More Growing Pains | A Tribute To My Old Friends

Up until now life has gradually transitioned from one stage to another, without much of a bump in the road. The change from child to teen was pretty painless and the switch from high school to college even more so. At any given point I’ve always been, not just ready, but eagerly anticipating the next stage of life. And until recently – that had always worked out just fine for me. I didn’t just think I was ready, or feel ready, I always was ready.

I was so fond of these transitional, big life moments that I actually sought them out, for no reason other than craving the blood rush it gave me. When I first graduated college, I was ecstatic to be an adult. And once I was, I was even more ecstatic to be an adult in New York City. Nothing new, I thought. But I was wrong.

Twenty-three is still so young, people say to me (especially here where 50 is the new 25). And maybe they’re right. I mean if all goes well I’m only about a quarter-way through with my life. But age is just a number. It’s not the numerical value of the years I’ve lived that’s scaring me, it’s about how much has changed during them. And the fact that for the first time in my life, this change that I can see and feel, is unwelcome.

In the past year or two, I’ve lost more friends than I’ve gained. This isn’t for any dramatic, intentional reason. It’s the mere fact that life keeps moving, faster and faster, and if you don’t stick together, you don’t grow together. And if you don’t grow together, you grow apart. I always thought to “grow apart” simply meant falling out of touch with someone. But recently I realized that growing apart is actually when you fall out of touch for so long that when you try to come back together, you don’t find the same person you once knew.

My parents preached it, but I never believed it: growing up is scary. And what’s even scarier is that sometimes, when you just want to retreat and go back to the people who were once your home, the people that knew you and all your teenage weirdness so well, they’re no longer there. Maybe I’m the only person consumed by a sense of dread and regret over this, but I honestly want nothing more than to pick up the phone and talk to the middle school or high school friends like nothing’s changed. Like we still spend hours talking to each other, watching Laguna Beach, binge eating junk food and then doing crunches to negate the previously inhaled junk food. But everything’s changed.

I don’t mean “change” in a bad way. Don’t think that for a second. Every day I find out that someone else is moving abroad, choosing their life partner (!!), making their first million or doing their part to solve some large scale global problem I don’t know enough about. My childhood friends are nothing short of amazing. I just wish I had been there to watch them go from kids trying to understand themselves and life, to the incredible adults they are today.

* Shout out to everyone who was a part of my journey to adulthood, big or small, from Solon or from Naperville. Every victory of yours fills my heart with so much happiness and I wish you all nothing but the absolute best in life. Hope to catch up with you someday soon. 

Love,

K

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College is Over!

Hi guys!

I know, I know, it’s been a while since our last post and even longer since my last post. I’m sorry, I feel like a total failure and like I’ve abandoned my Jointly dreams. Don’t worry! A & I are still madly obsessed with one another and our sisterhood and I’m not leaving my blogging dreams to die. I’ve just been insanely busy ya know, finishing college.

I just took my last final (maybe ever) and I’m officially done with undergrad!

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I’ve always been the type of person who’s ready for what’s next. And don’t get me wrong, I am definitely ready for the next step. I’m super excited to have my future confirmed in the next few weeks (hopefully) and be working and living in the city, spending time with all my friends, without the stress of 12AM deadlines. But today I wanted to take some time to reflect and just bask in the glory that is undergrad.

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I’ll be honest, I’m not always 100% sold on the fact that I made the right choice for undergrad. I’ve had my fair share of hating Loyola, crying to my mom, and saying “whatever, I’m over it” (I was never truly over it because I’m a total nerd who needs to study for every single 5 point quiz). Looking back I realized that, shit…I had a great time. And it’s Chicago (and this gorgeous view, and my amazing friends) that made my choice and college career so totally worth it.

So here’s to us, guys. Twenty-two year olds, done with college, and ready for round two with the best city in the world.

Love,

K

P.S. Yes, I made one of my best friends, R, have a post finals photoshoot with me. No I’m not ashamed.

Spring Break 2014

SB2014 – rage time!

But actually…

As a 22-year-old and a second semester senior in college, you’d think Spring Break means a trip to somewhere warm, a lot of half-naked (I actually feel like they’re usually three-fourths naked…) people, too much booze, and little-to-no (or negative) responsibility.

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Instead, my last break ever had been dulled by adulthood. I have been looking forward to Spring Break for at least a month now. Coming home is always my favorite. Lazing around with my doggy, chit chatting with my rents, and eating home-cooked food is the best. I didn’t even mind that I hadn’t planned a vacation with any of my friends because to me, nothing is better than some good ol’ time at home. I really need this down time after a super stressful month. I was so excited about it that I even made a Facebook status about it. You know shit is a big deal when I make a Facebook status about it.

I was expecting the perfect balance of adventure and relaxation. Instead? Instead I got days of stress over upcoming exams, job searching, wedding planning (not that I don’t love to do it and help out A, but wedding planning is not relaxing, nor is it as glamours as JLo makes it look), and even trying to find the perfect workout schedule (if you know me you know how much this must truly…suck…for lack of a better word).

My conclusion? Adulthood is a place with no breaks. Downtime is rare. And even when you have it, it, all too often, is disrupted. Obligations and responsibilities can only be put on the back burner for a short period of time. And that…for a lack of a better word (again)…sucks.

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Take me back to my childhood! 😦

Love,

K

College

College.

I couldn’t even think of a way to start off this post other than just saying, “college”. Because, honestly? No words can describe it. I actually wasn’t a huge fan of it until I was about half-way done. I was a homebody. I missed my home (which I still do but not in a mope-y “I think I’ll just stay in” way).  Bummer, right? Two years wasted. Two years of living ignorant to the pure bliss that is college. But then, college hit me like a brick wall. I went all out college. And it has been the most amazing, indescribable experience.

I’m sure you’ve all noticed that I’ve been going through the whole but wait…I don’t want this to end phase for quite some time now. But this past weekend when I drove down to U of I to visit some of my high school friends, it hit me full speed. Shut the front door. Hold the phone. *Insert other dumb but not profane lines here*. This can’t be so

I realized, never again will I be able to pick up on a Thursday afternoon and road trip down with friends, to visit friends. Rarely will I be able to put all my responsibilities on pause, all to go party (and I mean p-a-r-t-y) with my favorite people. I mean…when else will our lives revolve around partying? Because…be honest. In college it’s less about “this assignment is due on this day so I can do this and this tomorrow”, and more about the “well, there’s that party Friday, and then Saturday I have to stop by here, so really I need to get something done before then…or eh…I’ll just do it all Sunday” (Don’t try to do it all Sunday, guys. It just won’t work.) Seriously. I rescheduled my wisdom teeth removal so I could make it to a party….whoops.

But really. Everything in college is planned around partying. What you eat during the day (“well we shouldn’t eat pizza because we’ll probably drunk eat pizza tonight”, what you wear (“Well, we’ll have to stand in line for a while so maybe we shouldn’t do dresses”, when you shower (right before you go out so your hair looks perfect, obviously), when you call your parents (oops…sorry mom). And it’s so totally awesome.

Okay, but it actually is way deeper than this. What it actually comes down to is your lifestyle and your friends. In college, we’re all pretty much on the same page. First off, life is pretty much like Friends. You live with some of your friends and the ones you don’t live with have the tendency to just swing open your front door and plop down on your couch, Jimmy Johns in hand, at any given time. Day time is for classes. Early evening/night is for homework. Late night is for chilling, exchanging stories, and maybe going out. ButI have the feeling adulthood isn’t quite like that…

Are my friends and I still going to all crash at one apartment at 4AM on the weekends and wake up together to reflect and piece together the night?! Are we all going to bum around and waste time getting brunch until 4PM? Are we going to FaceTime when we don’t see each other for one week? Are we going to have the energy for late night talks when we get home from work at 10PM and have to be in the next day at 7AM? Are we going to have time to stay updated on each others lives via Group iMessage?

Something tells me no. So…with college ends our lifestyle?

Cue freak out #327

So, to make myself feel a little better, I’ve decided to compile a small list of all the things college has taught me. Lessons and skills that I’ll forever carry with me, keeping my college dream alive throughout adulthood.

1. Being resourceful

At this point in life, I can pretty much open a wine bottle with anything. Things I’ve done it with include a hammer and also a hanger. Speaking of wine bottles, I once discovered they are the perfect alternative to rolling pins! Also, I can open a beer bottle with a pair of scissors. Oh. And obviously like connecting and networking with others.

2. Going with the flow

I entered college as a pretty type-A person. S Daddy is big on punctuality and sticking to a plan. Let me tell you something. In college, that ain’t going to happen. I don’t think any of my friends have ever showed up to my place on time. This used to ruin my mood for the rest of the evening. But now I take my five minutes to be insanely annoyed, and move on with life. Plans will get changed, delayed, or cancelled. People will bail or people will bring five other people with them. Just…let it happen.

3. Being nice to everyone

College is a drama-zone. My philosophy? Even when I really don’t like someone or you’re feeling really salty…kill ’em with kindness. There is no point in giving dirty looks or talking smack because I promise, it will end up bitting you in the ass.

4. Tell it how it is

In college you form these family-like friendships. Not only do you become so close with all your friends, but you become close with yourself. You finally begin to understand how you work and you should embrace that. I will always be honest with myself (and my friends) about how I feel in any situation. 

5. How to find or make room for my friends and I on the stage

To the couple getting a little too cozy on the dance floor…get outta here! Some of us are actually trying to dance. I’ll push and I’ll shove, all in the name of a good time.

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(Front row at Major Lazer)

6. How to enjoy (almost) every moment of life

The number one thing college taught me was how to live in the moment. Guess what? You’re always going to have 100 things going on in your head. You’ll always be worried about studying or work or your love life or someone’s health. But you just can’t let that stop you from living life. I can’t lie and say that I’ve learned to put things totally aside or out of my head. But I have learned that not matter what is going on, you can still have fun in this very moment.

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(Making drinking games named after myself and forcing everyone to play with me)

Love,

K

Sorry Not Sorry

Hello from the brinks of K-hell!

K-hell: a state of life in which one cannot eat whatever one pleases. This is what hell is like in my mind. And thanks to whizzie removal (wisdom teeth), I am in the depths of hell.

Anyways, the past few days I have done little aside from lay in bed and watch TV or sleep. So obviously I’ve had a lot of time to think and I hit a huge realization about myself.

I apologize far too often and too much.

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(I like to think that I look that cute while apologizing)

I’m not sure exactly why this is. Maybe it’s my hatred for confrontation. Maybe it’s my desire to not get fired from my internship. Or maybe it’s because I don’t want my professors to hate me. Whatever it is, I’ve come to see how utterly ridiculous is.

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I send an e-mail to a professor or my boss saying I won’t be in class or in the office because I’m sick, and then I sign it “Sorry for the inconvenience!” Uhm, what? If I’m saying sorry to anyone it should be myself because being sick sucks and it’s a huge inconvenience to me. This past week one of my professors sent out an e-mail saying that he had made a mistake on the syllabus and our paper that was due later in the week was actually on Chapter 4, not 3. Of course, with my luck, I get this e-mail as I’m writing the conclusion of the seven page paper. I e-mailed the professor letting him know that I had already finished the paper and asking him if he’d accept it or not. And then I signed it sorry! What the hell was I sorry for!? He’s the one who messed up! Seriously, I’m ridiculous.

I’m the first to apologize to the important people in my life just because I rather not have any negativity between us. But I’m pretty sure most of the time it’s not even my fault and I’m stretching to even find a reason to apologize. And yet I still do it. I apologize when I don’t respond to text messages within a couple hours. I say “Sorry, I was in class!” if I miss a phone call. But really, I’m not sorry. There’s nothing for me to be sorry for. I’m not sorry that I’m being responsible and sitting in class or at work and not answering my phone.

I know you all do this too, because you do it to me. And you know what? Don’t. Why do we need to constantly be apologizing for things like falling ill or being busy?! For speaking our minds or not agreeing with something? There are definitely times in life when you should apologize, but being yourself or being busy or sick are not on that list.

Why should we apologize for things that are completely out of our control? Why should we apologize for being ourselves? Answer: we shouldn’t.

I think, at least for me, a lot of this has to do with how sure I am of myself. Especially if I’m talking to people above me (professors, superiors at work) I will always apologize or allow them to pile more work on me and take it with a smile. But why? My dad always taught A and I to put our feet down and not let people take advantage of our kindness, and somewhere in the scary adult world, I lost hold of that lesson.

So I’m not sorry. And you shouldn’t be either.

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With love,

K