Treat Emotions Like Beer, Bottle Them up.

brothers.

brothers.

Although my parents would characterize my seemingly regular childhood temper tantrums as a pretty aggressive display of emotion, outside of demanding extra dessert and slapping my brothers for ripping the heads off my barbies, I’ve never been great at expressing my feelings.

Maybe it was because I grew up with three younger brothers.  As the oldest of four, and the only girl, I never really had a model for how to act.  My mother and I, although very close, are very different when it comes to personality.

Needless to say, if you’re going to survive eighteen years in the midst of a male dominated household, you have to learn how to protect yourself in emotional combat.  Aside from the regular physical battles, the way brothers really get to you is by finding your mental weaknesses, and attacking when you least expect it.

Growing up with brothers teaches you not to dwell on little things, to stand up for yourself, and how to be competitive.  But it also, unintentionally, leads you towards the masculine side of the emotional spectrum; so instead of saying how you feel in the moment, you retreat and don’t talk about it.

When you hang out with boys all the time, you learn that they would rather give you a beer than sit and listen to your problems.   

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friends.

Because nothing makes guys more uncomfortable than when a girl just unloads all her personal crap on them.  Especially if it’s during a football game or when you’re out at a bar. When you have a “girl day,” you learn to drink a beer and deal with it later.

This works well until you realize you are in college and have not sustained one real or lasting relationship during your lifetime.  If someone wanted to date me, I was either unaware or uninterested, because if it meant talking about feelings and being vulnerable, I didn’t want any part of it.

Everyone puts up walls for different reasons.  Personally, the initial thought of letting someone in that you barely know is daunting.  The act of sharing secrets, opening doors to your past, and exposing yourself, metaphorically, to another person for the sake of a connection is terrifying.

At the same time, while a little mystery is a good thing, there needs to be a dichotomy between the two people in a relationship to make it work.  Eventually you will have to let your guard down.

Recently, there have been an overwhelming amount of circumstances that formidably illustrate my inability to give up control over certain aspects of my life.  Whether it be attending a friend’s wedding, my parent’s thirtieth anniversary, or my most recent breakup, I have come to the brutal realization that I need to step outside my comfort zone in order to foster a meaningful connection with someone.

I’ve had my fair share of crazy experiences: skydiving, bungee jumping, one time I even ate cat food.  But the tangible part of being afraid is much more desirable than emotionally freefalling into unknown territory.  I mean at least after skydiving I got a sticker telling me I did a good job not dying.

Thinking about the craziest thing I’ve ever done, I immediately remember how terrified I was to actually commit to it.  Picking up and moving to a new city, alone, without a job or any financial support other than my own was the single most daunting event in my life.  But looking back on the past year and a half, knowing where I am now, the reward was totally worth the struggle.

At the end of the day, no one can make you take that leap other than yourself.  Outside influences, supportive or not, have no weight compared to what your gut tells you to do.  Knowing that personal reflection and a willingness to change are attributes I admire in someone, it only makes sense that I try and develop them.

My twenty-fifth birthday is only a few weeks away.  I’m not entirely positive if it is the looming “quarter-century” age label weighing on my conscious, or just the stark reality that I’m resisting a change I know I need to make, but either way, it’s scary as all hell knowing that being vulnerable is something that is not only expected, but appreciated in lasting relationships.

I guess I’ll just have to be twenty-five and terrified.

I just hope someone gives me a sticker on my thirtieth birthday.  I need to know I did a good job not dying.

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Alright, Who Spiked the Kool-Aid?

DISCLAIMER:  This post is about how I am trying to collect new friends.  It is also filled with a lot of random mumbo jumbo that may or may not confirm that I am off my rocker.  Read on for more information.

Normally when something good happens to me, it’s because I’m on my fourth glass of wine.

The adult grapes usually give me a false sense of overconfidence and the idea in my head that I am excellent at anything and everything I do.

Then I realize it’s Saturday night and I’m sitting on my couch braless, in expandable pants, eating stale veggie stix while watching Spring Breakers and contemplating how to appropriately word my letter to the Academy demanding Selena Gomez be nominated for an Oscar.

Then I wake up in the morning and realize that my good idea at the time is actually just the brainchild of my ballsy, wine-induced, overconfident alter ego, Megye West.

When I found out that I was Freshly Pressed, I had to slap myself twice, eat two sandwiches (no relation, I was just really hungry that day), and call my mom to tell her she wasn’t the only one reading my blog anymore.

I’ve had a slew of new followers since being so fresh and so pressed, pressed, which is amazing and I am super-dee-duperly thankful for all of ya peeps, mostly because my cerebral cortex is one weird place.

Since you’ve been so wonderful as to care about what I have to say, I wanted to take the time to get to know all of you.  That’s right, I WANT TO BE FRIENDS WITH YOU.

So here’s what to do if you want to be friends, which essentially means you’ll instantly be on the proverbial path towards greatness and celebrity status and I will shower you with compliments and fairy dust (or just do it to take pity on me) :

  1. Leave a link to your favorite blog post from this past week in the comments section, I want to see what you all have to say, and perhaps boost my vocabulary in the process.  Gotta get my brain right, ya dig?
  2. If you’d be so inclined, you can follow me on FacebookTwitter, Instagram, and Google+. Because too much of a good thing is never too much… or is it? No, it’s not, because ice cream and puppies exist, and you can never have too much of those.
  3. Answer the question below and email it to me  I’ll pick my favorite to be featured in a new segment that I’m creating right this second called, “What Happens When Meg Asks Weird Stuff.”  It should be a blast.  Or it will backfire in my face.  One or the other.
  4. Ask me weird questions. Like I said on my About page, I am in no way shape or form qualified to give advice, but I do it anyways.  Like a boss.  And a champion.  We can talk about what would happen if dogs could speak English, or why more people aren’t terrified of ladybugs.  Think about the possibilities.  They are almost as unlimited as breadsticks at Olive Garden.

Question of the week:

How many five-year-old kids do you think you can take on in a fight and still be victorious?  Rationalize your answer.

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Sorry to the two friends who had their faces removed. I’ll buy you new faces ASAP.

I Need To Talk To The Person In Charge Of Changing Humans Into Dogs

I went out with my roommates last night and drank too much wine.  Story of my life.

Earlier this morning, I watched this video to help cure my hangover and take my mind off the fact that I have to sit in a rolly chair for the next eight hours and stare at my computer screen.

And then I realized… I’m so jealous of dogs.

Forget girls with nice hair, girls who can plow through three bacon cheeseburgers and not gain a pound, girls who have their dream job before age twenty-five, girls (and boys) with independently wealthy families that get to exclusively shop at Whole Foods. Forget all of them.

I want to be a dog.

Aside from the fact that they get to know one another by smelling butts, being a dog is pretty awesome.  I guess I could also do without the whole eating bark flavored kibble bits, too.  But we’ll save my grievances for the time I actually turn into a dog, which is hopefully my next life.  My previous life I was a cat and I was just angry all the time, so I pray I’ve gathered enough good karma in my human life to be worthy of a canine in my next one.

First of all, I’d never have to wear clothes.  It would completely eliminate the whole waking up every morning and try on seven outfits thing and still manage to walk out the door with one shoe.  Nope. None of that would be an issue.  Because I could roll out of bed and magically have a sweater on when it’s cold, or a furry bathing suit on when it’s hot.  Just being happy in the skin suit God gave me ready to take on the world.

If I was a dog, no one would ever care if I was fat.  Sure, I’ve set off a few alarms by feeding my pup too many pork chops or lamb shanks, but it’s because she deserves it.  And as a dog, I would deserve it, too.  Being loyal is a tough job, and it’s one that requires compensation in the form of delicious food you’re not allowed to eat, ever. No one ever complains about dogs being too fat, there’s just more to love, that’s all. Big is beautiful in Canine Country, and I have a one way ticket to Fat Island.

I’ve told a number of people this, but for my last ten minutes of life, I want someone with a good set of fingernails and a strong wrist to stroke my arm and give me a head rub.  Maybe a bloody mary, but that can be negotiated.  Pup life is full of these sorts of activities.  People practically slap box each other to get a chance to pet a puppy. I WANT SOMEONE TO PET ME, DAMNIT.  Head rubs and belly scratches will have me in a constant state of bliss, which last time I checked, no one complains about bliss.

A good wingwoman is hard to find.  Not with a dog.  If you want to attract someone, there is no better way than bringing along your four-legged friend.  I don’t know what it is about humans, I think we have leg envy and are just innately jealous that we can go through life on all fours.  There is no better conversation topic than asking what breed the dog is (I would obviously be a Saint Bernard and run shit) then following up by asking the age.  What started off as an innocent walk through the park ends with you walking down the aisle and Meg the Saint Bernard is your ring bearer.  You’re welcome.

Lastly, I want a bomb ass name.  Dogs are always given the most extreme names that humans could never live up to.  I want to saunter through life as Ulysses the Great Dane, or Chianti the cultured Sheppard. Instead I’m stuck here living life as a boring old human with the most basic one syllable name on the planet. Meg sucks. Ulysses RULES.

I just want to tan on my driveway during all seasons and soak up warmth.  I just want to be a dog.

The Common White Girl’s Idea of Struggling

Life is an uphill battle, but why toil with the stairs when you can take the elevator to the top?

I’m a common white girl from Connecticut and my idea of a struggle is figuring out how close I need to get to the drive-thru window in order to reach my food without unbuckling my seatbelt.

People tell you from day one to prepare for the worst, and hope for the best.  So that’s what I do.  But it’s a constant battle with the weather these days.  I can’t get anything to go my way.  I mean how am I supposed to channel corporate chic when I live in a metaphorical snowglobe and can’t wear heels to work?

Most days I wake up and hope against all odds that my hair picks a side between curly and straight and sticks to it.  A lot of times that doesn’t happen, and it makes me really upset.  If I knew it was going to be a bad hair day, I would have worn it in a bun initially, instead of wasting all it’s promise on the morning where I slapped myself every time I went to move one perfectly formed tendrel away from my face.

I moved out of my parents house almost two years ago, during that time I attempted to move my dresser up three flights of stairs.  Eventually, I just asked my three younger brothers to help me out.  I’m a huge advocate of outsourcing labor.  Especially when it involves me delegating and not participating.

One time I was so hungover that I called out of work.  The struggle was so real.   I persevered by taking an inordinate amount of naps on a Wednesday.

There are a lot of aspects of my life that I find particularly difficult.  For one, I can never decide which restaurant I want to try first, so I often make a decision based on the wine selections.  If they don’t have pinot noir, they are obviously a bootleg establishment, and don’t deserve my parents’ my money.

In attempt to not sound completely superficial and unaware of other human beings on this planet, I want to let everyone know that I have read multiple books — well, I sparknoted them — and understand the plight that other races and cultures have experienced through the written word.  And boy, does that suck.

But the thing is, I’m not minimizing any of that stuff.  I have feelings, thoughts, and values.  I am a real person who empathizes with others.

I value shopping and what it does to support the economy.  I am absolutely aware that my hard-earned dollars are contributing – in some way that I don’t actually understand – to this country’s health and well-being.   I think voting is scary, so I don’t do it because politicians use big words and research is a lot of effort.

I feel like all the problems in the world would be solved if we were all tan and from Florida. You know why you never hear about unrest in Florida?  Because everyone is actually resting and enjoying the sun.  There’s no time for fighting when you’re living in a perpetual fantasy land.  You’re welcome, world.

But growing up privileged does not mean I am immune to adversity.  I posted a Facebook update on my whereabouts during my European vacation, and only seven people liked it.  I took that as a cue to make a better effort at posting more interesting updates.  By the end of my trip, I had almost forty people like my post about, “Putting the ‘Bar’ in Barcelona!”  Success.

I do my best to shatter the rich white girl stereotype.  Whenever there isn’t an attendant on duty, I’ll wait five minutes before reluctantly pumping my own gas.  I also make a point to throw my spare change into the tip donation jars, you know, because every penny counts and I don’t use them anyways.

It’s not all glitz and glamour.  I face just as many strifes each week as another person.  After a hard day of pretending to work (but going on Pinterest instead), all I need to relax is a goblet of wine and a good television show.  It’s times like these that I realize the Gods are smiting me because last week I had no wine on a Tuesday and my Netflix crashed so I was forced to watch the news.  I was asleep in my clothes before 8pm.  Thanks a lot, technology.

People say it’s a dog eat dog world, but I’ve never witnessed it.  I can’t understand why a dog would want to eat another dog, and I don’t really understand why that phrase applies to human nature in the slightest.  I’ve never been denied a job opportunity, and constantly look for ways to slide under the radar while still being labeled as “efficient” within my workplace.

I’m just trying to do my best to survive on a reasonable salary while maintaining an active social life and not buying store-brand groceries.

I’m a common white girl and my idea of a struggle is understanding what it means to struggle.

Bad Habits Don’t Always Need to Be Broken

Your twenties are chock full of bad habits.

You’re young, you’re in your prime, you’re on your own. COOL!

You’re irresponsible, you drink too much, you took another selfie, you spent all your money. NOT COOL!

But why does everyone have something to say about it?  Telling me what should I be doing.  Advising me on what I should avoid.  There are hundreds of lists on every corner of the internet either agreeing or contradicting with what someone else has already said.

People grow up at different rates, and these compiled lists of what we should and shouldn’t be doing is entirely based on a generic assumption of how a ‘twenty-something’ acts.  We don’t act the same.  We’re not all on the same timeline.

As a ‘twenty-something’ myself, I read these lists and immediately compare my life to what they’re telling me to do and avoid.  Sometimes I agree, but sometimes I don’t.

Look, I get it.  I’m not supposed to break the law, and being inappropriately drunk in public before 2pm is frowned upon by society.  But half the battle of being in your twenties is moving out of your parents home – IF YOU CAN, figuring out your relationships – IF YOU HAVE ONE, and managing your money – IF YOU HAVE ANY.

The idea of being twenty-something and having your life figured out is utter insanity.  Yes that is the ultimate goal.  But we all know that.  Why do we have to grow up immediately after college and not have fun anymore?

I don’t think you ever reach a point where you have it figured out.  My parents don’t even have their life figured out.  They moved to the suburbs thirty years ago, and now have no idea what to do with their lives since we’ve moved out.

I bet they didn’t think about that when they had four kids under five-years-old. They were just trying to survive the day without wanting to (metaphorically) kill all of us. It was a stage in life. Just like now.

Personally, I have a lot of bad habits.  But the majority of them stem from my age.  Isn’t that the whole reason we take away knives from children and allow eight year olds to pick their nose?  They grow out of it, and so will we.

Please don’t tell me to stop comparing myself to other girls, because girls just do that.  It’s in our blood.  If you ever meet a girl who says, “Yeah, I don’t really measure myself against other women, it’s a waste of time because I just love myself so much, and know that I’m worth it.”

That girl is either lying or she is a man.  Women innately want to analyze things.  Not just bodies, not just minds, everything.  We compare tile samples at Target, paint swatches at Home Depot, and the vacuums at department stores before we buy.  We are pros-and-cons list advocates, and it has nothing to do with how we feel about our own bodies, that’s just the most obvious comparison we, as women, happen to make.

Don’t let anyone tell you that you have to grow up.  Next thing you know, you’re sixty and spend three hours a day wondering where your life went.  Find a balance between toddler and parent and stick to it for a while.

It’s okay to be weird, it works.  Just don’t lick anyone’s face and people will think you’re quirky.

Let’s stop talking about the quintessential post-grad love life.  Relationships, and lack there of, are not unique to this age bracket.  Reaching your twenties just means you’ve progressed to a whole new level of issues.  It’s like you’re in a real life video game, and it’s saying, “Congratulations!  You’ve reached level 22, you are now equipped to deal with the reality of dating in a thriving metropolis! Go forth, enjoy it!”

Newsflash: Where you live now is just a bigger version of high school or college. Same problems, different location. Adapt and deal.

Unless you have a dress code at work, don’t let anyone tell you what to wear.  The fact that wearing sweatpants outside of the house isn’t acceptable is a crock of shit.  Wear what you feel comfortable in.  It’s not “if you look good, you feel good,” rather it should be, “if you feel good, you’re more confident.”  And confidence is more important than wearing a tight pair of pants and heels because basketball shorts are forbidden at the grocery store.

You’re at the goddamn grocery store.  Do you really think people care what you’re wearing when you’re selecting which cantaloupe feels more ripe?  No.  They’re more concerned with the amount of items in your cart and whether or not they should try and cut you in line.

Who cares if your friend group is sizably smaller than it was in college.  When you were at school, if you attended, there were thousands of other people at the same place passionate about the same things.  If everyone in the world lived in places based on the same interests, this would make it possible for everyone to have infinite friends.

Instead, we live in the real world, where people have to embrace differences and work to establish meaningful friendships.  Ignore everyone who tries to tell you how many friends you need to have.  This isn’t high school.  Life doesn’t care about your friend count.  If you’re happy, that’s what matters.

At the end of the day, follow your gut.  More times than I can count, my first instinct was the best one.  If you have to overthink a decision, chances are it probably isn’t a good idea.  Unless you’re dealing with ghost peppers and heights; then thinking it through is always a plus.

Your twenties are chock full of bad habits and bad decisions to match.  But you don’t have to break them right away.  Let’s make this a judgment free zone, avoid the snarky comments revolving around making a bad decision, and let the individual decide whether or not to do it again.  After all, you are an adult now, and it’s time you decided what is and isn’t good for you.

Along the road you’ll encounter a problem, a blessing, an inconvenience, and eventually, a reward… your thirties.

If you don’t watch this speech from Ellen Page, you’re just dumb.

By far one of the best speeches I’ve ever heard.  So completely inspirational.

Ellen Page is the shit.

I knew we would be friends when she was in Juno.  Calling a newborn child a seamonkey when they’re in the womb was brilliant, and I bet she ad libbed the whole thing.

Hey America, this is who we should be considering a role model.  Let’s start telling women to look at her.

But, I guess I’ll wake up from my nap and pick up my magazine with the cover story, “Kourtney Kardashian’s beach vacation in Cabo San Lucas! See all the juicy photos of her and Scott’s tropical getaway!”  That seems like a way more worthwhile and newsworthy topic.

Watch the video below:

Proof that exercising is dangerous.

The following story is a recountance of true events.  Emotions, time frames, and dialogue are potentially misconstrued and over exaggerated due to the fact that there was alcohol involved. 

It started with a paddleboard.

Yup, you know, one of these things.  They’re supposed to be fun, a good way to exercise, a tool to relax on the open water.

Only it wasn’t.  It was a plank of desolation, inconvenience, and misery.

Well, wait. Let’s backtrack a little bit.  I was on vacation.  Minnesota. July 2013. The purpose: a bi-annual reunion with my best friends with whom I studied abroad in Dublin back in 2009.  We have had about six reunions prior to this one, the most recent summer event was at this exact lake house.

heaven, paradise, whatever you call it.

heaven, paradise, whatever you call it.

We agreed that this was the only spot to spend our summer reunions from there on out, so we returned with anticipation and a thirst that only a multitude of beers, margaritas, and shots could quench.

The day started as most days did, on the boat, in the sun, drinking beverages of the adult variety.  Friends were seen jumping off the stern, or port, or whatever you call it, into the lake, floating on noodles and crushing beers.  Others were seen riding a jetski at high speeds.  Some were tanning on the lawn.  It was a great day.  And it remained that way until everyone had their fill of each activity that was offered.

As the sun transitioned to set, Audrey* and I decided we wanted to take one last trip out on the paddleboard before dinner – you know, because we needed exercise and stuff.

** Name has been changed to protect Audrey's identity.

We float/don’t do much at all but sit/paddle out into the lake, singing songs in what I’m positive was completely off key, laughing, and trying to balance enough to both stand up on the board at the same time.  It was only a short time later that we both realized the current was a lot stronger than we thought, and we had drifted quite a bit away from the dock, safety, and our friends.

“Audrey, we’re really far away.  What are we supposed to do?”

“Get off the paddle board, start swimming and pull us like you’re in a dog sled race.” She responded.

trying to dance... or something

trying to dance… or something

I tried my best, but to no avail, we ended up floating farther and farther away, but at a rapid pace.

“Let’s signal for them,” I suggested, “they’ll hear us if we yell loud enough.  I heard that sound travels on water.”

We both screamed for help, and a man with a jetski came to our rescue.  “Here,” he said as he motioned to jump, “you two climb on the jetski, I’ll paddle the board back to the dock.  I left the keys in the ignition.”

It seemed fool proof.  Only it wasn’t.  I lost my sunglasses in the transition from the water to the platform, the second pair of the day.  Audrey was grabbing my arm like you would a toy on black Friday so that I wouldn’t fall back into the water.  It was a complete disaster.  We looked like we had just learned that we each had limbs, only had no idea how to maneuver them.

We looked off into the distance and the lad who had helped us was already halfway back to the dock. “What the hell did he do that we didn’t do?” I asked. “He probably didn’t have eight margaritas today.”  Audrey answered.  She was probably right.

We’re both (almost) securely on the jetski when Audrey reaches for the key and turns right to activate the ignition.  It chuggs.  She turns again.  It sounds almost like the noise someone makes before they sneeze; just heavy, mechanic, wheezing.  I don’t know a lot about motors, but I know that when there is fuel inside them, and you turn the key, they turn on.

Then the red light of death starts blinking.  “FUEL GAUGE ERROR.  PLEASE CHECK ENGINE.” I read in complete dismay.

We’re drifting fast towards a set of docks on the opposite side of the lake.  No one is around us, the kid who rescued us has since rescued the paddle board and himself, and has now safely returned to land.

We were stranded.

struggles.

struggles.

I have no threshold for sanity or patience in these types of dilemmas so I immediately start freaking out.  “HOLY SHIT, WE’RE LOST. AUDREY, HOW ARE WE GOING TO GET BACK.?!?!”  I’m frantic.  Audrey starts to feel it as well.  She jumps out, and starts to pull the jetski towards the closet dock.

“Jump out and grab the rope, tie us to this dock.”  She instructs me.  I followed the directions.  We had landed on this empty dock.  Audrey was sandwiched between the Ski-Doo and the dock pole, a place I like to call, Barnacle City. Once tied, we looked up at the house the dock belonged to, and noticed a woman on the balcony, just staring at us.

She was drinking a margarita. I can only imagine what her view was like from up there.  Two drunk girls in bathing suits, a broken jetski, and no sense of direction just tacking up on her property.

Audrey and I made our way up the steps, crossing her lawn, and eventually made awkward eye contact. “Hi!  Excuse us, we’re like lost. And our jetski has no gas.  We’re just trying to get back home.” I explain to this woman.

“Well, my husband isn’t going to be home for a while, and I’ve just had extensive back surgery.  I’m on multiple pain medications, and I can’t really think or see straight at the moment.” She explains her situation to us.  It seemed like… a little bit of an overshare. But we had no choice.  Audrey and I looked at each other, thinking about what our next move would be, when suddenly she interrupts our thoughts, “Would you guys like a sandwich? You can use my telephone, too.”

so happy after the jetski debacle.

so happy after the jetski debacle.

A telephone sounded great.  A sandwich sounded amazing.  We had worked up a serious appetite, and I was hoping to the high heavens that she had bacon, lettuce, and tomato in that house.  An avocado wouldn’t hurt either, but I wasn’t banking on it. We started to walk towards the basement door when we heard the honking of a boat horn.

Audrey and I turned around and saw all of our friends on the boat, honking at us, laughing at us, and most importantly, rescuing us.  They took a rope and towed the jetski back to the dock. We turned and thanked the woman for her almost-hospitality, and promptly ran back to the boat, and grabbed a towel to dry off.

It had been a long day. On the safety of land, I pondered to myself.  I know I don’t like to exercise, but this incident damn near proved me right.  Exercising is dangerous.  It’s better to stay stationary and enjoy all the things the lake house has to offer – and that’s what I did for the next two days.

With beers, shots, and margaritas, of course.

rtt-new

Catharsis.

Screen Shot 2014-01-01 at 6.15.17 PM

happy new year.

2013 was that CSI marathon on Spike.  You don’t know why it hasn’t ended, but all the sudden it’s 8pm and you still have your cereal bowl on your lap from this morning.

Many times, I sat back thinking that the days were moving painfully slow; I was all too eager to jump into the next month or season in anticipation of what was to come.

I am self-sufficient. I was always able to keep myself occupied as a child, and even into adolescence and adulthood, I never really needed people constantly around me to feel validated or connected.  But this year, I moved out of my childhood home and started a bankrupt-bound adventure in Boston, Massachusetts.

I became independent.

Independence was different in 2013 than 2012 and before.  It was nice to move out and start a new chapter in my life, but at the same time, this year was one of the most lonely years I’ve endured.  I realized everything that made me so comfortable at home was no longer within reach.

I suppose everyone goes through trials and tribulations when they begin new chapters.  In all the books I’ve read, there’s never been a character that’s had it easy throughout the entire story.  And if they did, I was probably reading Dr. Seuss.

I learned to take risks.

Moving to a new city without a job is not entirely far from the realm of things I would do.  Watching my savings dwindle down to almost nothing after a month of unemployment was something I didn’t really account for in my calculations, though.

I fell in love.

And it wasn’t the way I planned it. I guess you don’t plan those kinds of things though.  For the first time, I figured out how to let my guard down.  I had never let anyone in before; I was barricaded by this crippling fear that I would get hurt in the end.

And then I got my heart broken.

And that didn’t go like I planned it either.  It wasn’t anyone’s fault, both parties ended up in the wrong.  It was a casualty of the circumstances and situations.  It just didn’t work, and I don’t even know if it would had it been done differently.  It’s the first time where after something didn’t work out that I wasn’t bitter, angry, or spiteful.  There was just an acceptance and appreciation of what was accomplished in a short time.

I broke a heart.

And that makes you feel like shit. I’ll be honest. Starting with a clean slate isn’t easy when you have a lot of baggage to bring along to your new destination.  It makes the whole relationship thing seem like a great idea, but then again when you’re doing something that’s entirely for yourself, the other person doesn’t really factor into the equation.

I was selfish.

And not in the good way.  I jeopardized and potentially ruined a very good friendship because I never cared about the other person the way that I should have.  There are certain instances in life where in the moment, it seems like an okay idea, but in retrospect, a lot of the issues or problems that arise between friends would be avoided if both parties just stopped and looked objectively at the situation.  That takes time and effort though, and who has that?

I lived in a closet.

Kinda still do.  It’s funny how growing up I always compared my friends’ rooms to my own.  If they could see me now!  I understand the value of consolidation and have learned to only keep the necessities.  It’s nice to know that I don’t have anything from PacSun anymore, and that I really don’t miss that sweatshirt I had since high school with all the holes and history in its sleeves.

I learned that things don’t always work out the way you want.

And this was the hardest lesson. The idea of moving to a new city with all your dreams boxed up is intoxicating.  When reality is just waiting until you settle into your apartment to come out and slap you clear across the face.  All these plans concocted in my head, and virtually none of them turned out the way I wanted.  But I also wouldn’t change the way anything unfolded.

I stopped planning.

Everything started to work out when I stopped trying to orchestrate my life. At the end of the day, I can only do so much to solidify my chances of obtaining the job I want, or being accepted into the group of friends I’d like to join, and start letting things happen.  I opened myself up to being bored out of my mind and not planning a damn thing, and it all just clicked.

Appreciating the unexpected wouldn’t happen if things panned out the way your mind had mapped it from the start. Being grateful for a perfectly executed plan would never come around if everything went your way all the time.  If situations were taken as is, lessons would never be learned and people would never change.

In a lifetime, a year can be insignificant at first thought.  But there will always be those gravestone worthy moments within each twelve month period that hold the answers regarding that scar on your right knee, that tattoo on your forearm, or that reason why thought it was a good idea to wear pleather to your coworkers’ dinner party.

Whatever those moments are, cherish them.  Because you only have one shot at 2014, and you better make sure your aim is on point.