As you go through life you’ll see there is so much that we don’t understand. And the only thing we know is things don’t always go the way we planned

I graduated from college in May of 2015 and took a job working for my town as a temporary job until I got a job and the funds to move back to Philadelphia. A year rolled by and I was still at the job I told myself I would only stay at for the summer. I was bored, working long days, had a lot of responsibility and not enough support. Most importantly, I wasn’t getting paid enough in my opinion. In August of 2016, I put in my two month notice and decided to quit my job. I had no back up job planned or plans to get another one. I just knew I had to quit my job. For someone who has her day all planned out, this was very stressful for me to do, but I knew it was time to leave that job.

The last week of September was my final week at my job and that Friday I hopped on a plane and went to Nashville with some college friends. When the plane took off, I didn’t have a job to come back to. But when my plane landed, I had picked up two part time jobs to start the following week. Since October of 2016, I have been working part time at a college in New Jersey and working part time at J. Crew. These were jobs I could work to pay my bills until I found a full time job or figured out if I could move t to a new state. I started making plans to move out of my parents house and move to Philadelphia, but financially I could not find a job that would allow me to afford an apartment and still pay for my car and student loan at the same time. Once again, I was stuck putting my plans on hold to move out. I started to dread working at the college. It became a part time desk job that was a little boring to be honest. I preferred my retail job and was always volunteering to pick up extra hours and such. When Christmas rolled by, friends and family started to ask what I was doing. I would respond that I was working 7 days a week working two part time jobs. To be honest, I didn’t know how to answer because I did not know what I was doing with my life.  I was able to make my schedule at the college just two days a week and still get everything done. The rest of my week, I spent at J. Crew working almost  40 hours a week. I was tired. I was always running around. But I love being busy. Free time is a bit confusing for me because I am not sure what to do with it.

In May, I started making plans to move again. I started to apply to jobs and see if the universe was telling me that I was meant to move there. I found an apartment, was sending out cover letters and resumes. I was typing up my two weeks notice letter for the job at the college thrilled that I wouldn’t have to do that long commute anymore. But the Universe had other plans for me. In June, my old job working with my town asked me to come back as a consultant and plan the town 4th of July parade because they didn’t have someone to plan it and I had done it the past year. I told myself that after the parade I would go back to trying to find a job and working on the move. I started to pack up boxes and label them for the move.

A few days later, I was given the opportunity to take on more responsibility at J. Crew and become an Assistant Manager at my store. I was called into the back office one day thinking I was going to get in trouble and instead this opportunity was presented to me. I think I awkwardly laughed when this opportunity was presented to me. Here I was making plans and the Universe was sending me off on another direction. Of course I accepted it, but still planned on coming back to the plans of moving in the future.

I went to college and worked hard to get a degree in Sociology and Management while working multiple jobs as well as internships to make my resume perfect for post-grad. I took a desk job to use it as a stepping stone to move to another company. But the more time I spent at a desk doing work, the more I dreaded going to work. In college, I spent my summers in retail and knew it would be a job I could do. I would go in and not have to take my work home with me and I am a social person so I have always enjoyed working retail. Never did I imagine that a career in retail is where I saw myself headed.

My parents and I paid a very pretty penny for my degree in sociology so I could work in nonprofits. A job I have wanted to do since I was 7 years old. In college, my friends and I had all of these plans and dreams of changing the world. But when we get together, I hear stories about how they have changed jobs multiple times or are going in a different field than what they got their degree in. My part time job at J. Crew was supposed to be for making money to pay for my car payments, but instead I fell in love with it. Not once have I dreaded going into work. I go into J. Crew and get to work on projects, design displays, dress strangers and I have an amazing team to work with.

 

This is not the life I had planned for myself back in 2015. Is it possible to say that it is even better than I imagined? If you are not where you thought you would be in your life, it is okay! It’s funny how we make detailed plans for our life, and they never work out the way we want them to. Even though we know that life does not go as planned, we continue to plan out our lives and continue to get disappointed when they don’t go as planned. I had planned to have my own apartment by now, brunching with the girlfriends on Sundays, going to the gym everyday and have a lot more money in my savings account than I do now. But right now, I am still living with my parents, I spent my Sundays at J. Crew and definitely have less than I want in my savings account.

Right now I am going with the flow and excited to see where the Universe takes me. My to do lists are less about where I want to be in life, but instead are filled with items I don’t need from Target!

How To Get Your Life Together

Late last night, one of my best friends texted me that they wanted to understand themselves better. I read the text and followed up with a question to get more information from them. It was a short, vague statement that needed more explaining. My friend explained that they felt like their life was a mess and they couldn’t find their place in this world. The only response I could think of was to tell them that all of us are a mess, just some of us are better at hiding it from others. My friend was not looking for this type of answer, but it is all I could think of. In our lives, we get to a place when everything gets repetitive, we want to furnish our lives with pretty things, but the low balance in our checking account is constantly looming over us. We want someone to come into our lives tell us what career path we should have, what friends are worth our time and to find us an apartment and stock up the fridge for us. But we are all adults now, so we have to get our life together ourselves. We used to fill up our free time being social with friends, but now sitting on a couch in pajamas after work sounds a lot more fun. We are constantly tired and fill our schedules with things that have to get done and carry that to do list around with us. When was the last time you woke up and had nothing to do or had nothing planned for that day? For me, it was in January and since then I have been moving full speed ahead without stopping.

The conversation with my friend fizzled out as all text conversations do, neither of us had the answer we were both looking for. I was up all night thinking about my friends question though, how do I get my life together?

  1. Sit Down and List Your Priorities

Earlier this week I went to bed with damp sheets because I washed them, but forgot to throw them in the dryer before I went to bed. For me my priorities are family, work, friends, me time and organizing/cleaning, though they don’t always go in that order. The rank of my priorities shift from day to day, but knowing what is most important going into my day, helps me be the most productive. I like to keep my priorities in check when I get overwhelmed. I can’t accomplish everything, but sitting on the couch with my parents to watch a movie together is sometimes more important than loading the dishwasher before I go to bed.

2. Know How Much Time You Have

Before I start my week, I like to sit down and see what hours I am working, what hours I have free to do stuff and how many hours I have that I can pamper myself. I usually work 45-48 hours a week, so if I don’t take time to designate when I can get certain things done, I find myself drowning in things I cannot accomplish the whole week. If I know I have four hours of free time before work on some days, I can schedule to get certain things done before work. I like to plan my week in advance, if I don’t I have set myself up for failure. I try to get as much done as I can before I go to work, because I know after a long day at work the last thing I want to do is do anything besides lay in bed and eat pasta!

3. Know Where Your Money Is

When was the last time you checked your bank account? With technology and everything being online, you don’t have an excuse not to check your bank account. I like to check my accounts at least once a week to make sure my checking account has enough money in their to cover my expenses. I have all of my bills automatically come out of my checking account to make sure I don’t fall behind on payments. I also know how much money goes out a month for bills, so I have my checking account set up so I always have enough to pay them. Over a year ago, I signed up for Mint and it helped me so where I spend my money. It helps track your purchases and then helps you budget your finances. Money can be an uncomfortable subject, but if you stay on top of it and know where you are spending money, you can see where you can cut back and when you can splurge. Just because you have money sitting in your savings account does not mean you should use it. Look at your finances and look at your near future goals. Get comfortable putting money aside that you won’t use to pay off a student loan or a credit card with. Put money in your savings to actually save for the future. Right now my family is getting ready to sell our house and move, and I know I will need money for moving expenses. I don’t want it to be a big shock to my account when I start spending money.

4. Bring Your Own Coffee

Speaking of finances, I am going to share how you can save $20 a week. Stop buying Starbucks or lunch! Make your own coffee and spend your money on groceries instead of eating out or buying coffee during the week. I give myself one day a week when I will buy a coffee, but even on those days I usually still bring my own. I will buy the Starbucks K Cups and make my coffee in the morning and will make a lunch the night before. Stock up on snacks and food you can make into quick lunches when you do your weekly food shop. Another way to save money, don’t buy drinks when you are out. I have plastic reusable water bottles I keep filled in the fridge so I can grab one on my way out in the morning. I also buy a container of Snapple or Diet Cokes at Wegmans and leave them in my car and some in the fridge. They are a like a $1 each if you buy them at the food store, compared to $2-$3 if you buy them at a convenience store. Every penny saved does add up!

5. Make Time For Friends

Most of my friendships are long distance, so we have to get creative on how to stay in touch. With technology, we can send each other daily Snapchats, like each others photos on Instagram or stalk their Facebook pages to see what we are all up to. Check in with your friends to see how they are doing. Send them an emoji or ask them about a post you saw on Facebook that they posted. It is difficult sometimes to start a conversation when you don’t see one another every day, but make an effort. Some of my friends and I will write a long paragraphs to each other to update each other in our lives. We don’t expect an immediate response or a response at all, just write to say hello or check in. I have one friend who is very busy with work and school so our conversations usually take 4 days to send and reply to a text conversation that usually is only 6 texts. We are not that great at responding, but it is the effort that counts!

6. Accept You Cannot Get Everything Done

When my friend got overwhelmed that they couldn’t get control of their life, I had to explain that very few of us do. Instead of waking up worrying about all the things we cannot control, wake up accepting you will get done what you can that day. Try to make the best of it. That credit card statement can sit there and you can pay the minimum. Laundry can sit there for another day. Your fridge can sit empty, order in! Instead of stressing out about it, do what you can and try again tomorrow.

7. Make Plans With Friends

I worked with a girl for four months before I finally got the courage to ask her to grab dinner or to see a movie after work one day. It sounds silly, but making friends in your twenties is more challenging than finding a date! I finally went up to her and made small talk and blurted out if she wanted to see a movie. It was awkward. It was improper English. But she just laughed and she replied that she wanted to ask me to hang out as well, just didn’t know how. Now we are good friends and continue to make plans outside of work. It may seem intimidating, but just ask someone if they want to get tacos or coffee sometime. I have been asking multiple people at work and not once have I been turned down for tacos!

7. Learn to Manage Stress

I suffer from anxiety and without my coping methods, it gets difficult to control. My current schedule and workload have been growing leaving me feeling discouraged. There is so much to do and very little time to get it done. I have ways that I can relieve stress and find ways to cope with my anxiety. What works for me doesn’t work for everyone, but if you take time to manage stress in a healthy way, it helps you in the long run.

8. Sleep

Turn off Netflix and go to bed at a reasonable hour. I am guilty of this and continue to hit that button to say yes, I am still watching. It seems like a good idea at the time, but you will hate yourself in the morning when that alarm goes off! I am a lot more productive in the morning when I go to bed at a reasonable hour and get enough sleep. Instead I will read before I go to bed, or if I need something to fall asleep to I will put on Nick at Night and fall asleep to Friends or Full House.

9. Show Up On Time

If I show up early for work, I am in the best mood for the rest of the day. When I get there early, I have time to get settled before I have to start working. Put together an outfit and pack your lunch the night before, do whatever you can to get yourself out of the house faster in the morning.

10. Admit Defeat

We will never have our lives together and once we accept it, life gets a bit easier. Right now, we are only responsible for ourselves and in a few years we will have to juggle a relationship, family and a mortgage. Call up a friend and cancel dinner plans if you are overwhelmed. Or call up a friend when you need them most and ask to watch a movie on a couch in sweatpants for a chill night. The same goes if you see a friend struggling, check in and remind them that none of us have it together and it is totally okay!

8 Things I Have Learned Since Graduation

I recently attended my third graduation at my alma mater and the magic I first felt on campus when I visited the school is still there as an alumni. Whenever I walk on campus, I get this feeling of calm and this sense of being home. Things have definitely changed since I graduated two years ago including my spot in the dining hall being taken away to make room for the new entrance to the dining hall. Still bitter about that one! I had big plans for my life after graduation, and on graduation day I already started to doubt what I was going to do with my life. Being a college graduate means you have a reallllly expensive piece of paper and memories that will last a lifetime with hopefully a bit more knowledge than before! I graduated college two years ago and I am still working on trying to figure things out. However, here are a few things I wish someone had told me when I graduated. 

First, everyone says congratulations when you graduate, but no one says they are sorry that your life as you know it is officially over. That is not necessarily a bad thing, but after college graduation it feels like you jumped off of a cliff and you have to find your footing again.  Continue reading “8 Things I Have Learned Since Graduation”

Guest Post: Let’s Talk About Arbonne

GUYS! I am the biggest supporter of girl empowerment and the girl boss movement.
I love to hear about girls supporting and cheering on other girls instead of tearing them down. Let’s be honest for a minute… Very few of us are actually living the lives we expected us to be living when we were baby freshmen in college. Right now I am at a job that I did not go to school for and in the fall I will be doing something I am so not qualified to do on paper, but what the heck I’m going to try it anyway. If you are currently living out how you planned your life back in freshmen year, you deserve a party because I there are very few of us who know what we are doing with our lives right now.

That’s why I was so excited when a friend from college asked to be a guest on my blog.
She is also doing something not originally planned right out of college and is a total #GirlBoss. She is currently doing what she loves and is having fun in the process. How many of us can say they love what they are doing at work right now?

If you have a passion or want to be featured on the blog, let me know!
Share your love for knitting, a new start up, or if you found the perfect pair of jeans and need the world to know. Let’s be #GirlBosses together and empower one another! Continue reading “Guest Post: Let’s Talk About Arbonne”