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Taking the Red Pill – Part II September 18, 2015

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Finances, Following Your Dreams, Jobs and Work, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Real World.
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Read The Fear of Taking the Red Pill – Part I here!

Design your own life, huh? Design your own life. Often times, when I’m looking for DLIH inspiration or reposts, I scour the internet for things that I think will be helpful or encouraging to twenty-something’s out there. When I stumbled upon Gilbert Ross’s article last month, I was so drawn in by the words on my screen. I felt like the universe had pushed me, head first, into that webpage. It couldn’t have come at a better time.

When I left my fulltime job six months ago, I had a plan. Just because you have a plan doesn’t mean you do anything about it. Albert Einstein said, “Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.” Everyone can sit down and write out a plan, all it is, is pen to paper. Sure, it’s a step, but if you take no action on that plan, then what was the point? Does it just make a pretty picture? The value is seeing your plan through, not just talking about how successful you want to be. For the last six months my friends and family had been telling me “do something about your plan. Just try!” In the back of my mind I knew I needed to, I knew they were right but I still didn’t do anything about it. The truth is, I was, and still am, absolutely terrified. I think the hardest part wasn’t taking the first step, it was admitting why I wasn’t doing anything about it. Telling people you’re scared is hard.Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 10.41.03 PM

I won’t lie and tell you that after I got the ball rolling things were easy, they actually got harder. There is an element of embarrassment that comes with starting over in your late twenties. Putting yourself out there for jobs you are overqualified for or to be an intern is difficult, it makes you very vulnerable. Think about when you get rejected for your dream job, it sucks, but at least you tried; now think about when you get rejected for a job you are 100% perfect for, it’s annoying. Now, envision you get rejected for an internship when you’ve been in the workforce for ten years and have loads of experience…what is that, if not embarrassing?

It’s also hard to follow your dream when you’re a grown-up because you still need to earn money, somewhat. I’m lucky that I’m not flipping burgers or ringing items up at Target, I have a part-time jobs that’s in line with my career path but, once again, I’m being bossed around by managers younger than me, or often asked if “I’m in school” or “if this is my summer job”. No, I’m an adult. In fact, I’m so adult that the majority of my friends are either, married, have kids, or a mortgage, or all three! I don’t remember the last time I was out past 11pm and my favorite thing to do is watch movies with my cat. Ask me again if I’m “old enough to drink”, I dare you.

I’m not saying all these things because I want to stifle anyone’s ambitions. I’m saying them because I am confident there are other people out there who are starting over in their twenties and they are going through exactly this. When you’re tired, or confused, or don’t know which step to take next, remember that if not now, then when? One of my friends said something encouraging to me recently; I was telling her, over lunch, how hard this was, what bad timing it was with my wedding and all, and she just sat their with this huge smile on her face as I poured my heart out all over my salad. Then she said to me, “I think this is the perfect time.” It wasn’t much, but she brought a different outlook to the situation. There are people out there who reinvent themselves at 50. It might feel like we’re in a pressure cooker, like we have to make smart choices right now, right this second, because we want to have a nice life in three-five years, but take a step back and look around – people with three kids change careers, people who are forty-five go back to school, if it means having a happier life or following your dream you should do it, you will figure out how to conquer the obstacles later, and you will conquer them.

If starting over when you’re a little older has one advantage it’s that you have been through the ringer once before, you know how to handle life and you’re less flustered when things hit you. The last time you did this you were probably in college or simply younger and you were naive, you thought you’d get a dream job and have a penthouse apartment by the time you were thirty. Now, you know what life is, and how it works and you can handle it, even if you think you can’t. You can.

Just remember, if other people can do it, then you can. You can.

30 Is Not the New 20 – Now is The Time! August 30, 2015

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Dating, Finances, Jobs and Work, Life Lessons/Growing Up, marriage, Real World, Relationships.
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My entire life I have focused on a timeline; I want to be living on my own at 18, I want to be stable at 24, I want to be married by 28, I want a baby at 30. People thought I was crazy, they told me it was too much pressure to box myself into such a strict timeline, but I didn’t see it as an ultimatum, I saw it as a map, a series of gems to collect along my life path to the age of 30. To this day, people don’t get it but Dr. Meg Jay said it best – milestones are important! 

If you want to know why your twenties are, not only, the craziest, but the MOST important decade in your life, mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually, read this amazing Q & A with clinical psychologist and author of The Defining Decade, Dr. Meg Jay. Here’s a quick taste:

“Our 20s are the defining decade of adulthood. 80% of life’s most defining moments take place by about age 35. 2/3 of lifetime wage growth happens during the first ten years of a career. More than half of Americans are married or are dating or living with their future partner by age 30. Personality can change more during our 20s than at any other decade in life. Female fertility peaks at 28. The brain caps off its last major growth spurt. When it comes to adult development, 30 is not the new 20.  Even if you do nothing, not making choices is a choice all the same. Don’t be defined by what you didn’t know or didn’t do.”

What is that Twenty-Somethings Really Want?! May 22, 2015

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Apartment Life, Dating, Family, Finances, Friendships, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Real World, Relationships, Traveling.
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This article really resonated with me, and everything I have felt at one point or another. Take a read, and remember that you’re not the only one out there who wants the simply things – like a couch that’s not from Ikea (that you probably failed to put together…twice). 

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Work has been crazy over in DLIH land! But I promise, new posts, insightful articles, and more randomness coming very, very soon!!!

The Keys to Success March 14, 2015

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in 21st Century/Technology, Finances, Following Your Dreams, Jobs and Work, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Tips and Tricks.
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Learn to laugh at yourself. Invest in your future. Take responsibility. Have a thick skin. Don’t be afraid to take risks. 

What do all these things have in common? Success. Success isn’t something you stumble upon, it’s something you work towards. This article illustrates some of the top traits successful people have, and how to hone in on your own success! Whether it’s in class, at work, or in your personal growth, success is what you make of it!

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Boxed Into Your Job February 24, 2015

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Finances, Following Your Dreams, How To, Jobs and Work, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Real World.
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I DO NOT DO SALES. It’s like I need to tattoo it onto my forehead for people to hear me clearly. I’ve done sales once or twice in my life, I’ve been fairly good at it, so that’s all people hear, that’s all they see, that’s all I am to them.What am I really? I am a human being with ambition. I am a person who wants to be constantly challenged and if I’m giving the chance, I’ll prove that i can be trusted, and that I can exceed people’s expectations. What I am not is a one trick pony. What I am not is a person who can only be good at one thing.

glass_ceilingDo you ever feel like all your boss sees you as is what you are? For many of us, this is the case, whether it’s the profession we’ve chosen or the company we work for, we are only seen as the job we hold, we are only as good as our last day of work. There is this culture in American that if you work hard and long and always say yes, you’ll get a promotion and you’ll grow, however, for many jobs that’s just not true. If you’ve ever been labeled at your job, you understand. That new job opens up in a different department, and it’s something you know you’d just rock at, but when you apply your supervisors tell you that they’re really looking for someone with more specific experience, or that they are really happy with where you are now and a promotion in your division should open up soon. How are you supposed to respond to that? It’s both a compliment and in insult all at once. Better yet, the employers who do offer you a job, for something you did two years ago, because to them that is what you do. Despite how much you’ve grown as a person, despite your age, the place you are in your life, your expenses. Thanks for thinking I was good when we worked together 24 months ago, but now I’m even better, and I’m ready for something new! That internship was awesome when I was 22, I’m almost 25 now and I don’t want to be in the same office space as someone learning how to refill a stapler. (more…)

The Benefits of Being an Adult January 15, 2015

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Family, Finances, Jobs and Work, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Real World.
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They say that with great power comes great responsibility. Well, I supposed that’s true, but I’m guessing many of us, myself included, wouldn’t really consider themselves to have great power, right? Wrong. Power has been feed to us as this majestic, magnificent thing, but the truth is as an adult you have a lot of power. The power to make decisions, the power to speak your mind, the power to have things, buy things, the power to help others. So with all the privilege and freedom being an adult comes with, you have also responsibility.

Responsibility can mean many things to many people; it can be taking care of others – children, pets, loved ones; it can be making sure you take care of yourself – support yourself, pay your bills, find a nice place to live. It can mean being successful – buying your first car, getting married, getting that promotion you’ve been working for. No matter how you define responsibility for yourself, know that being an adult comes with certain expectations, understanding that the world is bigger than you.evasion of responsibility comic (more…)

Making Life Choices…and Facing Hilarious Realities January 8, 2015

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in 21st Century/Technology, Apartment Life, Cooking, Dating, Education, Fashion/Clothes, Finances, Friendships, Health and Fitness, Humor, Jobs and Work, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Men, Real World, Relationships, Shopping, Tattoos/Piercings, Traveling, Women.
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Check out this great post about the Catch-22’s of being in your twenties! Grab a glass of wine, and laugh your bad day away – The 20 Catch-22s Of Being In Your 20’s, by Lauren Martin at the Elite Daily.

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Turning Pretend into Reality June 11, 2014

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Apartment Life, Dating, Family, Finances, Friendships, Jobs and Work, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Real World, Relationships.
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Many of us are very hard on ourselves. If we’ve felt like we’ve battled life alone –  we are constantly trying to find the next level of achievement. If we came from wealth, or help, or a life that was created to be easy – we want to prove everyone wrong. If you’ve always been a winner – failure is the ultimate defeat. If you’ve rarely been a winner – then winning is the only thing you strive for. Most of us fall into one of these categories, if not a couple, so with people like us, we’re always searching for the next thing, reaching for the next level, wanting to prove to the world that we made it!

When I was a little girl, I played house where I had “children”, and I washed “dishes”, and life was perfect. When I got older, my cousins and I would pretend we had fabulous clothes, and fabulous cars and handsome boyfriends like the ones from the Barbie Queen of the Prom Game, and we’d drive to the mall to get our nails done. When I was a teenager, I dreamed about my loft apartment in NYC, my amazing career, and my cool friends who I’d meet a fancy lounges and cute bistros. Even after that, I thought about meeting the man of my dreams, living with my boyfriend, going on vacation together and getting engaged. These are all just dreams, they aren’t real, but within them is an element of very, very honest truth.

inspirational-quotes-3I always felt like once I’d get five steps ahead, I’d fall back down a mile. No matter how far I got in life, something, somewhere, would take a turn and we’d be starting from scratch. If my apartment was amazing, my friendships were in shambles; if I was dating a great guy, work was bumming me out; if I found the greatest opportunity, it didn’t pay enough to justify taking it. Never seemed like I was getting where I wanted to be, but then I’d look back and realize I had come leaps and bounds, and I had much to be proud of.

The other day, I was really beating myself up. Feeling like I wasn’t any closure to my dreams in life and then, something very unique and reflective occurred to me. Ambitious people always feel like they’re reaching, because they always have something to reach for. Each step you take in life brings you closer to a goal, a dream becoming a reality. Four years ago I couldn’t fathom buying a car, realistically or financially and now, I’m probably less than a year away from owning one. It’s a strange thing to strive for, but a huge milestone in life, buying your first car by yourself. I used to go to my friend’s apartments and look around and think “Compared to this, my place is a sardine can from the 70’s. I want an apartment to look like this, feel like a home, and be decorated like a magazine”. Today, I have a beautiful apartment, that’s decorated like a magazine. I always wanted to give to my parents, to have a nice place for them to stay when they come visit, to buy them nice things, and treat them to trips or dinners. I may not be 100% there, but it’s on the horizon. However, when I was twenty, all I dreamed about was having a good job, a good man, and enough money that I could afford to shop at Ann Taylor and Banana Republic almost exclusively. This is my reality, I can buy $40 capris and not feel it too much. So, the thing about dreams is that they change, so even if it feels like you’re always going backwards, you’re actually climbing up a ladder. If you can’t see the top, maybe you should look down, to see how far you’ve come.

Think back to your life five years ago, and how drastically different it was. Imagine yourself five years into the future, how accomplished you will be. Ambition and goals are probably one of the most valuable parts of a personality, but pride is too. It’s okay to pat yourself on the back, it’s okay to spend one second not tearing yourself down. Most of all, it’s okay to feel like you’ve succeed. Truthfully, none of us will ever be fully successful; our job as a partner will never end, our responsibility to pets and children will always exist, our continuos strive to be a better person is ongoing, there is no utopia of perfect that we’re trying to reach, but maybe if there was, success wouldn’t be fun. Knowing that the adventure lies ahead is what creates dreams into your reality.

 

Your Best Investment April 5, 2014

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Education, Finances, Jobs and Work, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Real World.
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I’ll be perfectly honest, for a long time I didn’t believe in college. I thought that I had gotten through life well enough doing my own thing, on my own path and I could do it all without wasting time and money on a degree. Sure, at some point everyone thinks that but for me, it was different. Many of you know I didn’t go to college until I was 22 because I was dancing professionally. It’s also true that many ballerinas don’t ever go to college because, after their careers, they don’t need to. However, I didn’t really value a college education until I realized I didn’t have one. When I was fifteen I told everyone I would get degree in marketing. I didn’t know how or when or where, but I knew that’s what I’d eventually do. Over ten years later, I did do just that, and that’s a great feeling. So, its pretty rough for me to hear about all the people out thee who think getting a college education is no big deal, like they can Cruz through life, and it’ll all just be okay for them.

Over this past year, I’ve listened to two speakers preach about how they didn’t go to college. I, better than anyone, know what forging your own path is like, but is dropping out really something to brag about? Sure, there’s Bill Gates, but the company he started revolutionized the world. What per take of the population actually does that? I think if you are able to get an education, financially, physically, mentally, wasting it is really a waste of your future. When you’re 18 and your parents are probably paying for most of your schooling, you’re just happy to be out of the house, and maybe you don’t take things as you should, maybe you take this degree for granted. When your going to school as an adult, everything is different. You’re more accountable, you see the worth, and most of all you are proud of what you have done. Don’t look us, any of us who have a degree, in the eye and tell us you dropped out and here is why it’s fabulous.

The first speaker I heard, her story went something like this: I didn’t know what I wanted to do in life, so I just moved to this city and worked part-time jobs. Then I went into fashion, but I hated it, so I dropped out. Then I wanted to go into law, by I hated that and I dropped out. Then I moved again and got this job, and now im starting my own company. To be honest, it wasnt inspiring, it was frustrating. Why am I pay my way through college by your on a soap box, preaching about how great you are for never committing to anything you started. Isn’t it more inspiring to come past your obstacles, triumph adversity and achieve something you never knew you could…not simply giving use.

The next speaker I heard, this story went a little different. She never really out right said she didn’t go to school, instead she bent the truth. She told her audience that she did her undergrad in a major city,  so we all equally assumed she went to the state school there. She then told us she got her MBA at an  Ivey league, where she gained the tools to start her company. It was a great story! But it was just that, a story. During the lecture break, I was inspired, so I read her bio online. Turns out, she never went to that state school, she attended a small, local college 3 towns over, which she left before her junior year, and her Ivey league education was nothing more than a 3 week summer session. It was deflating to look up to this person and then have it all come crashing down.

To anyone out there who worked hard for a college education, frankly, it’s insulting. Whether you graduated when you were 22 or 65, this little piece of paper is an achievement, it’s something that no one can ever take away from you. It was an investment you made in your future. Everyone can be successful in many different ways, success is not necessarily measured by education, it’s measured by strength, perseverance, determination, achieving your goals and honesty, among other things. You should also encourage people to be their best self, to strive for things and work now so you don’t have to work later. Giving up, or being lazy, trying to find the “easy” path isn’t something to preach about

What I learned from these speakers wasn’t that there was an easy way out, and wasn’t that I was better than them, or that I was jealous of them, but it was this: if my life came crashing down tomorrow, if I lost everything, I would still have this. I will always have a building block to step on and move forward, and they won’t. I learned that I should never take education for granted,and I should always be a positive influence to others, I should never encourage dishonesty or giving up. Most of all, I learned that I should be proud of myself, because at least in this aspect of life, I made it, I am successful.

Saying No! March 3, 2014

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Dating, Family, Finances, Friendships, Health and Fitness, Jobs and Work, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Real World, Relationships, Uncategorized.
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When I was nineteen, someone taught me the law of Yes. Yes is the answer to everything when you’re young, for many reasons. In order to discover life, be successful, and have experiences to help develop the person you want to be, you have to take risks. Risks involve the word, “Yes”.

“Can you work on Saturday?” – YES!

“Do you want to start a bank account?” – YES!

“Should we take a spontaneous road trip to a city we’ve never been to before?” – YES!

“Are you available to take these boxes to the other office?” -YES!

Yes is the key to growing up. Yes teaches you that you aren’t better than anyone else, that no task is too small, or too below you. It teaches you that things you thought were below your pay grade may actually be harder than you assumed, and it gives you respect for them. It also makes you stronger, saying yes when you really want to say no. Yes helps you step outside your comfort zone, to experience new things and become a stronger, well-rounded, and open-minded human being. Yes forces you to battle things that are scary, and make them not so scary anymore. Yes grows your career, it makes you reliable, dependable, a hard worker, and someone who is willing to do a little extra to earn their way. The law of Yes is what will get you what you want.

….and then you have to learn to say no.

Dr-SeussYou spend the majority of your new adult life learning how to accept things, make choices, and open yourself up to opportunities and while all these are valuable in your early twenties, the purpose of them is to help you grow. If you never said yes to the guy at the bar, you wouldn’t be married to him now! If you never said yes to your boss, you would have never gotten a promotion which eventually landed you your dream job! And, if you never told your friend you’d totally stay out all night when she was going through her break-up, then you’d never have the amazing story to tell! However, when you’re past these things, you learn the rule of saying No.

You have a great job, you’re in a good relationship, you’re saving up for a home you’ll love, and you have wonderful friends; you need to create a work life balance. Staying late at work shows dedication and hard-work but staying late every other day sets precedent that you’re okay with this. No matter how amazing your boss is, you have to tell yourself that somedays you’re going to go home at 5, no matter what, and that’s how it is. When your friends invite you to an all-night bar hop, maybe you realize this is something you no longer enjoy; you want to see them, but you really aren’t in the frame of mind to dance to “Shots”, nor do seven of them. You also know what you deserve at this point, you can say no to a salary that’s lower than your previous; you can say no to your friends who have planned an off-the-cuff trip and need to borrow your couch; you can say no to little indulgences you once didn’t mind, like buying new shoes every month, or spending every night eating hot pockets in bed while watching Hulu. So, no isn’t always a bad thing. It can be taking a stand, knowing that you need to spend time with family, or go to the gym, but it’s also about knowing your worth both when other people don’t recognize it, and when you know you need to take better care of yourself.

Saying yes is hard, reversing the processing to saying no is even harder! You learned once, you can learn again!