Why We Should ALWAYS Make Time For Our Friends

This past week I went to Phoenix on business.

One of my friends from the Disney College Program lives in Phoenix, and this was my chance to see her again after a one-year hiatus.

I did see her in Vegas, but that was like a blur, and we were so busy I didn’t get to talk with her too much.

But not this time.

Despite living an hour away she drove to see me–how lucky am I? We went downtown to Phoenix and while we didn’t even do anything too crazy it was still so much fun to see her again.

We both have this dry sense of humor so around every turn there was yet another hilarious comment being made by either one of us.

It didn’t take long to slip back into our comfort zones. In fact, I was in my comfort zone the whole damn time.

As I walked around the city with her I got this odd feeling that this must be what life is all about. I used to be so shy, so secluded, and never made much effort to see my friends even when I was near them.

I’ve been blessed because I think I’m the only one of the infamous 2909 Disney group that’s been able to visit pretty much everyone over the past year.

My friend in Phoenix and my best friend in San Francisco have a hard time seeing anyone because the rest of us are on the East Coast. That’s definitely understandable.

What I’m trying to say is that I’m so thankful for that. I’ve wanted to put my friends higher on my priority list lately, and it’s nice to see that happening.

Our friends are everything. It’s not easy to find a great friend. Sure, meeting people is easy, but finding a friend that will do anything to see you? That’s rare.

That’s why we should ALWAYS make time to see our friends.

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Confessions Of A Recent College Grad: I Don’t Know What I’m Doing

I do email marketing for my company’s clients.

I sent out an email yesterday with a massive typo, and now my boss is reaming me out for it. Oh well.

But here’s the bigger probem: I have no freaking clue what I’m doing.

I honestly don’t. I went to college for marketing and now pay god know what back because of it, but many times I feel I don’t know how to actually market.

My belief has always been that marketing, above all else, needs to be awesome, but that’s for another post.

In a broader sense, I many times don’t know what I’m doing, and often feel insecure because of it.

First off, I stumbled into working in IT marketing despite not knowing a damn thing about it. I thought I knew what “IT” was because I worked with a lot of tech companies/startups to write up their marketing materials (copywriting).

But I made the mistake of thinking “IT” was the same as like, say, coding an application or developing the next cool product. And by the time I realized that, I was already knee deep in this job.

Many times when I’m on the phone with our clients I feel clueless as to what to say. Now, you’d never guess this because I’ve developed some pretty good telephone-talking skills, but half the time I’m panicking in my mind.

That’s my shy side coming out.

And don’t even get me started on the emails. I can only write an email that I think would be fun to read, but getting the client to sign off on it is nearly impossible, because the client is still on the train to boredom town.

I’ve begun to sign up for webinars and emails about how to do email marketing, because, once again, I have no clue.

It’s really started to stress me out lately.

Multiply that by the fact that I’m currently on an all-expense(and I mean EXPENSE as in EXPENSIVE)-paid-trip to learn about the software that I use, and you can see that I’m really starting to freak out.

I feel like I can’t keep the facade up for too much longer. Inevitably, they’re going to see that I can’t handle it, and that I don’t have any idea.

This theme has stuck with me since graduating college. I once ran out of a job on the first day (like, quit, without telling him) because I thought that I would most certainly be a waste of his money.

And then I got into writing. I became a journalist at the Inquisitr, where I got let go a few months later because I just wasn’t grasping SEO (I still don’t, that shit is COMPLEX).

How did I get these jobs you say? I wrote well. I turned some heads because of my writing, but the recurring problem is that I have yet to master some of the aspects that come along with writing.

Failures, failures everywhere.

Which gets me back to my original point: I’m floating around a year after graduation with no clue of what I’m doing.

What’s the message here? What’s the happy ending? I’ve written a pretty depressing story, I know.

Well, here it is.

A few years back I worked for a mowing company. We operated big ass machinery, and during my first year I made every mistake in the book.

I burned lawns, scalped hills, broke blowers, blew grass in the mulch, and basically was a general {insert curse word here} up.

I got yelled at, and many times felt insecure.

I always hated making mistakes. I just wanted to do right for my boss, not be a pain in his ass. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing.

BUT.

I came back the next summer and improved dramatically. I learned that you need to stay away from hitting small bumps in the lawn. I learned that you can put a flap down on the mower to stop grass from blowing everywhere. I learned that you can’t just turn on a dime because the rotation of the wheel will leave a big burn mark in the lawn.

And you thought mowing lawns was easy. It’s really not.

The conclusion is that through our failures we get better. But what about the part of me that freaking hates failure? That cringes every time my boss finds something wrong in what I’m doing?

Just shake it off, I guess. I’m sure many reading this may have felt the same way at one point. Don’t catastrophize (pretty cool word, huh?) it. If they fire you, they fire you. That’s on them.

All you can do is try to spot the wave and catch it. Learn. Improve. Grow. That’s it. If you didn’t grow fast enough, then get another job, and now you have all these failures and learning experiences to take into the next one. You’re better.

Something remarkable happens when you start thinking this way. It takes your mind off of failure and things oddly start to work out.

You’re going to fail. You’re going to have shitty days. Things are going to backfire. They may backfire every day. Just learn. We’re not a good or bad person because of what happens at work.

Thanks for reading guys, and don’t afraid to be clueless, like me.

Why Rediscovering Old Friends Is The Greatest Feeling In The World

 

In the past few months I’ve made a conscious decision to reconnect with many friends from high school. And it’s been worth it.

After living outside my home state for two years now, I guess it gave me new perspective on the whole thing. Recently I’ve reconnected with past girlfriends, past teammates, and past best friends who all got swept away from me because of my decisions.

Many of these people are ones I didn’t exactly end on a solid note with. There’s a lot of good and bad thrown into the melting pot that was our relationship for sure. There were fights, but there were also great times that can’t seem to get out of my head. It’s funny how we only remember the good times.

But let’s get to the heart of the issue here. Why should you reconnect? Why reach out again? I can tell you that doing this has been so rewarding for me in so so many ways.

For one, you’ll see just how easy it is to pick back up where you left off. The same jokes still hit, and the same topics come back up in conversation. It’s almost like you went back in a time machine. It feels like a dream.

Second, you get to see how you both have changed–and you did change. You get to take your new eyes and look at your old friends with wonder. There’s something different about them, yet something still the same.

Third, you get to come full-circle. You get to arrive back where you started in a few ways. But it’s also like re-learning a language you haven’t practiced for a few years. It’s familiar, but it’s been so long that you have to go back to the beginning.

Fourth, you get to be a positive person in their life again. This is probably my favorite aspect of it all. It’s easy for me to look back and think about how much of an idiot I was to some people. It’s definitely a pain point for me. There’s some things I wish I could re-do, but after reconnecting it’s almost like you get a chance to re-do it. You get a chance to say sorry, act how you wish you would’ve acted, and almost re-live moments in time. It’s been really fun for me to be able to do that.

And I know it might be fun for some other people as well. Last year I mentioned to a friend of mine that I wanted to see somebody I used to be very close with. I also mentioned that I never thought they’d want to see me, though. A few days later I got a text from them saying they would like to see me, and I almost fell over in my chair. Which brings me to my next point:

Fifth, and lastly, it’s amazing how forgiving people can be. It’s remarkable how much people can believe in the goodness in you instead of the bad–despite us showing a lot of bad to them in the past.

If you have a desire to see anybody again, tell them. You’ll be surprised at how forgiving they can be, how surreal it will feel, and how you’ll both be able to move on and make new memories together.

 

 

Getting Over Loneliness While Travelling

I was scared. It was my first trip being alone outside Maryland, and I didn’t know what to expect. My destination? Pittsburgh–Baltimore’s sworn enemy–for a film camp. I was going to learn how to become a better filmmaker or something.

I flew in to Pittsburgh, stumbled into a taxi (which lost its way like thirteen times), and had to barter with the driver to lower the rate because he spent 20 minutes basically asking everybody in town about where my destination was.

Then I walked into a room of about 90 people–all creatives–who looked intimidating. I was weird. I didn’t look like a creative person–I looked like the quarterback of the football team. These kids honestly didn’t look like they ever played a sport in their life. But they knew how to be creative. They knew graphic design, culinary, film, etc. I felt so out of place.

Pretty soon they placed us in groups to do some sort of ice-breaker thing, and all my insecurity went away. I was forced to talk, forced to get outside my comfort zone. I was forced to be myself. Pretty soon I made friends, did things with those friends, and I still see them to this day on my Newsfeed every now and then.

I learned something on that trip. If you want to beat loneliness while travelling, there’s a few things you MUST do.

  1. Thrust yourself into the fray – Attend an event and get around people. Go to Meetup.com and find out about a few things you can do! This is so much easier than walking into a bar and trying to strike up a conversation with someone cold. At events people are there to socialize. They want to be talked to!
  2. Be yourself – Just trust it. Trust that your joke is going to make everyone laugh. Trust that you’ll find something about somebody else that’s captivating. Trust that it’s going to be an incredible experience–and it will be! You have friends back home that love you, and there’s bound to be people there that’ll love you too.
  3. Take chances – Take some chances, dammit. Get some balls and go talk to some people. Sometimes it’s literally as simple as that.
  4. Play to your strengths – I love sports. One time I made a few friends after asking to join a volleyball game on the beach. Since playing sports is more comfortable to me, it helped me to calm down and ask to play.
  5. Be open – The flip side to playing to your strengths is to just be open. Walk into every situation with positivity. Don’t necessarily keep thinking about making friends, just focus on being yourself, having fun, and make natural comments when they come to you.
  6. Get distracted – Call your friends, skype somebody, or watch a movie. Get your mind off the fact that you’re out on your own and that might help give you a boost in confidence.
  7. Realize that loneliness isn’t a bad thing – Loneliness doesn’t mean something’s wrong with you! Sometimes being lonely is good. We get to sit with our thoughts and listen to ourselves for a moment. It helps us to reset. Now you have all that time to write, explore, or take pictures of wherever you’re at.

Those are a few ways I get over loneliness myself. How do you get over it while travelling? Feel free to comment below!

 

Post-Grad Survival Guide: Unplug

I really, really like this segment! This has become one of the cornerstones of my blog and I’m super excited about that.

Anyway, this week is about taking breaks from your work.

My sister is a PA and sometimes she gets calls and texts from the Doctor she works with after work. That’s cool and all, except that it’s not cool.

We need to unplug. We need to take a break from our job when we’re done. That means not thinking about it on our off days, either. Don’t stress about it, and literally don’t even think about it either!

But let’s take this further.

The other day I went to the Gym without my phone. Not on my own accord, mind you, but because my phone was dead.

It ended up being the best gym experience I’ve had in a while, and I was super tired! I was practically running around the gym doing every exercise I could. I also started to notice things.

I noticed the ambiance, the weights clinking together, that one guy in the corner who was wearing a literal polo shirt, and my own thoughts bouncing around the walls of my mind. I was actually getting lost for a second.

What happens when we’re constantly with technology is that our minds never take a break. They never wander. It’s a freeing thing to unplug, to let our minds wander about for a little bit.

You will not believe how much this helps, guys. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, just unplug for a little while. It will make a world of difference for you.

What do you do to unplug? Let me know in the comments section below!!

Post-Grad Survival Guide: Don’t Tell Everyone Everything

Don’t tell everyone everything. Now, this doesn’t mean what you think. I’m not talking about lying or being dishonest with people; I’m simply saying that you don’t need to constantly tell people all the things that are happening in your life. ESPECIALLY if you change your mind a lot–like me.

I love telling people what’s going on in my life. Who doesn’t? We like to have recognition when we accomplish things or get that interview. But what if things fall through? Then we look like morons quite honestly.

This has happened to me a lot lately, and I think I’ve finally learned my lesson. I don’t need to tell everyone the inner workings of my life. If I get an interview, I’ll just keep it to myself. If I get a job, I’ll keep it to myself. Because when I tell everybody everything, they start to think that I have a hard time committing to stuff.

Look man, I’m almost 23 years old (tomorrow’s my birthday), I never said I’d have everything figured out, okay? I’m relying on my feelings and a little bit of logic for my decisions, and it’s tough to know which decision is the right one.

So while I figure out what I want to do, I’m going to keep things to myself. If you’re about to graduate and are reading this, GREAT. Don’t feel like you have to constantly keep people in the loop on things. When you find the right job, then you can tell anybody you want–but while you’re still unsure, don’t tell a soul.

The whole purpose of this series is to help recent college grads just like me. I’m beyond perfect, but I do learn a few things, and if these words can help just one other person, then I’m happy beyond comprehension.

 

Post-Grad Survival Guide: Stop Comparing Yourself To Others

One thing that always gets me down is comparing myself to my graduating class. On the flip-side, it’s sometimes calming to compare myself to those who are right beside me, having a hard time too.

I really shouldn’t do either of these things, and you shouldn’t either.

It makes you feel shitty

First of all, it just doesn’t do you any good to feel shitty about your progress. I could compare myself to other entrepreneurs my age making millions, but I don’t. You know why? Because I don’t expect to make that much money anyway.

What do I really expect? For a while I expected getting a 40k/year job straight outta college.  Did that happen? Absolutely not. Did that happen for other people? Yes–in fact, some are making 60k per year. And then I’m down the rabbit hole of self-pity.

Expectations suck

Stop with the expectations, people.

They’re a constant reminder of where you’re not at and they detract from the present. Enjoy today. Enjoy this struggle. Focus on getting there, not on why you’re not there.

Money means nothing anyway

The amount of money you make means nothing. Besides, you could ace an interview tomorrow and be starting your 60k/year job by next week.

We all have good and bad aspects of our life–don’t choose to be captivated by a number, or a job title.

It distracts you from your work

Catching up on people’s lives via Facebook or LinkedIn is distracting. It literally serves no purpose. Now you know they’re the new CEO of Apple. Focus on your own work instead!

You’re getting where you’re going despite them

You’re going to get wherever you want to go. It might take ten years, it might take five. It might happen tomorrow. Either way, it doesn’t matter what they’re doing. It only matters what you’re doing.

Stick with your story! It’s going to be a fantastic one.