20 Reasons You’re a Twenty-Something Who Gets It

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1. You’re not forcing it. Not that friendship that drains all of your energy, not that gluten free fad everyone seems to be buying into, and certainly not the if-you’re-not-married-by-thirty-you’ll-die-alone slippery slope.

2. You trust your story. Your past gives you an edge, and you rather like it. The good, the bad, and the terrible: those experiences have all been instrumental in creating the person you are today.

3. You learn to just accept it. Accepting something doesn’t mean you have to appreciate it. When you start accepting things instead of fighting them, many more doors open up to you. Hello opportunity.

4. You don’t play the victim. You own your decisions and you don’t point the finger when something goes wrong. Whatever happens, you take it in stride. You may not have caused the problem, but you certainly can be part of the solution.

5. You’re setting goals (and actually achieving them). The sky is the limit, and you’re fearless.

6. You put others first. Even though it’s a challenge. Even though it’s frustrating. Even though it’s exhausting and sometimes you just want to curl up in the fetal position and scream like a toddler in the middle of a temper tantrum- you do it. Go you.

7. You’re practicing patience. One day at a time. One step at a time. One breath at a time.

8. You learn to let go. You realize that holding onto things that no longer serve you is like dragging around a dead weight. It may hurt, but you move on.

9. Significance isn’t lost on you. You recognize and appreciate your relationships, whether they be with your friends, your family, or a love interest. You’re self-aware enough, and grateful enough, to realize just how good you really have it. You see the meaning in it all.

10. Boundaries are your friend. You’ve learned how to set them and how to enforce them, and damn does it feel good.

11. You aren’t baited by the comparison game. Wishing you had someone else’s life simply sucks the happiness out of yours. You don’t play that game anymore, ’cause you’re too focused on your own goals and well-being.

12. You’re tactful. The importance often isn’t in what you say, it’s how you say it. 

13. It’s not about the money. You can have all the money in the world and be emotionally bankrupt. You care more about what you are doing than about the size of the compensation. You see yourself as an investment.

14. You practice self-care. Those that don’t take care of themselves and find balance quickly burn out. You simply do not have time for a burn out, so you are sure to make time to recharge your emotional, mental and spiritual batteries.

15. You help others. Because only looking out for yourself gets old. Go out and help somebody.

16. You have passions that aren’t work or your significant other. You have to do some things for you and only you. After all, it’s just as important to love yourself by yourself as it is for you to love your career or partner.

17. You’re financially responsible. 401k? Got it. Paying off those school loans or credit card debt? You’re all about that life.

18. You aren’t reckless. Not with your money, your body, or your heart.

19. You’re dedicated. Every successful twenty-something has something to strive towards. You’re focused, know what you’re working towards, and have a pretty good idea of how long it will take you to get there.

20. You recognize that you can always improve. Whether it is at work or at home, you realize that things take effort to be great. Everything can always be worked on or improved. It is always possible to be a better friend, employee, or partner. You are a work in progress, and you love that about yourself.

Dedicated to all of my any-somethings out there who are doing their small part each day to be the best person they can be. I love you all!

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xoxo

Sarah

The Holiday Survival Guide

The holidays, in all their glory, are still a stressful and difficult time. As nice as it is to spend time with family, and perhaps even get some time off of work, we still have to worry about all the planning that goes into it.

Let’s not even get started on the financial aspect. “I’m too poor for Christmas and other adult problems” could be a blog all its own.

Fear not, twenty-somethings, you will make it through the next two weeks in one piece! Here are a few tips and tricks to keep you going without losing your sanity. I am employing #2 as we speak…

1. Make An Ugly Christmas Sweater.

Ugly Christmas sweaters are so in right now. Shine like a star in yours by using the most ridiculous materials possible. If it blinks, even better.

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Get creative. Take out all of your Christmas frustration on your creation. Your friends will thank you for it.

2. Load Up On the Sugar.

Sugar makes us happier people, which means we will be much more adept at handling the holiday stress with a smile on our face. Bring on the chocolate advent calenders, Santa.

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3. Decorate.

A little holiday cheer around the home and office can go a long way. I have an ugly Christmas sweater mug that I am currently drinking religiously out of, mugly for short.

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Decorations don’t have to be expensive- you can get lots of great stuff at the Dollar Store or through seasonal sales at craft stores. Remember, I’m basically too poor to function, but I can still budget a small amount to make the apartment feel full of holiday tidings.

4. Watch Your Favorite Christmas Movies.

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I suggest starting with Elf and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. They will make you happy. I promise.

5. Distance the Crazies

Try your best to not let any idiots ruin your happiness. There are a lot of miserable people focusing on all they don’t have around the holidays, and their problems aren’t yours to take on.

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Focus on the positives in your life, and use them as a protective bubble to shield yourself from all the Scrooges out there. You are awesome, and ain’t nobody gonna get you down! Life is beautiful and there is so much to be grateful for. Smile, give grace, and spread cheer. Make your little corner of the world a better place.

xoxo

Sarah

Friendship 101

It never ceases to amaze me how selfless, giving, and considerate my girlfriends are. These women are incredible; they balance careers, relationships, active social lives, and somehow still find the time to send birthday cards (before the actual day).

Add that to the list of things to work on: send more thoughtful cards.

We each show up for our friends in our own way, and each friendship is beautiful and unique. I have some friends that I talk to every single day, and some that I can go months without seeing or speaking to but when we are reunited it is like no time has passed at all.

Each of my friendships enriches my existence, and I am a better person for having these women in my life.

Here’s a few tips on how to be a good friend, which I have been lucky enough to learn from friendships that have forever changed me for the better.

1. Be There, Even If You Can’t Be There.

My closest girlfriends are spread out all across the country, yet I speak to them constantly. We are always there for each other, lending support, advice, and encouragement during times of happiness or desperation. One of the greatest strengths of these friendships is that, without fail, they are always there for me when I need it. A phone call, a sweet text, a gentle push in the right direction- they are good for it, no matter how far away they are. They don’t let physical distance keep them from showing up for me, and I do my absolute best to return the favor.

2. Respect Each Others’ Time.

You know what qualities my best friends have? Dependability and follow-through. A friendship cannot survive if plans are constantly being broken. I understand that things come up, but my schedule is too busy and my time too precious to let flaky people into my inner circle. I respect my best friends’ time, they respect mine, and that is why our friendships are still flourishing after so long.

photo courtesy of http://www.buzzfeed.com

photo courtesy of http://www.buzzfeed.com

3. Be Positive, Yet Honest.

Best girlfriends are your greatest supporters, but they aren’t afraid to get real with you. They will give it to you straight, challenge your opinions, and offer constructive criticism with grace (and without stomping all over your feelings). If you think you have a bright idea, you check with them first. You respect their opinion, and you know, after years of experience, that you should always listen to them.

4. Make the Effort to Persevere.

Your inner circle tends to have one thing in common: they have been there through everything. Your friendships with them have survived disagreements, fights, and possibly even periods without talking. At the end of the day, they persevere, because you know that a difference of opinion could never destroy all that you have built.

and last, but not least….

5. Show Appreciation

Your best friends really are amazing people, so be sure to tell them so. These are the people who believe in you and love you unconditionally, which is no small feat. They have strengths that you lack (ahem, like sending said birthday cards on time), and they never judge you for your faults. These ladies (or gentlemen) deserve a gold star and endless amounts of admiration for all they have contributed to your life, so be sure to tell them regularly how much they mean to you.

photo via pinterest

photo courtesy of Pinterest

What is your idea of being a good friend? I would love to hear your ideas!

xoxo

Sarah

* This post is dedicated to all of my best girlfriends. You know who you are :). I am so grateful for all that you are, for all that you do, and appreciate you more than words can express. I love you!

15 Life Lessons from a Customer Service Professional

Customer Service is what I do all day every day. I am a Customer Service Representative for a biotech company, work as a server at one the best steak houses in San Diego, and am a Game Day Representative for the San Diego Chargers.

I specialize in making people happy.

A lot of my days, I feel like this when dealing with a difficult customer…

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But I digress.

Conflict resolution is basically my thang, and I am good at it.

I started working in the restaurant industry all the way back in high school, and continued on while in college and after earning my degree. I have always had a restaurant gig as a side hustle, because it’s basically impossible to make as great of money for so few hours worked in any other capacity. I have been working in fine dining for the past three years, and I have much prefered it to any other restaurant atmosphere I have ever worked in. I started working for the Chargers two football seasons ago, and it really is as awesome and as exciting as it sounds. Sorry if I just made you jealous. My position at the biotech company is my full time deal, and my main focus.

Whew.

My experiences have outfitted me with numerous skills, stories, and lessons learned. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Admittedly, sometimes I get really tired of dealing with people. That’s the honest truth. The general public can be challenging and demanding!

I thought it would be entertaining to share with you, my dear readers, some of the situations I have encountered during my time as a Customer Service Professional (guru, if you like!), and the lessons I have taken away from it. I swear I’m not bitter.

15 Life Lessons Learned in Customer Service Land

  1. It IS my job to anticipate your needs.
  2. It is NOT my job to be your personal punching bag.
  3. In regard to the following questions: Is my steak cooked right? Are you sure? How do you know? YES, I AM ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY SURE, YES I KNOW, AND HERE IS WHY: It is my JOB to ensure that your steak has arrived to your table exactly as ordered, following a very specific and detailed process, about which I in no way have time or patience to explain to you without sounding like a complete smart ass and quite possibly losing my job. EAT IT AND BE HAPPY WITH ITS PERFECTION.
  4. Everyone wants to be a VIP (very important guest/person). But this is simply not possible. I am sorry. The good news is, the more money you spend, the closer you will get!
  5. Everyone wants everything for free. This is an absolute truth. This is where I feel it’s important to remind you that I am NOT a magician.
  6. I do not have the ability to give you free EVERYTHING. I can, however, hook you up with some very nice things if you get on my good side and/or play your cards right. I will do anything for a guest I like.
  7. Your opinion for the chef on how you can improve his recipe is not appreciated. No, I will not pass along the message.
  8. We do not spill on you or make mistakes because we want to make you mad, because we are being careless, or because we are secretly out to get you. I would rather spill anything on myself first rather than on you. This situation happened to me when a guest suddenly backed up into me while I was holding a tray of cocktails, and rather than letting it fall on her, I had two full glasses of champagne dump down my front instead. The champagne shower wasn’t as sexy as the rap videos make it out to be. If you were wondering, the guest did not notice this happened and I smelled like a booze hound for the rest of the evening.
  9. If you say you “know the owner”, you definitely don’t know the owner.
  10. Just because I am serving you food does not mean I am uneducated, unmotivated, and not pursuing my career.
  11. If you are cold calling a company, do not expect some smooth talking to get you straight through to the CEO. I see you coming a mile away and will not let this happen. Ever. Also, look up the CEO’s name if you are going to call. Otherwise, I am just embarrassed for you.
  12. It is my job to answer your questions patiently and kindly. It is NOT my job to put up with verbal abuse.
  13. If you lie and say that you are “returning” a phone call to a higher up, wasting both their AND my time when I then try to get in touch with them, it is the ultimate disrespect. There is a moral code to follow for sales calls, and lying isn’t part of it.
  14. Positive feedback and kindness from a customer really are pure gold. A few nice words can go a long way! Thank you to all of you who have ever asked about my day, or how I am doing.
  15. I really DO care about your problems, your happiness, and your satisfaction. These are my top priority, and that is why I do what I do. I genuinely want to help you.

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Have you worked in customer service or the restaurant industry and have any stories you would like to share? I would love to hear them!

xoxo

Sarah

26 Things I Learned at Twenty-Six

1. Cultivating a better sense of self-not everybody’s doing it. Not everybody gets more mature,  driven, or self-aware as they grow older. Don’t waste your time on these people, there’s too many awesome ones to surround yourself with.

2. Sometimes you’ll hate your day job. Don’t give up.

3. Follow your passions. They are the surest source of true joy, and will never lead you astray. Unless your passions are boozing and drugging- find something that doesn’t involve numbing yourself to the world around you.

4. Accept your past. You can’t change it, you can’t will it away, and you certainly can’t continue apologizing for it. Love your past, it helps shape you into the amazing person you are becoming.

5. It’s not bad to have lots of acquaintances, as long as you’re okay with those acquaintances not showing up for you. Acquaintances are for networking, best friends are for showing up. Just be sure to keep the two straight.

6. Married by thirty? Maybe. If not-it’s not the end of the world.

7. Kids by thirty? Forget it. I won’t be done with being selfish by then.

8. And that reminds me…the idea of having children is no longer automatic. Becoming a mother has always been an assumed part of my life plan, but I’ve come to realize it’s not a necessity at this point. I would love to have them, but I am not planning my life around a ticking biological clock.

9. Your words don’t determine who you are, your actions do. However, be sure to keep your words kind.

10. If you don’t want to eat the whole tub of ice cream, just don’t buy it. Quit deluding yourself that you’ll have any amount of self-control once you have that sucker home alone.

11. Sunday funday is no longer defined by bottomless mimosas. It’s beach days, quality time with loved ones, and Netflix marathons.

12. Your bed is an investment. Forget old pillows and crappy mattresses, ain’t nobody got time for that when you’re working a 50+ hour work week. Take a note from me and double up on that mattress topper!

13. You constantly question your purpose. My therapist tells me that’s normal. We’ll go with that.

14. Meditating is healing. It’s also freaking hard. Trying to sit still for ten minutes or more with a clear head is next to impossible. On the list of “things to work on” for twenty-seven.

15. Superficial attraction vs. actual attraction to a person- it’s different and it matters.

16. You’ll start to care less about what others think of you. Which means you’ve learned to accept yourself. Appreciate this.

17. You have to date a lot of the wrong people to know when you’ve found the right one. Still haven’t found the right one, but I must be getting close with all the wrong ones I’ve gone through!

18. Living with two girls or more is hell. Living with only one is a much better dynamic.

19. A good roommate situation is vital to happy living. Sometimes, you may end up in living situations that suck the life out of you. Eliminate this as soon as possible. Having a respectful, kind roommate makes your life infinitely better.

20. Juice. It’s no longer cute, or acceptable, to ignore your body’s need for nutrients and balance. An unhealthy diet is also detrimental to the aging process. Juicing is a great way to give your system the boost it needs- any gal on the go can appreciate this.

21. Your parents really are the coolest and best people in your life. Well, maybe not always the coolest. But they are always there for you, giving unconditional love and support when you need it the most. I love you, Mom.

22. Failing teaches you your strength. There’s nothing like letting yourself down in a spectacular way to truly learn the hardest lessons. Keep it up, it’s the best way to grow.

23. Live minimally, splurge occasionally. Occasionally does not equal daily. This applies to shopping, manicures/pedicures, food, vacations, and dessert. Go ahead and have seconds, or thirds, of the birthday cake.

24. The importance of love, kindness, and understanding. Learning to give rather than take these things will make you a better everything, and lead to a happier you.

25. Act like a fly on the wall. I’m an emotional person, and this doesn’t always lead to me reacting in the best way. I’ve found that if I’m in a stressful situation, and I imagine myself as a fly on the wall, I can get some distance from it and act in a much more logical (and dignified) manner.

26. Most of the time you have no flipping idea what you are doing. Just roll with it. You’re exactly where you’re supposed to be. That’s what your twenties are meant for, figuring it all out.

Twenty-six was good to me. I think twenty-seven is going to be even better.

Do you have any lessons you’ve learned in your twenties or beyond? I would love to hear about them!

xoxo

Sarah