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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Photo by Tobi on Pexels.com

The Hookup On: Preply

Now that I have been traveling more often, I think it’s time that I learn a language other than English. I took one Spanish class for a year once and one French class for a year once and did pretty poorly in each.  I took Italian for three years in high school and was pretty bad at that too. Learning a language really isn’t my thing, but I’m giving it a shot!

Preply.com is an online language-learning service that allows users to connect with tutors from all around the world. You can meet with this tutor via Skype and the lessons are very affordable.

I did my first lesson last night to learn Spanish. I met with my tutor on Skype and we had a one hour session. We did an audio call and she shared a presentation with me and we went over the basics of Spanish such as greetings and the alphabet.

My tutor lives in Venezuela and was very friendly, easy to understand, and relatable. I loved the lessons she laid out for me and feel as though I learned a lot in my first hour! It was so easy to find a tutor and get the session going. I’m looking forward to the rest of my Spanish lessons!

hc

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are mine.

It’s Okay To Be Sad

I think there is a lot of pressure to be happy. When you work somewhere, when you’re out with your friends, when you’re in a relationship…everyone assumes that because of where you are, you should be happy.

But that’s really not always the case and it’s not always because of the people around you. You might be sad. And it’s not because you don’t have a great job, boyfriend/girlfriend, friends or family. It’s just because at this moment in time you don’t feel all that happy, and that’s okay.

It’s hard to admit you’re just sad especially when you can’t pinpoint the reasoning behind it. Then people don’t understand, they blame themselves and they blame you. But sometimes life gets stagnant, sometimes you didn’t sleep that well for a week, sometimes you feel a little lost and all of that builds up to a sadness that isn’t anyone’s fault.

And the more we deny what we’re feeling, the more we convince ourselves that we should be happy so we are happy, the more sad we actually get.

It’s okay to be sad, it’s okay to tell people you feel sad. No one is 100% all of the time and I can almost guarantee the moment you admit your feelings will be the moment that a lot of things come into perspective A step out of feeling sad.

It’s a lot of pressure, life. Everyone’s always trying to one-up each other in their woes and tragedies. But no matter what your situation, whether it be life and death or a flat tire. It’s okay to be sad, stressed, and overwhelmed.

hc
photo by: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jornidzerda/

A Letter To My College Self

Hey you!

You did it! And I am so unbelievably proud of you. I know high school sucked and you’ve been looking forward to college for the past four years. I also know you currently feel held back, scared, and unsure.

It’s okay that you made your school choice based off of proximity. You may not have made that decision fully for yourself, but there were parts of you that thought it was for the better. Never stop listening to those parts of yourself. They’re always right – your thoughts and feelings about yourself will always be more right than anyone else’s.

It’s not going to be super easy to make friends here either, but just be yourself. College is way more real than high school ever was. If someone doesn’t like you, then you shouldn’t work to change yourself to fit that person. You get rid of them and you move on.

And you’ll make a lot of friends, this is a lot bigger than that small town you grew up in. You can have a bunch of different friend groups and they’re all very understanding. If they’re not understanding, they’re not the right kind of friends.

But the friends you make here are probably more important than that general education art lecture and the boy you met at a basement party. You’ll learn that quickly.

It may seem silly to take so many unrelated classes. But some of these professors will majorly impact your life. You’ll probably know the moment you meet them that they’re different, different like you. And they want to help you as long as you want to be helped. These professors will mold and shape your career. Like your friends, you’ll never stop being thankful for them.

Don’t be afraid to mess up because you are going to mess up. No one will judge you for it because chances are, they know someone or they have personally messed up way worse than you have. And those mess ups are a way to get to know yourself better. The mistake make outs, black out hang overs, missed classes, verbal arguments, failed assignments, and that overall sucky feeling will teach you lessons you would never learn if you didn’t take a risk.

Take them. College does go by fast, I’ll admit that there are certain years I wish I could repeat over and over for the rest of my life. But then those moments wouldn’t be so special.

If you do it right, four years is all you’ll need to be able to turn around with that stupid square cardboard on your head and wave goodbye to your home for the last four years with a diploma in your hand.

You’re ready. You screwed up, hit rock bottom, flew sky high, and succeeded in college. Imagine what you can do in the real world.

Love,

Me

hc
photo by: https://www.flickr.com/photos/oceansoflilim/

You Can Afford To Take A Vacation

We’re busy people. We work, we have friends, we have families, some of us have kids, some of us have pets. Some of us go to school, some have more than one job, some are just busy.

It’s hard to find time for a vacation and it’s hard to find money for vacation. Some jobs offer paid time off, some of us aren’t that lucky. We live pay check to pay check or save up only to realize we need new tires or our roof is leaking.

But I’m telling you, you need to take a vacation. And you can!

A vacation, to me, is just a break from your daily life. You need to determine what kind of break you can work with and you need to do its

You could go away, hop on a plane and go to a beach and relax. Get in the car and go camping in the mountains and hike to the prettiest sights. Board a boat and explore new cultures. Semi-expensive trips that require time and money. If you have both the time and the money, stop ignoring it. Don’t save those vacation days or that money in case of an emergency. Take a risk, take a break, you deserve it.

Do you have even less time and money than those kind of trips would allow? Try a stay-cation. Don’t go too far, go to a local town with a cute Main Street and maybe some free outdoor activities. Book a semi cheap hotel room for the night. Jump on the bed, enjoy the service, sleep in the next day. You can do this for a weekend or a night and you can do it inexpensively. It’s not lame – it’s fun! And worth it.

If you just have no time and no money – take a nap! Take a bath! Take a break from your daily stresses because really that’s all a vacation is. Do something for you that makes you happy. Take an hour to reflect and breathe. To have fun and catch up on relaxing.

I don’t know you, but I know you deserve a vacation. Even if you don’t have a lot going on externally, you probably have a lot going on internally. And you need a break. Evaluate your funds, evaluate your time, and spring for fun and relaxation. You can make it work and you can afford to take a vacation.

hc
photo by: https://www.flickr.com/photos/klengel/

Moving Won’t Solve Your Problems

Ever since high school I would talk about how I was going to get out of here. It started with wanting to go to Canada, to wanting to go to college in Ireland, to getting accepted to all the schools I applied for in North Carolina.

I ultimately stayed in New Jersey because of my boyfriend at the time. And although that relationship didn’t work out, it was the best decision I could have made. I was close to my family and made amazing friends.

But once I got around to graduating college, I swore I wasn’t going to move home. I was looking at jobs in Arkansas and Pennsylvania – while applying to safety jobs in New Jersey. But I ended up getting a job in New Jersey, a mere 30 minutes from my hometown. I moved home and I don’t regret it. I still see my friends a decent amount, I save a lot of money, and I’ve been learning a lot about myself.

A lot of people want to get out of town just to run away from their problems. No friends? I’ll make better ones in a different state. Bad job? I’ll find a better one somewhere else. Bored and lazy? My life is clearly waiting for me somewhere else.

But that’s not true. If you have problems weighing down on you and choose to solve those problems by moving – it probably won’t work. It’s one thing to be moving for better opportunities and a change of scenery, but anything that’s causing a chip on your shoulder will only deepen with distance.

If you’re planning on moving you need to tie up your loose ends. Say see ya later to your good friends and a solid goodbye to the people in your life who aren’t contributing anything. Don’t say anything to the people who are bringing you down, just leave them. And don’t blame where you’re living for your bad job and boring life. You’re choosing not to make the best of where you are and no matter where you are that will always be the case.

hc
photo by: https://www.flickr.com/photos/wnaprod/

An Open Letter To My High School Self

Dear high school me,

High school is a scary time. Everyone is going through incredible changes, yourself included. New things are introduced and new interests gain importance. There are so many people who are older than you and know more than you. And you’re in this little building with them, there to learn from them in the classroom and stand next to them in the hallways.

Keep your eyes open always. Because change isn’t always a good thing, new experiences aren’t always good experiences. The things they taught you about drugs, alcohol, and sex – that stuff happens in real life and it’s happening right in front of you. But don’t get sucked up into it. Make a list of priorities and keep looking back at it.

True friends are hard to find, but when you find them hold on tight. Your family doesn’t understand you right now and you don’t understand them – but one day you will. One day it will all make sense again. Keep them by your side.

Trust yourself more than you ever trust anyone else. There will always be people with false motives. There will always be things you desperately want and people will take advantage of that. Don’t lose sight of yourself, even if you see everyone around you getting lost. Even if everyone around you seems to know what they’re doing. Put yourself first in the times you need to.

Never put a boy first. It’s so easy to in a time where you feel like an ugly duckling, or you don’t feel cool enough, smart enough, skinny enough, brave enough. The people who look out for you are people you will always need. And that may be a boy for some time, but you can’t forget about anyone else. Because if there’s an end, it will be just you standing alone.

Lastly, know it gets better. If you don’t who you are right now then you’ll get there eventually. If your friends don’t care enough about you, soon you will find people who will. Cling to the things that are being taught to you – by teachers or otherwise. The insight you will gain in high school is so important. Whether your experience is amazing or straight up shitty, there is always something you can take away from it.

Look for it and learn from it.

Love always,

22 year old me

photo by: https://www.flickr.com/photos/77353192@N06/
photo by: https://www.flickr.com/photos/77353192@N06/