Leaving Your Home

I’ve lived in New Jersey basically my whole life. I was born in another state, lived in another, but that was all before memories really started to form. I grew up in New Jersey, went to college in New Jersey, and built my life here.

And while I love everything about this extremely underrated state, I never wanted to stay here forever. First I wanted to go to college in Canada, then maybe Ireland, then I wanted to move south as quick as I could. But I never did. I stayed. Until now.

Now I’m leaving my home and I don’t think it’s quite hit me yet that everything I know will be a 6 hour drive away when I move to New Hampshire. All of my friends, most of my family, my coworkers, and familiarity will be so far gone. It’s nerve-wracking.

But I’m ready to leave it behind. My adult life has become so busy anyway that I think some distance between me and all of those things will actually make the bond stronger. If the bond becomes weaker, maybe it wasn’t meant to be in the first place.

I think it’s so important to start over somewhere new, to live in new places, to meet new people. Those experiences help shape you into a well-rounded person – it’s part of the reason I travel as much as I can. It makes me a better person. And even though I’m terrible at new things and meeting new people, I at least have to try.

It’s so sad to leave your home, but there is a whole world out there to explore and we owe it to ourselves to experience it.

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The Girl I’ve Tried To Be

I’ve never really felt like I fit in. Being quite an introvert and a homebody, I’ve felt myself try to change on many occasions to please other people and to just be accepted.

I’ve tried to be the girl that was too cool for school. The girl that only kept a few friends, hated all her teachers, hated her parents, and just didn’t try very hard. It left me with only a few options for college and no friends after I left for college. I chose to be around the wrong people, so leaving them behind wasn’t hard.

I’ve tried to just fit in. I felt like I was inserting myself into other people’s friendships the first two years of college. Thanks to a couple of great people who helped me along the way, I found a group but had to do everything I could to actually become a member of that group. I felt lost, felt like I was being pulled in 100 different directions.

I’ve tried to be the party girl who just didn’t care. And I didn’t, for a while. It was probably the only time I felt people enjoyed being in my company but it was all an act. An alcohol-induced version of myself that was much more fun and much more charming than sober me. When all was said and done and there weren’t $2-you-call-its every Thursday-Monday in the real world – I was empty.

I’ve tried to be myself and that just left me more hurt than any of the facades. Every time I tried to push past my awkward walls and reveal the innocence inside me, someone would come along and damage it fast. To the point where I can barely see my old self anymore, to the point where I’m so guarded I don’t even know who to be.

So I retreat and stay where it’s safe. Make an appearance every once in a while, try to show the people I love that I love them without feeling like I’m trying to be something I’m not. The girls I’ve tried to be all haunt me, I’m just trying not to be a ghost of myself anymore.

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Give Yourself A Break

If you read my post where I documented all of my negative thoughts in 24 hours, you’ll know that I have a lot of negative thoughts about myself. We are so hard on ourselves. And this is on top of the weight that the world is already putting on our shoulders. Responsibilities are always going to pile up, people are always going to disappoint you, and life is just not going to go as planned.

But that’s okay. Seriously, give yourself a break.

You can’t control the actions of others. You can’t control how people treat you, you can’t control life’s unforeseen twists and turns. And you can’t punish yourself for the things you can’t control. Sometimes people are just going to suck and sometimes bad things are just going to happen.

For the things you can control, be realistic. You can’t always control every aspect of your job, you can’t just quit when time’s get tough. You can’t always control how much time you have in a day to just be yourself. But you can empower yourself to learn how to deal with it better, to speak up for yourself, or to make changes when change is necessary.

But you seriously need to give yourself a break.

Take one day this week to jot down every negative thing you thought about yourself. See how hard you’re being and how unrealistic you’re being. Because you deserve better from other people, but you definitely deserve better from yourself.

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The Struggle Of Being Sentimental

I’ve never had a good memory and I’ve never had a huge attachment to places. But if I have a token of a place or a photo of a time, then I’m able to remember the event more clearly. I collect things from important people and places I go and I’ve become very sentimental.

I have boxes of things I’ve acquired over the years. Diaries, cards, ticket stubs, birthday presents that came from people who I left in the past, a lot of bad poetry from high school. I have a hard time throwing those things away because they are probably the only things that will trigger those memories for me.

I went through some of the boxes recently and could only throw away a few things. Diaries that mostly only spoke about how my family were jerks and how I was fat, photos of people who left me with bad feelings, and trinkets that I couldn’t find an attachment to.

But there’s so much left and the problem with being sentimental isn’t that I’m going to become a hoarder one day. The problem is that these things make me miss people who have hurt me, who I don’t even like anymore. They make me miss times that I was actually miserable during. But by being so sentimental, it’s easy to forget the bad. Even when they are things that should be long gone.

It’s hard to be so sentimental, I feel oddly attached to dumb things and then feel like reaching out to people who stopped caring about me altogether. It’s a dangerous road and I’ve found it best to just keep those boxes closed.

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Making Time For Your Friends In Your 20’s

When I graduated college, my friends and I all cried over the fact that life would be so different without us living just a hallway away from each other. But I don’t think I realized how different it would really be.

We all have jobs and relationships. Some people have houses and dogs. Some of us have demanding schedules. It’s really really hard to stay in touch with your friends and it can be easy to let it just fall to the side when you know they’ll always be there for you when you need them.

But needing them doesn’t always mean you’re having an actual crisis. You need your friends a lot more than you think you do, even when you have a support system at home. It’s not the same as the comfort your friends can give you.

They’re probably going through what you’re going through and you probably haven’t taken the time to properly talk about your life with someone who isn’t with you all the tine. Your friends can help you, it doesn’t need to be a time of despair. It might just be a time where you feel like you need a little more fresh air.

It takes work – a lot more work than some people are willing to put in to keep friendships around. But it’s important work. It’s the same as the effort you need to continuously put into your relationship. You can’t just expect to put people down and pick them back up when you need them.

Send the text, make the call, put together some plans. Be the person who is always reaching out with dates to see if anyone can get together. It’s exhausting and can be frustrating – but your good friends are worth it.

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What’s Making You Unhappy?

Something just isn’t quite right…but I’m not sure what it is. Do you ever look at your life because something needs to change, but you can’t figure out what it is?

It seems like a lot of good things are lined up for me. I’ve had a lot of time with my family, a lot of fun on the weekends, and have been working on bettering myself. But then there seem to be twinges of things that are not just going right – but which of them are creating so much of an impact that it’s making me unhappy?

I’ve let a lot of projects die lately. I was saying yes to as many things as I could, I was writing in a gratitude journal, I was trying to be mindful. And I don’t think those things were making huge differences in my life, but ditching them could be behind my unhappiness.

Complacency has also been a huge struggle for me lately. I have been trying to get out of my appearance rut, but haven’t been able to change anything in my daily routine. I spend a lot of time wishing the days away and then sitting on my couch and watching Netflix all evening.

Even when I get to the weekend, I have ended up doing a lot of things by myself recently and occupying my own time. I’m normally all for it, but I had been pushing myself out of my anti-social box lately and now I feel like I’m walking in circles trying to make myself happy all by myself.

None of these are huge problems. I can’t point to one and say that it’s truly making a dent into my happiness. I guess it could be all these small pebbles creating one big mountain I can’t climb. Something just isn’t quite right, but I’m not sure what it is. What’s making you unhappy?

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