New Year, Same You

newyearsameyou
newyearsameyou
Hi! Wanted to let you know, you don’t have to radically change your life just because some Roman decided to make a calendar based on the moon and the tides and his sister’s period or whatever. You really don’t have to change. You can, and I totally support you (maybe just in spirit, I really don’t have the time), but you don’t HAVE to change. What I find more helpful than the “I’M NEVER GOING TO EAT GLUTEN AGAIN” resolutions is goal setting.

“If you have more than three priorities, then you don’t have any.” – Jim Collins

Try to focus on three areas of your life you’d like to improve over the course of the next year (or until your next birthday, or until you move, or until you’ve reached the results you desire). For example, in 2015, I would like to:
1. improve my comedy skills
2. advance my career
3. increase my presence in the blog world

Now, determine a few things you can do THIS MONTH to reach your previously set goals. A task you can control; “working out 3 times a week” rather than “fit into my prom dress.” For example, in January, I plan to (relative to each goal above):
1. research comedy classes to take, perform at 3 open mics, write one detailed/humorous life story
2. connect or reconnect with 2 people in a related field, read 1 book (this may sound impossibly easy to some, but I hate sitting still), determine 3 routes for current business idea
3. connect with 1 Chicago blogger, compose 2 posts (look! I just wrote one!), go on a photography excursion after learning a new skill online

See?! Not so bad, and likely stuff you were going to do anyway.

I promote my blog most on Instagram and follow many talented Chicago bloggers and photographers. I find myself often envying their perfectly styled, natural-lit, aerial view photos. I have to remind myself I’m not a professional photographer nor a style blogger, chef, mixologist, or hipster.

“Good for her, not for me.” – Amy Poehler

Knowing you’re working on your goals and doing the best you can also helps halt the comparing; especially if you’re a blogger or hold a lot of weight in social media. A guy once told me a girl should only wear her hair in a ponytail if she’s going to the gym, otherwise she must not give a shit. Social media is sort of like stupid boys. Makes you feel self conscious, but really, you know it’s not true. Here’s a lovely post on why your life doesn’t have to be a Pinterest board. Throw your hair up in a pony & read away!

These are your goals! You can change them at any time you wish, and never have to justify it to anyone but yourself. I reduced my open mic goal this month from 5 to 3 – whatever you feel is reasonable! Share your goals with your close friends so they can help you! One friend of mine wants a portrait taken this month to use on LinkedIn (my photography project) and another wants to read the book I’m reading (#GIRLBOSS, my book of the month), which both help motivate me rather than pressuring me.

Best wishes in the new year!

Rachel

Mental Staycation

Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland

Trinity College in Dublin, IrelandAs I prep for my trip to Boston this week, I am reminded of a thought I had when my friend Maggie (pictured above talking to our Couchsurfing host at Trinity College campus in Dublin) visited last month: Why are we social butterflies when traveling?

While at Burwood Tap, a neighborhood bar, Maggie wanted to see what was on the jukebox, so she… joined the next guy who approached it and helped him choose a song. While doing so, she began talking to the group of girls next to the jukebox. She returned to our table, sat for a moment, and said “those girls seem really cool; I’d like to talk to them again” … and then she did just that.

Why was this so shocking to the rest of us at the table? Why was it so absurd that she would go continue a conversation with seemingly nice people? Are we all so afraid of a conversation going poorly that we can only bear the thought when in an unfamiliar city with people we will likely not see again?

Give yourself a mental staycation this week. Spark a conversation with someone on the bus (CRAZY, I KNOW.) Say “good morning” to people on your way to work. Go up to the fun group of people at your favorite bar and INTRODUCE YOURSELF. Be a social butterfly like Maggie and pretend you’re on vacation. Most importantly, be kind and enjoy yourself!

Have a great week! Can’t wait to tell you all about Boston when I return :)

Rachel

You Must Blog to Be a Blogger?

Killarney National Park

Killarney National Park

Okay, it’s been a while. My dog ate my blog posts. Nah, I can’t lie to you. I got a little wrapped up in Instagram lately FOLLOW ME, PLEASE @dontreadintoit. Apparently it’s best to blog to maintain “blogger” status?

I was reaching a point of exhaustion in the job hunt, along with a poorly-timed relationship with a guy who didn’t know we were in a relationship (it’s a theme of mine; if any of you ladies want to patch things up with the ex, send ’em my way and they’ll come crawling back to you. Rates negotiable.) For two weeks, I had this crazy anxiety I couldn’t find the source for – that gut feeling (ADVICE – FOLLOW IT). After weeks of tricking myself into believing I was upset about my lack of job, I decided to test things out to see if it was the relationship. After far too long, I asked if he saw it going anywhere – he responded by telling me he still has dreams about his ex. Good call, gut.

I’m no expert (see above), but I think relationships are more simple than people make it out to be (romantic, friendships, family). Joanna Goddard of A Cup of Joe posted advice her sister gave her. Mark Manson posted similar advice. In essence, life’s too short to be with someone who doesn’t want to be with you – a person either likes you or they don’t. You do you.

A week later, I got a job offer (which I start TODAY!). Coincidence? Perhaps. A good lesson nonetheless. Make room in your life for good things to happen.

Have a lovely week!

Rachel

Spring Break or Bust … or Phone?

beachphone

beachphone

As spring break approaches for us late goers, picture this (but don’t cry, it’s not real):

It’s 5am, you’re at the airport, moments from boarding your plane to your spring break destination, and you realize you’ve forgotten your phone.

You met your friends at their place at some ungodly hour, get in the car, ready to head to your spring break haven, and then you get that empty feeling of lacking your phone.

I’d like to hear what you guys think! Vote and/or comment below:

What would you do if you forgot your phone?

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For spring break, I’m going to North Carolina with my family for my sister’s golf tournament. Needless to say, I would walk home to get my phone if I forgot it.

Hey, Boys ;) Some Tinder Advice

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lindsay-facepalm
I’m not normally into Gifs, but I like to imagine a young LiLo would’ve face palmed almost all of these common Tinder mistakes. Take these with a grain of salt*, I don’t know what every lady is into, but here is a list of my least favorite, yet most common, Tinder traits:
  • “Love country music”
    • This is a personal preference. I hate country music. Left swipe. Moving on.
  • Over 40
    • Splurge for Match.com. Quit being creepy.
  • Kids in the picture, literally
    • This can be misleading. Sure, you look sweet and nurturing, but it raises questions such as “DO YOU HAVE A CHILD?” Might want to bring that up in your bio – “Love chillin’ with my nephew” or a comment along those lines.
  • Not having a bio!!
    • At least if you have a bio, there’s a sense of humanity in this act. Otherwise, it’s strictly based on your face. Do you really want this to all be based on your face? That’s a lot of face pressure.
  • Clearly too young for me (and I’m 22)
    • Nice try, Eric the 17-year-old. Go be charming on Twitter or Instagram or something.
  • The lone picture of you with friends
    • It’s too risky. Tinder is not the place to hide behind friends. It just comes off as unconfident. Plus, we’ll assume you’re the odd one in the back.
  • Pictures of juuuuuust straight up abs
    • Some lady Tinderers may be into this. It’s just not for me. I’m now assuming your face is hideous and you have the personality of a lawn chair.
  • “Get weird” or “let’s get weird”
    • Tinder is weird enough. Please don’t make me regret the download.
  • Uses abbrevs in description. There’s enough space, don’t be lazy.
    • Honestly, the app gives you copious amounts of typing space. Here is the chance to use your big boy words and practice safe grammar!
  • Let’s just say we met at _____
    • Fill in the blank, I’ve seen it all. Starbucks, the beach, Ikea, I get it. I was embarrassed to tell people I was on Tinder. But if you’re at the point where you’ve made it work for a while and you’re introducing each other to people? Own it. Be proud. You made a Tinder date into a relationship.
  • Don’t try too hard to be sexy in your profile
    • Someday one of the girls in your friend group will actually see your profile.
  • That big group picture of you and your friends
    • This does nothing for us. Smart phones are smart, but the screens are small. But yeah, we get it, you have friends.
  • The infamous dick pic
    • Maybe you’ve been through a tough break up and someone said “You really need to put yourself out there” and you took it too literally. Boys, no more.
*I have absolutely no experience with successful relationships. Also, I deleted Tinder yesterday.