Adulthood

Things I’ve Come to Terms with at 31

I turned 31 a few weeks ago. For the most part I have come to terms with my “old age.” The number is just going to get higher so I should stop fighting it. I did have a very small breakdown about officially being in my thirties but overall I dealt with it. Entering a new decade has definitely had its perks.

Your twenties are all about trying out new things and finding out who you are as a person. Want to move to a different place every year? That’s what your twenties are for.

Your thirties are a lot more mellow. Don’t get me wrong. I still want to try new things. There are plenty of places I still want to visit. Hobbies I still want to pickup. Books I eventually want to write. But my thirties have definitely shown me that there are quite a few things in my life that are set. I plan on spending my thirties embracing the little things that make me who I am and stop trying to change them.

Staying up all night will never happen again. This one makes me a little sad. When I was younger, “breaking night” while having a sleepover was one of my favorite things to do. Now, the idea of staying awake the entire night is torturous. A sunrise is a sunrise. I don’t need to see it. Let me sleep.

I will never dance well. This always used to be something I was embarrassed of: my horrendous dancing skills. Sadly, I was never blessed with rhythm but I am done fighting it. Next dance party I attend, I’m letting my inner-Elaine run free without any fear of judgment.

Being sexy will never come natural to me. This isn’t a self-deprecating comment. I am not saying that I’m never sexy. My boyfriend thinks I’m sexy. However, if I actively try to be sexy, I have the opposite effect. A striptease from me is a ball of awkward and will most likely end with me somehow getting stuck in my lingerie in a fit of laughter.

I will never enjoy exercising or eating healthy. I am still going to do it. Since I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more and more concerned about exercising and eating healthy. I’ll continue to give these things a chance for health reasons and all that nonsense, but I’m not going to like it. My couch will always be more appealing than the gym. I’ll always love cupcakes more than kale.

Being a millionaire is not in the cards for me. Why did we think we would be rich when we were younger? I considered having a nice car and my own home by the time I was thirty inevitable. Getting rich seemed like it was an attainable goal back in the days. Boy was I wrong. Now I just want to make enough money so I won’t have to work until I’m 80-years-old. The new American dream!

A day at Bed Bath and Beyond is now my favorite way to splurge. Partying it up all night at the latest club? No thanks, my apartment has $10 bottles of wine and Netflix. Dining out at that hot new restaurant? I’ll take my own cooked meal and sweatpants. Do you want these 20% off coupons at Bed Bath and Beyond? OMG yes! Clear my schedule. I need to spend the next several hours buying gadgets for my apartment. This toilet seat easily removes to make cleaning a breeze! (This toilet seat is a real thing and I absolutely love it.)

A feeling of impending death will always overcome me after a night of heavy drinking. My body can still handle a glass or two or three of wine at night to unwind. I can wake up from this ready to start my day. However, bring in the hard liquor and shots and all hell breaks loose. I can kiss productivity out the door for the next two to three days. That is how much time I’ll need to recover.

I’ll never pick up and move to a new place without a set plan. When I was in my twenties, I always entertained the idea of picking up and moving to another place. I still like this idea but it is a lot more reasonable. I would like to leave New York one day but not before I have a job secured somewhere. I have become a lot more practical in my thirties. That may sound depressing and boring, but do you know what isn’t boring? The ability to buy food and pay rent!

It doesn’t matter what other people think of me. I spent so many years of my twenties in a perpetual state of anxiousness. What others thought of me mattered way too much. This made friendships difficult. Relationships challenging. It made life in general rough. I am so over that nonsense. Here is something that young people really need to remember: The opinions of others truly do not matter. Life becomes a lot more free when you live it exactly how you want and now how other people want you to.

Advertisements

It’s Okay to Not Feel Okay

The past few weeks I have been in a bit of a funk. I haven’t spoken to too many people about it because I really don’t know how to put into words what I’m feeling. There isn’t a specific event or occurrence that I can attribute to my depressed state.  I am not sure why I’ve been feeling the way that I have. I have just been feeling down.

When I get into a funk that has no real explanation, it always makes me feel worse. I have a roof over my head. I am relatively healthy. I don’t go to bed hungry. I have a job I enjoy. There is no real reason to feel the way that I do.

The lack of reasoning results in feelings of guilt. So on top of feeling down, I also feel incredibly guilty. Clearly I am overreacting and being ungrateful. I’ll often invalidate my own feelings. Instead of accepting the things I’m feeling, I fight them. This action has a tendency to simply make me feel worse.

There’s a major flaw in this way of thinking: All feelings are valid. And sometimes feeling shitty is just a part of being alive. In fact, I may question your humanness if you are ALWAYS happy. There is no way that is healthy.

So I’ve been feeling a little down. It could be the long winter. It could be my upcoming birthday which always fills me with doom and existential thoughts. It could be a chemical imbalance. Or, and the likely culprit, it could just be life.

Sometimes life is really awesome and sometimes it’s really shitty. It is okay for your mind to react accordingly. If you ran a mile or worked a 13 hour shift, no one would fault you for being exhausted. The same thing applies to your mind. Life can become exhausting and overwhelming. Allow your mind to take a break without feeling guilty.

If you find yourself going through a funk, don’t fight it. Recognize all the things in your life to be grateful for. Don’t brush them off. However, don’t use them as an excuse to invalidate your feelings. Healthy people can get depressed. People with a roof over their head and a job can feel anxious.

Remember: All feelings are real, even the crappy ones.

31 Thoughts I Have While Trying to Go to Sleep

I used to be able to fall asleep anywhere, anytime. Sadly, unless I am drunk, this is not the case for me anymore. Now I need at least 3 hours of TV watching. Ten trips to the bathroom because I have to pee or feel like I have to pee. Then it’s about 7 hours of thinking about every different direction my life can go in the next five years. After this is done, I have about 3 minutes before my alarm goes off.

Clearly, sleeping is a FANTASTIC experience for me. I envy those who fall asleep the second their heads hit the pillow. Please tell me your secrets!

I do a shit ton of thinking before I finally fall asleep. I actually do some of my best thinking before I go to sleep. You have no idea how many blog post ideas I’ve come up with while trying to go to sleep. If I was able to remember even half of the posts I’ve thought up, I’d be writing my 1,000th post right now. Here are just a few of the thoughts that go through my brain when I’m trying my hardest to fall asleep.

  1. Someone needs to invent a device that can screen grab images from my mind so I can look at them in the morning.
  2. Oh God, I am going to have to start paying off my student loans again soon.
  3. Why did you just think of that? Think of something happy.
  4. Ok, what am I going to eat for lunch tomorrow?
  5. Maybe I’ll pick something up on my way to work.
  6. I should really get something healthy. Maybe I’ll get a salad.
  7. Ooh, maybe I’ll go running in the morning before work as well.
  8. Nah, I won’t be getting up early. But I can always go running after work. I don’t get home too late and the weather’s been getting nicer.
  9. Who the hell do you think you’re kidding you delusional psycho? You’re not eating a salad tomorrow and you’re definitely not going running.
  10. Hahaha, I can’t even fight myself on this one.
  11. I’ll probably get a burger tomorrow. I’ve been wanting to try Wahlburger’s.
  12. And when I get home it’s more Game of Thrones for me. Maybe I can finish season 4.
  13. Still cannot fathom that it took me so long to watch that show. I feel like a functioning member of society now.
  14. Keri is partially to blame for my finally watching it. She just wouldn’t shut up about Jon Snow so I had to see what all the fuss was about.
  15. But if I’m being honest, I find Jon Snow really boring. His whole storyline is pretty dull.
  16. And he’s not even the best looking on the show. The Mother of Dragons is by far the hottest on the show.
  17. She’s insane looking and makes me question my sexuality whenever she’s on the screen.
  18. She also has such a nice body.
  19. I bet she doesn’t eat burgers for lunch all the time and skip working out every damn day.
  20. Maybe if I ate less burgers and more salads, I’d have a nicer body as well.
  21. God dammit! How am I on this again? Shut up brain! Either go to sleep or think of something happy.
  22. Spring is finally here! That’s a very happy thought.
  23. Before I know it I’ll be able to wear dresses and sandals when I go out. Can’t wait for that.
  24. And I have so much fun stuff planned in the next coming months.
  25. Can’t wait until I go to D.C. with Keri. It’s going to be so nice to just get away for a couple of days.
  26. I gotta start researching all the great places to eat and cool places to see when I’m there.
  27. Food is probably one of the most important things I care about when I’m going on vacation.
  28. Yea, that’s cause you’re a fat ass who loves food a little too much.
  29. Holy shit! Would you shut up!
  30. I wonder what time it is?
  31. OMG! It’s 2 in the morning. Stop thinking and go to sleep already!

*On a very serious note, does anyone know of any remedies that don’t include pills or alcohol that will help one fall asleep quickly?

I Shouldn’t Be Allowed to Make Adult Decisions

So as you all know, I recently found an apartment and moved into my new digs on February 15th. I bet you’re all wondering how it’s been going. I know you guys can’t sleep at night thinking about poor Liz from Am I Thirty? and her apartment troubles. Well things have not been going so great. The apartment has been a hot mess since day one.

For starters, the apartment was an absolute mess when I first moved in. Now I got this apartment in an interesting way. My brother-in-law’s friend used to live there before he got married. My brother-in-law had his friend check with the landlords to see if it was still available. Sadly, it wasn’t. The landlords had just rented it out to a young couple. Naturally, I was pissed. This young couple are taking the next step and moving in together but I’m still stressing about getting a text back. But I was also pissed cause finding an apartment is definitely in one of the nine circles of Hell. These assholes got to it first, putting me back at square one.

Where isn't the bathroom - apartment hunting

But the apartment Gods were on my side. My brother-in-law gave me the landlord’s information cause the apartment was unexpectedly available again. Turns out the young couple taking the next step in their relationship didn’t work out. (My current landlord is incredibly talkative so I know all the details.) Apparently the landlord heard the couple fighting at three in the morning. The girlfriend was calling the boyfriend a liar and saying that she saw the text messages. Girlfriend’s family drives down from Massachusetts the next day, packs up all her stuff, and that’s the end of that young couple. Clearly the boyfriend is too devastated from being an idiot and not deleting his text messages so he decides he wants to move out. This worked out for me in more way than one. 1. I finally had an apartment to move into. 2. The whole story reminded me just why relationships are not worth the trouble.

However, the boyfriend still lived at the apartment for a few weeks after his girlfriend left him high and dry. And he was very clearly wallowing in his own self pity. The apartment looked as though he wiped his piss all over the walls and would randomly vomit on the floors. It was a mess. I don’t even want to attempt to describe to you what the toilet looked like. I don’t want to give you guys nightmares.

So I spent the first week and a half at my new place not actually sleeping there and just scrubbing every inch of the place when I was there. Then I needed to make some serious adult decisions. Do you have any idea how many things are needed to put together an apartment?! This isn’t the first time I’ve moved out on my own but the other times I had most of the essentials that are needed. This time around I needed EVERYTHING!

Furnishing an entire apartment from scratch taught me a lot. It taught me that I know NOTHING!

Here are just a few of the thoughts I’ve had and things I’ve done while putting together this apartment that prove I should not be allowed to make adult decisions without a more real adult watching over me.

  1. When I was preparing to clean, I thought it was wise to buy paper towels from the Dollar store. This was not a good idea. They fell apart within five minutes and somehow managed to make the cabinets even dirtier.
  2. I have no idea how to properly clean a bathroom without wanting to vomit every five minutes.
  3. Why are garbage cans so expensive? They just hold dirty crap! They should not be over 100 dollars!
  4. Buying a mattress is a hard decision and it’s not something that should be done online. I feel like most intelligent adults know this. Unfortunately for myself, I am not an intelligent adult. I bought a mattress online from Sleepy’s and it was a mess. I tried to go for a deal but I did go with a mattress that got decent reviews so I thought it’d be OK. Well the mattress came and it was the width of a mattress that would normally go on a cot. I should have known when the website said the height was 6 inches. I thought 6 inches was substantial. I was wrong. You ever have a 6″ sandwich from Subway. It’s basically like eating air. I got the 6″ Subway sandwich of mattresses.
  5. I am a 12-year-old posing as a 30-year-old. I cannot sleep in my own apartment without leaving the television on. And my first night sleeping there, I had a nightmare and woke up at 4 in the morning freaked out.
  6. Bedrooms sets are another extremely difficult purchase and insanely expensive. I also have no idea how to properly purchase bedroom sets. I finally found a bedroom set I really liked online so I used my brand new credit card with no interest for 21 months (SCORE!) to make the purchase. The bedroom set comes and I find out that it has no bed frame. It’s just a headboard. It’s rather difficult to put together a bed/bedroom without a friggen bed frame!
  7. Shopping for one person is the hardest thing you will ever do. (I still have no idea how much chicken will feed a family of one for a week.) That probably explains why my fridge consists of one rotisserie chicken, a tomato, and four bottles of wine.
  8. I am still living off paper plates and utensils but I have enough wine glasses in my apartment to entertain a party of 12. Clearly my priorities are in order.

So my apartment may still be a complete hot mess and I don’t see this changing anytime soon, but you all are more than welcome to come over. There’s no shortage of chicken and wine. And really what more could you want from a party?!

A Letter to My 20-Year-Old Self

So tomorrow is the big day! The day this entire blog was written about. I turn 30! Turning 30 has made me think a lot about what it was like when I was turning 20 and saying goodbye to my teens. I didn’t handle it very well. There were panic attacks and I actually wet the bed the night of my birthday. (This is a true story and maybe I’ll tell you lucky people about it in another post.)

For now, let’s go back to poor, little 20-year-old Liz. She was not excited about leaving her teens behind her and entering her twenties. Current Liz still isn’t 100% sure on what she wants with her life and the direction it is going to take. But 20-year-old Liz might as well have been on another planet. She didn’t even know what hairstyle worked best for her face or how to put on eyeliner. She was a lost soul who needed a lot of guidance.

Now being a wise, almost 30-year-old (that was oozing with sarcasm in case you didn’t realize), there is so much I would like to tell my 20-year-old self. I would just like to remind her that her twenties are not going to be as fabulous as she can imagine but they are also not as horrible as they will sometimes feel.

Dear 20-year-old Liz,

Hey girl! It’s me (you) the day before you turn 30! Yep, you live for at least another ten more years. Congratulations! I’m sure you have a shit ton of questions for me. Sorry, I can’t answer all of them. I don’t wanna spoil the entire next ten years for you. But here’s a few bits of advice (mixed with some spoilers) that I really wish I had heard way back then.

I want to start off by telling you that you’re not old. Not even in the slightest. Every birthday these next ten years will for some reason fill you with dread. Just stop and enjoy it! There’s nothing old about being in your early twenties.

I know you’ve always been a pretty anxious person but it’s just going to get a lot worse. Sorry! But you do find little tricks that help with your anxiety. Whenever it gets too bad, remember to take a deep breath. Steadying your breathing really helps. A glass of wine is always a great thing when your anxiety hits you at night. (Don’t make that gagging face. You learn to love wine. It’s so much better than that gross soco and lime shit you drink now.) Don’t wait so long to go see a doctor about the issue. There’s nothing to be ashamed of and you’re going to feel a lot better once you go. When all else fails, go for a drive. Driving does wonders to calm your nerves. (Spoiler: you FINALLY get your license!)

Stop fighting with Pam and Jeannie so much. You guys are going to go through so many dumb fights these next ten years and go through significant periods of not speaking. It’s never worth it. You always make up and you guys remain as close as ever. You’re stuck with each other for life. Even if you were to get married tomorrow (Spoiler: you’re not getting married tomorrow), your friendship with Pam and Jeannie will most likely be the longest relationship you’ll have in your life. Be nicer to one another.

I am sorry for this part because I know you’re not an idiot so you will know exactly why I am saying this. But I can’t hold it in, and need you to know. Hang out with Grandma as much as you can. I know you already spend a lot of time with her, but do more. It’s never going to feel like you spent enough time with her. Watch more TV with her, write down more of her recipes, watch her cook, give her tons of hugs.

I know you’re freaking out right now and stressed about a lot of things. I wish I could tell you that it all gets better and by the time you’re thirty all your dreams have come true. They haven’t. In a lot of ways you’re just as confused about life as you were back then. But in SOOO many ways things are a lot better.

Work and school is freaking you out at the moment. And it’s going to be a problem for you for the majority of the next ten years. But I can let you know that things get SO much better. It takes awhile and you’re going to go through a lot of shit jobs, but by this point, you’re going to have a job you absolutely love. It’s true! You’re going to enjoy going to work every morning. I won’t spoil all the fun and tell you what it is but you wind up being incredibly happy in your career.

At 20 your love life is in shambles. Things get better there. Only about 10% better but that’s still something. You do learn a lot about dating in your twenties. Don’t stress so much and overanalyze every little thing that happens with a guy you’re dating. Trust me, most of the time there isn’t some hidden meaning behind a guy’s text message. Stop feeling so uncomfortable when taking your clothes off in front of a guy. You are NOT fat! And even when your stomach starts to get a few extra pounds, no guy cares. You are never going to come across a guy who stops talking to you after seeing you naked. Embrace your body. Don’t  force things with a guy you don’t like but at the same time, stop being so picky. Keep the standards you have but don’t run the second you notice one tiny thing you don’t like about a guy. It pretty much takes you the whole ten years of your twenties to learn these things. I wish I had learned them a lot sooner.

I wish I could tell you that when you’re thirty you have an awesome apartment in the city, a job paying 6 figures, and a gorgeous husband. You don’t have any of these things. (I’ll give you a moment to cry about this tragedy.)

Now here’s the thing you need to know about all those things. They’re nice but they are not what make a happy life. Here’s what you do have by the time you’re thirty: a job you absolutely love and that provides you enough money to live on your own; amazing friends who are there for you when you need them; a wonderful relationship with your sisters; a better understanding of what you do and do not want when dating; and confidence in yourself and your abilities like you could have never imagined before.

I won’t sugar coat it, your twenties are going to be rough. There are going to be so many ups and downs. But embrace both the good times and the bad times. You will learn so much about yourself and the things you want in life. And don’t spend the whole decade stressing about the big 3-0. It’s not nearly as painful as you can imagine it.

Good luck and enjoy your twenties!

Love,

30-year-old Liz

P.S. I can’t stress this enough. Please give Grandma several giant hugs from me!

Things I Won’t Be Saying Goodbye to in My Thirties

So I already went over this a bit when I discussed the things I hope I’m never too old for. As I am about to enter a new decade in life, plenty of people would like to tell me all the things I need to give up. Just look here  and here to see some of the asinine things I’m supposed to say goodbye to once I enter my thirties.

Fun. Fun seems to be one of the number one things I need to give up when I’m 30. Well, let me tell you. I refuse. I’m not going to turn into a boring human being once I say goodbye to my twenties. Here’s all the things I won’t be giving up.

  1. Wearing mini skirts. My legs are my best feature and I will be showing them off until that’s no longer the case.
  2. Shopping at Forever 21. I can get leggings that fit nicely for less than five dollars!
  3. Staying up way past my bedtime and drinking more than I should with my friends. Sure the hangovers are a million times worse and it’s not a good look to get wasted every weekend, but I’m not going to give up occasional nights with my friends where we all act like we’re 21 again.
  4. Spending an entire day in my PJs. Sometimes I work 6 days a week. If I want to spend all day Sunday in bed watching TV, I’m going to do just that.
  5. Reading YA novels. Sure I can pretend I’m doing it cause of my job but really it’s because I like the books.
  6. Eating copious amounts of junk food. You can pull the cupcakes and chips from my cold, dead hands.
  7. Playing drinking games (or games in general). This is particularly talking to the ridiculous list that told all thirtysomethings to give up beer pong forever. Bitch please!
  8. Buying furniture from Ikea. I think unless the day comes when I actually buy myself a house, I will be getting all my furnishings from Ikea.
  9. Wearing mismatched underwear. Once. Once in my life can I remember my bra and panties actually matching. (And yes this was a time when I knew someone else would be taking my clothes off at the end of the night.) Matching underwear is the type of life-together nonsense that I will never achieve.
  10. Eating cold pizza and/or lo mein in the morning. I have been blessed with a stomach of steel. I can eat whatever I want in the morning for breakfast. And this will always include leftover pizza and lo mein.

 

Thirty Things I Learned in My Twenties

So it’s February. This is my birthday month! The big 3-0 is exactly 16 days away (not that I’m counting or anything). I am not as stressed out as I thought I’d be. I do get a little twitch every time I realize that I’ll no longer be in my twenties but overall I think I’m handling it pretty well. I’ve even decided to actually celebrate my birthday which I don’t always like doing. I’ll be doing a dinner with a bunch of my friends.

Being almost thirty has mostly made me feel very reflective, which I guess is natural. The next series of posts will probably be a lot of me reminiscing and thinking about things that have occurred in my twenties. Today I want to talk about all the things I’ve learned in my twenties. Sure I’m not done and there are some things I’ll probably never learn. (Like folding a fitted sheet. Does anyone actually know how to do this?!?) But there are a lot of things my twenties have taught me.

  1. Always bring something when you go to someone’s house for dinner. You can never go wrong with a bottle of wine.
  2. Do not max out your credit cards. Splurging on certain things is fine but do not abuse your credit cards. You will regret it.
  3. Thirty is not that old. Don’t spend your twenties stressing over turning the big 3-0.
  4. Bad times will always get better. Humans are pretty resilient. Your twenties will be filled with a lot: rejection, heartbreak, loss of loved ones. But even if it feels like your entire life is in shambles, things will eventually get better.
  5. Your body is at least ten times better looking than you think it is. Odds are that ten years from now you will look back and wish you had the body you do now.
  6. You will never have it all figured out. Life is amazingly confusing. Things can change in an instant. Anyone who claims to have it all figured out is a big fat liar!
  7. You don’t always need to give a reason why you’re no longer talking to someone. This could be friends or someone that you’re dating. Sometimes it’s nice to give people an explanation but if it’s better for your mental health to just walk away, then do it.
  8. Eating a cupcake is not going to kill you. That one cupcake is not the reason for your muffin top. A cupcake everyday and not exercising may be the reason for that muffin top but not just one.
  9. You will never be rich so go to that fancy restaurant or go on that vacation. Don’t completely live outside your means but don’t spend your life waiting until you have enough money to start doing things.
  10. Your love for Nsync will never, ever go away. In fact, it will just get deeper as you get older and your 13-year-old Nsync-loving-self is further and further in the past.
  11. Accept that student loans will be a way of life for at least the next ten years. You have to get over bitching about it eventually because they are never going away.
  12. Store brands can be great but there are some things you don’t want to go generic on. Toilet paper is a big one. Splurge a little. It’s an essential item.
  13. Learning how to cook a few staples is crucial. You don’t need to be the next Gordon Ramsay but you should be able to feed yourself without using Seamless all the time.
  14. You can get the things you want but it’s going to take time and patience. That dream job is not going to just fall into your lap.
  15. Social media is the devil if you’re going to use it as a way to compare how unaccomplished you are in your life. Never compare your real life to someone else’s highlight reel.
  16. You will never comfortably walk in heels but sometimes they are just so worth it.
  17. Being tan is not worth it. You may look better sun-kissed but it’s not worth the risk of skin cancer and wrinkly skin.
  18. Turkey bacon will never be good and there is a special place in hell for people who think it’s better than REAL bacon.
  19. A $10 bottle of wine will do the job just fine.
  20. Staying home Saturday night is glorious! No shame in Netflix and Chilling all by yourself.
  21. There are a lot of people in this world who have a worse life than you. It’s important to recognize just how lucky you are. However, this does not completely negate your problems, no matter how trivial they may seem. You’re allowed to be upset about things in your life even though others have it worse.
  22. Hanging out with girls is not all annoying and drama-filled. If you still believe this myth, you may be the drama Queen, mean girl.
  23. Getting hand-me-downs for your apartment is great. Nothing wrong with asking friends and browsing yard sales for a good deal but always go new with a mattress.
  24. If you don’t want to do something, say no. And you don’t automatically owe the person an explanation why.
  25. Start a savings. Even if you’re only putting away $10 a month. It’s better than nothing and it has to start somewhere.
  26. Your friends are amazing, make time for them. If they are still around by now, they are worth at least a phone call once a week to talk.
  27. Stop getting bangs. You hate them and always think you look bad.
  28. The definition of success is not a universal thing. For some it’s getting married and having babies, for some it’s having an office with an amazing view, for some it’s waking up before 10am. Be happy with the things you have accomplished.
  29. It really doesn’t matter what other people think of you. And spoiler alert: 99.9% of the time they aren’t thinking about you anyway.
  30. Turning 30 is not the end of the world. There is still plenty of time to go back to school, get married, have babies, buy a house, land that dream job. Your twenties are just the beginning.