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My Deepest Condolences August 25, 2015

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Friendships, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Real World.
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I’m standing in Paper Source staring at all these cards. When it’s a birthday or an anniversary, there’s always one or two that are just right, you’ll always find a unique greeting that makes you open it to see what’s on the inside. Unlike a birthday, or an anniversary or any of occasion, none of these cards are ones I want to pick up and open, none of these cards are right at all. How do you pick out a card that says everything you’re feeling when you don’t know what to say?

IMG_4893-2-500x500When we’re younger, our parents handle the hard stuff. Sure, as kids we have feelings and emotions when people pass away, or get fired, or fall ill, but we don’t have to handle them out in real life. In my lifetime, I’ve yet to lose someone so close that it paralyzed me for a moment. I’ve never had to decide if flowers were appropriate, and then try to pick some out, or wonder if sending a card was a better idea. I’ve never had to decide if I should jump on the first flight out and go, or if I should make a phone call instead. What I’ve learned is that there is no right answer, because when you’re grieving it all feels wrong anyway. (more…)

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!!!

Stop Thinking Like a 30-Something, Start Thinking For Yourself! May 4, 2015

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Apartment Life, children, Dating, Education, Family, Following Your Dreams, Friendships, Jobs and Work, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Relationships.
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If you have’t noticed yet, I re-post a lot of Elite Daily articles. It’s a site I really admire because they have a lot of great things to say, especially to twenty-somethings. Most recently, I found this article on how those in their 20’s need to stop thinking like those in their 30’s. While I was reading it, I found myself disagreeing with many of the points that were made. I like reading different people’s views or opinions on life, most of all, how their experiences have shaped them, and I do think that there are always beneficial moments to take from everything you read. However, when we are encouraging or supporting those who are coming up after us, I think it’s very important to reinforce positive information for all types of people and all sorts of girls. We come from different backgrounds, upbringings and cultures, so there cannot be an end all be all of how to live your life, or grown-up or shape your future. So, here is my own version of Why 20-Something Women Need To Stop Thinking Like 30-Something Women (but instead, think for themselves!) –

We have all totally been “that girl”. That girl who had two too many glasses of Pinot and starts off on her pity party about never falling in love, having a baby too late in life, never making it in her career, “I just don’t get what’s wrong with me! How is Lindsay Lohan, who’s a total mess, famous and buying houses and cars while I’m an educated, smart, caring girl and I can’t even get a full-time job, or a boyfriend, or a nice apartment?!” I know I’ve been that girl. (more…)

Why There’s a Time, a Place, and a How April 11, 2015

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in 21st Century/Technology, Friendships, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Real World, Relationships.
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Over the course of my twenties, I’ve made lots of mistakes (some of which, are in this very sentence 😉 )! The best thing about doing things wrong, is learning to do them right. Think back to when you were four, and your mom told you not to touch the hot iron, it wasn’t a toy, but the temptation was too much to bear! The second mom left the room, you touched it, just with the tip of your index finger, but it was enough to teach you that there is a reason mom told you stay away. There is a time, a place, and a how for all things.

So, over the years I’ve made a collection of the biggest faux pas, both mine and others, that I’ve seen. There are certain things in life that people just can’t seem to get right, and not only that, but it also seems they occur at more than one occasion, with more than one group of people. Here are the things that have an etiquette, whether you like it or not.

Sending out invites on time – Whether it’s your birthday, a surprise party, your wedding, or a going away shindig, people have lives and the sooner they know about something, the better it will be for everyone involved! Obviously, if it’s a big event, like an anniversary celebration, or your bachelorette party, you’re going to want to do something a little more formal, and since this is such big event, give people the opportunity to make time for you, a month, or even more in advance is probably appropriate. Something a little smaller scale like your birthday may not require a mailed RSVP card, but it’s still nice to give people at least two weeks notice so they can try to make it. A while back I got an invite to a bachelorette party a week before it was happening, I was devastated because I had been looking forward to it, but anticipated it at a later date. What made it worse was that I was on a business trip, something I couldn’t get out of, and something I could have easily rescheduled had I known far in advance. Who won? No one! I didn’t get to go! She didn’t get to see me! And much, much, drinking was missed by both sides. (Friends don’t let friends miss drinks, just sayin’.) If you are sending out invites to an event, another thing to keep in mind is those who may not be getting one. If they aren’t invited, don’t talk about the event in front of them. If they are invited, make sure they get all the details, and make sure they ARE actually invited. There was a once a wedding I was invited to, but never got a save the date, it was clear I got cut from the final guest list, which wouldn’t have been so bad, if I hadn’t already been so honored to be asked to attend initially. (more…)

The Long Distance Cocktail April 3, 2015

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Friendships, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Relationships, Traveling.
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Friendships are not a contract. They contain no fancy words, no lines for signatures. There can be no mediation. So, how do you make them work when you have no guarantees and no way to prove that someone isn’t being a good pal…when you’re thousands of miles away?

The way to make a friendship work is kind of like mixing a cocktail; two parts awesome human, one part love, a shot of honesty, five dashes of trust, shake, serve over ice and garnish with a slice of free time. Sometimes, this will come out perfect, but more often than not, you’ll have to play around with the proportions until you get it just right. Even your best friends need adjustments as the drink gets old, and the regulars don’t order it anymore. New friends are always spicy and have a good kick! As they become older friends, they’re like your favorite beer, a go to, but you don’t always want reliability, sometimes you want excitement too! The greatest friends can change together, and apart, and still find a way to make the taste work.

Screen Shot 2015-04-01 at 7.35.06 PMWhen you no longer live near your friends, you lose a huge aspect of what makes you friends – accessibility. There is no more impromptu coffee when you’re having a bad day, or last minute sleep over because you need to have a night out. Anytime you want to see them, you have to plan months in advance, and even just a phone call can take a week or more to schedule. It’s not fair, but it’s also an amazing new aspect to your friendship you can make work. (more…)

Supporting Those Who Come After Us March 30, 2015

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Friendships, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Real World, Relationships, Women.
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There are a lot of women in this world who will put you down. They will tell you that life will be hard, it will be unfair, and the only way to make it is to fight like hell and not let any man come between you and your destiny. While some of this may be true, there seems to be a trend amongst “older” women to discourage “younger” women, rather than lift them up. I was never given a handout, I was dealt very few favors, but I was lucky in my early twenties to meet some wonderful women who helped guide me.

There was a night I was sitting a restaurant with a good friend of mine. The bill came, she reached for it, and when I offered some money she refused. She said to me, “SK, to me, this is a scratch on the surface, but to you, right now, this is a big junk of change. One day, you will meet a younger girl, who’s just starting out, and you will get her bill. That’s how you can pay me.” I never forgot that. The problem was, for much of my twenties I didn’t feel like the “older”, wiser, more experienced girl. In fact, the only individuals younger than me I felt I had any seniority over where children under the age of 13. Sometimes, I’d look at high schoolers and think “they’ll never take a page out of my book, I’m practically the same age as them!” There was a time I wasn’t even sure I would ever shake that feeling. What I know now, is that time will come.change1

There was no specific moment I looked in the mirror and said “Now, now I feel like a grown-up!” and confetti magically appeared from the sky. When push came to shove, I just was, I just was a grown-up. Whether it’s being put in charge of a group of teenage girls, or sitting at a coffee shop with a 22 year old who just finished college, there is something that comes over you that makes it all click – you do know more about life, you do have more life experience, and you even have more mistakes to show them how not to follow in your footsteps. Guidance and advice don’t always come from being perfect, they can just come from having seen the world, and having been royally $%&!’d by it! (more…)

Do What You Want! March 18, 2015

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Following Your Dreams, Friendships, Life Lessons/Growing Up.
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All dressed up and nowhere to go – sound familiar? In our twenties we spend much of our time waiting on other people; waiting to go out, waiting to join social groups, waiting to buy tickets, waiting to leave parties. What we don’t realize is that while we’re spending so much time waiting on other people, we aren’t actually following our own instincts or desires. How many times have you waited for a group of people to commit to an event, only to find that those “great deal!” tickets suddenly jumped up in cost by $50 each? Or that moment your friend said they’d let you know when they were ready to meet up, so you’ve been sitting all dressed with your hair and makeup done, waiting for some random text? Looking back, you only feel kind of dumb for not taking action when your gut told you to.

Now that I’m slowly moving out of my twenties, there are few things I regret, but I can definitely say it took me more than my handful of lessons to learn that waiting on other people is nothing but that, waiting. Much of this comes from our desire to not do things alone, quitting a job is a lot easier if your friend will also be leaving, or going to a volunteer meeting feels more comfortable if you know someone there. However, would we rather lose the opportunity to find a new job, or volunteer for an organization because we’re waiting on our friend to commit? Of course, we can’t walk through life just committing to things when we’ve told other people we’ll do it with them, nor can we control other people, at the end of the day if someone doesn’t call you back or doesn’t give you a straight answer, you can’t reach into their brain and read their mind. What we can do is make a conscious effort to make our own decisions on our own terms.

Have a time limit – if you’re waiting to buy concert tickets, or decided if you’re going to road trip to see a game, tell your friends when you need to know by, an actual date or time. “Because of my schedule, I need to know one way or the other by Tuesday night”, that way, if you haven’t heard, you can call everyone that morning and tell hem it’s yes or no by the end of the day. At that point, you can make your own plans and people who still want to join in can tag along with you.

Be a wrangler – sometimes the problem with not getting commitments is that no one is in charge. Be the point-person for events, meet-ups, going to parties together. Sometimes people want someone else to tell them where to be, at what time, and what to expect. It’ll make it easier to get responses from people if they already know you’re the person to talk to. (more…)

Adults Need Help Too! March 7, 2015

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Family, Friendships, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Relationships.
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Adult; a person who has attained the age of majority and is therefore regarded as independent, self-sufficient, and responsible.

Check. Check. and Check. So If I’m an adult, if I meet all the necessary job requirements, if I have all the appropriate skill sets, why do I feel so incomplete doing things alone?

Imagine you’re from a family of twelve (or maybe you are!), now imagine you’ve never had a waking moment to yourself. Everything was done with you, for your, or alongside you for as long as you could remember. Then you pop into the real world, you’re out of college and you’re living miles and miles away from your nearest sibling. Freedom, right? You can finally have your own space. While that may seem excellent for the first few weeks, soon you’ll feel like a part of you is missing, eating dinner in front of the TV by yourself just isn’t what you thought it would be. Now, imagine a scenario where you come from a great family of four, a mom, a dad, a sibling. Your parents both work, your brother is an all-star soccer star, so you’ve been left to your own devices for much of your childhood. Many would refer to you as mature, responsible, old for your age. You’ve been making stove-top mac and cheese since you were 9, and you’ve prefect it! So when you jump out into the world, you’re readily equipped to just up and do things, but maybe you’ve spent so much time being alone that you want something new, something different, something that comforts you.

If humans were meant to do things alone, we wouldn’t have each other. Some people like more space than others, but the reason we have friends and family is because we aren’t meant to do everything in our life alone. Learning how to be by oneself is a great lesson, because the reality is that sometimes you will have to do things alone – take a flight by yourself, rent an apartment alone, go to the doctor, deal with an insurance claim, all these things that are uncomfortable and not fun. Still, there is no shame in not wanting to.

Not wanting to battle life without a hand to hold does not make you weaker, it does not make you less of an adult, or incapable. Often times when we ask someone for help, people tell us we need to grow up, perhaps so many times that we just stop asking for help. Don’t, don’t do that. Never forget how to ask for someone to support you, even if all they do is stand there. As long as you’re willing to try new things, and open to being brave, even when you’re scared, then you’ve already won the battle. Having a friend to hold your hand is a hard thing to ask, so asking for help is just as hard and handling life alone. We may be adults, but adults need help too sometimes.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Awkward Significant Other Meetings March 3, 2015

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Dating, Friendships, GoodGuys File, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Men, Relationships, Women.
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The GoodGuys File

We’ve all had that moment, we’re meeting our friend’s significant other and could say it’s a little less than what we’d like to be doing that day. Sometimes those meetings are loads of fun but many times they’re just a ball of anxiety in your stomach until you get it over with. Speaking from experience, here are some fun and supportive ways to get through it…and maybe even enjoy it! 

 Your Best Friend’s New Girlfriend 

It’s always exciting when your friend tells you they’re dating someone new! The first thing you always says is “I can’t wait to meet her!” so when you do, remember to respect that this is hard for her so never make her feel like an outsider, invite her in! Meeting a significant other who’s a guy is different, men don’t feel as territorial over friends but women can become very judgmental if they feel another girl is taking their place, so while you should be cautious no matter what gender your best friend’s significant other is, be particularly aware of your behavior if you are the same sex. 

Do!: Talk to them! Never talk around someone, if you’re telling a story tell it to them and use phrases like “You’ll never believe what he did, let me tell you!” or “I have to tell you about this one time he totally embarrassed himself”. This will not only make the night fun but it will make her feel part of the picture and like you accept her. Even if she says or does something wrong, don’t call her out, this isn’t the time or the place. Feel free to voice what you know, but in an open or kind way. 

Don’t!: Talk around her – try not to use words like “we” or “us”, it will make her feel like an outsider, like you don’t want her taking away your best guy friend. Don’t ignore her either, if she also has a statement or story, listen, even if you think it’s dumb or not entertaining. Not everyone you meet will be a winner, but the first meeting is not for you to act rude, it’s to get to know them. They may surprise you! (more…)

Move On From The Friend Who Couldn’t Move with You February 4, 2015

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Friendships, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Moving, Relationships.
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I find that it’s the same old story – you meet new people, you make connections, before you know it you’re going out for drinks, getting together for birthdays, and telling them your deepest thoughts and fears. Then, you get a new job, you relocate, you go to school and the friends that promised you now and forever can’t even make time to send a two-line text. It’s really flabbergasting, and it’s not okay. Sometimes it’s scary to admit that you’re sad, sometimes it’s embarrassing to say that someone just simply didn’t want to be your friend for no good reason, but someone’s got to say it so others know that it’s not just them.

Many of our loyal readers know that DLIH relocated to Chicago over a year ago. Prior to this move, I wrote some of my favorite people an e-mail, explaining my decision to move, and thanking them for always being so supportive of me. In response to this e-mail I received a very heartfelt note about how sad and shocked one of my girlfriends was about my move, we weren’t the best of friends but we had become closer and I was equally as touched by her letter and sad that we wouldn’t be seeing each other regularly anymore. When I said goodbye, I cried and I hugged her and I never one thought we’d never talk again…but we really never did. Shortly after relocating, I texted her for some advice, and got a fairly normal but slightly short response. There were a couple of jokes shared between us, mostly me on the joking end and her simply answering “haha”, or “LOL”. Slowly, the responses stopped, and one night, when I found out she was thinking about coming to Chicago I sent a message telling her to let me know because I’d love to see her, but a nothing came of it. I realized that we weren’t friends, and we weren’t ever going to be again. And it really sucked. (more…)