Straight from NY to Paradise Turns 5! -Happy Bloganniversary

Happy 5th Birthday! If my blog was a child I would be getting ready for it to start kindergarten. Awww blog you have grew up so fast (insert mommy tears).

Life happens quick, sometimes too quick for me. I constantly think about writing daily, however everyday I find an excuse not to write. Time goes by and life continues to happen, and still I feel like nothing gets done. I finally sat down and decided to write today, finally I am writing!

After months of procrastinating and sitting in that endless pile of overwhelm, I decided to turn to what I know and write. It comes with great irony that I picked this month to return to writing. Word Press has been so kind as to acknowledge that I have reached my 5 year blogging anniversary! It is really hard to believe that it has been a whole 5 years since I have started blogging.

In the last 5 years my life has taken more twists and turns than I could ever imagine, emotionally I feel that I have been through it all. But yes you are correct Word Press, I have reached my 5 year blogging milestone. 5 years ago Straight from NY to Paradise in a Day was given life, and my own personal life was given a voice. I had a story to tell, I wanted to tell it. I wanted to inspire others not to be afraid of change, not to be afraid of living, just live. Life happens and life changes so go with it.0171.jpg

I really want to laugh and cry as I write this. I think back on the girl I was 5 years ago, I was single and fierce! Fresh out of a roller coaster of a relationship, still in love with the man who was my past, but ready to start a new phase of life as a free spirit and face the future.  I was ready to take on the world, unstoppable in a sense, but I quickly learned that I could be stopped. The world does not exist for you to live in it alone, it is out there for you to share, to embrace with others, to help others, and sometimes even get help from others. In August of 2009 I had been living in Honolulu for 6 months. And to tell you the truth, I was very much alone. I was still confused about my impulsive decision to move to the other side of the world, and even though I had met a few people, I had a very real fear that if I died no one would notice. The feeling that I would go unnoticed was scary, adding that to a sense of uncertainty about my job, my life, and what to do next, I was really mess of emotions, with anxiety and self-doubt leading the pack.

Yes I was single and fierce, but really I was alone.  Lucky for me I quickly discovered that I was not the only mainland escapee that have flown themselves over to an island in the middle of the pacific to get away from….well everything. I found a love of activity and a love of new friendships. Over the last 5 years, my biggest accomplishment was basically proving to myself that I can live. No matter how depressed I am, how lonely I am, and how much I just want to disappear, I know that I can live, and life always gets better. I think I may have forgotten that lately with the chaos of everyday life back on the mainland. I experienced life in Hawaii for a reason. I experienced being completely on my own for a reason. My next lesson to myself is always to remember those reasons, life is meant to live on purpose, and everyday is a new opportunity to fulfill that purpose.

 

In 2009 I was 27, single, impulsive, and extremely naive. In 2014, I am 31, in a relationship (no not married, sorry), less impulsive, more aware, and slightly more responsible. At 27 I just wanted to run away. At 31, I’ll admit I still want to run sometimes, but I will try a bit harder to stay, to work through it, and always keep in mind that with each day life will keep getting better.

So 5 years later, what did I really learn? In Honolulu I found a love of nature. A hike, a run, or  the view of the mountains as the sun wakes you up is the epitome of everything calm, and the most powerful way to ensure that you will have a good day. I learned to love to push myself. No matter if it was at work, in the gym, or running a race, I knew I could always go harder, do better, and motivate myself to never give up. I learned to appreciate yoga, I really miss the easy access to the yoga studios that are located on every corner. I learned that I am a survivor, life is lived with challenges, now I know that I can overcome every one that comes my way. I learned that I hate dating. I would never want to date in Honolulu again! I learned that I really do miss people when they leave, goodbyes are hard, I hate them almost as much as dating.

Finally, I learned to appreciate the kindness of strangers. When I moved to Honolulu, I knew only myself, and had three suitcases. Strangers helped to me find a home, helped me to find food, and ensured that I was able to keep my job. Those strangers became my friends, who eventually became my family. Never take the kindness of others for granted, that lesson made the difference between me having a home in paradise and just being homeless in paradise.

5 years later, I am living in Virginia, working in D.C. and I am no longer a girl on a rock in the middle of the pacific. I am a 31 year old woman in the DMV!  I am surrounded by friends, family, and strangers. Life continues to be full of twists and turns, so keep reading to see where I end up over the the next 5 years. I can’t wait to see what happens, all I know is I just have to be ready for the changes.

Positive thoughts, positive energy, positive experiences!

 

maui 2

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The Maid of Honor wedding diaries (part 1)

Here is a piece of backdated good news. In 2012 my best friend got engaged. With a 2012 engagement, comes an exciting 2013 wedding. Now I have known my best friend for the past 15 years. We met in 10th grade, and have stuck together ever since (well that was before I moved to Hawaii). However,  prior to my move to the other side of the world, we remained in close proximity of each other. We survived each other through the torturous high school days, through four years of college, and slummed through our post college days together.

If there is one person who knows me and all my crazy, well I must say it is her, and that makes us best friends. So when she told me she was getting married, I was nothing less than excited. If one of us gets married, then it is like both of us getting married. We always say that combined we would make the perfect wife, we just needed one man who could take the both of us (well not literally), but she found a pretty good man, and in turn we get to have a wedding.

With wedding excitement in the air, she informed me that I will be the Maid of Honor. Instantly I was overjoyed, just because being the Maid of Honor sounded so cool to me. Then I quickly realized that I had  no type of the slightest idea what a Maid of Honor does. You guessed it, quicker than I could blink my eyes, that joy turned to anxiety. My next move…I do what any non suspecting, I have never done this before Maid of Honor does…I Google it. Yup, I Googled” what the heck does a Maid of Honor do”. That actually worked pretty well, Google had a lot of great and not so great websites to help the lost, confused, unorganized Maid of Honor.

After I completed my Google search, my next thought was…man I hope I don’t suck at this. See my best friend, the one who is getting married, has done a lot for me over our 15 year relationship. If females have a better half, she is my better half. She would be the world’s best Maid of Honor, she would know what to do, and pull out all the stops. My only hope is that I can be half as good. I suck at planning, organizing, and staying calm when the sky is about to fall, so why would anyone think that I would really be a good Maid of Honor. However, since I was picked, (and your not allowed to say no to these type of things…right?)I guess I need to do my best to just suck it up and kick major Maid of Honor ass.

After my Google search, I went to two of my other friends to inquire more about this Maid of Honor stuff. They have both previously held that role, so I figured they would know best what to do. The outcome…well I was told about a book I could read to help me prepare (wait is this a test?), and I was told that it would be a lot of work.  Enter the common theme;  every time I tell someone that I am the Maid of Honor the response is, “wow that’s a lot of work”. Wait! This is not my wedding, this is HER wedding, I am just the Maid of Honor! I stand in a pretty dress next to the bride, make sure that she gets down the aisle, smile, and take cute pictures.  No Google didn’t tell me that, but that’s what I made up in my head.

What did Google tell me? That it was going to be a lot of work.

Suddenly I began to feel like the Sucker of Honor. I love my girl to death, but planning and picking up loose ends is just not my thing. I don’t make decisions, I’m a Pisces, the emotionally crazy sign of the zodiac.  Good thing her wedding is set at a resort in the Bahamas, so I don’t have to worry about minor details like flowers, and things going completely wrong. If I am lucky, I can really get away with smiling and looking cute, oh and making sure that she gets down that aisle.

And now for the Bachelorette Party

One task in the is whole Maid of Honor saga that was very important was the bachelorette party. That was MY TASK. My very own make or break this Maid of Honor moment. It happened this past weekend and it was the one thing that I had to take control over, the one moment to show my best friend that I could handle this whole Maid of Honor thing, despite how scary, overwhelming, and anxiety provoking  google made it sound.

The planning for the bachelorette party was tough. When it all seemed like it was going to fall apart I wondered how I got stuck holding the the task of this major event, I was told it was because I was the Maid of Honor. Oh.

I knew I wanted to have an epic party that we could always remember and laugh about, and hey since it may be the only bachelorette party that we have the chance to attend,  it would be the party that was the finale of all parties. So how would I make that happen?

In my regular life, I am a dreamer, I have great ideas, little of which could actually be reality. So in planning a bacholorette party, my party was one that would be a major blow out. In my head there would be a psychic, a tarot card reader, a stripper, a club, a party bus, an airplane, a beach, and a ton a food. But let’s be real, a major party costs major money, and when planning on a budget big great ideas, get cut to little great ideas.

My next thought…How can we have a major single girl finale with a little bit of money?

Due to money constraints the party planning was tough, well tough is an understatement, I was stressed out for two months on how to make it all come together. Planning a party in New York, from Hawaii with a 5 hour time difference is no easy task. My days were filled with waking up early to make phone calls. From deciding on if we can afford a party bus, or do we have to travel by limousine, which club we go to, and where dinner would be, I suddenly became the bachelorette party planning expert, well with the help of theknot.com, and amazingbacholoretteparties.com I found enough ideas so everyone could have a memorable time.

The budget remained a constant issue, so there were no psychics, no  tarot card readers, and no airplanes.  We did have a stripper, an amazing party bus, I found a great club, and we even had money to eat dinner, thank God!

A piece of information that I didn’t tell my best friend is that I almost did not think that I would make it to the actual party. See a few days before the party, my sister was sick with a stomach virus. In true bad luck fashion while shopping at Party City the night before the party I was not feeling so great. I started to feel extremely dizzy, nauseated, and knew I was about to vomit at any minute. I had no time to be sick. I still had to pick a friend up from the airport, and make sure everything was party ready for the next day. I went home and immediately took pepto , drank ginger tea, ginger ale, and anything else to lose that nausea feeling. The next morning I was about 70% better, still knew I had to either die, or make it to this party. I knew the only excuse that I would have to miss this party was if I was dead, so I needed to pull it together, and pull it together quick. I drank more pepto, more ginger everything, and went about the day. I didn’t have much of an appetite and I was afraid that food would make me vomit, so I didn’t eat much during the day. Well the only thing I ate was a piece of bread. My best friend was having a bachelorette party that I planned, my stomach needed to be on its best behavior. Well I made it through the day without passing out, and without vomiting, so I was ready to party (well slightly).  My motto: The party must go on, and I had to be there.

Did I get sick? Of course I did. By dinner time I was throwing up in the bathroom of BBQ’s. Not sure if that was stomach virus vomit or alcohol on an empty stomach vomit. Oh yeah, I still drank even though my stomach was not feeling so yummy all day. Hey don’t blame me, It was a bachelortte party!!! My nausea didn’t ruin the show however, I was better after dinner, and able to enjoy the club scene. And by the time we got home….well that was a completely different story, but the party was over and I survived through the night.

Considering the amount of worry I placed on myself, my first ever bachelorette party was the ultimate successes. The bride to be, had an awesome time, we were hung over for the next 72 hours to prove it. Everyone was happy and hung over. I no longer felt like the sucker who got stuck as the Maid of Honor, I felt like a real Maid of Honor, and a pretty good one at that.

Now that the bachelorette party is over, bring on the wedding! And I will proudly stand next to my best friend, smile, look cute, know that I can be a great Maid of Honor.

To be continued…

Side note:  The wedding is in March in the Bahamas, since everyone lives all over the world, bachelorette party was in December in New York, more like an end of the year blow out.

Positive thoughts, positive energy, positive experiences

Adventures of my first Match.com Stir event

Match.com advert
Match.com advert (Photo credit: Adam Pilarski)

A few months ago (well like 2 to be exact) I decided to re-enter the world of online dating. I like to break up my dating patterns with periods of me not wanting to date so I forget why I hate it so much. Then I get bored and occasionally I get hungry. So I date, again.  Since I feel like I am working 100 hours a week, and really hate the bar scene, I decided to hit up my computer to find me a future husband. Bring it on Match.com, I’m ready! What can say I love meeting men while sitting in my pajamas, with messy hair, no make up, and eating a bowl of cereal, life doesn’t get any better than that.

The outcome: well lets just say I went on a date. Now that is a different story for a completely different day.

However, recently Match.com has started having Stir events. Events where people on match can meet  IN REAL LIFE, and you can pick who you want to date on the spot IN REAL LIFE! Sounds cool right? Uhhh hold that thought.

If you have a TV, I know you have seen the commercials for the Match events, and you probably even thought how cool it would be to attend one because they look life fun. Well I decided to go to one IN REAL LIFE, and umm fun is a nice word but I would like to say that AWKWARD is the more appropriate word for the whole Stir event.

Before I get into this story let me just give you a little caveat. To date in Honolulu is a different type of dating experience. Honolulu is small, so if you are single, you have probably seen many of the same single people at some type of event. A Match. com event is no different to the Meetup group for Honolulu singles. So if you want to save money join Meetup and socialize with other singles in Honolulu.

I will admit originally I thought going to this event was a great idea. Well it was actually held at a bar right across the street from my apartment building, so since I didn’t have to drive, even better!  I figured why not just go to see who shows up, maybe I might meet my husband. Then I remembered that this is MY reality and my life doesn’t exactly work like that.   So I went on the thought that I had nothing to lose, and since I was getting there an hour before it was over, one hour out of my life was not going to hurt, well at least not hurt too bad.

The Stir event was from 6-9  pm, I got there at 8. Really not my fault, had to work late, duty calls and clients need a good therapist. As I walked over I began to get nervous. Honestly as my elevator hit lobby and I walked outside of my building I began to think, “What the hell am I doing”, I wanted to run back upstairs, but I headed to the corner to proceed across the street.

As I stood at the stoplight I felt extra nervous, suddenly I realized that I was actually going to this alone. I then thought that I should have brought a friend along for moral support, or at least as a crutch so I would have someone to talk to. I began to feel scared. I kept walking towards the bar, still thinking “What the hell am I doing”. My mind was racing, well since my mind always races, it decided to race faster than ever. I had no idea what I was going to do or say, all I knew was that there was no turning back.

I walked up to the bar, met the bouncer, he was a very nice man. He asked me for my ID, and asked was I nervous. I lied and told him no. He wasn’t a dumb man, so he could read the look of nervousness and discomfort all over my face. I asked him how it was in there. For some reason I felt strangely comfortable talking to the bouncer at the door. He told me that it is like a seventh grade dance with boys on one side of the room and girls on the other. I hoped he was just joking, but a part of me did not really think he was joking. I laughed with him, then nervously went inside.

As I entered the room it appeared as your typical happy hour, but I knew it was like speed dating without the 8 minute time limit. I noticed people chatting, I guessed everyone already claimed who they were going to hook up with. I noticed some guys standing alone, and girls talking in groups. The bouncer was right, I was at a seventh grade dance expect everyone was either in their 20’s, 30’s, or 40’s.

I then headed to a comfortable space on the wall. Thank goodness for walls. Tempted to pull out my cell phone and act distracted, I then mentally slapped myself and refrained from using the cell phone distraction. I decided to be brave. No crutches of my friends, or my cellphone. Just be bare and let the magic happen.  I wanted to run out of the there in a time that was faster than my walk over to the bar, and trust me it did not take me that long to walk to the bar. Instead of leaving, I figured I would make myself busy and got a drink. I got a sprite. I don’t even drink soda. I would have drank something with a lot of vodka, but I was on call for work. So sprite it was, and the sprite was flat.

I paid for my flat sprite, and headed back to my spot on the wall. Less than 30 seconds later, I got my first hit. Well a guy started talking to me. I noticed him awkwardly standing next to me. He decided to speak. He was a very, very tall, White man. 38, divorced, in the army, from Oklahoma. Ok, so not my type!  But I am trying to be open-minded, I was at a Match.com event, so I engaged in a conversation. However, after his first question was, “so what do you do?”, I knew that this conversation was not going to last long.  He spoke, I listened. He asked questions, I answered. He asked if I wanted to sit down on the couch in the back of the bar area, the area where the deeper conversation happens, I went. Hey, why not a conversation can’t hurt right?

We spoke some more, I felt like I wanted to cut my wrist. I started to figure how I could plot my escape as he talked about his divorce from his wife of two years, and how he should have been an officer in the army instead of going in as enlisted. I looked to my right, I saw three girls talking and laughing on the couch, they looked “happy hour” happy. In front me I noticed a girl and guy appearing to have a great conversation. He was talking, she was laughing, they looked comfortable, I wondered if they would get married. Then I came back to my own awkward situation with the bitter divorced man who wanted to move back to Oklahoma, thoughts of how I would get away raced through my head.  He asked me if I ever watched “A Different World”, I chuckled as I said yes all the time when it was on. He then told me that I reminded me of Kim Resse from the show. I then thought, White men always say the strangest things to me.  Maybe he was just nervous, but since I liked Kim, I didn’t think too much of it.

Finally I decided I was done with him, I wanted to see if there was anyone else to meet, so I told him I was going to walk around and got up to leave. He said no problem. I was free! I looked around the room again, 20 seconds later I bolted for the door! I was done. My 12 minute experience at the Match.com stir event was complete, I felt good, it was 4 minutes longer than a speed date. I went back outside.

The bouncer who I actually felt comfortable talking to was still outside. He asked me if I was done, I told him that I was going back home to sit on my couch. He laughed. I spent the next 35 minutes talking to him. He has never been on Match.com, is from Jersey City, NJ, and has been living in Hawaii since 2004. Of course I would go to a social happy hour to meet single men, and end up talking to the bouncer of the bar. But it was a good conversation, he was funny, and easy to talk to. No  I didn’t get his number, but maybe I will see him around again.

Suddenly it was 9 pm the event was over. I was relieved that I had made it through. No dates, no numbers, no persons of interest, but I went. As I started to walk back home it started raining. Great no umbrella either. Now in the movies, girl walks home in the rain, cute guy comes out of nowhere with an umbrella and offers to walk her home. Next they start dating, and three months later they get married, have kids, live happily ever after. Oh wait my life is not a movie, it is my life,  I ended up wet. Better luck next time.

Positive thoughts, positive energy, positive experiences

http://“www.cupidslibrary.com/sites/match-com” rel=nofollow” 

Match.com
Match.com (Photo credit: PABLO.SALVADOR)

Evolution: The dating edition

One of the greatest things about life is that it is always changing. Change is constant, and because of this we always know its coming.  We evolve. As a species we are always evolving. Evolution signifies growth, without change there can be no growth.  The mind cannot stay stagnant, it grows, and by growing we know we are living.

In the midst of changing (or growing older I guess), I have come to realize that my whole entire dating life has made its very own evolution. I must admit that it is an evolution that is a long time coming, and one that was much needed. As I look back on my dating past, I do so with the hope that I have taken in the lessons learned, and my dating future will be better and wiser. The past is a reflection of a point where we once were, I quickly realized that I want to be somewhere else, not there.

Recently I have noticed a common theme when I go out on dates, I am bored out of my mind! I find myself waiting for that moment of climax that will add meaning to any date, but it never comes. Let me explain more: My mind travels a million miles a minute, I have tried to slow down my thoughts…it doesn’t work.  I have an endless array of thoughts that are constantly occupying my brain space. The thoughts are never ending and always changing (hence why I suck so bad at yoga, and why I struggle with sleeping through the night). Therefore, due to this  fact it is pretty difficult to hold my attention. When one thought enters I am already about 10 more thoughts ahead.  I end up purposely looking for an attention grabbing something, just so I can focus. The focus is much needed, and when I am focused, I am finally at peace.  When a person is able to hold my attention I am in delight. I am yet to find a man who can hold my attention so I can enjoy a date with him.

With my evolution in dating I have discovered what I am genuinely interested in…A good conversation! With excessive dating,  I commonly get asked the question, “what are you looking for?” Finally I have discovered the heart of what I am looking for. Intellectual stimulation! A mental orgasm that will lead me yearning for a second and third date as soon as possible. In my world of thinking, if a man can easily bring my mind to a state of climax with his words, the sexual climax must be a million times better. Right?

But seriously, I usually would not think that it would be this difficult to find a date with conversation that is motivating and inspiring, a conversation that you want to never end. Am I asking for too much? Probably. But I don’t care. I like a man who can make me think. A man who is not afraid to challenge me. I know I may seem brilliant, but I do have my moments when I am wrong.  Does anyone read books anymore? I will even enjoy a great conversation about why our whole political system is so messed up. Wow am I boring or just old? Not sure.  A few years ago I would have thought these were boring topics, now they are topics that I chase after.

A friend told me that I have evolved myself out of the dating pool, that doesn’t sound so good to me. I don’t ask for too much. I just ask to date a grown man. I’m not a total prude, I love talking about sports, music, movies, but I want more. I want depth. I guess I want to finally be an adult, in an adult relationship. Can we say scary?

Now that I have embraced my evolution, I just have to find my male counterpart who has embraced his.  In my 20’s I was only attracted to the physical appearance of a guy, that was enough for me and all that I needed to make him my boyfriend. Now don’t get me wrong, I still am a sucker for a physically attractive man, I actually need that too, but maybe not as much. In hindsight, it’s never going to be all I need, and I truly need more to make a lasting relationship.  So where do I start? My new place to pick up men who read books…the bookstore! Wait, do any bookstores still exist?

 

Positive thought, positive energy, positive experiences

 

No more first dates please!

So I have a confession: For the first time ever in my life I ran out on a date. I didn’t even say goodbye. I just left. I had enough. I wanted to scream. To avoid screaming, I made the most non under dramatic exit possible. Like a superhero I bolted out the door with lightning flash speed (we were at the movies, I ran out on the movie. Who does that?) The first,  hopefully the last and only time that I will ever have to engage in such a act. But to be honest, I couldn’t take it anymore, I just had to go.

The details of my bad date aren’t really that important. Since I left, trust me it was bad. I am 30 years old! In my own right, I have a higher standard of dating. To engage in a date with a drunk guy at the movies is not on my to-do-list. Yet it happened. So long story short: he was drunk and obnoxious, I was mortified and sick to the pit of my stomach, and I bolted towards the end of the longest two hour movie date of my life. I was tempted to walk home at nearly 11:00 at night, yeah it was that bad. Lucky for me, I have awesome friends who are willing to rescue me from the horror of my dating life (thank God, maybe the heavens do like me!). I was saved from walking, the night ended with great laughs, and another story to add to the book.

I never fail to get that all too common reminder as to why I hate dating.  When I seem to have a memory lapse, suddenly it comes back to me, the reasons why I can do without a first, second, or third date. In fact I have come to this conclusion: I never want to go on a first date again! I feel the need to be saved from the pain of having to endure the torment of horrible conversation, or sitting across the table from someone who should probably be at the nearest AA meeting than out in public with me.

Yup, its official, I am throwing in the dating towel. In a perfect world I would just be able to bypass all the mundane initial date “stuff” and move to the actual relationship. The relationship, the stage where we are exclusive. The stage where we are comfortable with one another.  He tells me how much he loves my smile, he knows what to say to make me laugh, I do sweet girlfriend things and  he enjoys listening to my useless tidbits that should probably land me a spot on Jeopardy. That stage where I don’t have to shave my legs every single time we go out because he is fully aware that hair grows on them, and if I want to sit around that house in sweatpants, then fine! Sweatpants are perfectly acceptable attire, he doesn’t care.  I would much rather prefer that stage, than the stage of the awkward first, second, third, fouth…..date.

Who said dating was fun? They lied. The truth, it sucks. No wonder speed dating is so popular, the commitment only lasts for 8 minutes. Short, sweet, and to the point, to me that equals perfection. If I can’t stand you at minute 8, we can part ways and never have to speak to each other again. So much better than waiting for minute 120 or 180, those minutes seem to last forever.

If only life had a fast forward button. If I could close my eyes today, and be in a completely monogamous relationship tomorrow, well I’ll take it. We know we will work, we have what each other are looking for, and we want the same things in life. Sounds good to me. Oh wait, life doesn’t really happen that way. I must endure the pain of a first date to get to that point.

Did anyone watch “What Chilli Wants” on Vh1? I see now why Chilli’s list was long enough to circle the entire earth…twice. To go out on a date and have an utter sense of disappointment is a pure waste of time and energy. At least if you know what you want to can see, attack, then conquer. Well maybe not so harshly, but you get the point.

To move to the relationship stage, dating must come first. If anyone knows a way around it, trust me I am open for ideas. As I eagerly hope for that amazing date that happens with ease involving  great conversation,  encompassing moments that I hope can last just a little bit longer, and a feeling of utter calmness, I will do what I can to stay positive. I will still go out, after a through screening process 🙂 Believe me the screening is not that bad.

At 30 I have a new take on dating. No wonder it is far more difficult than when I was 20. I am in a new realm. I have evolved. I have higher standards, I have expectations. Yup, dating is more complex now than ever. But, as with everything else in life, the more I try, the closer I am to getting it right.

Positive thoughts, positive energy, positive experiences.

29 and counting…Its Over. My 20’s a decade in review

Welcome 30! Today I have officially made it out of my 20’s safely, and kleenex free. Luckily I have avoided the emotional meltdown that I was highly dreading.  Surprisingly I still feel good, actually I feel great.  I hope age 30 will be my best year ever! Let’s check in on that a year from now.

As I say goodbye to my twenties, I must say that I am really not too sad to see them go. I have made mistakes, learned how to get over those mistakes, made more mistakes, and again continued to grow. Life is a journey. One word to describe the last 10 years of my life: Transformation. A year ago I would have never been able to understand this transformation fully, but over time, I have been able to look back on events in my life and learn from them. I have been able to transform into the product of a collection of lessons learned from every phase of life over the past decade, for if I have not been able to learn from it then what was truly the point of living it.

My 20’s a decade in review: A decade that can safely be put to rest

Ages 20-22: I was really dumb. Seriously, I knew absolutely nothing at all about anything. During this phase of my life I graduated college, so I knew enough to get by in higher education.  I started graduate school, so I even knew just enough to get by in continued higher education. OK so maybe I was book smart. However I was still dumb. My weekends were spent partying at the club, and I think I tried about every type of alcohol that was in existence at the time. During the age of 20 I drank so much, that by the time I turned 21 I really didn’t have the desire to drink anymore. But I did. I kept drinking, I was having fun. That’s what you do when your young right you have fun and binge drink. During my early twenties I learned how to express love to another person, I thought was in love for the first time (or at least I really really  liked my boyfriend a whole lot), and I learned there are hundreds of ways to have the most amount of fun in Manhattan on a super cheap budget! Most important lesson learned: Stop being dumb and grow up!

Ages 23-25: Ahhhh my mid twenties! I was still dumb. Maybe not as dumb as my early twenties but still very much dumb. By this time I thought I had found love for the second time. Even had those crazy thoughts of having that nice shiny ring, with that whole wedding thing to match. Yeah I was a serial monogamist. But, I am also a romantic, so if I think it is love then I will run with it. The highlight of my mid twenties; graduating from graduate school. The low point of my mid twenties, actually having to go out and get a job! Adulthood came quick, I wasn’t even looking and it hit me on the head. No more living on grad school budget with two part time jobs, I had a real salary and real responsibilities. As a new psychotherapist I knew nothing, and I imagined all my clients hating me and walking out of my office because they would eventually realize that I knew absolutely nothing. Yeah that was me. Fresh out of school, student loans galore, and I still knew nothing. Lesson learned: Just because someone gives you a job, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you know how to do it.

Age 26: In basketball, during  a seven game playoff series, when both teams each have 2 wins in the series, they refer to game 5 as the pivotal game 5. Age 26 was my pivotal game 5. To be honest, age 26 was probably the darkest year of my life to date, and I never want to go back to that point again. It was my make or break year, and through much of the year I was broken. If I could describe myself at age 26 the word would be, uncertain. I was uncertain about everything, and just surviving to make it to the next day. Life was there, but I was no where near living.  My job was a daily form of torture. I was on a roller coaster ride of a relationship, so that was just more self-inflicted torture, and everything about New York City seemed to increase the daily torture meter. To describe my mood as unhappy would be the ultimate understatement. The age of 26 was pivotal because I knew something needed to change. I needed a big change and I needed it quick. If I had stayed in New York, I saw my life on a downward spiral towards the abyss of depression. If I left, well I figured it couldn’t be any worse than what I was already facing. And on that note, I left. Lessons learned: Stay away from douche bags, and self-inflicted torture is never a good idea. If you are not happy with something in life, It is fully your responsibility to change it.

Ages 27-29: The transformation years: These are the years that I will miss. I am happy and sad to see them go. During this period I was no longer the college drinking weekend alcoholic, or the unhappy, job hating New Yorker. I found a way to just be me, and I found a way to be me on the other side of the pacific. Who knew that would happen? No, everyday was not the best of days, I still very much struggled with days of unhappiness, and even lingering depressive thoughts. Lessons learned: How to take control of my own life. How to make it work for me. I learned how to combat negative thoughts, negative energy, and negative experiences, so I can the avoid the downward spiral. I learned to depend on myself. To not look for love from others, but to look for love within myself. I learned how to work at a job that I love. I have developed into a great therapist, and no longer worry what my clients think of me. I have learned to appreciate the life that was given to me, and over the past few years I have developed a stronger understanding of how I can make it better. I have no regrets. Most importantly, I learned that life involves taking risk, without my risk who knows where I would be today.

As I reflect on my twenties, I start to smile. Through the laughing, the crying, the love, the heartbreak, the pain, the isolation, and the starting over, I have really had an emotional, purpose driven last ten years of life. I am grateful for the lessons learned in life through each year of my twenties. I am also very happy that I am no longer dumb. I still do not know a lot, but at least now I recognize what is unknown, and as always I am ready to learn so much more.

So today at 30, bring it on. What do I want to do? Well to start expanding my career options, move back to the other side of the Pacific, possibly closer to the Atlantic, and if that love thing happens to come around again, I’ll be even more ready for it this time. I can’t help it, I will always be a hopeless romantic. 🙂

 

Positive thoughts, positive energy, positive experiences