Post-Grad Life is Better

Post-grad life is a bit of a roller coaster. Half of the time, I am thinking, heck yes – no more homework, Netflix marathon! and the other half of the time I am thinking, ughghsugh – what am I doing with my life? And despite the never ending merry-go-round of emotion, post-grad life feels a lot more stable than college ever did.

In college, I always felt like I was building my life out of cards. Between the Russian roulette of roommates and a never ending cycle of classmates, professors, and jobs  - my life felt totally unstable during my four years as a college student.

I actually feel relieved not return to college in the fall and, in light of my post-grad existence, I am starting to feel like I am finding the stability that makes me a very happy old person trapped in a young person body.

For one, I have a six month lease. Do you realize that the last time I lived somewhere for six months in a row was four years ago before I moved out of my parent’s house? It’s been bizarre to settle into a place and realize that I won’t be packing things into boxes ten seconds later. Six months isn’t forever but, half a year seems a little more permanent than a semester. The idea that I will still be in the same apartment when there are Christmas lights up is mind boggling to me.

apartment

Secondly, I am not so afraid that the people in my life are going to disappear at any second. In college, I always felt like people were slipping through my fingers because with 85 percent of the campus leaving on the weekends and, students transferring in and out every week, “friends” came in as quickly as they disappeared. However, in this post-grad world I am finding more and more friends who intend to or already have set roots here, and for the first time in a long time, I am not so afraid that if I blink the people in my life will evaporate.

friends

Lastly, I finally have time to really have friends and do stuff. I loved all the learning in college but, by the end, I was ready to be done with all the filler assignments, quizzes, and readings that sucked up so much of my time. Now, I actually have time and freedom to go places and hang out with people because even though I have work – work ends pretty much when I step out of the door at the end of the day. I remember in the beginning of July, I went climbing with my friends in West Virginia (see above), and there was a moment when I just laid down on a towel, stared up at the trees, and realized how happy I was to be free of the huge weight that was college stress.

trees

I won’t say that post-grad life doesn’t have any downsides. I can’t take a nap at 1 p.m. on weekdays anymore and, I am still trying to figure out how to turn two part-time jobs into one full-time one. However, every so often in post-grad life, I find myself feeling happier than I ever did in college. Instead of feeling like I am living in a house of cards, finally it feels like I am starting to lay brick, and feeling the stability of a permanent existence is one of the most comforting feelings in the world.

First Impressions

My first impression of someone is almost always wrong. I would think that by 21, I would be better at figuring people out but, it seems that for me, the complexities of human beings will never be cut and dry.

dont-know-if-youve-ever-noticed-this-lemony-snicket

However, because I am so terrible at pinning people down when I first meet them, I like to play a game of first impressions. It goes like this – shortly after I first meet someone, I write all about them in my journal. Then, months later, if I actually get to know the person, I revisit my initial assessment of them. Most of the time, the original description is so far from the truth that I can’t even imagine what possessed me to write it.

The reason that I make a habit of playing this game is because it reminds me not to write people off when I first meet them. It is so incredibly easy for me to meet someone, make snap judgments, and then give up on even trying to get to know them based on the imaginary narrative that I have assigned to them based on five minutes of conversation.

For example, recently I was talking to one of my friends about when we first met. We met before I left for England, at which point I completely blew him off, and then were reintroduced through a mutual friend when I came back from England and slowly we became friends and now, he is my go-to climbing partner.

I see this example as a recurring phenomenon throughout my life. Time and time again my first impression has proven me wrong. It is so strange for me to look through my journal and go back through my past thoughts and realize that if I had gone with my first impression, I would be lacking some of my favorite people in my life.

That’s not to say that you should ignore your gut instinct. There is a difference between thinking someone is bad and knowing it – feeling your entire body telling you – get the heck away!

Nonetheless, the moral of the story is this – every person on this planet comes with a unique set of circumstances, personality traits, and history that makes them who they are. This human cocktail cannot be communicated in ten minutes of meeting someone or even after a week of knowing them. Getting to know someone takes time, an open mind, and an ability to put aside what you think you know versus what is actually true.

First impressions are dangerous things. They can draw us towards the wrong people and push us away from the right ones. And maybe the most important lesson I have learned from first impressions is that sometimes the most interesting, fun, and loving people are the ones that you never expect when first meeting them who, like episodes of Gilmore Girls, only get better with time..

Are your first impressions usually right?

Naked 1 Tutorial: Summer Gold

We are officially in mid-summer. In Maryland, that means Target is starting to fill its shelves with back-to-school deals, the humidity is slam dunking us all, and the Bay Bridge is plagued by a never ending saga of beach traffic. However, just because summer is here doesn’t mean that I have abandoned my favorite eye shadows. The Naked 1 is my favorite palette during the summer heat because it is super sweat resistant when paired with a primer.

This gold shadow concoction is just one of the many eyeshadow pairings that I have been using so far this summer season.

samandrooneandtwo

1. Prep your eyes by applying eye shadow primer and under-eye concealer.

2. Apply a dark golden eye shadow (Smog) to the outer edge of your lower lash line and your entire  upper lash line, winging out the shadow slightly.

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3. Apply a golden eyeshadow (Half Baked) to your entire lid.

4. Apply a matte brown eyeshadow (Buck) to your crease. Make sure to blend out the crease after you apply the shadow or it’s not going to look as seamless.

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5. Use a dark brown eyeliner to tightline your upper and lower lash line.

6. Apply mascara to your lashes. I am using brown mascara instead of black here.

beforeandafter

Breaking Up with a Friend

Friendships are tricky. Sometimes we grow into them and sometimes we grow out of them. Sometimes we give more than we get and sometimes we get more than we give. It’s a bit of a doozy.

We live in the age of what I believe to be “over friendism” meaning that to me, the line between acquaintances and friends has become increasingly blurred. The dictionary tells me that a “friend” is, “a person who you like and enjoy being with.” While Urban Dictionary tells me that a “friend” is, “some one who knows you but loves you anyway.”

And, maybe it’s a mix of both.

remove friend

Being a friend, a real friend, is a big dealio. It means making sacrifices – time, love, and energy. Being a friend is not always easy. It’s really not. It can be work, a balancing act, just like being part of a couple can be. It’s a relationship, and that’s where friendship deviates from just being an acquaintance for me.

Recently, I have been thinking about when it’s time to let go of a friendship.

I have always been reluctant to see someone as a friend until I am really sure of it, and I think some of that has to do with the fact that when I accept someone as my friend, I consider them as having a pretty major role in my life. By this, I mean – I get invested.

I see my friends as the leading roles in the Broadway adaptation of my life. They are the people that I trust and the people who I would do anything for. I don’t want to “fire” any of  them from their role.

In fact, I feel really guilty when I decide to end a friendship – incredibly so. Every part of me thinks how horrible I am for giving up on the person while the other part of me argues that whatever the person has done or has continued to do is really lame.

I sound like middle management.

Honestly though, when is it time to end a friendship? Is it when the friendship becomes more bad than good? Or is when both people just decide to quit?

I guess what I am getting at is, letting go of a friend can be as tough as breaking up with a boyfriend or girlfriend. You remember all the good things about the person and you want to forgive them, and then you remember your reasons for letting go. It’s an internal war of forgive them versus forget them.

It seems that letting go or being let go is always the risk you assume when you let someone in. The middle ground between being a doormat and putting up with bad friend behavior is gray area, and letting go is a decision that only you are qualified to make.