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Dear Twenty-Something

Dear Twenty-Something

One Hell of a Ride

March 22, 2019

22 March 2019

Dear Twenty- Something,

“No matter how much it hurts, no matter how hard it gets, you gotta keep grinding.”- Dean Winchester

Do you remember the summer before you went to High School? Feverish with strep, you grabbed a blanket and went down to the basement to sleep in the cool dark, and to do what you always did when you were sick, watch endless TNT and drink lemonade.

In a twist of fate you didn’t even know would get to you, reruns for a show you had never seen before came on after your mandatory Angel and Charmed watching, and you sat there, intrigued and maybe slightly horrified. That woman was pinned to the ceiling and the house burned down. The dad disappeared on a hunting trip? What is up with this cool car? Who are these cute actors?! The rest of the summer was spent watching as much of this show as you could, however you could find it (I believe you still have a season on DVD- does anyone even use those any more?).

And down the rabbit hole you fell.

School was always interesting for you. Anything relating to words always came very easily for you. But anything related to numbers, clearly did not. Geometry nearly killed you (but hey! You totally made it- great job!). And those people taking pre-calc before graduating? You knew you’d never be one of them.

But suddenly you had a constant. When you had to stay up late to study for yet another exam, or write another paper, you pulled up the monster slaying duo and entered your own world, able to focus on what you needed to get done.

When you went to college, school got harder, and with that, focusing became even harder. You couldn’t understand- your grades were fine before, why all of a sudden (I mean looking back you did go to business school… there was a lot of math… that was probably the problem =p) things were so difficult.

Late nights, headphones in, carry on my wayward son and a story of brothers. The only way you got through. But no one understood watching tv while doing homework.

Then there was an ADHD diagnoses. And things made sense. And when you told the doctor you did better work when you were watching Supernatural he told you to watch it as much as you wanted. These were called coping mechanisms. This is how YOU focus. This is how YOU will do better.

Test after test, paper after paper, the grades got higher. The GPA went up, and your confidence went with it.

These scenes became so familiar that you could recite them in your sleep. You could “watch” an episode only by listening to it, and you knew when Sam was talking, when Dean was talking, when Crowley, Bobby, Cas, Rowena, John, Mary, Jodi was talking. These were familiar faces and brought peace and harmony to an otherwise scrambled brain.

Grad school is coming to a close, and you were wondering what it would be like to not do homework while watching your show. Would your mind even compute what was happening?

One more season. One season to just sit and enjoy, and not have any need to do homework. A fitting send off for your people.

As the transitions start rolling in, know that this will always be your safe place. When it’s just too hard to focus, go ahead. Pick a random episode and start from there. Enjoy the ride all over again.

Never give up. Never stop doing your best. And always be appreciative of the gift that is Supernatural.

Cheers SPN Fam! It’s been a hell of a ride.

-S

Dear Twenty-Something

You Are Capable

March 8, 2019

8 March 2019

Dear Twenty- Something,

“When my daughter is living in my belly
I will speak to her like
she’s already changed the world
she will walk out of me on a red carpet
fully equipped with the knowledge
that she’s capable of
anything she sets her mind to”
-Rupi Kaur

Sometimes being a woman is hard. There are so many societal norms we have to subscribe to. There are so many mountains we have yet to climb. There are so many things that need to change.

But today, we celebrate you. The strong, fiercely independent, loyal, hard working, take no shit, beautiful woman that you are.

Today we take a step back to look to all of our fellow women, and lift each other up.

To the girl chosen last for the pick up recess game because you are a girl- keep going. Play your heart out, and give em hell.

To the girl who is picked on for reading a book during recess instead of skipping rope- dive deeper. Don’t let anyone tell you that the things you love to do are not worth doing.

To the young woman who feels defeated because the number on the tag of her pants is bigger than all her friends- cut the tag out completely. Your worth is not found in a number on a tag. And the world is against us anyways- none of the stores actually have consistent sizes and it’s not worth the heartache.

To the young woman studying in a male dominated field- raise your voice. Don’t sit quietly letting only the men answer. Jump into the debate. Present the opposing point. Make them think and let them know you’re here to stay.

To the young woman coming home from yet another disappointing date- it does get better. Keep your standards high- know who you are, and what you want and do not settle till you find a life partner who grabs your hand and runs at life head first with you.

To the young woman looking at her pregnant belly, wondering how she can bring a daughter into this world- breathe deep. Watch that tiny girl move and know that you are bringing the change into the world. With the power of all of the women that came before her, and the love and support of all of her sisters, she will move mountains.

Sister, be the change. Let’s make this world a better place, each day by empowering each other, and having each other’s backs. Let’s bring light into a world so often surrounded by defeat.

You are strong. You are beautiful. You are irreplaceable. Don’t ever forget it.

-S

Dear Twenty-Something

You Are Not Alone

January 12, 2019

11 January 2019

Dear Twenty-Something,

“Dark and difficult times lie ahead. Soon we must all face the choice between what is right and what is easy. But remember this, you have friends here. You are not alone.” -Albus Dumbledore

These are strange times we live in. Like sheep heading to the slaughter, we blindly absorb news, often forgetting to question what the full story is, and failing to see the person behind the headline.

We live in a society where it is permitted to fire first and aim later, not even stopping to make sure that what we are saying is true. This in turn leads to a vicious cycle of reading things that may or may not be true, and forming an opinion on this weird maybe truth and then firing off our own responses. Down the rabbit hole we go, through many degrees of separation until this game of telephone we are playing is so utterly nonsensical that we have lost sight of the basic art of fact checking.

It is easy to shy away from the difficult topics. It is easy to find an opinion that seems okay enough and latch on to it without giving it much thought.

Behind the safety of a screen, we become the greatest of warriors, somehow ready to demolish anything in our paths. When someone does not agree with us, we are quick to tear them down. With spiteful words spewing from fingertips, Twitter becomes a war zone, and emails become verifiable howlers.

Where is the logic? Where is the intellect? How, Dear Twenty-Something, have we let it come this far?

Have your opinion. Build a store of facts that back up that opinion. Listen to someone who has an opposing opinion. Argue for the sake of truth, not the sake of your ego. And if someone comes to you with a fuller version of the truth, reevaluate where you stand and embrace the truth. After all, thats what you were arguing for, right?

Now is the time to do what is right. Have a real, intellectual conversation, and question everything until you know for certain that you have the fullness of truth. Don’t stop at one article, and please, vet your sources.

I believe in you. You will change the world. And I will be right here to cheer you on, have the conversations, and seek truth with you. You are not alone.

-S

Dear Twenty-Something

Hope is Rising

November 10, 2018

9 November 2018

Dear Twenty- Something,

“Dare to have faith that man is capable of humanity.”- taken from the prayers said during the Seder Meal

Again you turned on the news this week to a startling feeling of equal parts outrage and heart break. Memories came flooding back and you started to feel that maybe hoping just isn’t worth it after all.

Will things ever change? Could things even get better? How did this become the new normal? How can you turn on the television, or open your instagram account and see this day in and day out? What has happened to our world?

Nobody listens to each other, constantly trying to scream over the other, eliminating peace and forcing more turmoil.

And then you turn on the news again and are faced with that pit in your stomach, the overwhelming dread.

But there are quiet rumblings. People younger than you saying: enough is enough. You may feel that your voice can’t be heard over the cacophony,but one day soon, those quiet rumblings will not only become louder, but will drown out the current fighting.

Do you feel it? Hope is rising. Keep doing your part. Keep raising your voice. But most importantly do not lose sight of that hope that is rising from the ashes.

Dare to have faith that man is capable of humanity.

-S

 

Dear Twenty-Something

That’s What This Storm’s All About

November 2, 2018

2 November 2018

Dear Twenty- Something,

“And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”- Haruki Murakami

Do you remember yourself in middle school? There were braces, bangs, and glasses and oh so much Limited Too and Abercombie. You barely had friends, participated in a hobby that no one else liked, and couldn’t really play sports because you were so awkward and gangly and had no control of your body. Remember when you thought that if you could just have the right clothes, or that iPod mini, or a Facebook account things would be better?

Do you remember yourself in high school? There were still braces, but you painstakingly grew out your bangs. You stopped shopping at Limited Too and switched to Hot Topic, Zumiez and Pac Sun (which was an emo kid store at the time, promise).You finally had a couple friends- and you all awkwardly sat at the table near the trash can in the front of the cafeteria, and stayed long hours practicing for the musical. You weren’t what anyone would call popular, and you still wondered- if you could have been an athlete would life have been better? If you could have been friends with the popular group, would you have been happier?

Do you remember yourself in college? You slowly started to shed your tough kid style and look a little more like an adult. You made friends. You lost friends. You picked a major that would pretty much set your course for life. You lived in another country. You dated and broke up. You thought if you could get a job and move to a big city and make a name for yourself your life would be better. If you had a legacy and changed the world everything would be great. You just knew you were made for more.

What if you could go back in time and tell yourself that it does get better? That Facebook wasn’t really the most important thing after all, and that in the end, having different clothes really doesn’t make your life all that much better? That having a few good friends is far more important than having a great multitude of friends, and that being popular really isn’t going to be the summit of your life. That finding the dream job and moving to the big city actually isn’t the answer to your dreams.

What if you could go back in time and tell yourself that even though none of the things you planned for and thought would make your life better happened, that your life would be the best its ever been and you just had to wait for it because it actually DOES get better if you just let things happen the way they are supposed to happen instead of trying to force your plans on your life.

I would so tell my awkward self that it gets better if I could. Because it does. And you know what? I bet in 4 years when I hit 30 I will look back and tell myself that it gets even better. Because if my current life is any indication, it can only go up from here!

Whatever stage you are in- keep at it. It totally does get better. In fact, before you know it, you will be living your best life. And that is an awesome place to be.

-S

Dear Twenty-Something

A Built in Season of Change

September 28, 2018

29 September 2018

Dear Twenty-Something,

“He found himself wondering at times, especially in the autumn, about the wild lands, and strange visions of mountains that he had never seen came into his dreams.” – J.R.R. Tolkien

I want you to stop, for just a moment. Stop to breathe in the crisp, chilly air that so rapidly descended upon you.

As the days grow shorter, and the leaves begin to change, take a second to embrace all of the ways your life is changing in this season.

Go back to the things that make you happy. I know your time is precious and you feel like you have to schedule every hour of your day to make sure you get everything done, but make time for those things anyways. It is worth it. YOU are worth it.

Take at least one day a week to move a little slower. Don’t think of the 100 things you have to get done. Choose three things, and complete these tasks deliberately.

Get out the Halloween decorations. I know you haven’t seen them in a while, and it seems like a silly thing to do on a Friday evening, but do it. Your soul will thank you for the small addition of beauty to your routine.

Light the candle. Make the soup. Wear the slippers. Drink the hot cocoa. Embrace every stereotype even if it makes you #basic.

How lucky are we, that a season that revolves around change comes built into the calendar year. If the world around you can embrace these lovely moments, then you, sweet friend, can too.

Adventure awaits in this season of changes if only you are brave enough to look for it.

-S

PS- go get your flu shot. It takes two seconds and is probably worth it.

Dear Twenty-Something

Girlfriend, I Am Proud Of You

August 24, 2018

24 August 2018

Dear Twenty- Something,

“And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.” – John Steinback

Have I stopped lately to tell you how proud I am of you?!

You have said yes to so many exciting things- being brave and trying new and scary things.

You are excercising three days a week, and are planning to get to 4-5 days a week. Who would’ve thought you’d ever get there? (I am only partly kidding)

Also, dude, I am proud of you for eating the egg rolls while watching the Barbie documentary on hulu and reading Magnolia Journal. Because tonite, you took time to just breathe, and gather yourself, and treat yourself with love.

I am proud of you for embracing change. I am proud of you for never losing that work ethic.

I am proud of you for making new friends, and I am proud of your for keeping the friendships you have going. I am also proud of you for rekindling old friendships, even though it sometimes seems like friendships as an adult can be really hard to navigate.

Girlfriend, I am proud of you.

Keep up the good work.

-S

Dear Twenty-Something

July 27, 2018

27 July 2018

“I don’t think anyone can grow unless he’s loved exactly as he is now, appreciated for what he is rather than what he will be.” – Fred Rogers

Dear Twenty-Something,

How’s it going? Did you do something to take care of yourself today?

As you start to ease into this new part of your life (second half of your twenties?! Where did the time go?!) I want you to remember to love yourself in this exact moment, exactly where you are.

The family you have. The place you live. The food you eat. The friends you have.

There’s really no need to worry about what comes next. Just know that it will all fall into place exactly when it is supposed to.

Listen to that small voice that whispers in the recesses of your heart and stirs you to change.

Chase the peace that still small voice brings into your life. Don’t ever stop searching for the answers to those deepest longings of your heart.

Love your friends. Reach out, check in, make sure they are doing okay. These are weird times for them also.

You rock. I am so proud of you for continuing to just wait and see.

You’ve got this.

-S

Dear Twenty-Something

Don’t Forget What You Need

July 13, 2018

13 July 2018

“To bad, but its the life you lead, you’re so ahead of yourself, that you forgot what you need. Though you can see when you’re wrong you know you can’t always see when you’re right, you’re right.” – Billy Joel

Dear Twenty- Something,

Stop for a moment to breathe. The world will continue to turn, and your life will continue to move forward, even with this brief respite.

Your choices seem limitless. Your future is bright.

Stop and smell the roses. Read the book. Cook the meal. Call the friend.

These small moments are the sustenance you need to make it to the next whirling dervish of crazy.

You’re on to something good. These moments where you are letting go of control and letting a power greater than your own take it on are the moments you need to remember.

Life is better when you don’t have to have it all figured out.

Enjoy the people around you. Listen to their stories. Build them up. Carry them through their storm.

For the endless cycle of love and support should never end.

You were right all along. Things were going to start looking up.

That time is now.

Enjoy it.

-S

Dear Twenty-Something

Don’t Let Anyone Tell You That You Can’t

June 23, 2018

23 June 2018

“Anyone who has ever been able to sustain good work has had at least one person–and often many–who have believed in him or her. We just don’t get to be competent human beings without a lot of different investments from others.” – Mr. Rogers

Dear Twenty- Something,

Take a look at that person in the mirror.

See those eyes staring back at you? The ones that so often were filled with tears these past six months?

Look in those eyes. Those are the eyes of someone who finally reached the oasis.

Those grey hairs you are so desperately trying to hide?

Badges of honor for a battle well fought.

Now look at that weary person in the mirror and say: YOU DID IT. YOU did it.

There. That feels a little better- no?

Now stop and think of all of the people: the friends who prayed you through. The parents who let you cry and shout. The husband who woke up day in and day out to make you coffee. The people who checked in. The people who understood when plans had to be cancelled.

Thank them. Without them, you wouldn’t be here right now. These are the people that love you the most.

Take a deep breath. What once seemed impossible, is done.

 

You did it.

You. Freaking. Did. It. 

Don’t you ever let anyone tell you that you can’t.

-S