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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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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Somewhere In Between

I feel pretty weird about this stage of my life. While I know I don’t need to have everything figured out at 24 years old, I do know that there are some things that I should feel more comfortable with.

But everything is very up and down at the moment. I just moved into a new place, so where I live will be a constant for probably the next two years. Therefore, I really don’t have any big life changes coming down the road – and I kind of thrive on change. I don’t plan on moving, don’t plan on changing jobs, don’t plan on making any relationship steps. Which is all fine, but the lack of change makes me uneasy.

And I feel like I should be more comfortable with my friends, the way I spend my time, the way I look. But I just can’t find a balance.

My friends all have their friends and they all live more than an hour away making pretty much everything hard. I’m tired after work so I don’t really do anything exciting – probably the only thing worth mentioning is my blog but that has become so integrated into my life. And I can’t get past any fitness plateaus, I’m so stagnant.

But what do I do? Join a club at 24 years old? I’ve never been an outgoing person and just the thought of trying to make new friends makes me want to hide under the covers. Do I just accept I’m at a weird transitional part of my life and that the puzzle pieces will fall into place soon? Because so far I’ve learned when you expect things to get easier, they don’t.

Being 24 is weird.

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Friendships in Your 20’s

One thing no one prepared me for was how different friendships become after you leave college. In college, you live with your best friends. You eat with them, go everywhere with them, you rely on them like family. Then *poof* graduation comes and you all have to separate.

It’s hard to get on the same schedule after that. It’s hard to see each other, make commitments to each other, and stay in touch. It’s hard to keep that family type of feeling alive because you’re relying on other people now.

It kind of feels like things start to fall apart because you were so used to knowing everything about someone and now you only get to see them once a month. Friend dynamics change. You make new ones, old ones fall off the map, and some friendships start to take priority over others.

Effort is required on both ends to keep a friendship going and it’s frustrating when you don’t live near each other and more effort is being put in on one side and none on the other. I think friendships in your 20’s means sometimes we just have friends who are there for a good time, not the hard times. And we can’t put all our care into those friendships anymore.

It’s fine to keep those people around for the good times, but we can’t get upset when they don’t reciprocate the care we show. Then there truly are friends who are in it for the long haul. Friends who you only see once every 3 months, only text once a month, who you can still turn to at the end of a long day even though it feels like you’ve been strangers for a while.

Friendships in your 20’s is all about putting yourself and those who care first and leaving the rest as a secondary thought. We’re growing up, we can’t put all our time and energy into people who don’t do the same for us. It’s sad, but it’s time to move on.

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Dealing With Disappointment

People are going to disappoint you in life, it’s just going to happen. They’re going to lie to you, lead you on, put in less effort, hurt you, or pretend to be someone they’re not.

You’re going to disappoint yourself in life, it’s just going to happen. You’re going to make the wrong decision, you’re not going to speak out when you should, you’re going to lie or hurt someone or be someone you’re not.

The only way to deal with it is to analyze the situation and decide whether it deserves your forgiveness or not. Because not everyone will. And dropping them from your life might be hard, but necessary. And some people do deserve your forgiveness. It might be hard to give it to them. It might be hard to forgive yourself.

The hard times in life end up being the times where decisions are made that can better your life. When someone disappoints you, only weigh your feelings on the matter. No one can tell you or convince you how to feel. Then take those feelings and make the best decision for yourself.

Disappointment hurts, there’s no way around it. But in these time, put yourself first and be a little selfish. You’re the one who hurts, so you are allowed to decide how to make yourself feel better.

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Love Yourself This Valentine’s Day

A lot of us have bitter feelings towards Valentine’s Day. For most of my life, I didn’t. Even when I didn’t have a boyfriend I still liked the hearts and fluff of the holiday. One year I was bitter and all it did was make me more miserable of a person than I already was.

Because in the end, it’s just a day. But if you want to look closely at it, it’s a day to remind ourselves to love. If you don’t have a significant other to express that love to – it’s okay! You can love your friends, you can love your family, and you can love yourself.

In my single years I’d buy presents for my also very single friends just to see them cheer up a little. And my mom would send me a little gift card to show her love. But I often neglected to look at the holiday as a time to give a gift to myself to show my love.

Self love is so hard. And to think about it all the time is just an exhausting competition with your inevitable self hate. But if you’re going to pick yourself apart all the time, at least use Valentine’s Day as the one day you’re not going to do that.

Whether you’re single or in a relationship or in between, love yourself this Valentine’s Day. Put on some lipstick or throw on an extra nice shirt for work. Tell yourself that you look good – because you do! Buy yourself a nice dinner or get yourself a little gift. That one present for yourself that you’ve been putting off for so long.

It’s a day of love, there’s no need to resent it. You have love all around you and all up in you – so express it!

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Why We Forget To Take Care Of Ourselves

We often stop and think to ourselves about how stressed out we are. How tired we are. How we could just use a day off.

But we never really stop and think that we need all of those things because we’ve stopped taking care of ourselves. We just think that it’s been a busy week, or a lot has been going on at work, or you’ve been fighting with your friends this week. But it will all pass.

The truth is, it won’t pass unless you realize that you’ve completely forgotten about your own self care. All of your current emotions are linked to things in your life such as work, school, relationships. But how are you feeling? Have you taken care of you?

We forget to take care of ourselves because there’s so much going on in the world. And we are just a small piece of it. We think all of these outside things make up who we are, that if we take care of those things then everything will fall into place. But if you don’t take care of your mind or your body or your soul – then you can’t take care of work, or friends, or family, or school either.

We forget to take care of ourselves because we are so busy looking after other people. But how can you be there for someone if you aren’t even there for yourself?

Be grateful and be there for people. Most importantly, though, be grateful for who you are and take care of yourself. If you’re stressed, or tired, or need a day off. Recognize those things as a  need to take care of yourself more, not just something that’s going to pass over time. Don’t live your life thinking everything is temporary, you need to be mindful of your current state and where you will be going from here. Take care of yourself.

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