Embracing the Phase: the Transitional 20’s

There’s a difference between living and simply being alive. We all battle finding the happy medium. The one thing that remains prevalent in that is our purpose. We all have one.

To say I’ve been stuck a weird rut is partially true, but I think it’s more so a transitional period in my life that leaves me ambivalent about what my purpose actually is. I certainly know and understand that each and every day I wake up as a daughter, a sister, a best friend, a niece, a granddaughter, a cousin, a titleholder, a 23-year-old, a woman, a PR associate, a journalist, a singer and so on. With all of those roles, my thoughts always wander back to “Am I doing enough?” or “Is this it?”

Complacency and contentment has never been something I settled for. So many mediocre words, right?

complacent. content. settle.

Those are ugly words to me. Hideous words that should never be in your or my vocabulary unless you’re talking about things you never want. My aspirations stem far and wide, but by no means do they reach a level of simply being content- especially at 23. Yours shouldn’t either.

People always ask me “Are you working? Do you love it?” My answer is yes. It will always be yes because I take pride in the decisions I make. But I’m always left wanting more. Wanting to BE more, to STRIVE for me, to DREAM more, BELIEVE more, WORK more. In the last year I’ve been dealt many different cards, some played well and some not so much (I’m really bad at UNO). I (will probably continue to) spend countless nights in my room, in solitude with my thoughts. I try so hard to shut out the world sometimes, seeking wishful silence in my empty room and it seems like the noise of the world couldn’t be any louder. I think and think and think… “did I do enough at work today… why hasn’t so&so texted me today… why am I so tired.. I shouldn’t be this tired I’m in my 20s… should I go back to school… should I drink wine tonight (that should always be a yes, btw)… I wonder how my brother is doing… when should I take the GREs… need to call Ari and see how she is… I should probably do my laundry… maybe a purple gown would suffice for Miss NJ… I hope Cierra is okay… basketball season is next month… where will I be in 5 years…” Aimless, various and sometimes crazy thoughts that I am consumed by on the regular, and all at once because HEY why not.

First things first [I’m the realist. Drop just to… nvm].

Seriously, first things first, you don’t have all the answers *Kanye West voice.* I don’t even have all the answers. Your thoughts—let them steer you TO and THROUGH your fears, your insecurities, your dreams, ambitions, aspirations. I have spent more time doubting myself than believing in myself these days and it makes me sick. I’m not good at taking no for an answer, particularly when it pertains to my career. People always looked at me with a tilted head and squinted eyes when I explained that I wanted to go into sports. An undergraduate degree and five internships later, my response to that is BOO-YAH as I sit at my desk in my job at a sport management company.

Let that be the fuel that lights your fire. Why should you (or I) waste time doubting myself when other people do it for me, right? LOL. Really though. You don’t know my life, so don’t try to tell me what I can’t do. If you aren’t or can’t provide value and growth to my life, you don’t belong in it. I am inspired by people with goals, who have a plan, who value their education, who choose to smile instead of surrender themselves to the negativity our society seems to swim in. Tell me what I CAN do, talk to me about what I CAN do to be better. “Before I am your daughter, your sister, your aunt, niece or cousin, I am my own person and I will not set fire to myself to keep you warm.” Anyone that knows me knows I would give the world to and for my family and friends, but I refuse to lose my identity to become a part of someone else’s. I am Anna before I am anything else, and that will never change.

Purpose.

“You will always be too much of something for someone; too big, too loud, too soft, too edgy. If you round out your edges, you lose your edge. Apologize for mistakes. Apologize for unintentionally hurting someone—profusely. But don’t apologize for being who you are.” Amen and godbless. That quote literally sinks right into my soul. Embrace the days that make you feel like an ant the same way you embrace the days that make you feel like a king/queen. Being human involves consistency, so no matter what the world throws at you—good or bad—you have it handled, sorta like Olivia Pope. I am very much “what you see is what you get.” I get so irritated when people I’ve known for months don’t understand my sarcasm or my humor or my word use and then I think “are you paying attention?” Probably not! It’s important to see and listen to others as much as people see and listen to you. Newsflash. y’all: the world does NOT REVOLVE AROUND YOU. That’s the trick to understanding and embracing your purpose. It could change from day to day, but remembering that sometimes people need you more than you need them on a given day could really make all the difference. Details matter, so pay attention. Sometimes I wake up ready to conquer the world, and other days I wake up and sit in my bed texting Cierra until 15 minutes before I have to leave for work. It happens. You are allowed to be happy, powerful, sad, angry, etc. Embrace the face, embrace the phase.

I thought I’d have my life figured out by now, especially thinking about an 18-year-old Anna and what my plans were. Now I just laugh and think “YOU’RE JOKING.” I wish I had things figured out, but then it wouldn’t be as fun wondering what the day-week-month will bring along. Being stuck in rut, that’s temporary. But it’s only temporary if you choose to treat each day as a new beginning. We get one shot at life, and you are no younger today than you were yesterday. Oh yes, let that one sick in– you’re getting old, what are you gonna do about? Mope around? NAAAHHH.

You want to be the change you see in the world?… then BE IT. Stop crying about the boy/girl that won’t text you back and get out there and do something. Be somebody. Find your purpose.

I started this blog a few days ago when I was in a really crumby place. To be perfectly honest, I still am, but half the battle is choosing to fight back and putting your trust and confidence in the people who will keep you from falling. The other half is coming to terms with the fact that life WILL throw you curveballs and you just have to be ready for them (BATTER UPP).

Want some advice? Here it is, per usual:

1. DO NOT CHASE PEOPLE WHO WON’T RUN WITH YOU OR PICK YOU UP WHEN YOU TRIP AND FALL.

2. YOU ARE ALLOWED TO BE EMOTIONAL. TALK IT OUT, HUG IT OUT, KEEP IT MOVING.

3. YOUR MOTHER HAS MOST OF THE ANSWERS TO YOUR UNANSWERABLE QUESTIONS. AND IF SHE DOESN’T, ASK HER TO MAKE YOU FOOD. FOOD ALWAYS HELPS.

4. IF YOUR MOM ISN’T AROUND, EAT CHIPOTLE. AND GET THE GUAC.

5. EXPLORE YOUR INTERESTS, WEIGH YOUR OPTIONS. YOU NEVER WANT TO WONDER ‘WHAT IF’

6. YOUR BEST FRIEND(S) WILL NOT JUDGE YOU. TALK TO THEM, CRY TO THEM.

7. NEVER SKIP YOUR MORNING COFFEE. IT JUST SETS A BAD TONE FOR THE DAY. JAVA FOR THE SOUL, EVERYDAY.

8. ALSO, DRINK WINE. IT’S GOOD FOR YOUR HEART AND YOUR MIND AND YOUR LIFE (21+ THOUGH. MY YOUNG BUCKS, HAVE A MILKSHAKE)

9. THE SUN DOES NOT RISE AND SET BY YOU, SO TREAT PEOPLE KINDLY. WE ALL DESERVE RESPECT AS HUMANS.

10. DO YOU, BOO. I MEAN THAT. YOU COULD BE BROKE AND EATING RAMEN NOODLES, BUT AS LONG AS YOU’RE MAKING WISE DECISIONS AND DOING WHAT YOU LOVE, NOTHING ELSE REALLY MATTERS.

Pray for one another. Pray for me. Pray for the world. We could all use a little prayer every once in a while. Keep the faith, remain humble and be kind.

Here’s to hoping we all find our purpose, whether it’s for ‘right now’ and forever. Keep ya head up!

xo.

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