I hate to say it but: I’m a hopeless romantic

I just think that people don’t give love enough of a chance.  For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a firm believer of “if you love someone, fight for them”.  I think (know) that that belief is what made my first big breakup extra hard.  I thought that if I had done more or if I did do more, that i would get what I want.  I didn’t realize then that you both have to do the fighting before/or else someone gives up.  

I say this now because I feel insecure about my relationship.  About, not in,  meaning that I feel that others view my being in a relationship as some sort of handicap, I guess.  As if its a negative that I have another person next to me for a few days out of the week.  No one in particular, but I think people as a whole.  Its sort of a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation.  If you’re in a relationship its seen as “so-and-so is always with her boyfriend” but if you’re single it’s seen as “so-and-so doesn’t have a boyfriend, what’s wrong with her?”  
I guess that’s a really good reason to not give a shit what people think because people, in general, are imbeciles.  But people who are in a relationship, unless its abusive or if they really are miserable, should fight if the love is still there. 

I’m not a Beatles fan (I know, I know, every white person is..sorry), but “all you need is love” is true if you put in the work.  I also think that people underestimate how much work a relationship is.  People assume: “if its love, it will be easy”.  Nothing worth having comes easily.  When you think about the fact that you are merging two lives, some times from different backgrounds, upbringings, even socioeconomic situations, its kind of a big deal.  Love or no love, that shit needs to be sat on and incubated like a fucking egg if its ever going to hatch and grow into something beautiful.  

I think that my boyfriend and I have a strange relationship.  Strange in the sense that we should have been done by now. No sensationalizing please, no one has cheated on anyone, we haven’t been at each other’s throats, but life has thrown curveball after curveball at us, things that I have seen not only destroy relationships, but destroy individuals.  And that’s why I’m marveling at the concept of love.  I have never been loved by anyone the way that this person loves me.  He truly feels and believes that I can do no wrong and when I do, he forgives and loves, no questions asked.  I feel like I could literally commit genocide and he’d still be on my side. I’ve amazed that another person could love me this much because I feel that for the first time in my life, someone I love loves as hard as me.  

My whole entire point is, after this long, drawn out post, is that when someone finds love, we should all just shut up and be happy.  I saw a post from an acquaintance of mine on Facebook that he and his man are getting married tomorrow and they are so happy and excited. And it got me thinking: I just can’t imagine anyone ever being upset about two people loving one another.  I don’t understand it and its not natural to hate on love!  Love is rare and those who find it are so fortunate; we should be honoring that and encouraging it no matter who it is, regardless of race or sex or any crazy thing that people find to complain about.  I can’t imagine what my life would be like if the love of my life and I were the same sex and people ridiculed me/us for it.  Love is work and its hard enough; people put their two cents in regardless, add senseless hate on top of that and I don’t know if  I would be able to bear it.  Love in any form should be celebrated because it really is a gift and there isn’t enough of it in this world. That is all! 

Life is music: its all about progression

Not the best analogy ever, but bear with me here.  This is the definition of a chord progression: 

A chord progression (or harmonic progression) is a series of musical chords, or chord changes that “aims for a definite goal” of establishing (or contradicting) a tonality founded on a key, root or tonic chord[1] and that is based upon a succession of root relationships.[2] Chords and chord theory are generally known as harmony.

 

I bolded the important parts :)  Isn’t that what our lives are all about?  Aiming for a definite goal of establishing some thing that is based on root relationships.  Its all harmony; in life we might refer to that as peace. 

I’ve always been all about instant gratification, which has been a huge negative because when gratification is not instant, I put up road blocks for myself.  Over the last week or two, I’ve been seeing slow and steady progress in my feelings and my outlook on my life and where I am right now and as I’ve been progressing, I’ve been feeling more at peace.  This is a wonderful feeling; for the first time, I feel like I can settle in my skin and just be. There is little to no anticipation for what’s next, there’s no feeling of grasping for change or trying to rush it.  I think once I realized that I should be grateful for certain things in my life that I was wanting so badly to change, then I started to really feel grateful, and finally, I started to really feel at peace.  

The feeling of peace puts things in perspective.  I don’t need to rush into the things that I want.  I’m kind of in this “adult purgatory” because I’m 25, I have a job, I’m in a serious relationship, I pay bills, but I still live with my family so I don’t pay for rent or utilities.  I’ve got one foot in the real world.  I would beat myself up for that.  But that’s so silly!  I am so fortunate to be in this situation!  I have the opportunity to save up money and really enjoy myself right now!  And that’s exactly what I intend on doing! 

Finally, Gratitude

I’ve been searching for a new job for over a year.  But I haven’t just been looking for a place where I can get a paycheck; I’ve been looking for a place where I can be creative, be myself, use my noggin in a way that is meaningful to me.  So as I look for jobs in the Lehigh Valley area, mostly in Bethlehem, I have been foregoing the Administrative Assistant postings and things like that, and really looking for a place where I can do what I love.  Lucky me! I found an amazing company that makes gorgeous beads and they are looking for an entry-level designer.  This could not be more perfect!  Well, it could – they could offer me a job.  But its exactly what I’ve been looking for because I have been looking at jewelry design jobs for the last few months, and its in the perfect location.  I’ve also applied to editing jobs (they can be somewhat creative, right??), but this one sounds just wonderful. 

So to my point: today I finally truly felt the gratitude for my current job that I’ve been searching for and feeling guilty about not finding.  As I’ve filled out application after application over the last few months with few responses, I realize that it really is tough out there.  I am very, very fortunate to have the job I have, whether I like it or not.  I am extremely fortunate that my problem right now is that I don’t like my job, not that I don’t have a job!  I said this in my previous post, but today, I really, really felt it!  Thank you, thank you for the job that I have because I’ve learned a lot about working and about myself, I have a steady paycheck, I work with people who value me, and my job is secure.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!  

That begin said, I want that job at the bead company who I will not mention by name, and I will be even more grateful to have a job and to do something I love! 

Bratty Spice ?

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I’ve had my septum pierced for over 6 years, I think.  I love that I can flip it up and hide it because my parents wouldn’t like it and I can’t wear it to work.  So I’m 25 now and I have a “real job” (I use the term “real” loosely) and I don’t think I’ll ever get rid of it because it reminds me of who I really am – who I was when I got it done (just like my tattoos) so that I never lose sight of that girl. 

I have been in quite a funk since I returned from my trip.  I thought I was just jet-lagged or tired, but a week has passed and nothing’s changed except my sleep schedule.  I feel stuck, for lack of a better word.  I mentioned it in previous posts, but I feel completely paralyzed by fear with no motivation to do anything differently right now.  I am resistant to everything and that scares me because I’ve never felt this.. complacent.  

I feel torn, as well. Its no secret that I hate my job and that I want and need a change.  But part of me feels like a brat because at least I have a job and a paycheck, even if its not as big as I wish it were.  But really, will a paycheck ever be big enough?  I’m really starting to feel badly to complain about my job because one of my biggest, real fears is not having money and when I took time off last summer, I’d gotten extremely antsy very quickly and couldn’t wait to go back to work.  I know that not having a job is not for me.  I am grateful for the steady income, but I want and need better.  

I know that I’m the only one who is going to pull myself out of this funk.  I’ve done it a million times before, I can do it now.  I just have to woman up and figure it out or else 6 months, a year from now, I’ll still be complacent, in a funk, miserable, and wish I’d done something about it now. 

The Patron Saint of FML

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Hi, I’m Christina and these are my new bangs – nothing like a hair cut and dye to make you feel like a pimp.  I mean, at least that’s how I feel ;)  I’d like to point out two souvenirs from my trip on my wrist: the round charm on my Pandora bracelet is a St. Cecelia medal that I got at the Vatican and the black beaded bracelet is what I bought at the top of Mt. Vesuvius.

St. Cecelia holds 2 significant meanings to me.  For one, she is the patron saint of music and I’ve probably been singing since before I could talk – music is as much a part of me as my own skin, pretty much.  And the school that I went to in Brooklyn from pre-school through 5th grade was St. Cecelia’s.  I say “was” because the school and the church are closed now, but my parents, aunts, and uncles on both sides of my family attended school there and my grandparents on both sides were parishioners at the church; my parents got married there, as well.  I plan on getting a tattoo devoted to St. Cecelia when finances allow for these reasons, too. But I digress…

Today was my first day back at work.  Talk about depressing.  I thought that prior to my vacation, I was just so fed up with everything and making too big a deal of how terrible work was with the hope that as much as I was dreading it, that I’d return refreshed and be able to get down to business.  That was a false hope.  After catching my co-workers up on how my trip was and giving gifts to the ones that I can stand, I put in a good 30 minutes of work before I was completely over it. It is clear as day, even more now than ever, that I’ve got to move on.  The office is even bringing in another resource because its in our budget, so I won’t be completely fucking anyone over by leaving when I decide to, which is great because I tend to let guilt get to me.

Speaking of guilt: does your subconscious ever betray you and just mind fuck you via your dreams?  Mine has and I feel guilty for even thinking about the people that I’ve been hanging out with in my dreams lately.  I’ve come to realize that this person only ever comes up in my subconscious when I’m in a state of extreme discomfort or fear in my life.  Its like this person represents safety and comfort, for some reason.  I can’t figure out why its this particular person who represents that to my subconscious mind, but it is what it is.  I

On a happier note, a recruiter from a major tech company who reached out to me about an opportunity months ago reached out to me while I was gone!  I had made a mental note to send her a message because I told her the timing was off then (was still taking classes after work and had this 2 week vacation up coming), but that I’d reach out to her in May.  Well, she remembered me and shot me a mail!  On a less happy note, I was so excited by the prospect of the opportunity and overwhelmed by the chaos of it being the first day back at work that I fucked up my phone number and reversed the last two digits when I sent it to her!  I apologized profusely via e-mail after I realized my error – after a few hours!  She said she’ll try to reach out next week because her schedule is packed tomorrow; fingers crossed that my error wasn’t a fatal one and that this is just a timing issue that the Universe is working out for me!!

Other than that, my manager is on vacation starting tomorrow so work should be a bit more lax, but that will only make things slightly better.  I was so jazzed about hitting the job search hard when I got back from Europe, but now that the time is here, I’m just paralyzed by fear.  I don’t know what I’m so afraid of; things can only get better.  Maybe its not that I’m afraid, but that I feel that I don’t deserve better.  I’m currently in the process of sabotaging myself.  At least I recognize it and I can work on fixing it.

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Goals
I’m a little late on getting this month’s goals started, but better late than never!

1) Write in gratitude journal every day
2) Kundalini yoga 3x per week – 90 minutes per week
3) Drink at least 10 cups of lemon water per day
4) Cardio 3x per week
5) Stay positive!!

Reality Sets In

I go back to work tomorrow. 

Of course, after a vacation, no one wants to go back to work.  But I despise my job so much that it makes me feel sick to think about going back.   If I visualize my life, I can see it in shades of white and grey – the white being the great, positive things, the grey being the more negative things or areas that need improvement – and then there’s one big black splotch in that image, and that splotch is my job.  Nothing makes me feel more negative, more hopeless, or more anxious and depressed.  My job is the cancer in my life, but its necessary for my survival.  Its easy to say “just quit” – well, I barely make enough to live on now and I still live at home with my parents.  To “just quit” means I’m with no income at all.  I can’t afford to get a “just for now” job because I can barely get by now.  

This morning, I felt angry and depressed and so scared.  I felt mad at myself that I let myself stay with this job for so long.  I felt mad at myself that I don’t have the courage to quit.  I felt depressed knowing that all of the positivity in me is going to be drained out of me no matter how hard I try to hold on to it.  And I felt so scared because I know – I know in my mind and my heart that I have to quit.  I have to let down people who I don’t want to disappoint. I have to be broke. I have to be uncomfortable.  I have to.  I don’t know when, but soon, I’ll have to pull the plug and let it die.  The last 2.5 years of my life have been a mess because of my job and I have to figure it out and find something else to do. 

On the up side – I was granted a scholarship for Mastin Kipp’s Daily Love Mastery program.  The whole thing began 2 weeks ago, but I was out of the country that whole time so I’m beginning it now and the whole purpose of it is to pretty much be the best version of yourself you can be.  That will for sure help me with what I’m trying to accomplish and I’m going to be starting a cleanse that involves lots of alkaline foods and yoga.  I’m going to have myself all sorted out soon, I just have to let go of the fear! 

Eurotrip 2014

I mentioned in my post yesterday that I’d just returned from my trip to Europe and that it was personally important to me.

When I was growing up, my grandmother basically raised my brother and me.  My parents were there, but she took care of us while they were at work, got us dressed in the morning, made sure we ate, took us to school, and took us to the park in the summer.  We all lived together in a 2 family house in Brooklyn and she had a few books from Italy, and although I couldn’t read, let alone read Italian, I carried the books around the house with me wherever I went and looked at the pictures constantly.  I had a fascination with Pompeii and the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius for as long as I could remember, and looked at pictures of the houses on cliffs above the pristine blue ocean on the Amalfi coast since I was a child.  I promised myself I’d make it to see those places one day.  When my grandmother passed just before my 10th birthday, the desire to go only grew stronger, as if it would somehow make me feel close to her again.  Since then, I spent years figuring out how to afford to make the trip, how to save the money and how to finally get the courage to go.  That’s why I decided to go for my 25th birthday, no matter what.  No matter what meaning: no matter if any of my friends were able to go with me, if I had the money saved or not because I’d just charge it if I had to, if my boyfriend would be able to go to me.  And that’s what I did. No one was able to go with me, but I do have a very close friend in Germany who I studied with during my semester abroad in Australia.  So we devised a plan, and off I went.

I flew into Frankfurt, Germany on May 21st.  The most amazing thing was seeing my friend, Toby again.  We were neighbors and went to the same uni when we did a semester abroad in Sydney.  We were like brother and sister right off the bat and he even came to the States 2 years ago and stayed with my family and me before we went on a 10 day road trip through New England.  As soon as I got off the plane, it was like 2 years hadn’t passed and we picked up right where we left off.  My trip started off with some sightseeing in Germany, which is a gorgeous country!

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I don’t remember the name of this beautiful castle, I wouldn’t be able to pronounce or spell it if I did, but it was amazing!  We visited a town called Limburg and had coffee there, too.  Germany is extremely green!  Full of winding roads, beautiful and fast cars, and quaint towns.  Toby lives in the country, so at night, sitting outside his house we could hear sheep and goat!  I thought that was adorable and far from what I’m used to.

After a long, busy day seeing Germany, we hit the road the next morning and headed to Amsterdam.  Holland is wonderful!  Everyone rides a bike; there are far more bikes than cars and people even put their kids (toddlers and infants included!) on their bikes in child-safe seats, carry their groceries and shopping bags around on bikes.  We picked up an acquaintance of Toby’s in a small town called Deventer, and then the three of us made our way to our hostel in Amsterdam.  Amsterdam was packed, like Manhattan, except with more bikes.  In those kind of situations, I’d normally feel really overwhelmed around so many people; there’s no order and everyone is in everyone else’s way.  But what I loved so much about Amsterdam is everyone is just so calm and laid back that no one gets frustrated with one another that its actually pretty difficult to navigate around so many people.  I felt so relaxed the entire time, and that was before I smoked!  I have to say, the atmosphere is what made Amsterdam for me – the bikes, the house boats on the canal, everyone’s laid back demeanor, and the fact that at night, everyone was just out to have a good time.  The “red light district” and the weed were overrated.  Don’t get me wrong, it was wonderful bud!! But I feel that American’s think you can just go there and walk around with a joint, quite the contrary.  Its illegal to smoke outside.  That didn’t stop us and it was overall, a great experience!  Just sitting outside in one of the main squares, drinking beer and taking it all in; I loved it!  We spent the next day in Deventer at our friend’s cross-fit box’s barbecue.  Here’s the thing: Dutch people are great!!! They are so welcoming, warm, and they are willing and able to speak perfect English to visitors :)  I really, really enjoyed Holland!

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After two days in Holland, we returned to Germany and early the next morning, Toby took me to the airport so I could make my way to Italy.  I was so excited to finally get to Rome!  On the bus to the city center, I couldn’t take my eyes off the view – I kept feeling like I was going home.  And then I got to the city center.  On the walk to my hostel, I was a little taken aback.  Rome is, of course, a tourist city so it was like being in NYC with the amount of people and the diversity of the people.  And since this was the first time I was ever traveling alone, so I was on edge.  The first thing I did was go to see the Colosseum.  I was shocked at how dirty, smelly, dark, and full of graffiti the metro station was, but I dealt with it and as soon as I stepped out of the station and saw it, my jaw dropped!  Seeing the Colosseum in person is absolutely breathtaking.  You see it in movies and in pictures and you know its there, but nothing does it justice and I could barely believe it was real!

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I then made my way to the Roman Forum and then back to my hostel to turn in after a long day.  That first night in Rome, I feel terrible saying it and I felt terrible feeling it, but I felt pretty sad and pretty lonely.  Going to sleep alone, knowing I’d wake up alone, having no one in my hostel near my age or who I could communicate with made it worse.  But I felt much better in the morning knowing that I had two more exciting days ahead of me in Rome.  I spent a day visiting the Vatican Museums, which was amazing for me since I’ve always been such a lover of art.  Quite honestly, the Sistine Chapel is overrated.  Not because its anything less than spectacular, but because the rest of the rooms in the museum were just as gorgeous!! The next day, I went to the general audience at Vatican City to see Pope Francis.  That was really great because, although I am very outspoken about my feelings regarding religion, specifically the Catholic church, I admire Pope Francis SO MUCH and I was so happy to be able to experience that! I did a bit of shopping, saw the Trevi Fountain, did a lot of eating and drank a lot of wine before taking the train down to Napoli.

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Naples is where my mom’s parents are from.  My mom went there every summer as a kid and told me all the time how beautiful it was.  She even told me when we spoke on the phone while I was in Rome that once I got to Naples, I would never want to come home.  Well… I got to Naples, and if I could have run home, I would have!  It was stinky and the streets were overflowing with trash.  It was just not at all what I’d expected.  I know, of course, that that was just one small part of Naples, but I didn’t expect to see that at all.  I honestly didn’t feel safe and made sure I was in my hostel before dark and that really put a damper on my being able to enjoy my time there.  If I had someone else with me, it would have probably been different, but that wasn’t the case and I had to make the best of it.  The next day, I went to Pompeii.  I absolutely LOVED that.  I loved everything about being there and realizing one of my dreams; standing in the ruins I’d only ever seen pictures of. And then climbing to the top of the volcano that destroyed that city was completely surreal.

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The following day, I made the long, long journey to Positano on the Amalfi Coast.  Another dream realized!  Seeing the view from the bus driving on these crazy winding roads on these cliffs above the ocean was something I’d dreamed of for so long. I sat on the beach which was so fucking beautiful, I couldn’t even close my eyes to take a nap! The whole time I sat there on the beach, I kept thinking about how lucky I was, how this was how it feels to get exactly what you want and have it be everything you expected it to be and more.  This was perfection!
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The next day, I spent some time finishing up my souvenir shopping, went to the Archaeological Museum, and wound up sleeping in the airport because my flight back to Frankfurt was at 6:30 AM and I really had no choice.  I spent the next day with Toby and his family before he took me back to the airport to fly home.  I was so happy to see my dad waiting for me at the airport.  I went into this in detail in my previous post, but as much as I am obsessed with travel, there’s really no place like home and I am so, so grateful for the home I have and the wonderful people (and my dog) who live in it!  And my boyfriend who doesn’t live in it, but seeing him this weekend will be amazing, too!

So the general consensus of my travel is that traveling alone is nice and I might do it again, but I’ll avoid it for as long as I can.  For one, there’s safety in numbers and while I didn’t encounter any danger in my travels, just having those nerves and the bit of anxiety being alone is enough take away a bit of enjoyment from the experience, at least for me.  Secondly, traveling with another person is just less lonely!  So I think next time, I’ll recruit someone to travel with me!  Also, while some places weren’t what I expected, the experiences were priceless and I wouldn’t trade them for anything.  When I was younger, I thought going to see Italy would make me feel closer to my grandparents who had passed, but it didn’t.  And that’s not a bad thing.  It made me feel what its like to get exactly what you want; I wanted to be in the places I’d looked at in the pictures in those books growing up so badly, and that’s what I did.  That’s a wonderful feeling.  I felt accomplished.  I felt like I’d done this for myself, like I needed to do it for myself.  That’s what traveling is all about.  You learn about other places and people and things on each trip, and you learn a bit more about yourself on each trip.  I’m proud of myself for doing that for myself, because at this exact point in my life that’s what I needed.

Wanderlust .. it’s a real thing

The world is a book, and those who do not travel only read one page.” – St. Augustine 

 

I just returned home this afternoon after spending 12 wonderful days in Europe.  This was a rather significant trip for me personally, and that’s why I decided to take it no matter what, when I turned 25.  So within the first 24 hours of my turning 25, I got on a plane to Frankfurt, Germany.  I’ll post tomorrow with pictures and details about my trip, but for now, I want to discuss travel in general. 

Before I went to Australia in 2010 for a semester abroad, I’d never been outside of the US.  I’d travelled to a few different states, Puerto Rico, Bermuda, but never to another country and never without my family.  That’s when I was bitten by, as everyone in Oz told me, “the travel bug”.  Ever since then, I’ve lived to travel, to experience and see it all.  

When people think of or speak of relationships, there’s so often talk of that “spark” and people ending relationships because they lose “that feeling”, and people can be “addicted” to “that feeling”, constantly moving from relationship to relationship, partner to partner because they can’t get enough of “that feeling”.  That’s what I compare travel to – each new place I see is a new lover, a new home.  It’s called wanderlust for a reason.  I itch for the excitement of being elsewhere.  All that seems to occupy my mind is where I’ll go next.  

There’s nothing like the simultaneous excitement and fear that you feel when you step off a plane or a train into a new place.  It never looks the way it does in pictures.  And the pictures don’t tell you how it smells, if the people are friendly or not, what the food tastes like, what the foreign ground feels like under your feet.  There’s equal excitement when you’ve been there for a day or two and realize that you’ve learned your way around, as if you say to yourself: “I’ve begun to conquer this beast.”  

I’ve slept in airports, I’ve maxed out credit cards, I’ve traveled to places I shouldn’t dared travel alone, but its worth it for that feeling, to quench that lust, even if momentarily.  

Yet, as much as I ache to leave and see it all, the call of home grows louder and louder the closer it comes to the end of your journey. You start to remember what your own bed feels like, what your own shower is like, what your own food and soaps and room smell like.  You remember the familiarity of the people you’ve made a life with, parents, friends, siblings, a significant other who puts up with your wanderlust like its the third wheel in your relationship.  And sitting at the airport waiting for your flight home can be agonizing, as is the flight, as is the passport checkpoint to re-enter the country, as is the drive home.  You wish you could just click the heels of your ruby slippers together because “there’s no place like home”.   The feeling you get when you step into your home again after a trip is as sweet as the feeling was when you left it.  Those who travel are fortunate enough to fall in love every time they get elsewhere, and then again every time they come home.  At least that’s my experience. 

Happy Birthday to meeee!

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Today, I celebrated my 25th birthday!

For the last year or so, I’ve dreaded this day because I always thought that I’d “have my shit together by now”.  Well, as you might the able to tell from my whimsical white furniture and 25 years’ worth of junk crammed into a small space in the background of my picture above, I am still living at home with my family and in my mind, that has been one place in my life where I’ve not yet gotten my shit together.

But today, I woke up so happy for so many reasons and so excited about this next year of my life!

  • Not only am I grateful for having lived a wonderful 25 years, many tough, some sad, but most happy and full of love, but I’ve gone through 25 years on this earth unscathed!  I have all 4 limbs, all 5 senses – sometimes, even a 6th ;) , free of physical illness, overcome mental illness and heartbreak, and I’ve got 2 amazing parents to thank for all of that.
  • In the last 25 years I’ve experienced love and loss.  I lost family members who I loved dearly, but that’s only helped me to appreciate those who I still have here with me.  I’ve fallen in love a few times; I’ve had people give me love and people to give my love to and that’s so amazing when I really think about that.  Best of all, I have spent the last two and a half years with my soul mate and look forward to the next 25 and the next 25 and the next 25 with him.
  • I’ve graduated high school and college and got a job right out of school.  Granted, I often complain about my job and admittedly, I’d rather do just about any other job, but the point is, I have been employed since I was 17 and I am lucky enough to have a place to go every day, even when I don’t want to, because that allows me to get a paycheck every two weeks.  I know for a fact that if I were unemployed, I’d go crazy with boredom after a few weeks.
  • I have struggled with major depression since I was 14 but I’ve made it through every day of the last 11 years of my life that I’ve had to deal with it.  I’ve had terrible, terrible days, weeks, and months, but I’ve come out of the other side of each major depression and anxiety attack stronger and better.  Most importantly, I’ve used my experiences to help others going through the same thing and I hope to continue to do the same on a much grander scale for the rest of my life.
  • I’ve lost friends here and there over the last 25 years, but one thing I am so so thankful for every day are the people who I call my friends now.  I’ve had the same two best friends for over 12 years, I have close friends from high school, I have new friends who have become like family – I truly feel that I have the best friends anyone can ever ask for and that in itself makes me feel great about who I am because I would never have attracted such beautiful souls into my life if I weren’t an awesome person myself.  I have friends on the other side of the country and on the other side of the world, all over who I know that I can call up anytime and crash on their couch or ask for a favor and they’d help me out without question or expecting anything in return.  I am truly, truly blessed in the friend-department!!
  • I have been fortunate enough to travel!! I am forever thankful to my parents for making sacrifices to pay for me to do a semester abroad in Australia, which was really a turning point in my life.  Not only did that experience shape me into who I am and give me the opportunity to make so many friends for life, but I truly got a taste of wanderlust and since then, there’s been no going back.  I was fortunate enough to spend 3 weeks in Guatemala, and tomorrow, I’m going to Europe for the first time.  I learn more and experience more in my travels than I have in a years’ worth of time at home.  That’s not to say that I don’t love home, but nothing compares to being in a new place and learning all about it and soaking it up!  It becomes a part of you and I’m addicted to that!
  • Did I mention this?  I AM GOING TO EUROPE TOMORROW!! I remember looking at my grandma’s books from Italy and being enamored by the pictures of Pompeii and the Amalfi Coast, hearing my mom’s stories about going to Italy in the summers with my grandparents and aunts.  I have dreamed of this all of my life and I saved up and am paying for the entirety of this trip myself.  I am going to get to visit Germany, Italy (Rome and Naples – including Pompeii and Amalfi) and the Netherlands (Amsterdam), and I get to see my brother from another mother, Toby, for the first time since our road trip to Maine 2 years ago!  I am so grateful that I am able to have this experience and I intend to make the most of it.
  • I’ve made the life-changing decision to become vegan one year ago and I’ve discovered an extremely deep passion for animal rights.  I’ve inspired others to make small changes and I feel so great about the fact that I do not contribute to the demand for animal products.  This has brought me to the belief that all things on Earth are equal and I love living this lifestyle to exemplify that.

So when I put things in perspective, I really do have my shit together!  I have a good head on my shoulders, I have a job, I have an amazing family, wonderful friends, and a partner in life that shows me love every single day.  If I didn’t live at home, I wouldn’t be able to afford to travel.  I would have a whole different set of priorities.  Plus, I am thankful to even have a home, let alone a beautiful house like the one I’ve lived in for the last 12-13 years.

I am truly grateful for a wonderful 25 years.  I have learned so much and I’m proud and happy with the person I am right now.  I’ve got many, many more years ahead of me and I can only hope that they’re as beautiful as the last 25.

 

 

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