25 by 25

I have been struggling with what to write about on here next, but not due to a lack of ideas or because I have nothing to say. More like an overwhelming amount of ideas and too much to say.

Having started a new job right around my birthday, I got the question "How old are you?" a lot. Two months in and I'm still getting used to saying 25. I guess this post is a reflection on turning/being/getting to 25.  ***Take these for what they are... random thoughts from the mouth of a fellow babe ... what do I really know anyway? :)

1. Girlfriends are SO important

Near or far/no matter how long you've known them or when the last time you've seen each other was. Boys can be really stupid and sometimes they do really stupid stuff (these are facts) and sometimes, you just need to text your girls, or even better meet for wine. lots of wine. Don't be a "guys girl", make sure you have girlfriends!

2. Moving out (for real) 

The world tells us we are an adult when we turn 18. I didn't graduate until I was 22 and even then I didn't really feel like an adult. It wasn't until I moved out of Mom and Dads for good and was truly on my own, that I really began to feel like an adult. Another note on that, I think that living at home after you graduate is both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because if you're smart - you will use that time to save. A curse because you're an "adult" still living under your parents roof and rules. When I moved out, all the choices were mine to make and that was both liberating and terrifying all at the same time.

3. Your parents are real people too

I know this sounds stupid. Of course your parents are real people too. I just didn't truly realize this until moving away. They have lives and friends and dreams of their own. My brother and I are both out of the house and they are ready to start their next chapter. It's funny, because now when I go to RI to visit my parents there is always a surprise. Sometimes it's that there is a giant boat in the driveway and there's no where for me to park, a new color on the walls or the fact that I truly wont have a room there in a few weeks and all of my childhood things have been packed into giant black bags. *sigh... is this 25?* 

4. Saving

Saving is hard and even though I feel like I'm actually fairly good at it... it's hard to do. I can't stress how important saving enough before you take the plunge and do thought 2 is. Moving is expensive. Furniture is stupidly expensive and bills are the worst. SAVE!

5. Stock Pile

After college I lived with my parents for an entire year. And I was crazy about wanting to move out. So crazy, that I shopped for apartment stuff All. The. Time. I was literally running out of space to put things. Plates, pots, pans, bowls, cups, you name it. I knew moving was going to be expensive. First, last and security is no joke people, especially in a city! So I wanted to have as much of the little things bought in advance as possible.

6. It's all about who you know - Network.

I struggle with this so much (ask Mike) we argue about this all the time. I really don't want it to be true...but it is...such is life! I want to believe if you've worked hard and have a solid resume than that will be enough to speak for itself. Unfortunately, its usually not. If you had a 3.6 GPA and solid experience under your belt and another candidate for the job knows the potential employers wife and has babysat their kids... you're probably screwed. (This happens more often than you'd think - I swear.) Force yourself to try new things and meet new people and make an impression. Also, try to be as put together as possible at all times - my very first week in Boston, I quite literally ran into two people from high school -- It's a small world!

7. Dog's are expensive

I wouldn't trade having my Maddy girl for anything in the world, but man is she expensive! Vet visits, grooming maintenance, food, accessories, pet rent. It goes on and on so just make sure you're not only ready for the responsibility of being a pet owner but also the expense. 

8. Back to your roots

Stop dying your hair. IT IS SO EXPENSIVE. Embrace your natural hair color - It will be healthier anyways.

9. Early risers

Why is waking up early so hard to do? I am the epitome of a 'wannabe early riser' - literally I've probably google'd "how to get better at waking up earlier" an embarrassing amount of times. It is something I am truly striving to be better at. I envy people who are so disciplined and have solid morning routines that they very rarely stray from. I want to be one of those people! < 7 Steps to becoming an early riser! >  

10. Working out

I swear everything feels better when you're working out. You're more relaxed and focused. It's working in the time to work out that seems to be the issue for most of us. If you can push yourself to establish a routine that works for you and stick to it - you're way ahead of the game! There's a reason they call it a 'runners high.'

11. Job

Work somewhere that makes you happy. Period. You can make it more complicated than that in your head if you want.  You can stress about money and bills - I get that - trust me. But life is too short and we all spend WAY too much time at work to be unhappy. Really, take the time to reflect and figure out why what you do makes you happy and if it doesn't, start looking into other options ASAP. Where there is a will, there is always a way.

12. Say NO!

Learning when to say no is so important! People have been telling us for years that our lives are going to be full of things we don't want to do. They were right, there really is a lot of "suck it up" moments in life, but don't be taken advantage of. In the words of Lena Dunham "There is nothing more liberating than saying no to shit you hate."

13. Weeknight Shenanigans

We work. We work hard. So at the end of a long Thursday, when your co-worker asks if you want to go downstairs for a glass of wine, do it. I'm a firm believer in a work/life balance and getting to know your colleagues outside of the work place. However, remember that you're not in college anymore and a Thursday night out makes for a  Friday that is a lot harder than it used to be! 

14. Meal Planning

No, I don't mean those pictures you see on pinterest of 17 tupperware full of chicken, brown rice, and broccoli. I mean have a plan. Eating out is expensive. Make a simple plan of what you might want to bring for lunch/ cook for dinner that week and get your butt to the grocery store and buy it.

15. Surroundings

I am THE WORST with directions ( I got it from my Momma.) In a city especially, you need to know where you are. I've gotten fairly good at directions on foot having now lived in three different areas in Boston (woah.) However, I think cab drivers still know that I'm not 100% confident in driving directions and they will take advantage of you if you let them. Don't let them!

16. Take chances

I've never been an "on a whim" type of girl - I'm a planner.  However, since moving to a city, where literally everything can change in two seconds... I'm working on not needing a plan for everything and I swear I'm getting better! I find myself falling asleep "proud" and content at the end of a spontaneous night (this makes me sound like a loser) but it's the truth! My Dad always says "We're not here for a long time, we're here to have a good time and if you're not living on the edge, you're taking up too much space!" - I try to remind myself of this if ever I'm feeling anxious about not having a plan.

17. Wash your face

Makeup removing wipes are literally a god send. Leave them in your bedside table. There is no worse feeling than waking up in the morning, possibly hungover, trying to get ready for work (don't act like you've never been there) with raccoon eyes and dryer skin than you ever thought was possible. Wash your face!

18. Don't shampoo every day

First of all, literally NO ONE has time for that. Secondly, it's bad for your hair. Just don't do it. Also, a god send, dry shampoo! 

19. Being a girl is expensive

I wouldn't even consider myself 'high maintenance' but even just the basics of being a girl are  expensive. I'm slowly testing the waters on what is important to spend the money on and what is not. My most recent discovery: St. Ives Anti Aging moisturizer is under $5 it's almost as good as this Philosophy one that is $50 (winning!) Currently testing: Shampoo. Affordable recommendations are more than welcome!

20. Invest in quality pieces

I love H&M as much as the next girl, but stop wasting your money on the "trendy" pieces. They call it disposable fashion for a reason! If you're my age and working in a professional environment then I'm sure you're realizing quickly that you are literally running out of places to wear that epic tartan poncho with the fringe - lord knows you won't be wearing it to work Monday - Friday. I nearly died when I spent so much on a truly fitted blazer from J.Crew, but when I think about the number of times I've worn it, I literally can't imagine what I'd do with out it. Invest in quality, basic pieces and make your life easier after you've hit snooze for the 12th time (I told you I'm still working on establishing a routine.) Think - "Cost per wear."

21. Love your closet

Slowly, slowly, I am working on minimizing the number of pieces in my wardrobe. This is not a new idea, people have been saying it for years. "If you haven't worn it in a year, get rid of it." This is so much easier said than done. However, I dream about a morning when I can wake up, open my closet and put together an outfit for the day knowing that I love every piece in my closet and it all fits perfectly. ... One day! < This video is amazing - Watch it! >

22. Stop talking/tweeting shit

Sorry for the profanity, but seriously, stop. I know its so easy to think up something witty/funny/offensive about something, or worse, someone and tweet it with out even thinking. I know most of you proofread your tweets so if you're typing something and it sounds even remotely bitchy, it probably is. Try to keep it to yourself. There is enough negativity in the world as it is. We really don't need anymore! :)

23. Read more books

Cable is expensive anyway. Read more books! <30 books every woman needs to read>

24. Surround yourself with positive people

You are the company you keep. Surround yourself with people who support you and push you to be better. I think that is one of the things I love most about being in a city - everyone is on the move. I'm surrounded by people every day with an obvious and overwhelming amount of drive to do something. Its contagious.

25. The best is yet to come

It seems like the older I get, the faster time passes and with each passing year I reflect on my biggest "problem" from the previous year. It all seems so trivial after the fact. I'm sure you've heard this quote a million times but its just that good ... "Sometimes you're flush and sometimes you're bust, and when you're up, it's never as good as it seems, and when you're down, you never think you'll be up again, but life goes on."

*Bonus - Try new foods!

I tried beets while starting to write this post on Sunday and they are delicious! Why have I lived for 25 years with out ever eating beets!?! Here is the recipe for exactly what I had --> Balsamic Beet Salad.