“Hate to say I told you so”

I’m a great advice giver. I can play the role of cheerleader, devil’s advocate, brutally honest friend, sugar coat it friend and can be a great ear for a long winded venting sesh. Advice is so easy to give when you’re not the one receiving it. But then why is that when we are in the moment, we can’t take our own advice?

I believe this especially true for relationships and in careers. It was simple in college to say, “he did what? No way, lose him.” It was always so clear from my perspective. That guy did not deserve my friend. Obviously. And yet, looking back at my college dating career, I put up with way more than I would have ever allowed my friends to withstand. And this is also applicable in our careers. Like when we get those letdowns that seem like you’ve hit a wall in your climb to the top. To your friends you say, buck up, there will be other opportunities. Or, you’re SO great, if they don’t see it then it just wasn’t a good fit. But to yourself you say, you didn’t deserve it, you’re not smart enough, you’re not good enough. We say these things to ourselves when we know it isn’t really true. But we’re so bogged down by the disappointment that we can’t see clearly. We simply can’t see the situation from a third party perspective.

To me, probably the hardest comforting words to hear are “everything happens for a reason.” Because in the moment when you get let down, hurt or irked, everything does NOT happen for a reason and this is CLEARLY the end of my world as I know it. I will never, ever, ever recover and when I am 55 I will look back at this moment as the tipping point when my life started to go downhill.

At least, that’s how it feels at the time. It takes at the MINIMUM a long run, several yoga classes and a hot bath to even come close to getting above it all to see things clearly. Okay, and maybe a glass or two of Prosecco. OKAY or three. And in actuality, it isn’t until something great happens that you take a look at the steps that got you to where you are and realize that you wouldn’t be where or who you are without those letdowns, walls and disappointments.

So what is the secret? What is the secret to in the heated moment of a major bummer, to calmly look at the situation and tell yourself, this will lead to something great. Whether it be the painful years of dating letdowns that eventually lead you to your Prince Charming or career steps and missteps that take you to exactly where you want to be. I wish I could say I have the answer to this eternal optimism for you, but alas, I do not. I get stuck in the cloud of bummer-ness and often can’t seem to get my head above it all.

I’m currently at the phase where something amazing has come from something that had me down. I had to admit to my boyfriend that okay, yeah, I’m really glad the career things worked out the way they did. And he joyfully exclaimed Hate to say I told you so. (as if, he loved it). But, if we’re being honest, it really wasn’t until that great thing came from the letdown that I was able to truly move on. I feel that this reaction simply won’t suffice.

I want to begin working on seeing the positives in bad situations. But more specifically, in my own personal bad situations. I can see the good parts in everyone else’s stories and problems, but not so much in my own. And so, to anyone who is going through anything rough right now, it will get better. It will lead to something great. And everything happens for a reason.

Status quo

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Every third Thursday, myself and all my coworkers pick a place and enjoy a good happy hour full of laughs and Blue Moons in the warm Texas sun – on the company card [the best kind of happy hours!]. Literally heaven. We have a new graphic designer and she started asking our Creative Director about his past life experiences. And let me tell ya, he’s lived quite the life. Home schooled, graduated at 14, had his first paying design gig at 15, trained horses, became a solid DJ, owned a record store and at the ripe age of 28 is second in command at our agency. He’s the kind of person that makes you feel like your experience in a public school system, in a suburban bubble, and going off to a state college is completely inadequate. 

I’ve been having this thought for quite some time now. I feel like growing up in suburbia trains your mind to think in a certain way. I never challenged the status quo, didn’t question authority, and was completely content playing [and kicking some major bootay *humble brag*] in tennis and eating at Chili’s. I dressed to try to fit in and gain the acceptance of my peers. And then I went to college because that is what you’re supposed to do after high school. College taught me how to memorize a text book, why joining a sorority is the best thing for your social ife, and what major I should choose if I actually wanted to get a job after graduation, whether you’d really enjoy it or not.

Now lucky for me, I’m terrible at memorizing text books, couldn’t really afford a sorority/wasn’t completely sold on the idea of sharing a house with a few hundred girls, and chose a career that I would do even if money wasn’t a concern. At the same time, dressing like everyone else, loving High School Musical (guilty as charged), attending a few date parties and going to a big state school is what made me happy at the time. Maybe this is all part of being in your 20’s (at least I hope I’m not alone on this), but I want nothing more than to throw the status quo and normal out the window. Have my own opinions that aren’t swayed by those around me. Even now when I want to do something, have an opinion, or date someone, a little voice in the back of my head says “what will everyone think? what will they think about me?” My question is, how do you shut that voice up?

Because sure, maybe I didn’t always choose the path less taken, but is there anything wrong with the more worn path? In the end after all, it brought me to today. I’ve had a fantastic weekend filled with laughter and pure happiness, so is there really anything wrong with that? Because truly, I loved college football, I think Justin Timberlake and I would make a great couple, guys simply look good in Polo button downs and I happen to love blasting Taylor Swift in my car. But I also genuinely dislike most major brand names, am a complete book and art nerd, relish quiet and alone time on a Friday night and tend to enjoy a weird variety of tunes from americana, jazz and African tribal music.

Perhaps the important thing is to take a moment and look at your options or opinions. Ask yourself, do I really like this? Is this actually me? And to be honest, I’m not really sure on this one. I’m still figuring it all out which is probably obvious by the heavy use of question marks in the post. But hey, what else are your 20’s for?