Happy Monday Everyone! I am back in town feeling refreshed, feeling good feeling great….feeling great feeling good…how are you? (a little Outkast reference there in case ya missed it). And since it’s Monday and it occurred to me that it’s been a while since we did a little something, I decided to pressure some more friends to write a little something for me. That’s right, it’s time for:
The person I haggled lovingly this time is my wonderful friend and fellow Camp Mikell lady, Bethany. She hails all the way from Toccoa, GA, where Camp Mikell is located. Contrary to what you may first be thinking, she isn’t very “country” at all. You’ll read about her being a city-dweller in Atlanta, who is involved in as many possible things she can be involved in. Food, wine and events pertaining to–are her fortes. She came and visited us in NYC because she loves the big city! Here is her post, her words, to share…and as always thanks for sharing! (Just another update from other 20 something posts…Chris is happily working at CHOA now, Sam just moved to Atlanta to start her dream job with Coke (if you put your dreams on my blog, evidently they come true), and Anna is happily toting around 2 toddlers and she and Dan just hosted her Birthday party (sad I missed her not-20-something-anymore-party), but everything is going great for all these ladies!)
So here is Bethany (dark hair below)…take it away!
What I’ve learned in my 20s thus far.
Here is a brief intro about my life as of January 2013. I work in PR – mostly traditional – but starting to focus my career very heavily on social media strategy and management. I live in a high rise in Midtown Atlanta with my boyfriend. I absolutely love city living. We can walk to the grocery store, pharmacy, farmer’s market, movie theater, and numerous bars and restaurants. I enjoy networking events, charity fundraisers, Broadway musicals, and food blogging. I also like tattoos and my favorite color combo is navy and ivory. I have so much passion for life, sometimes I feel like I am going to burst. To get this overflow of passion out of my system, I am often caught singing numbers from Les Mis, Phantom of the Opera, or Wicked at the top of my lungs in the car or in the shower.
Being at the latter end of my twenties (I will be 27 in less than two months to be exact) I look back on the past few years and am amazed at how much I’ve learned. At the same time I am apprehensive yet hopeful about all of the things I haven’t yet figured out. What follows are musings about my life and thoughts about what I know and what I don’t know.
What I know:
- Everything is better in moderation.
My life motto has developed into one very simple statement – one that most of my life lessons can be traced back to. Everything in moderation. I strive to apply that motto to every aspect of my life and it’s my best piece of advice. Take everything in moderation. Except maybe meth, I don’t think any amount of that stuff is good for you. The obvious usually comes to mind when discussing moderation – alcohol, junk food, spending money, staying up late – you know, the bad stuff. But I also think good things should be used in moderation as well. For example, saving money is great but do you really want to spend all of your free time clipping coupons? Putting in extra time at the office to get ahead shows hard work but you shouldn’t let it consume your life. Spending time with friends and family is so important but you also have to make time for yourself. Make sense? Well it’s been working out pretty well for me. I’m even trying to figure out how I can turn my motto into a tattoo. Suggestions?
What I don’t know:
- How to make moderation consistent in my life. How to help other friends and family see the value of moderation and apply it to their lives. What is moderation for me? Will the definition of moderation change throughout my life?
I have in no way mastered moderation. Those of you who have seen me drink wine understand that pretty well. Going hand in hand with moderation, prioritizing my life is another skill I have come to greatly appreciate and daily strive to improve upon. One of the hardest things to get use to in my 20s has been this – to say “yes” to your top priorities, you will have to say “no” go good opportunities. It’s so hard!
What I know:
- I need to prioritize my life.
I’ve had a lot of opportunities arise in my personal and professional life recently that I’ve had to turn down. I am constantly trying to evaluate each opportunity to determine if it aligns with my current goals. Sometimes I make the wrong decision. I will say yes to help someone with an event or fundraiser and then afterward I just feel kind of used. “What did I get out of this?” I often ask myself. Don’t get me wrong, I love volunteering and helping friends but sometimes it’s too much. I have to put myself and my goals as a priority or I will never get ahead.
What I don’t know:
- How in the hell should I prioritize my life? What’s the best way for me? What exactly are my priorities? Are my priorities going to constantly change? How can I put myself first without offending other people?
What I know
- I need to be able to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference. (Yeah, it’s cliché but true.)
- I want a new job and possible career change. I want more freedom. I want to work remotely.
In the past few years I’ve started to learn how to accept things that I cannot change and work with what I have. I wasted so much time looking at the advantages other people had and wishing I was in their shoes. As soon as I accept an obstacle and welcome it into my life, it’s like a weight lifted off my shoulders. After I graduated college I use to get so angry that many of my friends could pack their bags and travel the world at a moment’s notice. They could move anywhere they wanted and worry about a job when they got there. I could not afford that luxury with three student loans. I couldn’t go more than a few days without an income. I hated that about my life – being tied down. I hated that my parents couldn’t afford to pay for my education or that they didn’t have the extra income to start a college fund for me. Several years went by with these toxic thoughts brewing in my head. Just recently I said to myself, you cannot change your situation, you cannot change the past, you had best change your attitude lady.
Once I let go of that bitterness and accepted my situation, I felt so much better. Now I am starting to pursue options to get around my limitations. No matter what I do, those loans are going to be a part of my life for a long time. I can’t get rid of them. But I can find a way to be able to travel AND make money. I am currently looking for a job where I have more flexibility. Maybe something that is partially or completely remote. The career and specifically my current job is not exactly what I thought it would be. I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit but I’m not sure when or how to embrace it.
What I don’t know:
- How do I know the difference? How do I know if I should accept something as a limit or to keep trying to change it? I don’t want to waste my life trying to change things that I can’t, but I don’t want to miss an opportunity to make a significant change.
- Do I want to take a chance on a small start-up and possibly ride the elevator up to the top of the newest social media company OR play it safe and work for a more established stable company? One has high risk but room for creativity and growth, one has lower risk but has limited freedom.
What I know:
- Shit happens.
Things often happen that are out of your control. Many times, the only thing you can control is your attitude. Yes, it’s easier said than done and it’s something I work on every day. I truly believe that everything you have done in your life has led you to where you are today. I am trying to wrap my head around taking responsibility for everything that happens to me. Let me clarify that I do not mean take fault for everything. For example – I’ve been in some crappy relationships. When guys treated me like shit, ignored me, verbally abused me, or even cheated on me, it was not my fault but I have to admit that I had responsibility in that relationship. I allowed others to treat me unfair. I am learning how to get better and better at standing up for myself in all types of relationships and taking responsibility for my part.
What I don’t know:
- How to change my attitude on a daily basis. How to reign in my emotions and make positive rational decisions. How to get over being hurt in the past and trusting my judgment in the future.
What I know:
- The older I get and the more I learn, the more questions I have!
It was really hard for me to write this because the more I thought about what to write, the more questions I had. My life is full of questions right now. I want to experience living somewhere outside of Georgia. My boyfriend doesn’t want to move anytime soon. I have to decide what’s more important, my boyfriend or my want for an adventure. I love food writing but I’m not sure if I should keep it as a hobby or see if it could take me somewhere. I’m really trying to narrow my career focus and not be so all over the place – but what if I’m missing an opportunity? I want to go back to school. I love to learn but will the investment pay off financially? Is the experience alone worth the money? And the list could go on forever from there.
So this blog post is not as full of wisdom and insights as I had hoped – but hey, this is what’s been going on in my head recently. If I could sum up this stage of my 20s in one word it would be this – transitional.
What I know:
- I love my friends and family more than anything in my life.
- I could not survive without my lady group. Muah!
note from bean: thanks again Bethany! PS I picked all the pics, not Bethany–hope that’s okay! Moving on- You are awesome for sharing some personal information for the readers to see. Being in our twenties seems to bring up a common theme–transition. Times have changed. Jobs change. Relationships change. Food tastes change. Our needs change. Our wants change. So thank you for being so open about the transitional time that you’re in, and I’m in too. All I know about it is that it is an important time for us all.