Posted in 30somethings, life, opinion, pop culture, women

Are Your 18 Year-Old Decisions Still Relevant?

When I was turned 18 back in the year of 2004, there were many rite of passages awaiting to mark the occasion. You could get a tattoo and piercing without permission, register to vote and even enter the “adult store” in the heart of our small town. At the time it all felt like a huge deal since this was the first time you actually felt like you can make an adult decision. Why not take advantage of this newfound freedom just like the others your age? Many did and a few went completely overboard! Now twelve years later, I have to wonder; are the decisions made 12 years ago actually relevant in your thirties?

belly

I’ve had this conversation with friends about the “harmless” belly button piercing back in the day. I too took the plunge and got a needle through my inney and still have it to this day. Once my friend’s sister turned 32 she said that she felt that she had to take it out because she didn’t feel that it was mature or really appropriate for someone her age. Is this a conversation we need to have with ourselves at some point? What about those lower back tattoos that aren’t so easily to erase by taking out the perpetrator and awaiting for the evidence to close up? Do we lose our youth by trying to hide the past?

I never thought I would reflect on this special time in my life and think about how long ago it was. Was getting a piercing just following a trend or solidifying my transition into adulthood? What do you think?

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Posted in 30somethings, inspiration, life, women

Another Year Down….

So it’s pretty typical for the passionate bloggers of the universe to conduct and share a year in review of their blogs. Being one of those not-so-passionate-as-of-late bloggers, I felt a little more compelled to sit back and reflect upon why that is.

Scrolling quickly through postings, I realized that I have had this blog since 2013 and it amazes me that I have committed to sticking with it so far. Three years ago I would say I was in a very different place physically and mentally. I was at a job that I no longer loved. I was involved with people that are now no longer in my life. I was still in my twenties and really thought this was all life could be up to that point but in the present it all seems like distant memories.

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If anything the tone of this blog has certainly changed. It started out as a sarcastic and blunt way to laugh at myself and the world around me. Though I try to continue to sneak in those posts ever so often, I still seem to gravitate to talking about life and the new challenges of being a woman in her thirties. That can get quite tiring after a while; I mean who really wants to read all of that!!! My hope for this blog in 2017 is that I can put my strange, side-eyed, at times, over the top, personality to good use. As you can see postings have been sparse but I plan on changing on that as the New Year hits upon us.

People seem to be in fear of what’s to come next year but I say we are in this together. So let’s get back to basics and laugh about the crazy things that make up this silly thing called LIFE.

 

 

Posted in inspiration, life, thoughts, women

Watch Me Shine

Today’s photo prompt from The Daily Post is Shine: Has something bright or reflective caught your eye in the moment? Share a photo of something you were able to explore a bit!

Living in New England in the fall is an opportune time of year to snap a photo of a bright and beautiful leaf to correlate with this challenge but for today, I’m taking it literally.

Something that caught my eye that caused me to reflect was this post by the Kind Campaign on Instagram:

kind

There will be days where we will be taken for granted, looked down upon or seen as weak but keeping this passage within your soul gives you the proper moment to shine even through those moments.

Posted in 20somethings, life, opinion, thoughts, women

What Makes You Think It’s Okay

As I am about to share my most personal post to date, I must make it known that what happened really weighed on my mind heavily throughout the day. I contemplated writing this all down in the fear that it may be taken as a ‘poor me’ post but maybe that’s the problem with everything on my mind. If something happens to us, why must we be so fearful of speaking out or what others may think? You’ll get what I really mean in a moment.

My Sunday mornings have been pretty typical over the last few months; sleep in a bit (most likely until 8:30/9- my teenage years are behind me!), eat a quick breakfast, head to the gym and settle in for football. Today was supposed to be nothing different. I wasn’t supposed to feel out of sorts.

As I began settling into my workout with Eminem’s ‘White America’ blaring in my headphones, I was approached by another gym-goer that I had seen before. Our first encounter was less than appreciated. He made uninvited comments about my looks and how he’d been watching me workout over the course of a few months. Pretty much enough to make anyone feel creeped out! Since then I have made a conscious effort to avoid this person and to not give them the idea that I have any interest in entertaining anything he has to say. Today was the first time in a while that he approached me.

Seeing him leaning up against the machine I was using, I tore out one of my headphones with a “what is it?” sort of look. What he said next really shook me.

“Good morning. How are you doing?” he asked. “Fine. Thank you,” I responded, eager to get back to my workout. Before I could get that earbud back in, he quickly said the following: “I just wanted to say what you did last week was very mean and unfair.” Not knowing what he was talking about, I responded with a “what are you talking about?” His response: “While I was doing my back workout, you were standing in front of be bending over and that’s just not fair.” I’m sure at that moment, the color was gone from my face and my mouth was wide open. A very small handful of times I am at a loss for words and it was happening right then. Where was my typical witty response? What happened to the big “F-U” that would take this guys out at his knees? Nothing was coming to mind so I put my headphones back in in hopes that the rap music would fuel my anger. It didn’t.

As I moved from machine to machine, all I could think about was what he said and how he said it. It was so causal, like someone talking about the weather equipped with a sly smirk. What makes a man or anyone think that saying something like this is okay? I started to feel insecure. What was I doing that day? Were my workout clothes revealing? Were my move provocative? Should I be more aware of what I am doing? This isn’t me, I thought. Why should I be blaming myself over this situation when I am not the problem here?! I even quickly thought about changing gyms and getting away from this person but again it’s like why should I change who I am and what I do over someone’s words?

When a girl gets raped, it’s probably because her skirt was too short. When a girl uses her mind, she’s a bitch. When a girl feels confident in her gym clothes and her workouts, she’s a distraction. What can we do as women where we aren’t the ones to blame?

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From the photo above, you can see the change in my demeanor. I kept looking down at my feet in-between weight sets because I felt insecure. I kept going over the scenario in my mind and started to feel angry that I didn’t put the guy in his place.

Well, the chance presented itself.

Wrapping up my workout on the treadmill, eagerly pushing to make it home for the Patriots game, he appeared again right in front of me. I was suddenly so angry about the situation, my safety and having to defend myself, I took my headphones completely off this time and before he said a word I said, “You need to get away from me and leave me alone. I am not interested in anything you have to say. Stay away from me.” I said it loud unsure it if was due to the fact that I wanted people to hear or that the music had been blaring in my ears to drown out my thoughts. Of course he started laughing and walked away. I was glad that I said what needed to be said but still didn’t feel safe.

He told me before he was watching me, expressed an uncomfortable attraction and already crossed the line in communication. What am I to do now? Why are we as women constantly faced with these situations and what makes anyone think it’s okay?

 

 

Posted in life, thoughts, women

Single Stigma

….but you’re so pretty, why are you single?

A phrase used ever so often when a normal, upstanding female shares that she’s not in a relationship. Although most would think this is a compliment, it actually carries a bit of sting.

single

I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts the other day and the hosts decided to read some of their listener emails that are typically made up of women seeking advice about relationships, love and life. The first email was from a 32 year old woman who had recently become engaged but had a strained relationship with her mother whom she was excluding from the wedding planning. Though I’m sure most people can relate to dysfunctional family relationships and would probably be more engaged with what advice she would receive, I was taken back at the closing sentence of her email: “I know 32 is really old to get engaged but I wasted my time in another relationship for 10 years and it sent me backwards.”

Since when is 32 “old” to get engaged?

As a female in the middle of her first year as a 30 year old, I was shocked and saddened that this woman made this declaration. Since when is being unmarried or even single such a stigma? In a world influenced by Facebook, I’m curious to know if other people are diving into relationships and having children just to stay relevant among their peers. Are these relationships healthy and true? Sure, some may be but others prove that both parties may have benefited from giving themselves time to learn, grow and achieve some real-life goals.

We all take different paths in life whether on our own or with a partner. You never know why someone may choose to remain single but that doesn’t mean they are lacking the need to be respected. So before you approach your friend, acquaintance or coworker about being pretty and single, think about how they are thriving on their own and absolutely killing it.

Posted in life, thoughts, women

Breaking Away

Many of us go through it. We stay in a relationship, a friendship or a situation because it’s comfortable, convenient and maybe we don’t know who we are without it. Looking back, now wiser, I am disappointed that there were many opportunities to walk away from toxicity and I did not. Has it shaped me as the person I am now today? Sure. Although I truly think I would have been much stronger if I actually walked briskly through the exit door instead of taking delicate steps to get there.

balloon

The reasoning for this reflection was the news of someone very close to me getting divorced. It was shocking and sad but once the true reasons why the relationship was ending came out, I was no longer somber. Although I won’t reveal the specifics around this decision, it was clear that a Facebook picturesque family was not so what it seemed. A marriage that seemed happy and cohesive on the outside was not always consistent behind closed doors and it took the female in the situation to finally break away. The “I will change” and “It won’t happen again” song spewed from her spouse’s mouth and for most of us it’s just as common as the same old tunes on the radio.

She stood her ground. The answer was still divorce.

Seeing this woman be a strong mother and advocate for not only herself and family but the life that she deserves felt so empowering to me. She was walking away from the person she had been with for a long time and had children with but had the confidence that she was going to be okay, even if she didn’t feel that way in that moment. It will be hard on both of them, their children and their extended families but at the end of the day it was the right decision.

Sometimes you have to let go of the balloon and let it fly free. The longer you have it on your wrist, the more it weighs you down.

Posted in life, women

So About That 1/3 of Your Life…

A few months ago, something strange happened. It came upon me quicker than anticipated and left behind a monumental moment of realization – 1/3 of my life has already been completed.

That’s right, I officially entered the “dirty 30” club and there is no turning back. I didn’t anticipate the impact that the big 3-0 would have on my current outlook on life but it did and with good reason.

30

There is a lot of pressure on women when they enter this age. Questions arise about weddings, babies and the purchasing of a new home; all of which I don’t nor desire to have – well, a big house would be nice 😉 Aside from these stereotypical pressures, I truly believe 30 has provided me with a new sense of empowerment and fierceness that I never once had as a bright-eyed 20-something. It is an amazing feeling to know you have come into your own and have paved your own path.

The word to highlight here is “own.”

I have entered 30 the way I wanted to and for the first time I feel so confident in the woman I have become. I’ve learned to evaluate and know my worth while cutting away those who no longer fit into this mindset. I have taken more risks, I guess you could say educated risks, now that I have the knowledge and experiences of what got me to this point. Most importantly, I have learned to balance being selfless and selfish. In my 20’s, I was always selfless, which is not a bad character trait to have but at times would take my full focus off of myself. I put the needs, dreams and desires of others before my own and it really took its toll. Being a bit selfish has helped me change gears and devote more energy into my own mental and physical well-being. It’s like they say, you have to put on your own oxygen mask before you are able to help others.

Regardless of the 3 and 0 and the expectations that come with it, I am more appreciative of life than I ever was before. Maybe one day I’ll have what everyone thinks I should but it will be on my terms, no matter what age because I’m still Kristin and have 2/3 more of life to live.