My Life At 25

At 25, I thought I’d be working for a magazine, married with at least one kid and living in a big house. I would have a white picket fence and a perfect husband who’d do anything for me. Eventually we’d have another child. Hopefully, we would end up with a girl and a boy, but if it didn’t pan out that way, I’d be fine with 2 boys or 2 girls. But, I’m 25, am not married, don’t have kids and am not working for a magazine.

I’m 25, have a boyfriend, finally obtained a job I like and am not ready for kids. Don’t get me wrong, I do like my life, it’s just I didn’t see myself living this way. I mean, I’m probably going to be paying off my student loans until I’m 40.

I obtained my first real grown-up job at 24 years old and thought I finally found something I liked, but I was wrong. Not only was I making not enough to even move out, I was barely putting money in the bank. All of it went to my car insurance, car and other various bills that crept up.

But, due to my lack of income, I obtained another position allowing me to put money in the bank. Both jobs didn’t allow me to truly do what I wanted to do, which was become a magazine writer. Those jobs were stationed in New York, but I was stuck in PA yearning for my dream job.

I interned for Family Circle and Good Housekeeping, but it wasn’t enough experience for me to land a job in that field. I felt bummed and unsatisfied in both positions and knew I desired better and a job I actually fell in love with. I went searching for just that and found it in Tennessee. It took me 3 months to finally find a job I love that allows me to use my writing and social media experience.

At the end of the day, I didn’t see myself finding a position this late in life, but I’m happy I’m earning enough to pay off my student loans. Along with that, I’d like to get married in the next few years and have kids.

Life is not like it was when our parents grew up. It was so simple for them and by age 25, they had at least 3-4 kids and were married for about 5 years. I mean, my parents were married at my age and my dad had a good full-time job. I’m accepting that nearly everyone my age is in the same boat, but it still can be difficult when I see others my age that became successful. Regardless, I think I’m finally on track to succeed.

Via Huffington Post

Shy Kids Finish Last

I’m a quiet, shy and sweet girl. The problem with those types of girls is they often get taken of advantage and walked over. Ever since I can remember, I’ve never been a fan of confrontation and when I was faced with it, I always turned the other direction. I hated walking up to someone and bringing up an issue that might make matters worse. Whether it was work or school, I did not want to confront anyone.

Maybe when I was made fun of I should have stepped in and defended myself, but I was often too afraid to do so. I suppose I didn’t think I was worth defending, which is blatantly sad. Whenever an argument came my way, I just wanted to run and hide. I didn’t want to face it because then I’d have to tell the other person off and that simply was not in my nature.

There are people who live for drama and don’t have any issues confronting others and then there are people like me who tend to avoid it. And, the thing is I haven’t a clue where that mentality came from because my mother has always taught me to stand up for myself. She’d often tell me not to stick up for myself when someone talked behind my mind.

I think I’m not a fan of confrontation because I do not want to admit that someone might have a problem with me. I just want everyone to like me when in retrospect that will never happen. There will always be one or two people that aren’t your biggest fan and I had to accept that. In my adult life I’ve learned many things. For starters, just because I’m now 25 and work with adults doesn’t mean the cattiness and talking behind your back goes away. I thought I left that behind in middle school, but I suppose I was wrong. Therefore, now is the time when I must tell the other person off if they’re saying negative things about me. Will I finally approach that person and ask them what their problem is or cower and hide in the corner?

I am so sick of others taking advantage of the sweet and innocent girl who would never hurt a fly. Maybe those people are jealous of my demeanor, but whatever the reason, it’s time to stop picking on the defenseless girl.

Being bullied is one of the worst things and people who do so feel highly and mighty. What they don’t take into account of is the effect it has on the person being bullied. There have been several accounts of teenagers committing suicide because of it. They weren’t strong enough to tell the bully off, so the next best thing for them was to kill themselves. That’s not the answer though. Don’t let the bully win.

I’m going to try and stop allowing people to push me around.

Via Huffington Post

The Burden of Student Loans

I graduated two years ago and I have yet to put even a dent in my student loans.

For the longest time, I deferred them because I was unable to find a job. After college, I was left working at a retail store with 6 months before I had to pay my student loans. My thought was, Oh, I’ll find a job by then, so I’m fine.

Well, I couldn’t be more wrong. Instead of landing a full-time job, I obtained an internship at Family Circle Magazine in New York City. Sure, it was an excellent opportunity that I wouldn’t take back for the world, but it paid a mere $7.25 and it was two to three days a week. So, since I lived in PA, I had to fork out $7 for parking at the Hamilton Train Station, $30 for a round-trip ticket and another $5 to and from the subway. Essentially, I was earning about $16 per day. This did not leave me enough to pay for my student loans, so they were deferred until I could find a stable position.

For the next six months, I barely got by with the money I was making. On the side, I babysat, but that just wasn’t enough. I was happy my parents allowed me to stay at their house until I could get on my own two feet.

After the internship ended, I was left with the daunting task of job searching day in and day out. My “job” was searching for a full-time position. When a whole year passed since I graduated, I had to yet again, defer my loans and the interest rate gradually increased. I still could not find a job a year after I graduated and I began to get nervous. The question I asked myself was, would I ever get a job?

I worked at Starbucks and waitressed for a few months before landing a full-time. But, this job didn’t provide me enough income to start paying off my student loans. I was able to pay off one set of them, but could only put under $100 towards it. And, I cringed every time I received that notice from Federal Student Loans because I knew they were demanding me to put a little money toward them.

I felt frustrated that this job didn’t allow me to move out or put any money into my bank account. It was going toward my car insurance, car itself and bills. I mean, I was grateful I finally had a job because some grads cannot even find anything and I was there, so I sympathized. But, at the same time, I needed another job where I could earn more money.

I was contacted by another job I previously applied to about a job that paid a tad more, so I went for it and landed it. But, still, I couldn’t put any money toward my loans, so I was left deferring them again. And, my interest rate was skyrocketing every day. I was jealous of those who didn’t have federal assistance or whose parents were paying them. I hoped that I would finally obtain a job I went to school for 6 years of my life. Did I waste all that time and not gain anything from it?

My parents tried to convince me to attend grad school, but I refused. If I’m not guaranteed a job with a BA, how could I find a position with a Master’s? I rolled my eyes every time they brought that topic up and pushed it away– just like my student loans.

The final question I ask myself is, if college doesn’t guarantee you a job, why go? There are some people earning more money who never went to college. They aren’t left with the burden of student loans, but I am. As for me, I’ll be paying mine for the rest of my life.

Via Huffington Post

Career Before a Romantic Relationship?

I always assumed a career should be first on my list. Even when I was two months into my first internship, I made it a point to look for jobs because I cared about my career more than anything else. When I was dating a guy in my senior year of college, I often reminded him I was sorry, but my career is very important to me and at times, I must put it first. Harsh, but it was true. I didn’t go to school for six years for nothing. It needed to count for something and no matter what, I was going to dedicate time and energy to make it happen.

I began freelancing for a bunch of websites and focusing more on my career. Around the same time, I began to possess mixed emotions towards my boyfriend, so I ended it. I chose to have a career instead of dating because I wouldn’t earn money dating a guy, right? Sure — wanted someone to hang with, talk to, laugh with, kiss and hug, but my career was always first. I stood by that notion until I started dating a guy in November of 2013.

I didn’t stop pursuing my career; I just learned it’s just as important as a relationship. I asked myself if I could marry my career. Would it comfort me if one of my friends passed away? Would I be able to enjoy a dinner with it? And, finally, would it be around when I felt lonely? There’s no doubt that my career would keep me busy and be there when I was bored, but I wouldn’t be able to enjoy the rest of my life in its arms. I began thinking how ridiculous I was to think a career was more important than finding a man I could marry. Why can’t they be equal?

The guy I began dating made me realize that juggling both is totally worth it. I could have a career as well as a good relationship. It’s funny that it took me this long for it to click, but hey, I’m glad I learned it sooner rather than later.

Via Huffington Post

Parents Who “Baby” Their Kids Raise Sheltered Adults — I’m Proof!

Their coddling didn’t help me — it hurt me.

Growing up, I was never taught anything about sex, tampons, or how to be a grown-up. My mother never sat me down to have “the talk” about sex. Instead, she whispered in my ear, telling me to hold onto my virginity until marriage.

I accepted that and decided to agree with her — but I never questioned why or how sex worked.

When I first got my period, I declined learning how to use a tampon, so she stopped pushing me. I had a feeling that inserting a tampon into my vagina would hurt like hell so I didn’t do it. Therefore, I knew nothing about this device.

I was so terrified to be a grown-up, I allowed my mother and father to do critical “life stuff” for me: banking, car problems, handling my student loans, and anything else that left me puzzled.

My father and mother’s parenting styles were so different. My father took more of an off-hands approach, while my mother always needed to know the tiniest details, like where I was, who I was with, what time I left, and what time I was coming home. Even when I reached my 20’s, she still needed to know this supposedly imperative information.

At 25, I had to have a talk with my parents explaining that I was a grown-up and could make decisions on my own but they weren’t convinced and told me I was still very immature. I partially blame them because they kept my brothers and I in a bubble.

I love my overprotective mother and wanted to be close with her but I didn’t understand her desire to know every little detail that went on in my life. I told her the most important aspects and left out the ones she may not have approved of.

For instance, she had no clue I signed up for online dating, tried weed and lost my virginity because I viewed them as private. Why would I need to divulge that stuff to her — hell, to divulge it to anyone, for that matter?

Now that I’m an adult, I’ve had a hard time blossoming into a legitimate “grown-up” because my parents always did everything for me.

Instead of saying, “No, you need to do this on your own,” they just did things for me. I didn’t have my opinions because I always listened to them before myself.

When I moved 800+ miles away with my boyfriend, I had a panic attack. The first few weeks living on my own were pure hell. I felt so lost without family or friends circling around me.

I’ve never been one to rely on just me, so I often sought attention from my boyfriend and had a tantrum when he wouldn’t give it to me. I was so used to getting my way that I began having tantrums, until he had enough and told me to stop.

I had to learn how to pay bills and care not just for myself but my boyfriend and dog as well. I purposely chose NOT to call my parents if I had to make a huge decision. At first, it made me feel uneasy because my parents were always there to tell me what to do but little by little I made decisions on my own — and it felt great!

Being an adult is scary — but it had to happen and from the experience,  I learned I’m a lot stronger than I thought I was.

In retrospect, I wish my parents hadn’t coddled me when I was feeling sad or freaking out because even now, I look for my boyfriend to do the same. He’s told me, “I’m not babying you, Hope.”

Instead of coddling me, I wish they would’ve comforted me, but allowed me to take care of the situation on my own. I never learned anything from the way my parents coddled me.

Sure, my parents love me unconditionally and would do anything for me but they were afraid of us growing up too quickly — but it scarred us in the long run. We’re still a bit immature.

So to all those protective mothers out there: be careful how much you coddle your children. In the end, it hurts more than it helps.

Via YourTango

Change Can Be Quite Scary

I am 25 years old and I’ve had the same damn hair and clothes style since I was a teen.  But, as scary as it is, I’m an adult and things must change.  I’m not a fan of change, but sometimes it can be a good thing.  I mean, I moved, which was a huge change and I’m coping surprisingly well thus far.

In the next few weeks, I plan to alter my appearance a bit because sometimes when I look in the mirror, instead of seeing an adult, the reflection staring back at me is a little girl.  I cannot stay that way for the rest of life, there comes a time when everyone needs to grow-up and my time is now.  I know it can be quite daunting to take on more responsibility, but my boyfriend is right there with me having to do the same thing.  He’s been the one coaching me through this transition and without him, I’d be lost.

At times, I get annoyed that I’m so afraid to get a new wardrobe and switch up my hairstyle.  What am I so scared of?  It’s time to finally be an adult as well as look like an adult.  I’ve done a big thing by moving 800 + miles away.  That is terrifying in itself and I made the decision and wouldn’t change it for the world.  But, I still do not feel as if it’s real.  This morning, I woke up questioning whether I was dreaming or not.

In the past few months, things have rapidly changed and I must keep up with it.  If you’re skeptical about altering something about your life whether its your appearance, location or style, I say do it and do not look back.  Don’t think too much or else you’ll chicken out.  I encourage you to chase after your dreams and if something feels boring, travel on a different path.  It’s time for to stop being a scaredy cat and just take the leap.

5 Tough Challenges You’ll Unfortunately Experience When Moving Far From Home

I live approximately 829 miles away from home. I figured that out by typing my old address and new address into google maps. So, my family will never just randomly “stop by” for a visit to surprise my boyfriend and I one day. They can’t go on over if there’s a problem. They won’t even be available if I really need some advice. We have both the telephone and Skype for those things.

With moving away, there are several challenges you’ll have to face.

1.  You’re not a little kid anymore.

Growing up is hard to do, but we have to face it, it will have to happen someday. We must leave the nest and take more responsibility. And, moving that far away will allow plenty of freedom.

2. Paying bills suck!

As if we don’t have enough to pay for– student loans, cough, cough. Now, we must pay for rent, utilities as well as groceries. Ugh! And, mom and dad cannot pay your bills for you because they’re too far away.

3. What do I do if my car breaks down?

Well, if you’re like me and live with your boyfriend, you’re lucky because he’ll be there to save the day. HOWEVER, if you’re on your own, calling AAA or a towing company would be your best bet. I hate cars.

4. It’s hard to make friends.

So, you had plenty of friends in your old town, but making new ones isn’t always easy. It can be a long process to build friendships and keep em’. But, if you work with nice people, then you’ll make them soon enough!

5. Feeling completely and utterly alone.

In the beginning, I felt utterly alone without friends or family by my side. Sure, I had my boyfriend, but I couldn’t always depend on him for everything! You’ll get over the initial feeling of loneliness once you become more accustomed to your surroundings.

Via Thought Catalog

Caring Too Much About Other’s Opinions

I care far too much what others think of me.

Whenever I see someone talking, whispering or pointing at me, I immediately begin to panic.  I hate confrontation and am terrible at it.  If someone doesn’t like me, I cannot simply, “shrug it off.”  I constantly talk about it and will never just let it go.

Let’s say one of my co-workers isn’t fond me, instead of turning the other shoulder and forgetting about it, I think of ways I can get them to like me.  Because the main reason I care about what others think is I hate the thought of someone not liking me!  Can’t we just get along?  If we didn’t talk shit on each other, don’t you think this world would be a better place?  We may not have hate, crime or violence in the world and I’d totally be fine with that!

I let the constant whispers eat at me until I feel absolutely nauseous.  While, my boyfriend would say, “Hope, who cares what they think of you?  Can’t you just stop?”  But, he is right. If I’m a good person—which I am—why do I continuously let these things get to me? My mom would always say, “if you can go to bed at night knowing you’re a good person, who the hell cares what anyone thinks or says about you?”  I think that goes along with feeling confident in yourself.  If you feel confident with who you are as a person, you truly will brush off what others say about you.

But, allow me to soak in this notion: not everyone in this world will like you and that’s okay.  At the end of the day, I am a good person and I always do as I’m told.  If I know I’m doing some good in this world, why the heck do I care what Sally Sue thinks of me?  Maybe she’s jealous that I got the promotion and she didn’t.

There could many reasons why people don’t like you.  Jealously, backstabbing and ignorance are common reasons.  Also, do you know those personalities you simply do not get along with?  Yeah, there’s not a specific reasoning behind not favoring them, you just don’t like them.

For me, I never got along with the strong, confident bitch.  At ever job, there she was right in front of me.  And, at every job, I tried to get her to like me, but it rarely worked.  Depending on your personality, you know you get along with certain people over others.

All in all, there will always be someone in crowd that simply does not like you.  And, I’m trying to accept that day by day.