Amateur Coder

Hey strangers!

I’ve been really really busy lately and have actually completely forgotten to blog. Work itself hasn’t been crazy, it’s actually been going pretty nicely lately. Good things have happened. 🙂 The thing that’s keeping me busy is my obsessive desire to learn new skills (and learn them well). As of right now, I’m diving deeper and deeper into the world of coding and trying to learn as much as possible about it.

I started learning CSS and HTML about 2 years ago back when I was in college. I took a Writing for the Web course that required me to learn those two languages through courses on Codecademy, after which I made this website as my final project. Obviously this site has come a very very long way since then as I’m constantly changing it, but that was what first sparked my interest in the language of computers.

Over the years I’ve added to and tweaked my site regularly, but that wasn’t enough. I wanted to learn more. A few months ago, I decided to go through the Codecademy courses on HTML and CSS again to refresh my knowledge on the subject. I only recently finished (It’s a lot of course material!) and am now in the process of transcribing my 150+ pages of notes on both languages. (I learn by writing, so I take very thorough notes.) Because of these refresher courses, I found that I desired the ability to control and edit my own personal site more than I was capable of doing before. Now that I have a much deeper understanding of HTML and CSS, I wanted to write my own code on my own website. In order to do this, I had to upgrade to a Premium plan with WordPress, which was an absolutely amazing decision. I was given freedom over my website’s CSS and was able to completely redesign and spice up my home page in ways that I never could before.

Senior photo of Anna
Check out my new home page!

Once I finish typing up my very excessive notes, I plan to take on the task of learning JavaScript next. I like the idea of getting good at these languages and being able to incorporate it into whatever jobs I look for in the future.
If anyone else has taken on learning coding on their own before, advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

xx – A

General Life Stuff

I’ve been a really bad blogger lately. I’m not sure what to say, really. Life has gotten busier and I’ve found that I don’t need to vent to the online universe or talk about whatever nearly as frequently. For the sake of trying to get back into some sort of routine to keep my website alive, I am back. Since I haven’t been updating you guys on anything lately, I think I’ll just start with that. Hopefully it’s interesting enough to follow along–quite a lot of interesting things have happened since I last blogged!

The biggest life change that’s happened since September is my new living status. I co-bought a house with my mom and moved out of my tiny little apartment. The house is an absolutely stunning, 4-story townhome in Alamo Heights. Before moving, I really struggled with depression and anxiety, but oddly enough, things have improved dramatically since my move. I now live a short walk away from my closest friends and that alone makes me so much happier. Also, not living in a cave-like apartment is very beneficial. The house is stunning and I absolutely love it with my whole heart.

I know I talked for a while about how I wanted to move to Florida after a while, but those plans have since changed. Or, more accurately, they’ve re-adjusted. My best friend (who will be making the move with me) has since gotten me to consider a different destination–Colorado. At first, I honestly wasn’t too keen for the idea, but I’m growing to like the idea more and more every day. A change of scenery would honestly be awesome. I mean, why move to Florida to get more beaches–something I’ve had an abundance of for 20+ years. Why not just change it up completely? So as of now, that’s the plan. (And yes, I have been saving up and preparing.)

Last but not least, you already know I have my obsession with traveling. Of course I would have my next vacation all planned out. I’m going to be visiting my friend in D.C. in less than a month. I haven’t been to D.C. since I was really young, so I’m excited to get to see everything while I’m old enough to understand. I’m going in mid-January so I’m sure it’ll be nice and cold and snowy and I am beyond excited.

Anyways, yeah. That’s what’s happening in my life. Not my best blog, I’m sure, but a blog nonetheless.

xx – A

Long Time No See

Wow, okay I just took the longest break in posting a blog since I STARTED BLOGGING. I know, I know, I’m a slacker. In my defense though, work has been very very crazy, and that was my primary time to blog.

We’re adding tons of stations, I’m covering for a co-worker on maternity leave, occasionally covering for others when they’re on vacation, etc., etc.. It’s been crazy and I have barely had time to keep up with my freelance blogs, much less these ones. BUT I’ve had quite a few people inquiring with me as to what the heck is happening? Where was I at? So for the sake of updating everyone on the ins and outs of my life, here I am.

LaunchSoptThumbnail

First things first, tomorrow I’m going on yet another vacation. (I love my life.) I’ll be leaving for New York City for the seventh time tomorrow and I won’t be back until next Tuesday. (At least I think it’s my seventh time, I kind of lost count honestly.) Even though I’ve been a lot, I still absolutely love the city. It’s lively and exciting. My dad is taking me and WE’RE GOING TO THE FREAKING US OPEN (for tennis). That’s his belated birthday present to me, and it’s honestly great. We’ll be courtside at the Louis Armstrong stadium on Labor Day so I’m pretty excited about that. I’ve also got plenty of awesome and fun activities planned for the other days.

I made an itinerary for our trip and I really think my dad is nervous about it. He’s one of those people that just “goes with it” on his vacations but I like having events planned out and whatnot. I still leave plenty of time for chilling out and nothing ever feels rushed, but I just like having tickets and things bought in advance. It makes for a stress free vacation. He’ll see that I’m not psycho.

ALSO, I get to visit some of my closest friends while I’m in NYC! (I’m lookin at you, Mars and Tessa!!!)

Anyways, another update, I’M MOVING. My mom and I are co-buying a beautiful townhome in the Alamo Heights area in San Antonio and I’ll be living there once my lease is up at my apartment in October. So that’s going to be amazing. I’ll have to adjust to life with roommates, but I think I’ll be able to handle it. I’m beyond excited.

In addition to NYC this weekend and moving in October, let me tell you about everything else I have going on during weekends for the next few months. (I’m warning you, it’s a lot.) First, I’m going to NYC, then it’s my best friend’s birthday weekend, then I’m going to Houston, then I’m going home to celebrate my mom’s bday. The last weekend of September is currently free…for now. The first weekend of October I’ll be going home to celebrate my dad’s birthday, weekend after that is ACL, the weekend after that I’ll be moving into my new place, then I have my cousin’s wedding the last weekend of October. The first weekend of November will be spent at Wurstfest for a bachelorette weekend, the following weekend is the same friend’s Bridal shower, and the third weekend is Thanksgiving weekend. I’m just feeling very overwhelmed with everything that’s booked, but like, in a good way! I love having a lot going on.

Anyways, enough rambling for today. Here’s some pictures from random things over the past few weeks since I’ve updated you last.

Two Steps Forward….

img_6960So you know what they say? Two steps forward, one step back? I long-jumped backwards. In my defense though, I had been running at a full sprint forwards for a while so I guess it caught up to me a bit. Performing as perfectly as possible forever isn’t realistic, I guess.

I’ve been having a hard time lately, and when I’m having a hard time, I’ve found my best way to deal with it is to blog. So i’m back. I took like a month long hiatus from blogging because i was distracted, but no more!

I’ve been lacking motivation and desire to workout and blog and do all of those things lately. I’ve still been making myself workout pretty regularly, but it’s just not fun for me right now. I need to work on getting back into a healthier mindset, but it’s not easy. It feels freaking impossible. I really need to work on keeping toxicity out of my life instead of letting it poison me from the inside out.

My priorities shifted away from the desire to excel and that really upsets me. Like i was blogging once a week, and now? It’s been so long! I’m not even nearly as motivated as I had previously been to bang out my freelance blogs (although i’m obviously still writing them regularly). I’m thinking it’s time for a mental reboot, but I’m not really sure how to do that other than start doing the things I need to do again. Blogging, working out, spending time with friends and family, saving money, working hard. Working hard makes me happy and I need to make sure to always do what makes me happy.

I decided I’m going to implement some new short-term goals for myself to help get back on track. 🙂 I figured that typing them out and sharing them with the world would help hold me accountable. (Feel free to call me out if you notice me slacking.) I’m writing out 5 goals for myself for the next few weeks that will hopefully get me back to where I need and want to be.

  1. Fall in love with working out again. Embrace the endorphins that come with working out, and use your beautiful workout group to find your way back to the healthy relationship you had with working out.
  2. Stop spending so freely. You’ve stopped so heavily focusing on your goal of moving to Florida and if you want that to happen, you need to continue to be smart with your spending habits.
  3. Get back into regular blogging, both freelance and personal. It’s a therapeutic habit and when you start slacking on that, you start losing focus.
  4. Learn to not be so hard on yourself. You’re your own biggest critic, and honestly, you need to learn how to chill out sometimes when it comes to beating yourself up when you muck up.
  5. Practice good self care. 🙂 Eat healthier, take care of yourself, do facemasks, paint your nails, etc. Do it all and do it with love!

Hopefully this blog wasn’t too dull or whatever for you to read. Sometimes I write for other people and sometimes I do it for myself. Today is a day for the latter.

Hope everyone has a great rest of their week.

xx – A

P.S. In the last few weeks, vacationed in Destin, Florida with my friends, turned 23, went home, spent the day at Six Flags, tubed the river, visited with a friend from Belgium, spent loads of time with friends (doing all of those activities), and made some amazing memories. Just a little update. 🙂

Dear Momma,

You rock. You’re one the most amazing people I have ever seen in my life. You’re more amazing than literally everyone; more than Queen Elizabeth, more than Ellen, more than Joanna Gaines, more than Prince, more than the Pope–well…maybe not more than the Pope. (I don’t think Jesus would like me saying that??) You get the point, though.
I can’t even begin to thank you for everything you’ve done for me throughout my amazing 22 years of life, but shoot, I’m going to try.

I strongly believe in the concept that not a single person out there can love you as much as your mother does. The kind of love that moms are capable of is beyond explanation and comprehension, and mom, I know that you love me more than I could even imagine. You don’t even have to say it for me to know it. (Although you do frequently–I’m just saying, I’d know regardless.)

Lately, I’ve been thinking more about how frickin’ much I appreciate you, mom. It’s insane how much I do. I know it might not seem like it sometimes, and I know I definitely didn’t show it when I was younger, but you need to know that I do. Nomatterwhat. I get snippy with you sometimes, I forget to call you back, I call you too many times while you’re in meetings, I use your credit card without asking (hehe, sorry!), I forget to say “thank you”, I do so many things that irritate you or otherwise make me seem ungrateful, but you still love me. And I love you. So much.

You’ve put everything you have into raising me, and I owe you so much for all I’ve achieved and everything I’ll ever achieve. I am the person that I am because of you. Don’t get me wrong though, dad was the best dad ever, but this is a Mother’s Day blog, so it’s all about you.

Mom,
Thank you for everything you do and have ever done for me.
Thank you for taking me to countless tennis tournaments.
Thank you for staying up late to help me with the many projects I put off until the last minute back in grade school.
Thank you for helping to pay my college tuition.
Thank you for buying me my car that I still love oh-so-much.
Thank you for always making sure I have money for food, groceries, gas, clothing, activities, and other necessities throughout my life.
Thank you for giving me a great place to live when I moved back home.
Thank you for financially supporting my Starbucks addiction (with only minimal complaints).
Thank you for not thinking I was insane each time I decided to dye my hair a different color and for going with me to the salon to make the change. (Or buying the dye when I decided to do it at home.)
Thank you for talking to me on the phone all the time because I want someone to talk to, even though you’re super busy.
Thank you for being the primary supplier of furniture in my apartment.
Thank you for giving me the tools I need to succeed (in cooking, in tennis, in fashion, in life).
Thank you for being one of my best friends.
Thank you for being the best role model a daughter could ever ask for. For being strong, empowered, smart, and insanely driven. You inspire me every single day.
Thank you for supporting me in every way possible, for motivating me, for advising me, for loving me unconditionally.
Thank you for teaching me to always try and see the bright side of every situation.
Thank you for showing me how to be compassionate.
Thank you for picking me up when I fall down and for holding me when I cry.
Thank you for showing me that even when life has completely steamrolled over you, that you can still get back up and keep going, even if doing so requires a little help.
Thank you for being my crutch when I could not bear to walk on my own.
Thank you for showing me that anything is possible, even if everyone doubts you and the odds are completely against you.
Thank you for being unapologetically you.
Thank you, thank you, thank you. I will never be able to say it enough.

I love you always forever. So frickin’ much.
xoxo – Anna


Now, I know it’s Mother’s Day, so my mom isn’t the only one being appreciated globally. I want to show some love for the other mothers out there and the things they have done for their kiddos. Everyone appreciates you lovely ladies as well, and you should know it. A mother’s love is unmatched; I’m pretty sure that’s basically a scientific fact (Source: me.science.com). Their ability to give and give and give without a second thought astounds me.

I struggled so much with what to ask people so that I could shift the focus from my mom, to other moms. I wanted it to be something that would provoke a heartfelt response but not give me a bunch of similar responses. Took me 2 weeks to figure it out, but I think I came up with something that’s just right.

What is one thing that your mom does that never fails to make you smile?

“Bring my cat into my room with her
She puts Bandit on me in the mornings”
-Erika

“When she talks to my dogs in a different voice
Well it’s always in a different voice
But you know what I mean”
-Kurtis

“I have hard mornings.
Especially on Monday’s. For some reason, especially in the mornings, I have a hard time being happy and remembering why I’m doing what I’m doing or why I am where I am.
But every single morning without fail my mom sends me those gifs you can send through iMessage. One is always inspirational and the other is funny.
It know it seems insignificant, but I really look forward to those every single morning. And somehow someway she always times it so that I get them right as I’m standing, waiting for the long (dreaded) subway ride before work. It reminds me that no matter what type of day I’m about to have, she believes in me enough to know I can get through anything., Most days it makes me believe too.
Now they’re so important to me I feel like my days would be off without them.”
-Mariela

“Any time she tells me how much she loves me.”
-Marshall

“When she calls just to ask how my day went. In my profession, I hear kids say they never talk to their mom or don’t have a great relationship with them which makes my heart hurt. My mom has inspired me in so many ways and I don’t know where I would be without her. The fact that she takes the time out of her busy life to check on me and listen to me vent or ramble, means the world to me.”
-Lauren

“She always sends me texts before exams to wish me luck 🙂 ”
-Tessa

“I f**king love my mom and everything she does but her laugh is contagious”
-Eric

“Anytime I go home, she always makes the grocery list around me and has all of my favorite things/makes my favorite meals”
-Ashlee

“Since I was little all the way till now. If I happen to lay on the couch or fall asleep. She will bring a blanket and put it on me and kiss my head.”
-Thomas

Shoutout to all the little things that moms do that just brighten their kids’ days. They might not think of it as a big deal, but to others, it means the world.


Lastly, y’all know how much I love poetry, so I can’t resist including some. The fact that my favorite poet has a poem written for moms makes it all the more perfect. Enjoy.

ebe3fec5d59434faf38e571c8735d96f

Happy Mother’s Day!

xx – A


P.S. I wanna thank my best friend up in the Big Apple for helping me with this blog–it wouldn’t have been nearly this great were you not a part of the production process. Thank you, Mars! 🙂


Follow me on Instagram!

Assumptions

You know what they say….when you assume, you make an ass out of you and me! (Bad joke? Oh well!)
download.jpg

I was in the mood for a little blog, but my dilemma was that I really have nothing to write about right now. So, I did what any normal person would do in this situation–I googled. (I now have a nice long list of blog prompts written down for future moments when I’m motivated without inspiration.)
One prompt that kind of stuck with me (partly because it was highlighted on the page, partly because I liked the idea of it) was “Write about the assumptions people make about you.” (I linked to the inspo website I found.)

You would assume that I don’t have many assumptions made about me. I am an upper-middle class, blonde, white female. Fairly standard, I agree. I don’t have obvious race related things assumed about me, and I am in no way trying to demean those assumptions, I just want to talk about the irritating assumptions I have noticed that people have made about me.

The first thing that came to my head when I think about assumptions made about me is “dumb blonde”. If you’re blonde, at least once in your life, someone has made a joke about you being a dumb blonde. I can’t be the only one who hates this. My hair color has no relation to my IQ. Never has, never will. I am smart, clever, quick-witted, and everything opposite of being a “dumb blonde.” Stop insulting people’s intelligence by basing your assumptions of them on their hair color. It’s stupid.
Another thing, you can absolutely be pretty AND smart. It’s a thing. Just because you care about your appearance and you put time into how you look, does not make you less intelligent. (It should make you look more intelligent honestly, because everyone knows appearances matter.) This kind of ties into the “blonde” thing, but it’s so true. Again, I’m sick of not being taken seriously based on how I look. It’s so frustrating.

Moons

Now, for the sake of not ranting throughout the entirety of this blog, I’m going to convert to list form!! (I could honestly write a 3,000 word blog about this topic, for real!)

Things people assume about me:
  • That, because I’m middle class, I don’t struggle with money/finances. Wrong.
  • That, because I’m thin, I don’t eat. Wrong.
  • That, because I’m thin, I don’t work out and am not strong. Wrong.
  • That I live this “perfect life” based on what’s seen on social media. Wrong.
  • That, because I care about how I look, I’m shallow (or something). Wrong.
  • That, because I have and express feelings, I am weak. Wrong.
  • That, because I’m a woman, I am not as good at something. Wrong.
  • That, because I sometimes show off my body, I’m a slut. Wrong.
  • That, because my hair is an odd color (i.e. pink), I don’t deserve as much respect. Wrong.
  • That, because I’m young, I’m naïve and easily manipulated.
  • That, because I’m blonde, I am ditzy. (Had to say it again.) Wrong.
  • That, because I dress and look nice, I’m weak and can’t handle myself. Wrong. If I tell you I know how to play a sport, don’t laugh and try to explain to me that “it hurts when you get hit”. I know. I’ve played it.
  • That, because you’re a male, you know more than me. (See above.) Wrong.
  • That, because I’m being nice to you, I’m flirting. Wrong.
  • That, because you made assumptions, you think you know me. Wrong.

I’m sure some of you can relate to these assumptions being made about you, as well as plenty others that I’m sure have been made. It’s frustrating.

Hopefully this was even remotely interesting? LOL. Thanks for reading!

xx – A

 

 

Happy. Blissfully happy.

I realized something yesterday. Something amazing.

As I was finishing up my workout (courtesy of the KIC program), I started thinking about the rest of the things I had to do before I could go to bed–fold laundry, eat dinner, shower, paint my nails, tidy up, things like that. I got this warm feeling inside me, and I couldn’t quite place what it was until later. I was literally standing in the shower when it hit me: now, in this moment, is the happiest I have been in so long. Longer than I can remember. In that moment, I realized I am the least stressed, least dependant, most healthy, and happiest I have been in years. Not weeks. Not months. Years. I wish I was exaggerating about that too, but sadly, I am not.

This realization hit me like a freaking wall and it kind of shook me to my core. All of the things that used to stress me out regularly are no longer a part of my life, whether they were school-related, money-related, people-related, or whatever else. They’re no longer an issue. My life has gone from something I didn’t necessarily have full control over, to one that I am so proud to call totally and completely mine.
Don’t get me wrong, I still stress over stuff all the time, but the things I stress about are things I can control. So I fix them. I work through all of the things stressing me out until the stress is gone. I still stress about money, but working full-time makes that stress manageable compared to when I was in college and having less than $100 in my account was standard. I support myself, I control my life, I do the things I want to do and avoid the things I don’t, I have an amazing routine, and I. Am. Happy.

For so long, I struggled with pretty bad depression and anxiety (I still do), but I am getting a handle on those things now. The depression has gone from something I dealt with daily to something that just pops up every now and then. But I know how to handle it now. I know what to do to right myself and move past it. Anxiety is something I feel I will always deal with, but I’ve reduced the number of things in my life that cause anxiety, so I have a good handle on that as well. Guys, I have an actual handle on my life now. It feels amazing. I have so many things going for me, I can’t help but feel blessed.

Honestly, I owe part of this emotional success to a workout routine. I maintained my own routine for about a month before I joined KIC, and things have only gone up since joining. The community I am a part of is SO INSPIRING. It feels so good and so empowering to be a part of it. Working out hard helps me to keep my stress levels at a manageable level, as well as release those fantastic happy endorphins that I love.

I am living my life for me. No one else. Right now, in this moment, I am the best version of myself I have been in a long time. I am so proud of how far I have come.

xx – A

P.S. I dyed my hair pink and I want it to stay forever. And yes I was snapping and driving, but I was stuck in traffic. So it’s okay. 🙂

 

Things I Love Friday

So, I was scrolling around on WordPress’s discover page, looking through “fitness” tagged things, and I stumbled upon a blog post by Deborah Mary. Her blog post inspired me to write about something similar. I’m in a weirdly good mood today (ok, it isn’t actually that weird, considering it is Friday), so even though I blogged yesterday, I decided I wanted to do another one today. I think implementing a “Things I Love Friday” would be a fun addition to my regular (albeit inconsistently themed) blogging.
So here goes, let me tell ya about the things I’m lovin’ today. 🙂

Things I’m loving this Friday:

  • Thursday dinner and happy hour with amazing people. (Of course we did Sake Bombs, I can’t even deny it, so here’s video evidence.)
    I had a kind of down day on Wednesday, so when my friend asked if I wanted to meet up for drinks after work I couldn’t say yes fast enough. There’s not many things that can cheer you up quite as good as some quality, stress-free time with your friends. 🙂


  • Exercising!!! More specifically, squeezing in a great/killer workout before going out and meeting aforementioned friends for sushi and drinks.
    I’ve been running a lot more lately, and as I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, I’ve come to love the active life quite a lot! Yesterday’s workout consisted of a 3/4 mile run, followed by another 3/4 of a mile of intervals. 30 seconds of a stationary exercise (squats, lunges, etc.), 30 seconds of fast running, a 30 second walk, then repeat. I did that and by the time I was almost done, I was dying.
    I felt great after my workout, and I had just enough time afterwards to rinse off, touch up my makeup, throw my hair in a bun, and head to dinner/drinks! It made for a great start to the rest of the evening!

img_5810


  • Family visits. 🙂
    My mom, dad, and brother are all coming to visit me this weekend, and I am SO EXCITED. We have a whole day of activities planned tomorrow, and I can’t wait! They’re even bringing our dog, Reagan. (She’s a German Shepard, so obviously that is great news!!)

  • Poetry books by Erin Hanson are another favorite of mine right now as well. Her poetry follows a rhyming scheme, and I am obsessed with it. I also like that the poems are really long, because I have another poetry book that has primarily short poems, and it’s not as satisfying to read as this one. I’m reading a few poems each day (since they’re so long) and I have yet to finish the book, so that’s pretty awesome. This is her first book, but I have 2 more coming in this weekend. I’m very excited about them!

img_5811


  • Home Chef meals! My mom sponsors my newfound love for cooking through her provision of two great meals for me every Wednesday! They come in, I put the ingredients in the fridge, and cook both meals (2 servings each) within a week of getting them. Each recipe has a different “cook by” date, so I cook the one that will go bad sooner, first. (For example, this week I cooked my dish with shrimp first, since shrimp doesn’t last long.) It’s one of my favorite things ever, and I love having something to look forward to every Wednesday. 🙂 It’s absolutely fantastic, and I cannot even express to my mom how grateful for these meals I am. I’m learning a lot about cooking, as well as accumulating a nice assortment of different recipes I can cook again.
    If anyone’s interested in signing up, here’s their website. I highly recommend. The recipes are easy enough for a novice (which I am), and the food is fantastic. Below is a pic of some Ranch Chicken Quesadillas I made a few weeks ago, and OH MAN. THEY WERE AMAZING.

img_5812


  • The last thing I’m loving this Friday, is having a clean apartment. 🙂
    Is that a weird thing to love? No, right? I try to do at least one thing a day to maintain the cleanliness of my (already very clean) apartment. I am a clean person–I put things away immediately when I’m done with it, I never leave dirty dishes in the sink, I don’t have clutter anywhere and am altogether very organized, BUT I still have to clean. By “clean” I mean vacuuming, sweeping, swiffering, wiping down surfaces, dusting, doing laundry, cleaning the litter box, etc.
    This week, I did all of those things (except dusting) in my free time after work. Last night alone, I folded laundry, swept, swiffered, and vacuumed. The night before, I cleaned the litter box and swept around it and put sheets in the washing machine. I also watered all of the many many plants on my balcony a couple times this week.
    Doing things like that to maintain the appearance and cleanliness of my apartment makes me really happy to come home every day. It also makes me proud of where I live. 🙂

Anyways, there’s my first “Things I Love Friday.” Let me know your thoughts. I had fun with this blog, so I hope it’s even just slightly entertaining to read. (I might have rambled a bit too much at times, though.) ((Whoops.))

xx – A

The Future

We’ve all thought about the future; we all think about the future constantly. We think about what we’re going to do after work or school, about what we’re going to eat for dinner, or even what task we’re going to start on next after finishing the current one. Humans are creatures who are always thinking about the future; whether or not that’s a good think, I don’t know. It just is.

One thing I know for sure is the importance of creating and cultivating plans for your future to look forward to and work towards. If you’re going to school day in and day out, why are you doing it? To get a degree, yes, but what next? You need to form goals for yourself to work towards so that you have a reason for doing what you’re doing. The same goes for those who work jobs, they’re making money, but for what? Yeah, you have to pay bills and have money to live, but what else are you doing with your hard earned cash? Make plans!

Looking forward to big events is important, but it’s the little joys that we look forward to that really keeps us going. Those dinner plans you made with a friend the other day? You know? The ones you’ve been looking forward to all week? Your excitement about this one simple thing keeps your mood up, and essentially gives you something to live for. Even little things like going to the gym after work, or making it through half the day and getting to take a break and eat lunch. Little joys like this get us from one point to the next.

My favorite kind of things to look forward to though, are weekend activities or vacations. (I know I can’t be the only one!) I have this weird way of getting depressed about the future unless I have plans in the future to look forward to. Things like Saturday hikes or weekend trips to NYC are things I can plan and look forward to. Now, the NYC thing hasn’t necessarily been set in stone just yet, but it’s a goal for me to work towards. I have to save money to buy a flight to get there, and once I do that, I can have solid plans.

airplane

As someone who has an ongoing battle with depression and anxiety, I have found ways to keep myself afloat. I keep busy, and I keep looking forward. I’ll continue doing this, until I find myself in a place where I don’t have to work to make plans, they’ll just come naturally. I have been broken and beat down in so many ways, but my determination to not let life just happen to me is what’s keeping me going. I will be in charge of my life, and I refuse to let myself be controlled by life’s shitty events, and instead would rather take charge of my own life. Making plans is my way of doing that.

Do things that keep you going. Always.

xx – A

Words of Wisdom

Who needs advice on how to handle post-graduate life?
Or just life in general? I know I do.

IMG_4883

Since graduating, my life has consisted of a series of drastic changes. Some of which, I elected to take on myself, some were thrust upon me, and others knocked me off my feet entirely. But here I am, still living. I decided I wanted to ask people a question regarding advice they might give to their younger selves. I came up with two options–one based around what advice they would give to themselves after graduating college, and one regarding advice they’d give to their younger self in general. Even now, as I ask people and compile quotes, the nature of my blog post changes slightly, and I can’t help but smile to myself because that embodies the exact nature of this post–change.

One of two questions will be sent to a variety of people. Hopefully someone reading this will find wisdom and solace in the words my friends and family provide (or even just smile at some of the goofier things said.)
Fair warning though, I ended up with more quotes than I intended, so you’re in for a world of advice. It’s a good read though, so I strongly urge you to read it all.

Enjoy.


If you could go back in time to when you had just graduated college and give yourself advice, what would you say?

“Enjoy life and know that what’s meant to be, will happen.” -Mariela, 22

“Live hard and travel.” -Robin, 26

“Don’t be afraid to do things on your own–get out and explore what life can be.” -Ashlee, 22

“There’s nothing wrong with not having a dream job. If at the end of the day you’re happy and your bills are paid, then what you do isn’t as important.” -Scott, 25

“Cheap beer is never the answer.” -Jake, 25

I’d probably tell myself to pay more attention to other people. Be genuinely interested in what’s going on in their life and how they’re doing so I could help them or just know what to say to them when they needed it.” –Evan, 25

Don’t be so defensive and fix your victim complex, the world is not out to get you. It’s your life, so live it your way to the best of YOUR ability. Play a song that’s in your heart, keep dreaming, but most importantly live long and prosper.” -Nicholas, 27 (Some content omitted for length purposes.)

“I would tell myself to be true to myself and not let a failed relationship alter my course. My first boyfriend dumped me when I was 22 and I had a hard time getting over it. Looking back, that breakup was a good thing because I wasn’t ready to be attached.” -Theresa, 55

“Not to take the first job thrown at you.” -Ryan, 24

“I would probably tell myself to be more patient about making job decisions and to put myself out there more. Don’t settle.” -Lauren, 23

Chill the eff out. Enjoy your time, and nothing lasts forever. It will probably be a few years before you figure out what you’ll end up doing. Career wise. You will most likely stumble across it by accident. But even if you found it today, you wouldn’t be ready for it. So…enjoy the ride. That applies to in work and outside.” -Evan, 38


If you could go back in time and give yourself advice, what would you say?

“There’s no hurry. Enjoy the journey. And, stay in school! Know yourself before you become a couple…” -Janet, 51

Not to bet money yesterday.” -Eric (currently visiting Las Vegas), 21

Be confident in everything you do and in every decision you make.” -Wilson, 21

Your life is short and precious. It is not to be cluttered with frivolous bullshit. Focus on things that TRULY bring you joy. Wasted time holds the heaviest guilt. If you can’t get into that book, put it down and start a new one. If an acquaintance leaves you feeling drained and ugly, limit your contact. If a hobby starts to feel like a chore, don’t do it anymore. If you don’t feel like going out, stay your ass at home. If your job treats you like a bad boyfriend, DUMP IT.
However, as particular as you must be with your time, make sure that every single person you encounter can say that they’ve experienced pure, unconditional love and acceptance. If you love without expectation, you will never be hurt or disappointed.
Live wholly and apologetically as yourself. You do you, boo boo! Don’t listen to society. Do not for a second conform. Your mind is beautiful and different so embrace it.
Above all else baby girl, focus on your value, not your success.” -Lisa, 25 (Some content omitted for length purposes.)

Work hard and find goals to work towards. Stay motivated.” -Kurtis, 21

Don’t care so much, and those boys are seriously not worth your time, FYI.” -Krysten, 23

Never settle. Be more confident in yourself. NEVER ignore red flags. Trust your gut. Travel more. Save money, you never know what surprises life will throw you. Realize sooner that you are a badass woman and can handle anything life hands you!” -Ally, 30

“Never let others belittle you.” -Molly, 16

“I wish I wasn’t afraid to make my own decisions on things. I let my husband make decisions whether I agreed or not. This was hard to admit, but it was a mistake on my part.” -Ellie, 78

“Don’t be insecure, everybody has doubts.
Enjoy even the poor times of your life. Those are great memories you will enjoy remembering.
Participate in every 401k plan you can.
Don’t ring up debt. Money is more fun if you spend it as you earn it instead of before you earn it.” -Sharon, 52

“Go to bed earlier.” -August, 57

Don’t look at others and think they have the perfect life. Everyone faces their own challenges. They only show the good things to the rest of the world (on social media). People don’t always share their struggles. (Aka, the grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence.) -Trisha, 47

“Don’t be scared to do new things. I get anxious of the unknown and wish I enjoyed myself more.” -Chase, 28

Spend more time appreciating what you have instead of wishing you had more. And look for your purpose in your current situation instead of a way out of it. It’s usually easier going through it than it is getting out of it.” -Mike, 43.

“1. Don’t pay so much attention to what other people are doing and focus on yourself.
2. Don’t miss out on experiences that could be fun because you’re scared.
3. On that note, learn how to say no.
4. Take time to figure out what you love.
5. Learn to take care of yourself.
6. That boy? The one that doesn’t call back and only texts you late at night? He’s not worth any of it. Know your own worth well enough to say no.
7. Talk to your family. 
8. You’ll meet some of the best people in the world during this time: wonderful amazing loving people that will become your best friends.
9. On that note, you’ll meet some pretty awful people too. Keep your head up, and if someone is toxic, cut them out.
10. Relationships are hard. Sometimes things don’t work out for whatever reason and you’re stuck picking up the pieces alone. Remember that healing isn’t a linear process and these things take time. Don’t harden your heart just because you feel sad.
You’re only 22, you don’t have to have it all figured out now.”
-Tessa, 22 (Some content omitted for length purposes.)

“Watch the people you keep around because they’re the ones you’re giving the ability to do you wrong.” -August, 19

“Follow your dreams and don’t worry about making other people happy. Do your own thing.” -Erika, 23


Initially, I was going to omit the advice I would give to myself, but a friend suggested I include it. So, here we go.

What would I say if I could go back and tell my younger self something? Where do I even begin? 

Life is shitty sometimes, and there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it. Instead of dwelling on everything that’s going wrong, focus instead on the blessings in your life. Find things that bring you joy, no matter how small they might be, and DO those things. Do them always. In this long and complicated life we live, there are few things that matter more than the simple pleasures. 

Find people that you love and who love you back and never let them go. Ever. Having people in your life who truly care about you is such an amazing feeling and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. When they need you, be there for them and they will be there for you in return when you need them. If you ever fall down and become broken, these people will be your crutch until you learn to walk on your own again.

Maintain the realization that people who mean a lot to you are worth you swallowing your pride sometimes.  Think to yourself: Is this little argument worth this friendship? Usually the answer is no. Apologize even if you’re not wrong–the relief that accompanies the end of a conflict is well worth it. Recognize that most people are worth more than your need to be right, but also be mindful of the ones that aren’t. 

Work your ass off. No one gets anywhere without true effort on their part. If you want to achieve your dreams of living in big cities and traveling the world, you’re going to have to put in 110%. But, it’ll all be worth it when you look back and see how far you’ve come. Make your parents proud. Make your friends proud. Most importantly though, make yourself proud of who you’ve become.

And lastly, love yourself, damnit. Always take care of you.” -Anna, 22

xx – A