25 Is Tough

My birthday is in a few weeks, and honestly I could vomit. In all seriousness turning 25 is really kind of freaking me out. And the more I say it the more people seem to be rolling their eyes. But in more honesty, why do I feel like the only one not holding it together?

Looking around I see two very distinct groups of people: There are those who are securely in their second or third year of a career, and those who have packed a suite case to run around the world.

Then there is me. In the corner, scratching my hives because I should have been so much further by now. In my mind 25 was always a time where I would have paid in cash for a car, have my career down pat, probably published a book, and own at least four pairs of heels with red soles.

None of these things have happened. And I’m not really sure why…

Don’t get me wrong, I am incredibly grateful for where I’m at. To have a business that lets me work with creative people, and people in my life who love me to my flawed core. To have a head over my roof and all the vegan chili a girl could need. I take none of this for granted.

But there is a part of me that wonders where the rest of it goes. Where do the big dreams go? How do we work them into our present life? And at the end of it all, do we float or do we sink?

When I was 12 I wanted to be a professional singer. I even recorded a demo in the local mall. I begged and pleaded to move across the country. The passion was as clear as a pimple. And the only thing stopping it from happening were my parents realistic mindsets. As an adult though, they aren’t the ones stopping you. Nothing is stopping you.

I hear that the days go faster as you get older, but most of the time it already feels like I’m waking up to the night. Life is a really cool thing, and we get some really great opportunities. It’s just the not being able to lay out all the options and stare at them meticulously for days on end to ensure you choose the correct one that scares me.

 

But really though. When do we get the book of answers?

Wood Pushers Know Best

This weekend I attended the X-Games. By attended I mean I purchased two new outfits and fretted up until the moment we entered the gates that I was wasting valuable work time. At that point I knew nothing about these hardcore sports, except that they closed off many streets in downtown Austin causing me to loose my shit. From that point on however, my shit became all about this thing we once called wood pushing.

I watched as skateboarders dropped in on monstrous ramps and turned tricks through a fabricated skate park. These were normal things. But there were also quite a few unusual things going on. Perhaps as trippy as the high many spectators were most likely experiencing. Like the fact that most of them busted at least five times. Even more unusual was that not one of them was upset by it. And they showed genuine excitement for those competing against them.

All of the sudden things felt much like the time I thought I was watching the basketball finale but really it was the first game of 500 games to qualify a team for the final bracket which could eventually place them in the championship game. So like… it wasn’t even called the finale after all.

Being a cheerleader (shocking, I know) my perception on competing has always been that of a more harsh tone. Our motto was more like: If you weren’t first you should just quit. We HATED any other gym that would be in our category. We even some times hated the girls on other teams in our own gym. We cried the moment a stunt dropped or someone busted in a tumbling pass. And worst of all, we had crazy cheer moms breathing down our necks.

Skating doesn’t. They look to have compassion for the others in their sport. They seem to understand that it isn’t about failure not being an option, but instead knowing failure can be overcome. And most of all they weren’t competing to win, they were producing a masterpiece.

Skating is like the smart girl in your math class. Really cool and pretty under the glasses, but usually looked over because of them too.

It’s safe to say I have a new found respect for the Van wearing fellas that once roamed those middle school halls. And kind of wish I would have taken more seriously the meaning behind that pink studded belt purchased in bulk from PacSun. Wood Pushers really know where it’s at.

But There Is Peace

This weekend I pulled up my shorts, tied a shirt around my waist, and traded in heels for Keds. It all felt very unfamiliar. But I bit my upper lip and drug the hipster print wagon piled high with floppy hats, laptops and Fossil bags across a dirt filled camp sight.

I was in Marfa, and all I could really think was how this wasn’t Hawaii.

We walked streets with out seeing a single soul but our own. We viewed mind changing art installations that consist of only cement blocks in a field. Looked up to a sky full of bright beaming stars which might have actually plucked out a piece of my heart. And met people. People who had just finished law school. People that have an every day life of simplicity. And people who were biking across the country. Everyone was doing things. Everyone was living.

I watched out of the car window as dirt turned into hills, which crawled up into mountains. I noticed the definition of the sky. Shocking what one can see when their head isn’t parallel to a computer screen. I did this thing that someone once told me was the only way to live. I saw through eyes and not a phone screen.

It was a trip full of good conversation, overflowing hearts, and one incredibly awkward photo in which I hope my hap hazard stance will be something to bind us for years to come. My heart felt a burst much like the one my stomach did while eating the most bomb grilled cheese sandwich one mouth has ever met.

And while I experienced these feelings so hard to put into words, all around us was pain. Pain being construed by us. We, the bodies that carry us through life, were destroying things.

To the angry and the sad, the mistreated and misused. To the hateful and the hurt. To those who hold pride in something which is not fueled by positivity. To you I am no one. Just a girl who sucked up her city life style for one weekend to tromp around in dirt. But I am one of you. We are all one of each other.

We can choose to fight or choose to hug. It sounds simple and mildly pathetic to say in context not associated to two kids on a playground with scraped knees produced by pushing. But at the end of the day they both hold the same outcome. To choose love brings us together hand-in-hand. To choose hate brings us together in the end.

No matter what you believe in, we are all buried in the same exact ground. Our hands are laid across our chest in the same exact manner. Our bodies covered with the same exact dirt. And our loved ones grieve in the same exact way.

By killing we are only crossing paths more quickly. By hating we are only dropping others off to hold our space in line. I wish for someone, anyone, to answer this one simple thing: Is it truly worth your heart beating anger until you become part of an earth that can form nothing but love?

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I Am Irrational

They say the answer to living a happy life is finding your passion and making that your career. I don’t know which “they” people are referring to, and I am also not sure that this is the answer. Of course, if you can find your passion and successfully make a good standard of living over night all the power. But if you are in any way a normal human being this takes time, and life doesn’t wait for you to pay bills.

Personally, I think the secret to being happy comes from a different place. I believe it comes from the place of irrational thought.

My life has been made up of only irrational gestures. From ditching my college degree’s given field of work to move home to my childhood desk, to learning every Kings Of Leon song in hopes to impress a boy I was too awe-struck to speak too. Frankly the only difference from me and someone in an insane asylum is that white is not my color, so I would never wear a straight jacket. That, and I put my irrational thoughts into action.

It is in the most insane of moments I have learned we live in a field of hope. It is in the times that we fear the most, and others fear the most for us, that great things happen.

I decided to leave an incredibly well esteemed university that was a mere hour from my parental dwellings to treck into a land of dust storms and physically pressing winds. No, Texas Tech did not hold a candle to Baylor in academia, number of students who’s parents made in the millions, and dorm room space, but it did give me the opportunity to work an internship that turned into a job and realize my future all by the mere age of 21.

Another great instance in which I used irrational behavior to shape my life was in August, when I moved from a 400 square foot efficiency into a down town apartment. My mom was less than thrilled as I packed up boxes and checked my band account once last time. It made no sense in my mind why she was so worried, the remaining $2 balance in no way concerned me.

See, irrationality is great in both life changing, and life threatening experiences.

In neither sense was it understandable for me to make the moves I did, but in both the outcome was just. I wasn’t acting on irrational impulse in hopes to make something happen, I was doing it because inside I knew my life was changing for the better. Yes, I could have easily gotten into an apartment in which my rent check would have bounced, I’m sure both my parents were stashing their credit cards for the moment I came running. But I knew that by putting myself in a position of irrationality I would be forced to do more, and take one step closer to my passion.

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Where I Wasn’t 6 Months Ago

Here is the thing about life: I know nothing about life. But what I do know is that time moves on wether we like it or not. No human can physically stop in a moment, we can only remember to take moments as they come and capture a mental picture for those times that seem too good to be true.

The other thing I know about humans is that we are really good at focusing on the bad. when I look in the mirror every morning I am not saying how awesome my eyelashes are, or how not washing my hair but once a week has allowed it to grow into a frame fitting cut. No, I look at the fact that I could lose a few more pounds, and that my legs don’t have one of those odd gaps that might not actually exist.

So when I look back at where I was six months ago it is only fair to start thinking of all the things I have yet to accomplish. Like where is my million follower blog, and coinciding book deal? What about those 5 more clients I wanted to have? None of these things are sitting at the front of my silver platter.

Then I catch myself.

Sure, we are not where we want to be, but we have got to stop thinking that way. Not that I’m asking to neglect our condescending mentalities. Just simply put a spin on them. Like  the spin I put on the story of me crashing my car into a tree the day before senior year. It wasn’t a bad thing that little Susie was mangled into pieces. It was clearly meant to happen and invite the option for me to get the dream Jeep I always wanted. Of course that came a year after driving around a horrid bench seat Pontiac that was older than I. We simply can’t win them all.

Six months ago I wasn’t able to get through a full day without crying. I also wasn’t nine months out of a life changing break up. Six months ago I wasn’t able to go into a bar without getting crazy eyes and fearing my survival. Now I can drink a whole drink with ease. I wasn’t able to confidently smile at a stranger, or hold a conversation with someone I hadn’t known for at least 10 years.

You would have never caught me stepping foot onto the grounds of ACL, let alone running to retrieve passes. Six months ago I wouldn’t have put down my computer for even the most perfect pair of Manolo Blahnik’s, and now I can spend an entire day (minus a few hours before others wake) only mildly panicking that I will miss something.

But most of all, 180 days ago I would have never been able to tell you just how lucky I am. How taking six months to open my eyes would inevitably shed light on this thing I call life. Where in times I used to think I had no one to relate too I had these people who have been there all along. I wouldn’t have been sitting at a brunch table laughing to tears, so full of love I couldn’t even manage to eat the brunch food. I wouldn’t have understood that I am so much more than myself. I am my family. My friends. Those who have stolen my heart and don’t even know it.

We are all so much more than the things we have or have not accomplished and we so rarely understand that. When you surround yourself with the right people, and the right work, you begin to understand yourself. But until then we will think of the negative in a bad way, when really it is the best thing that ever happened to us.

And I think  that is pretty awesome.

 

Why Is Busy A Bad Thing?

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Half a gram cracker smeared with Nutella lay limp out of my mouth as I pressed export on the Premier video editing program. 1 hour and 30 minutes remained. I tucked the computer away on the unfamiliar night stand and rolled over to take one last check at the five preset alarms on my phone. Because you never know when our beloved form of communication will fail and I will be doomed to not wake up right on time. Then I checked Facebook. Twitter. Instagram, and three separate email accounts once more.

When I was younger I begged for a life of experience, and to a non justifiable extent, fame. At the age of 23 I am sleeping at my aunt and uncles house in Gruene, Texas due to a pansy fear of returning home in the rain. I’m jolted awake (please forgive me phone for ever doubting your abilities) at 5am to a full days worth of task crammed into two hours before driving back to Austin for 8 hours of meetings and four more hours of work to follow. My hair is the opitomy of mess (mainly because it exudes my life’s permanent state) and the Chipotle burrito bowl container is sliding around my floor mat 24 hours later. Clearly dropping it in a trashcan would take away farrr too much time from the days task.

My bumper-to-bumper drives are taunted by the words of others saying my generation acts like busy is cool. And that being busy is an excuse for not managing time well.

To them I say suck it. Or more so, I ask why? Why must we act like being buys is a bad thing?

As a sophomore in college I can remember sitting around on a Saturday like it was my job. Literally, it was my job. I sat with my roommates and watched TV. We poured a glass of apple juice, and watched more TV. Around mid afternoon we would force ourselves off the couch for a Target run. Yes, the most active part of our day was spending $100 or more on things we would never use. Or apartment decor we would hate a week later.

Now, if I have just one hour of down time I treat it like what I would assume an addict treats his last hit. It is pure gold. I run around the perimeter of my two room apartment five times, jump on the bed for three minutes, then settle in to watch all the 20 reality shows I’ve DVRed. Because busy girls spring for the extra $25 a month to make sure they don’t give way on their shows, this I am sure. I do it all while simultaneously reading the books I have purchased with good intentions of finishing before my eye sight gives way.

So yes, while I understand why people think we are wasting time being busy, I also think they are not factoring in that we are really just wasting time sitting in traffic.

Kidding.

But honestly, we are not wasting time. We are young, and being busy isn’t a bad thing. We have dreams and they take more than a few hours to fulfill. I want to fight and push and beg and plead now so I don’t have to when I’m 60. Though lets be real, I’ll be doing it when I’m 60 because my generation isn’t capable of sitting still.

All I’m trying to say is that I don’t think being busy is a bad thing because I am having fun doing it. Though, don’t ask my mom, she will dispute my accusations, as I call her in tears of alarming concern more times than is acceptable for a 23-year-old to do so. But the average age children stop asking their parents for help now is 41, so really it’s fine.

As long as you are doing what you love, busy isn’t an option. Busy is something you desire. And one day you will find someone else who makes you not want to be as busy. You two will fall madly in love and things will slow down in an harmonious way. Because I also truly believe in fairytales. And that is all. The end.

Not Every Day

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Not every day can be a good day.

Two weeks ago I moved into an apartment worthy of a queen. Okay, so the bedroom walls don’t actually extend to the ceiling, but if I put my trash bags outside my door and open it 15 minutes later they are gone. So it only seems fair that Queen Elizabeth would be proud.

I was proud too. Proud that I had worked hard enough to sign my life away to a suffocating rent. Proud that my parents had instilled in me the drive to make my dreams a reality. Proud that I could finally invite people over to a place where my loads of serving dishes fit and could be utilized.

Though of course, as life would have it, before I had even hung the last of my floating shelves, the world decided to ground me. I lost a client, lost an outrageously expensive cord from stupid Time Warner Cable, and all-in-all lost my mind.

This is the thing about life. It’s really good at making you sweat. It likes to tell you just how great you are, then reverse the action and show you every last inch of bad. There are times life will hold you tight, and times it will kick you when you’re down. Life is like that girl on the playground who can be your best friend until you make eyes are her man. Then you better hope her nails are filed down because girls about to claw your eyes out.

Going into business for myself has been a slow process of making friends with that girl. The first time she attacked me I bawled like a little baby to my mom. Same with the second, third, forth and fifth. It wasn’t until I could separate myself from her prissy stance and attitude filled finger shakes that I saw her purpose.

Life isn’t here to beat you, it’s here to make you stronger. To teach you to cherish the good, and fight through the bad. If everything was easy we would have nothing to look forward to. Life is just really good at amplifying the not so easy.

To survive we must look up, keep our head on straight, and remember that nothing is forever. Not even the bad.