7 Days Until I turn 26

Hey 20 Somethings!!

This August, I feel an interesting excitement over my birthday. This year, I feel a sense of relief as I am not stressed about what I am doing or who can attend. I am just happy to be celebrating with the people I love most. I am stressed about getting my own health insurance, but that’s a whole other topic…

It is now 7 days until I turn 26, and I want to reflect on seven big moves that I made to help better myself in my 25th year.

  1. I started a (small) anti-aging regimen.
  2. I fell in love with pumpkin spice.
  3. I finally threw out my old party clothes from college.
  4. I took my workout routine to new heights.
  5. I updated my resume and started a new job (see my advice).
  6. I try my best to accept my vulnerability.
  7. I learned a lot about my relationship (see here and here).

I cannot wait to see what 26 will bring me. I am certain I still have so much to work on, but that’s what this journey is all about, isn’t it?

Ted Talk: What reality are you creating for yourself?

Hey 20 Somethings!!

I find ted talks motivating and powerful, so every now and then I like to browse through to see what I can find. Today, I have a deep topic for you, but I also believe it is a topic that in the process of self-actualization, you cannot ignore.

In this ted talk, Isaac Lidsky talks about reality and how we create our own reality as humans. Since going blind when he was younger, Isaac describes how losing his sight has impacted his perception. With plenty of profound insights into this topic, Isaac is certain that “what you see impacts how you feel, and the way you feel can literally change how you see.”

As humans, we create our own reality. Furthermore, we create our reality by allowing our fears to take over. Our fears directly influence our feelings and misleads our perception. I try to be mindful of my feelings, which is definitely harder than it seems. I find that admitting my fears to myself require a great deal of effort. Personally, it is uncomfortable to face your fears, yet so liberating at the same time.

After listening to this ted talk, I want to make a more conscious effort to consider my fears and how they may distort my own reality. What reality are you creating for yourself? Is there anyway you are holding yourself back?

Job Search: My best kept secret

I am a wealth of knowledge when it comes to job searching. Every now and then, my friends reach out to me asking about how to find a new job. As I have mentioned in earlier posts, I traded in my first full-time job for a role in the big Apple. My first job search required a lot of initial soul searching on my part. I dug through plenty of job descriptions trying to find an industry and role that suited my skills and interests. Eventually, I stumbled upon a few roles in fashion that suited my interests, but it still took a lot of time to finally land a new job.

How did I do it? I used whatever resources I had on hand. As I realized it wasn’t as easy as I expected, I reached out to a recruiter I knew well. I asked her what she thought of my resume and how to get an interview. Her advice? LinkedIn.

The average job search takes 6 months to 1 year, so you can bet that applying blindly online won’t get your foot in the door. Connections make the world go round, so LinkedIn is a very powerful tool to search through companies and job posts for which you may have a connection to.

What next? Dust off your resume and update your LinkedIn profile. Be sure to add any connections you’ve made since you have last updated your profile. As you search for companies and jobs, take a note where you have a 1st or 2nd connection who may be able to tell you more about the company, the role, or introduce you to the hiring manager.

When all else fails, you can even sign up for a premium account to gain more insights into your job search and how your resume stacks up against others. LinkedIn will be your friend throughout this process.

Have you used LinkedIn or connections to find a job? What has worked for you? Feel free to share in the comments! I love hearing what has worked for other professionals out there. You never know when you need a good tip.

Barbie, you get me.

Listen up ladies! My childhood idol just said everything I ever needed to learn about depression, and I could not be more proud. I started this blog to discuss struggles that I had been facing my twenties in hopes to connect or inspire other women in their twenties. If you have ever felt lost, sad or depressed, you know how debilitating it may feel and how hard it is come back from those feelings of deep sadness.

While on Facebook, I came across a video of Barbie in a Vlog format. Growing up, I loved Barbie dolls. She was fun, beautiful, but most of all smart. In more recent years, I noticed that Barbie began to get a bad reputation, primarily based on her unrealistic figure.

Today, I am proud to see Barbie take on YouTube with her very own Vlog, specifically because of this topic. In the below video, Barbie describes how on occasion she feels an overwhelming sadness, but more importantly how she tries to cheer herself up in these moments. Barbie even goes on to explain that these feelings are completely normal and that remembering that helps her feel better.

While I have felt moments of sadness myself, I can safely say it takes time to learn how to handle these dark feelings. I love that Barbie has brought mindfulness to light for younger girls. I had my own feelings of stress when I was little, and I am sure if I had the right tools I would have been better at managing my feelings later in life. Thank you Barbie!

Let’s Revisit Vulnerability

In one of my earlier posts, I posted one of my favorite Ted Talks. The Power of Vulnerability by Brené Brown encouraged me to embrace vulnerability as it is part of being human. However, through the last few months, I have felt rather down about myself in different facets. This happens every now and then, depending on what is going on in my life. In a crowd of friends, I seem perfectly normal, maybe I might start out quieter than normal. But eventually, I find my usual social spirit, cracking jokes or gossiping over junk TV. Yet in quiet moments, I notice that my self-esteem is low. I turn to others to provide reassurance in different ways. I look to my family to see that I am supported and loved; I look to my boyfriend to see that I am beautiful and desired. I look to my girlfriends to see that I can still connect with others who may have similar moments and struggles.

What is difficult about these moments, it starts out in one facet of my life, and trickles further into other facets, like a domino effect. Most of the time, it all stems from work, then over time I don’t have the energy or desire to exercise. I begin to feel fatigued and unhealthy. I am disconnected from myself and the world around me.

I realized what I was truly feeling was worthless, that I am not enough. I am not smart enough, pretty enough, fit enough. I thought back on this Ted Talk and remembered at the core of Brené’s presentation was worthiness and belonging, and I knew I had to listen to it.  As much as I was telling myself, yes, I am vulnerable, I wasn’t really accepting my vulnerability. I was choosing to neglect my feelings of shame and failure, and in doing so, I was also neglecting feelings of joy and happiness. This week, I received a very exciting job offer, but I proceeded to feel nervous and anxious about it. I was not being fair to myself because I did not feel worthy of this success.

“You can’t numb those hard feelings without numbing the other affects or emotions… so when we numb, we numb joy, gratitude, and happiness. We are miserable and we are looking for purpose and meaning.”

I can only hope that my attitude towards myself changes in the next few weeks because I really do deserve this. I am posting this video again, as a reminder that we all need to circle back to this topic, just like we may circle back to a cycle this vicious.

My advice for a college senior

Welcome to summer! This truly is the most wonderful time of the year. My brother is going to be a senior in college, and as much as he definitely does not read this blog, I figured it was a great way to reflect on that moment in my life.

The summer into senior year, I was living in Baltimore for an internship, and I was still counting the days until I turned 21.I look back on that experience with such fond memories as I was sharing an apartment with one of my best friends. I was excited to begin to earn some real money and wear dressy clothes to work.

With this in mind, I wanted to share a few of my big learnings from senior year.

1. Get excited!

Every other girl in my sorority never spoke of the dreaded “G” word, but I’m here to tell you to GET EXCITED! All good things do come to an end, but make sure you enjoy your senior year (safely). Don’t leave college with any regrets or what ifs. Make this year the year to remember and be sure to leave it knowing you did everything you wanted.

2. Plan your next steps

Whether that includes your first full-time job, further education, or chasing your dreams. Be sure to think carefully about what you will do post-grad. It may be scary, but take these steps one day at a time. Today, I will apply online… Today, I have a call with HR to discuss my interest…Today, I have an interview… Today, I got an offer…

3. Don’t forget to study

Keep that eye on the diploma. You still need to work hard and finish strong. I was a part-time student senior year, which made studying that much harder for me. I was only taking one or two last elective classes, so it was definitely difficult to motivate myself as I was interning 19 hours per week.

4. Remember your friends/relationships

This is the time to reaffirm to your friends how much they mean to you. After graduating, maintaining those friendships takes a little bit more effort. All the friends and connections you made are still your friends! You might not see everyone every day, but remember to stay in touch.

 

The LTR Manual

Hey there 20 somethings!

Today, I would like to share with you the best relationship advice that I have ever received, and of all people, I received this advice from my Dad. As I mentioned in earlier posts, I recently moved in with my boyfriend, which has it’s own ups and downs. While my parents became supportive, I know it was somewhat uncomfortable for them. Times are different today, and my currently living situation is far from what they would have expected. My mom once said she expected that I would at least be engaged before moving in with someone while using her favorite cover-up “once we were married, your father was stuck with all my bad habits!” (Note: This is a classic mom card, designed to imply a passive aggressive sentiment about her criticism.)

My Dad and I don’t usually get time just the two of us since I come from a larger than average family. But he made it a point to suggest that I borrow their copy of “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus.” I appreciated this advice, especially knowing that it means so much more to come from my Dad. Moreso, I am very introspective, and I look for any help or advice I can get.

I ordered my own copy, with the hope that my boyfriend will take the time to read it to (I no longer expect of him that after reading the book). Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book. I found myself reacting to every chapter with “Hmm… I totally do that!!” or “Oh god, so that’s what he is thinking. Ugh, I can’t believe I made him feel like that. Never saying that again.” At times, this book was relatively repetitive or redundant, but I understand the purpose of that. Each concept is explained to the full extent, even clarifying both perspectives in many cases (man vs. woman).

Here are my big takeaways:

  • We both have very different methods for finding solutions to our problems
  • I need to do my best to avoid telling him what to do
  • Find the RIGHT time to approach him with something serious

These aren’t the only lessons to be learned in this book, but they are definitely my biggest takeaways based on where we are in our relationship. We are very happy together, but there are definitely places where our relationship seems less than perfect. Relationships start out so easy and fun, but with time, its easy to weigh each other down or take each other for granted.

With living together in a small one bedroom apartment, I have found it to be difficult to spend so much “regular” time together. It’s those silent moments that make you worried something is wrong when things are just “fine.” Living together is a lot to get used to, and I think this book really provided meaningful insights into what he is really thinking or feeling (without having to ask him). I think it will definitely take some time to get used to putting these learnings into practice, but this book will stay on our bookshelf for future reference as well.

Where in the world am I?

Hi Everyone!!

It’s been way too long since my last post, and I am so sorry! Time definitely got away from me as did a few of my priorities. Since it has been a while, I wanted to take this moment to talk about what I have been up to.

This year, I was off to a shaky start as work was very busy for the first few months, so it was also mentally draining. I work in a fast paced environment, on a team where I frequently need to be the spokesperson for my own development. This can be rather exhausting and unsatisfying. As I leave for the day, I don’t have that warm and fuzzy feeling that comes along with a sense of accomplishment, and it only makes beginning a new day even harder. I definitely want to discuss this in another post as it is a much more involved story than how I am currently describing it, but I think we could all benefit from dissecting our careers and expectations during our 20s.

Outside of work, I was then forced to reevaluate my priorities for the year based on the amount of time and energy I had left. I channeled my energy into two things, fitness and reading. I really increased the intensity of my workout regimen, which has also become more of a habitual routine rather than forcing myself just to be there. I started a new 4-week program, and I focused on incorporating new tools and supplements in order to see results. Once I adjusted my eating habits to eat 5 smaller meals per day, my momentum was even stronger. I needed my summer bod much earlier this season as I was headed off to Mexico in April. I’ll be sharing more details about my recent confidence boost in another post.

Any other additional time I had outside of work, I devoted to reading or catching up with friends. I set a goal for myself this year to 17 books (in 2017), so I’ve had to crank through a few library books at warp speed. A few of the books I read, I will definitely be sharing more info on as a few of them are related to either developing myself or my relationships.

I have to admit, I am rather ashamed that I let this blog get away from me for the last two months. I appreciate your kindness, and I am so happy to be back.

-K

Personality Type & Your Career

I am currently halfway through my 20s, and I have spent so many moments considering and reconsidering my direction in life. Usually, I aways turn to psychology; I try to dig deep and analzye why I might be feeling the way I am. After over-analyzing the why, I try to get at the how. How can I change what I am feeling? What do I need to do?

One of my goals this year was to read 17 books (in 2017), so I decided this was a great opportunity to kill two birds with one stone. In my search, I came across a self-help book that applies personality types to different career fields. Do What You Are: Discover the Perfect Career for You Through the Secrets of Personality Type takes a look at how personality type influences your career. This book helps you determine your Myers-Briggs personality type to help you better understand your strengths as well as your shortcomings. The theory is that you are capable of working in any field, but some careers may be more difficult than others based on your strengths.

A few things I learned about myself:

  • I am an ISFJ:
    • Introverted
    • Sensing
    • Feeling
    • Judging
  • Every personality has a different hierarchy of functions (which are easiest and which are not so easy)
    • I introvert my sensing function, which implies that I process data in my inner thoughts.
    • I extrovert my intuition, which implies that I make connections and draw conclusions through speaking out loud or with others
  • Unfortunately, all of this led to realizing that I may be in the right career after all  based on my personality type.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book because I find psychology interesting, but I also always love to learn more about myself. Admittedly, I was expecting this book to lead to an epiphany of sorts, telling me that I needed to start making a broader, way more drastic career move. When in fact, my current field was listed right among the popular careers for my personality type. Maybe the real epiphany was that I am doing okay right where I am, right now.

I always appreciate having a greater understanding of my own thoughts, which this book definitely provided. It helped me see that I may feel like I am struggling right now, but I will get better. My strengths will always be my strengths, but I will always be working on improving my weaknesses. We truly do get better with age because practice makes perfect.

The 20 Something League’s first milestone!

In light of my half birthday on Monday, I am reminded of another exciting milestone. Just 6 short months ago, I decided to start the 20 Something League as a forum for women in their 20s to talk about the pressure and confusion that we are facing in our 20s. I wanted to share my own experiences and learnings to shed more light on the struggles we face. A lot has even changed in my own life, and I am so grateful for all that I have learned. 

I truly cannot believe the 20 Something League has been up and running for 6 months! There is plenty more to come. 

Feel free to take this opportunity to comment on a topic you’d like to learn more about. I’m sure it’s something I am working on myself. We are here to help each other out! 🙂

6 Months Older,

Katie