Twenty Something Confessions: A Few Thoughts on “Putting Yourself Out There”

My journal is black and white and filled with mixed emotions.

The cover is graced with an old photo of Marilyn Monroe (We share the same birthday. I adore her) and was given to me by a dear friend back in college. I write occasionally when something is really on my mind. This post started out as an entry in that journal. Due to the nature of the entry, I decided to post it on my blog and share it with all of you in hopes to provide insight, inspiration and enlightenment (and hopefully not annoyance).

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(My journal isn’t like this, I swear).

I have been doing a lot of thinking about what it means to grow as a person—on a spiritual, physical, career and emotional level. Depending on your parents, you were raised in a certain way. Some parents tell kids to go for they you want. You can do anything you put your mind to, son! This is often a characteristic rumored to be instilled in Millennials like myself. You may have grown up differently. You may have been told that you should go for what you know you can achieve or stick to a plan and don’t color outside the lines. Go to college, get your degree in four years, get that corporate job and a house in the suburbs. What more could you want, kid?

Or you may have been raised with a little bit of both, like me. I go after what I want but I tend to play it more on the safe side in some instances. I’m a dreamer but I’m “realistic.” I’m willing to put myself out there if I’m pretty sure about the outcome.

In this day in age, there is a fine line between getting what you want and staying in line. We put ourselves out there to be disappointed, discouraged by failure or surprised at what we have gained by throwing caution to the wind.

For me personally, 2012 has been dedicated to no regrets. It’s March and I can say I’ve followed my heart and told my sometimes Type A, typical oldest child, perfectionist mind to pipe down and basically, just go get it girl! What I’ve found is that it may seem easy to do, but for some (like me) surrendering to the unknown can be scary, nerve racking and just plain messy. On the flip side, I think it is essential for twenty something’s to experience.

Everyone has different values, circumstances, opportunities, instances and vehicles for growth. A few thoughts on “putting yourself out there.”

• Would you rather try and know or not try and wonder what could have been? You know in your heart what you want. Don’t let what others tell you hold you back. Most importantly, don’t let the thoughts you tell yourself hold you back.
• So you put yourself out there and it sucked. You applied for that new job and got rejected, you went for the guy and he wasn’t interested, you told someone what you really thought and you weren’t accepted. Great, do it again. What matters isn’t the success or the failure, its what you have gained from the experience and how you can grow. Maybe it made you realize what great friends you have when they were there for you as you were freaking out, maybe you grew stronger by enduring the pain of having to move on, perhaps you even realized that you may have some work to do on yourself. It’s not the success or the failures it truly is the lesson learned.
• Faith really is everything. I’m not just talking about religious faith. I’m talking about faith in your abilities and yourself. You can’t change how others treat you but you can control how you react. No matter what you endure by putting yourself and your thoughts out there, never lose faith in yourself.

While breaking conventions and putting yourself out there can be trying, I believe it is essential for individuals and especially young adults to pave their own paths.

I challenge you. Be brave. Be courageous. Put yourself out there in a way that means something to you.

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Like I said, it will most likely be scary, nerve racking and just plain messy, but have faith and you will see that the lessons learned will shape you into a more whole and self-aware adult.

Let me know what you learn!

Monaco Cocktails- My Kind of Medicine

My friends and I earned our college degrees at the University of Iowa in 2009. Tailgating at 6 a.m. was a regular occurance and along with degrees in Journalism and Communtications we recieved, as most college students do, a certain appreciation for C2H5OH, commonly referred to as alcohol. 

Fast forward three years, my best friends and I are all living downtown in the wonderful city of Chicago. We don’t indulge in alcohol as much but as working women with full-time jobs we definitely enjoy a cocktail or two on Friday nights.  When the opportunity arose to try out Monaco cocktail, I couldn’t turn it down. I do love my cocktails.

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The first thing we loved about Monaco vodka cocktails was the presentation. A slim can that is easy to open and was fun to drink. The cocktail comes in two flavors- black raspberry and citrus. We obviously tried both! The cocktail had an exceptionally clean finish and we were suprised to read that the drink contains two shots of four-times distilled vodka. Strong and smooth! We likey!

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Lightly carbonated, both flavors were refreshing, crisp and fresh. You could taste the flavors without being weighed down by the vodka- its as if a bartender made the drink and mixed the perfect amount of vodka and juice.  Another plus, the drink didn’t leave us feeling super full like most pre-mixed cocktails. I felt like I was actually drinking a drink as opposed to a bottle of sugar.

Check them out on Twitter to learn more about the cocktails- as we all know, alcohol increases your chances of regretful behavior (ie: dancing on bars, falling on sidewalks,  participating in one too many karaokee songs, etc) however indulging in Monaco cocktails is one thing you don’t have to worry about regretting!

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Full disclosure: I was provided samples but all opinions are my own and expressed in the post above. I received no additional compensation other than the samples.

You know you’re getting old when…

In honor of my half-birthday- you know you’re getting old when:

  1. You start going to bed before 10pm so you can get your “full 8 hours”
  2. A vacuum is at the top of your Christmas list
  3. You start referencing/judging the youth– “kids this days” or “it’s their generation”
  4. Paying your bills and working overtime are pluses
  5. You miss your parents regularly
  6. You dream about time with your loved ones instead of Spring Break in Mexico
  7. You actually get hangovers
  8. You no longer have a place to crash when you head back to college for a football game
  9. Others refer to you as “miss” or “mr.”
  10. You actually care about the feng shui of your apartment

What do you have to add?

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My roommate and I (24 year olds acting like 12 year olds). You have to run through a fountain every once in awhile right?