The Twenties: What is this?

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For those who have been following me for some time, you probably know that I like to share little snippets of my life on the blog.  Most of the time, I’m talking about feminism or my struggles with anxiety or just weird things that I come across, but lately, things have been unusually hard in my personal life concerning career goals, relationships, family, adulting, and the like.  This is totally not new to any twenty-something that has ever lived.  Honestly, it’s no secret that the twenties are an ever-evolving, revolutionary time period that everyone experiences.  Like, shit, 80% of sitcoms on TV are dedicated to the portrayal of the twenty-somethings’ lives.  For unknown reasons, people think we’re a fascinating species, but really I think it’s just that we’re relatable.

I have to admit that I have not been in my twenties for very long, so by no means am I an expert.  However, I’ve always thought that your twenties start when you move out on your own (in my case 18) and pretty much last until you’re in your thirties (or when you get married/buy a house/have kids?  I don’t really know).  What I’m trying to say is that I have noticed the struggles of the twenties in my personal life starting at 18 and even in some of my older friends that are now in their thirties but are still experiencing the same stuff they were dealing with 8 years ago.  This is a period of our lives where half the people we know have toddlers and engagement rings while the other half woke up half-naked on the front lawn of a frat house covered in profane Sharpie doodles.  Which leads to my question: What is this?  What are our twenties?!  We watch our childhood friends graduate college, get careers, become someone’s wife, become someone’s dad.  We struggle with our career choices, dating, an onset of health problems we thought we wouldn’t have for another 20 years (why do I always have heartburn?!), learning how to like green juice and drag our ass to the gym in the morning pre-coffee.  The twenties are difficult, and I won’t believe otherwise, but I’ve also been told that it’s the best time of my life.

See, I have this issue where I’m currently in college, and everyone is telling me, “Make it last as long as you can.  You’ll never get this time back.  After college, it’s just work and paying bills.  Yadayadayada”.  However, I truly do not believe I am currently living the best part of my life.  And for the love of God, if this is my peak, I’m just going to stop now.  I can tell you for sure that, while I have truly enjoyed college and life during, I have also had some of my worst anxiety and sadness over the past few years.  There are days where I want to stay in college forever and days where I can’t wait to be set in my career.  It’s a battle, but I try to learn from the hard days and cherish the good ones.  I want more than anything to have the best time of my life during the twenties, and I really do believe that it’s going to happen, but I guess I’m kind of just wondering when that will be?  (Patience is not my forte, have you noticed?)  I have to say, as of right now, I’m not super impressed with my twenties, but I also had set myself up to believe that everything was going to be perfect by this time in my life.  Every time something good happens, I think “This is it!” until it isn’t.  However, I’ve already learned so much from dealing with more difficult aspects of life, and I know that with persistence, I’ll find what I’m looking for (and if anyone is persistent, it’s me).  I’m working on getting out of my head a bit, opening up, and not taking myself so seriously.  This has been a problem in the past.  While physically I’m in my twenties, my personality is far into her thirties.  I must disclose this, because my opinions may not be completely accurate of a twenty-something, although obviously this varies person-to-person.  While my thirty-something personality can sometimes be a drag on my younger self (when I feel like my life is not progressing fast enough, when I would rather stay home than go out, when I put insane amounts of pressure on myself at work or in school), it has also had a lot of benefits (I have formed adult relationships, I set goals, I know – basically – what I’m looking for in life).

I want to stress that I am not here to judge or psychoanalyze anyone like I’m some kind of expert on living-life-to-the-fullest or learning how to be your “best self”.  I’m just here to share observations in my usual satirical way.  The twenties are hard and confusing, and honestly, I don’t quite know what I’m doing with my life.  I’m just looking to share some of my experiences while I navigate whatever it is that I’m looking for.  I want this to be humorous at times and therapeutic in others.  Hopefully, I’ll find some people who can relate, and we’ll swap war stories.

If you have any good advice or thoughts, please feel free to share.  I’ll be here in my minuscule corner of the internet attempting to finish my degree, find love, and actually remember to put gas in my car before I’m running late to an important event.

Cheers to the twenties, ya’ll.

XO Sara Lynn

*Song of the Day: The Modern Age by The Strokes

 

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M&M Cookies

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Picking a Valentine’s Day recipe was more of a debacle then I ever thought imaginable.  To a normal person that doesn’t spend their days thinking about food or clothes, this sounds absolutely crazy, but for me, that’s pretty much my life.  Valentine’s Day recipes to me is creme brulee, chocolate lava cakes, maybe macarons if you want to get cute.  Valentine’s Day to Pinterest=pink, pink, pink, sprinkles, pink.  Since I was wanting to make something for my friends, I decided creme brulee might be a little too romantic, but I also don’t want to poison my friends with 1/4 cup of pink food coloring.  Then I thought of chocolate covered strawberries, because they’re probably one of my favorite things ever, but strawberries aren’t in season yet.

Being an adult is hard )-:

All of a sudden, I realized I was completely overthinking every decision in my life (the usual), when I came across a picture of M&M cookies while paging through recipes.  And then I found a bag of V-day colored M&Ms while strolling through the grocery store.  Game over.

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I think, in the end, my ultimate goal was just to go back to elementary school V-Days, because those were fun as hell.  What happened to tissue boxes covered in crepe paper and cupid stickers that your friends would put little cards and candies in?  That was the coolest.  Since now I’m old enough to safely use an oven (debatable), I can make cute little cookies for Galentine’s Day and still celebrate the friendship aspect of the holiday.

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Valentine’s Day has always been something that I thought was incredibly over done in movies and TV shows (seriously, have you seen the movie Valentine’s Day?  I accidentally saw it last night, and it was the worst), but I love fun, laid-back, romantic V-Days with my SO ♥♥♥  I think everyone gets so busy that they sometimes forget to appreciate their loved ones, but it’s totally important to take time for a date-night (or family night, or friends night) whether it’s on Valentine’s Day or any other day of the year.

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I hope you have a super cool V-Day with your special human, family, friends, fur babies, and/or yourself.

XO SaraLynn

*Song of the Day: I’ll Try Anything Once by The Strokes*

Sweaters and Insecurities

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Hello friends.

Today (tonight) (at midnight) I will be talking to you about bodies!

Mostly your body (or my body in my case) and insecurities and confidence.

But first, about these pictures……

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I decided that I wanted some updated piano pictures of me.  The only ones I have are old, and since playing piano (and music in general) is a huge passion of mine, I wanted some for general uses.

As for my outfit: I decided to stage the pictures to look how I would in every day life.  Generally, if I’m at home, I’m wearing comfortable clothing.  I especially love sweaters, socks, leggings, flannels, etc.  Hence the sweater and socks.  I also decided to keep my piano how it looks like if you walk into my house.  I decorated it a little differently than I normally do, but this is what my life looks like on an average day.

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(I also tried pictures with nothing on my piano, which turned out pretty boring.)

Now on to bodies!  While taking these pictures, I was kind of nervous.  1. My hair was a mess and kind of wavy from having it in a ponytail all night.  2. My makeup was not as perfect as I would normally like for pictures, and 3. I wasn’t sure if the outfit would end up looking like I was trying too hard to be “sexy” (you know, in that way you see girls looking on the Urban Outfitters website like they’re so nonchalantly sitting in a meadow or something wearing a t-shirt and their underwear).  I was worried that having thigh high socks on with really short shorts would seem slutty, or if I would be judged by others based on my looks.  I’m not a model, after all.

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In addition to be worried about my hair/makeup/outfit, I was worried about my body.  Under no circumstances have I ever felt that I am overweight, or thought that I had anything truly wrong with my body.

But like most people, I have wanted to change some things about my body.  I have wanted my legs to be longer and my midsection to be curvier.  My body in general to be curvier.  I have wanted to be taller, bigger boobs, prettier skin, skinnier thighs.  Even though I am small, I have still had insecurities.

Every time I have expressed these, I always get things like, “But you’re so skinny!” “You’re so little!” “You’re like, what, 100 pounds?”

And while all of those things are true (because I am naturally that way), I still have had insecurities about my body.  There seems to be this misunderstanding that being small/skinny/little means we do not have insecurities.  But being small/skinny/little oftentimes means having no boobs/butt/curves.  It oftentimes means that we have bodies similar to that of 13 year old girls.

And listening to somebody complain about their flaws they have for themselves while undermining the flaws I have for myself is a little bit annoying.

And while taking these pictures, all I could think was, “Will these look okay?”  Because I knew that I would not look like those models on the internet, whose legs go on forever.  Who have meticulously applied eyeliner and mascara to look like they aren’t wearing any at all.  Whose hair is perfectly tousled because they “woke up like this”.

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But when I actually took a look at the pictures, I didn’t care at all.

Because I loved how I looked in the photos.  I loved my wavy hair.  I loved that my body looked like mine.  I loved how my legs didn’t go on forever, and my sweater was baggy, and my makeup wasn’t perfect.  Because I’m not a model.

I love how if any of you were to see me in real person, you would still recognize me from these pictures.

For the last year or so, I have become so incredibly confident about my body.  I find myself judging my “flaws” less and less.  Because they are not flaws.  They’re made up problems that I have in my own head.  They’re not real.  They’re only real to me because I let them be that way.

I’m not sure where it came from exactly, but I have some ideas.  For starters, at the beginning of last year, I broke off a couple bad relationships (one in particular that made me feel especially bad about myself).  I formed some new great ones.  I had people in my life who made me feel beautiful and empowered.  They reminded me that I was beautiful and liked me for things I didn’t even like about myself.  They encouraged me.  Out with the negative, in with the positive.  Some of those people aren’t really in my life anymore, even just a year later, but they still had a huge impact on my confidence, and I am so grateful to them for that.

I also just decided that I was fed up with the discouragement I was giving myself.  I was tired of the bullshit that I kept telling myself over and over.  I decided to learn to love myself for who I am.

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So while I’m sure it’s nice to be tall with perfect curves and long legs, I don’t care because I am who I am.  I love being the cute small girl with bangs and oxfords.  I like that I am different.

And I like that these photos came out kind of sexy.

Not lingerie-in-your-face-obvious kind of sexy, but subtly sexy.  Like how girls actually look when we’re hanging around our house (because unlike girls in movies/ads/perfume commercials, we don’t just hang out in lacy underwear all day with a perfect chignon and red lipstick).

Ever since I have started loving my body, I have been so much happier.  Every time I think about something I would like to change, I can so easily ignore the negative thoughts.  Of course, I still have my bad days.  But I always know that I’m still pretty in my own unique way.

I’m fit, I’m healthy, and I like who I am as a person.

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Sweater: Forever 21 Shorts: Old Socks: American Apparel

And I love these pictures, dammit.

The whole point of this is that we cannot change the way we were made.  It’s easier to learn to love your body than to obsess over how much it bothers you.

I ♥♥♥ my body.

I hope you love, or can learn to love yours too.

Because as cliche as this seems, everyone is beautiful.

XO Sara

Song of the Day: “Body”–Karen O (more about relationships than anything, but empowering nonetheless).