself to solo situations now will only help you to thrive in these environments as they crop up more frequently in the future.

Take Care of Yourself

Sure, you learned how to do a load of wash, use the elliptical and prepare a meal that wasn’t purchased in the frozen food section while in college. But did you ever try exercising without a gym or jogging buddy? In your 20’s, you should warm up to the idea of attending a class, taking a walk, or just hitting the gym without a friend, and create a workout routine that doesn’t require the coordination of two schedules. You should also stock your kitchen with all the basic essentials – cookware sets like these from Belgique are super affordable – and get into the habit of preparing a fancy-pants dinner for one. Bonus points if you eat it without the TV on. Every so often, don’t be afraid to venture out on your own to get your nails or hair done, and chat with your beautician instead of asking a friend to tag along.

Travel and Explore

Learn how to hail a cab, and take a train or public transportation on your own after mapping out your destination. Take a solo day trip somewhere. Hop in your car, or rent a Zip Car for the day, and drive out to some location or attraction a few hours from home, and spend the afternoon adventuring and sight-seeing. Take lots of selfies and just be present in the moment, taking in all of the new sights and sounds around you. One day, you may even have the guts to take a vacation alone with just me, myself, and I. Sound intimidating? Thousands of people do it every year, whether “it” means backpacking through South Asia, touring around with a group, or taking off for a few days to grab a tan and engage with the locals.

Socialize

Going out without a designated buddy doesn’t mean maintaining your solitude. If loneliness is what we’re trying to combat, then optimize every opportunity to go out and meet new friends and networks of people – just don’t be afraid to venture out alone initially. Attend a networking event or conference, or an introductory class just for kicks. It can be yoga, pottery, HTML coding, resume building, beer brewing; whatever floats your boat. And if you get asked to a party where you only know the person who invited you, go anyway! Tough it out for a few hours, or at least until everyone has warmed up with liquor, and see if you can’t have a good time with a new crowd.

Go to a movie. Make it a matinee, though, so you can prop your feet up on the chair in front of you and rattle your candy and slurp your Coke as loudly as possible. Accompany yourself to happy hour: dress cute, and bring a book or watch whatever game is playing. The sooner you become comfortable and embrace the ability to go out single, the more you will be able to experience when work, family, and conflicting schedules get in the way of plans.

Nights spent on the couch watching Netflix are comfortably easy, but too many of them will make you resentful and lonely. It’s important to get comfortable with yourself sans distractions in your twenties to help build confidence and develop self-awareness and efficiency. Don’t miss out on life because you’re afraid of operating solo – as you get older, you’ll be spending more and more time alone, and that can be a wonderful thing.

Jessica Herbine is a twenty-something PR and Marketing professional working in Philadelphia. She loves to read, write, attend theater performances, rock concerts, and go out for dinner and drinks. Find her on Twitter at @jessherbs, and follow her blog at http://www.100wpm.wordpress.com!

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On Saying Yes to Everything

12 Dec

try-or-die1

A good friend of mine got really mad at me the other day.

She was venting to me about how terribly bored she is these days, and I kind of told her it was her own fault.

I’m not a mean person, I promise. I just thought it was important to tell her the truth.

Because my friend is basically a hermit.

She doesn’t try new things and she doesn’t put herself out there.

And she likes it that way, because it’s safe.

So I told her that she needs to open herself up to the universe.

“Open myself up to the universe??? What kind of Buddha Gandhi BS is that?”

(Yea, I really wasn’t her favorite person that day)

But the point I was trying to make to her is that it’s important to say yes to new experiences…it’s okay to try something a little crazy.

Because it’s so easy to develop a routine.

Wake up.

Eat.

Go to work.

Eat.

Go to school.

Eat.

Watch Netflix.

Go to bed.

Start all over again.

And while there’s nothing wrong with forming a routine that you’re comfortable with, nothing amazing is going to happen to you if you’re alone…locked inside your room…every. day.

Of course you’re going to be bored.

You’re not DOING anything.

All of us twentysomethings…we’re pretty much very new to life.

There are SO MANY THINGS that we’ve never tried before.

So we should go do them.

We should join a club.

We should learn a language.

We should go on an adventure.

And most importantly, we shouldn’t be afraid to say yes to opportunities that come our way.

For example, not too long ago, I was asked to be a guest on the Chelsea Krost radio show. And when I first received the news, I was like, “No way.”

Me??? Do a radio show? I don’t even like the sound of my own voice.

But then I remembered the advice that I give to other people…

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So I did it. And it was awesome. And now I can say that I’ve been on a radio show.

The point is this…

If you’re lucky, you’ll be given lots of opportunities in life that are going to scare the crap out of you.

And if you’re smart, you’ll consider taking them…

Because those are the ones that will change your life.

I recently came across an interview of the fabulous Marissa Mayer, Yahoo CEO.

When asked about her success and about how she got to be where she is today, this was her resopnse:

I always did something that I was a little not ready to do. That’s how you grow. That’s when you have your breakthrough.

So yes, I take on a lot of projects.  And yes, I usually have no clue what I’m doing.

But I’m learning and I’m growing and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.

comfort-zone

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To Stay At The Top, You Need to Keep Working

4 Dec

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I never thought I’d be one to like sports, but hey, things happen.

Yes, thanks to my boyfriend’s weirdly intense obsession- I’ve become a die hard Alabama Football fan.

So unless you live under a rock, you’re aware of the fact that the University of Alabama lost this weekend to Auburn.

And now- because I’m admitting this- you also know that I was in tears all weekend.

In a nutshell, Alabama was well on their way to winning 3 consecutive National Championships.

They were well on their way to making history.

They’d been at the top for so long, but this game, sadly, ended their winning streak.

And broke my heart in the process.

When I think about their season this year, I can’t help but wonder just how badly they wanted to keep winning.

I can’t help but wonder if they really understood what it would take.

That in order to stay at the top, they’d  have to keep working at it- even harder than before.

Even harder than they may have wanted to.

Think about it…

It’s awesome when we reach our goals.

It’s awesome when we’re successful.

We get a promotion…we’re proclaimed an expert in our field…we win that National Championship.

It’s wonderful, and we celebrate, and we’re proud of ourselves for having achieved these things.

We made it.

We’re at the top.

Life is good.

But it’s whether or not we continue working just as hard AFTER our success…

That’s what determines how long we stay there.

So we can’t get comfortable.

We can’t just ride on our past success.

Instead, we need to keep moving forward…keep making progress…

Otherwise, we’ll lose it.

So the next time you find yourself in a great position…the next time you’re excited because you’ve reached your goal…

Ask yourself, “Do I want to keep this?”

And if you do, prepare yourself to work harder than you ever have.

Because that’s what it takes to stay on top.

The commitment to keep on pushing.

And on a side note,

ROLL TIDE.

you mad

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