The professional world and how age is sometimes king

The professional world and how age is sometimes king

You know the term “age is just a number”? It’s pretty common, and mostly used on birthdays of people who don’t enjoy the larger number they are turning. Side note: let’s give a half spirited, fully sarcastic round of applause to society for that upside down and Debby downer thought process. Why? Because age is such a gift, and I know- you’re thinking- how does this 20 something year old even know this? 

Well, here’s the thing, the term also works for the younger folks. How? Because age IS just a number, people can be wildly different from the norm of their age. I know I am, and I know my husband is too (in opposite ways, but that’s for another story). 

The world of professionalism is a stage or period in life that comes for each of us. It’s a silent stage in life that creeps up on us, even when we think we see it coming. 

It happens for people in different ways and different speeds, but there is a day when you realize what you’re doing requires a separate version of yourself. 

Some cases you are asked to change your behaviors slightly, while others you have to change completely to fit a role. I find it often comes unexpectedly and with the job you are given, or from the person, or the place you work for. 

I’ve been in every stage for what feels like forever at a time. High school was one of the first shifts into the professional world. We were expected as young adults to make decisions that more often than not largely impacted the future of our lives. Whether it was the college we chose, the internship, or even the summer jobs. At this point, everything went on a resume. Everything had a place on paper to make you more important, more worthy, and more wanted. 

After college, you have your first real life job- this is where all those years of good grades, extra credit, college tuition, and summer jobs came into play. Here, you had to yet again show your worth for positions that may very well lead you to reassess the importance of working at all. And to top it all off, you were expected to know how to do this from the very beginning. 

My first out of college job was maybe one of the worst. I was eventually treated terribly. Although, it didn’t start this way- and I believe that’s how they get you. My energetic and knowledge hungry self slowly faded, and I became zombie-like on the job. I did the same exact things everyday and I sat and stared at my double screens all day. My future to grow in the job began and stopped the day I signed on. 

I was given a title that sounded important and serious, but was nothing more than a glorified floater of the company, who picked up the extra work. They saw my age as just a number, not necessarily taking into account the person I actually was and my capabilities. 

I stayed in the job as long as I could before finally leaving it. The problem here was, to society- it looked like I quit on a great opportunity that showcased my knowledge, skills, and worth. I felt utterly suffocated by my position there, and my health and self worth took a downward spiral. The feeling after leaving the job was something I’ll never forget- a weight lifted off me, and I instantly felt better. But this was of course also followed by horror and the realization I was jobless- right out of college. I thought- what will people think of me now? 

Like all things, nothing is forever. I soon found another job, and it felt like something I could really take on and run with. They seemed interested in my worth and how I could potentially grow at the business.  

But, at the end of the day- it all came down to my age. I couldn’t do certain jobs because of where I was in life (my age). I wasn’t worldly enough, and who knew if I could handle the work. My potential was measured by my age- perhaps not on purpose, but it was what it was. 

I think that once people get to a certain level of success in life, and a certain comfortability, they become blind to the beginning stages of their success. Employees become people they “gave” a chance to, and any successes would therefore be a shared reward. 

I once had an employer who congratulated me on a large purchase, while also noting that it was basically like they bought it for me. And I thought- hm, I don’t remember you scrubbing the floor and working your butt off! 

Age is just a number, but life is more than that number. 

In the end, my age is a gift, and I wouldn’t want to change it in order to change the way successful people see me. I am young, and according to society, I might not be as experienced in life. And somehow I am stuck being seen as the person that needs that big break. 

I’ll tell you what though- All my proudest accomplishments come from the life experiences I’ve had- and none of them have had anything to do with the jobs or titles I’ve earned. 

Life is bigger than your number, so why not live like it?

The joy of having a house full of his and hers, but mostly ours

The joy of having a house full of his and hers, but mostly ours

Do you ever look at your house and realize just how much stuff you have accumulated over the years? 

With the stay at home order, I am sure you have had more than enough time to stare at your house and think – why do we even have that? And where did it come from?

My husband and I moved in together before we decided to take the leap and marry, and here is why I am so happy we did. 

We dated for a period of time and when his lease was up in the house of guys (I call it this, because – yes, he lived with 4 other guys), he was more than happy to settle down together in a house. 

At the house of guys, he had a room the size of someone’s pantry – and not like Kim Kardashian’s pantry – but like a do 2-3 lunges and hit the other side of the room sized pantry. I know, I don’t know how he did it! And believe it or not, he somehow managed to pack his entire life in it, right up to the slanted ceilings. 

Once I became more of a consistent addition, and after years of me buying him stuff, it was clear that the “to-go” container size of a room was not going to work much longer. 

At the time, I still lived with my parents, so everything I needed could fit into one car load. ONE. I mean, don’t get me wrong – I had a lot of stuff. But most of the items I didn’t pack were kept because of my mother and her love for memories being attached to objects. Her attic and basement are blasts to the past to all our family memories. I assume I will have this someday as well, and I cannot wait for it. 

Meshing two completely different lives into one space can be daunting and rather exhausting. 

I remember deciding to buy new items together, and we split the costs right down the middle. I’ll never forget the late nights and rushes of excitement when we bought our own furniture and set it all up. Little memories of the almost failures of driving our couch home, one half at a time, and praying that the rope would hold until we got home. Or when we had to assemble our TV stand while being overtired and trying to read confusing directions. I remember the laughs and the happy realizations that we had a person to do this with, for what would later be for life. 

We kept and respected each other’s “keep” items and we stored the rest. And now that I think about it, all the items we stored were complete wastes of space, and still are! If we walked into our garage right now, we would find an old boombox, a bunch of backpacks, and boxes of CDs and DVDS (who needs those anymore when you have streaming accounts galore?). Most of these items were kept because they were parts of who we were. And when we moved in together, we weren’t quite ready to release them and start on our next chapters of ourselves, as a house couple. 

My husband and I live in a cute little house where we have extra rooms and full spaces of our own. This luxury is seriously underrated and it’s truly glorious. Sometimes we think – why do people even go out as much as they do – everything you need is RIGHT here! 

Unlike popular trends, my husband has the biggest closet, and I have the smallest closet. I know what you’re thinking, why would HE need the big closet? 

The answer is embarrassing and simple. I have continuously over bought for the guy and I love doing it. 

If you’re anything like me, shopping for yourself is fun, but it’s even better when it’s for someone else! Our first Christmas I overdid it big time (and to be real, I sometimes still do) and bought him 25 gifts. I don’t say this to brag either, because he did an excellent and thoughtful job as well.  

I recall people saying – what if you guys break up? And I remember thinking – I don’t think that’s gonna happen, I think he’s the one. 

And guess what – he was indeed the one.

Fast forward 5 years. We are happily married, we are homeowners, and we are proud cat parents. 

And for all the important parts, his/hers turned into ours.

Live life in vibrant color, and leave behind the rest

Live life in vibrant color, and leave behind the rest

I sometimes struggle with healing from my past. Past mistakes, friendships, relationships, or even past versions of myself. And what I have found is that we are always a little bit of each of those things…forever. Not necessarily in all the cringe worthy ways, but if you think about it, we are always growing from our past versions. Whether it is the past version of yourself from a year, a month, a week, or even a day ago. I like to think of each person’s life like a plant, every plant has different needs and different ways to care for it, but the base line care is pretty much the same. You water it, give it sunlight, and repot it when it’s outgrown its first container. People are like this too – everyone starts somewhere, needs a level of nourishment, and care – and eventually we outgrow where we started. A lot like plants, we will always have our roots, the evidence of who we once were, forever attached to who we are today.

My past self has made some foolish decisions. Hell, sometimes my present self does too – no one is perfect! After trial and error, most of the time I have learned to notice, grow, and improve from those choices. Some decisions lead me to stick it out with friends that were no good and stay with jobs that were sucking the life out of me. And others were questionable personal decisions, like trying not to eat to fill the fantasy standard of beauty. Oppositely, some were positive decisions to take chances on myself, choose what I wanted over what others wanted for me, and love who I was at every stage of life. These decisions were rarely self taught, and a lot of  times they were inspired by way of example. I would see someone taking risks and choosing to live life in vibrant colors, and I would decide I wanted to live life in vibrant colors too.  

Speaking on the spectrum of decisions, I have and love tattoos. They are beautiful expressions of what people want to showcase to others without words (although sometimes tattoos are words). Occasionally they are self explanatory, while other times they are special to only the one person who has them. I like the ones that are significant in some way, the ones that have meaning beyond the tattoo itself. All my tattoos have meaning, but I happened to get one that I no longer felt in love with a few years later. After thinking long and hard about it, I decided to get it covered up. The process of getting it covered up was weirdly therapeutic, I was changing something that was thought/meant to be permanent. I was changing something because I made the decision to. 

Lately, I have become more aware of the power of decision. Our daily lives are so saturated with advice and FOMO, that sometimes it’s hard to make a personal decision without someone else’s approval. I now acknowledge the power of jumping off of my past/present self today and everyday to be a better version of myself.  Every day is a clean slate to change and make waves.

Social Media, are you listening?

Social Media, are you listening?

Social media is both a dream and a nightmare. I get to connect with people all over the world, at different parts of their lives, and I get to share mine with them. I love the fact that I am free to connect with people I haven’t spoken to or seen in 5+ years, but at the same time, I really hate it. 

If you really think about it, it’s a blessing and curse to know that someone you went to school with has their dream life. You root for them, you’re happy for them, it even proves it’s possible, but it also makes you review your life, and do the dreaded comparison. You immediately feel that you are way behind in life or might have messed up along the way somehow.  The question: Why aren’t I living my dream life yet? sashays across your train of thought, and it’s a huge bummer!  

Do you know the song “High School Never Ends”,  by Bowling for Soup? I remember hearing it for the first time on my sister’s iPod shuffle while at the airport on our February break trip – and I thought – this song has got to be wrong. I was beginning high school and all the academic stress, student body hierarchy, and all around competition was in full swing. I remember thinking, there’s no way the highschool mentality continues into adulthood! I felt confident that high school was gonna be great, maybe even just like the movies. But it wasn’t.

While movies show all the cliques in high school, most of them generally focus on the person that a lot of us strive to be. The popular/mysterious, beautiful, and smart girls or guys – who always get the guy or girl they want in the end. They always seem to manage to learn some grand lesson at the end of the movie too – wouldn’t that be nice? Most of the time, this isn’t the case, and we go through bouts of depression, anxiety, bullying, eating disorders, and years later we might learn something from it. Movies don’t show all that – just like social media doesn’t show all of it. Everyone shows the highlights, the things we hope others will see and think about us, even if it’s not entirely our reality. 

While all these platforms have the power to connect us all, they also have the power to destroy us. Destroy our feelings of accomplishment, happiness, and sometimes even love. I have started an unwind process, and I detach from platforms for certain periods of the day. It has helped me be present and proud of my life, undocumented and in real time

Has anyone else found this to be true and/or do this too? Let me know if the comments below! 

Game or real life, the humorous life of a gamers wife

Game or real life, the humorous life of a gamers wife

My husband is a gamer, and I have to tell you, it’s sometimes really impressive. His attention span for these games and all the action items are insane and never ending. I have tried to play video games with him (Legos), but there must be some disconnect for me, because I am the worst with my visual and remote control reaction times. I once tried to play a game where I drove a car, and I crashed a lot, it was really hard! During this fail, I looked over at my husband, and he’d already found the special hidden item and was onto the next level. Umm, how did that even happen?

He mostly plays FPS (first person shooter), RPG (role playing game), and puzzle/ strategy games. And sometimes, I’ll try and follow and watch for a small amount of time. Some of the games even include storylines that I can follow for a bit, but most of the time I am at a loss. I can’t seem to follow the map layouts or even the small icons in all the corners of the screen, they are just too darn small! In fact, a lot of times the music tracks to his games became my study soundtracks or lullabies. This randomly developed since most of the time he played his games late at night. We even tested it out, if I can’t fall asleep, we will turn on a soundtrack or he will tell me his future game play strategy and I am out like a light! 

Throughout the years, I have semi watched him beat a bunch of games, like Doom, Wolfenstein, Fallout 4, Red Dead Redemption II, GTA V, and most recently Cyberpunk 2077(to name a few). When I say he beat these games, I mean that he successfully finished them, watched all the credits to the end, and then RESTARTED them from the very beginning. He does this to see where he might have missed anything during game play. Talk about dedication and patience! He easily spots things on the screen that I don’t even notice, or register as holding any importance whatsoever. Gaming is intense, and as crazy as it may sound, it’s a skill. 

Let me be clear though, this kind of eagle eye attention is reserved for the games. In real life, he can’t find simple things in the house or he doesn’t remember a conversation we had. I grumble and mumble when this happens, but it’s pretty entertaining.  Many times we are sitting down for a meal or cooking in the kitchen and he will start talking about a car, a person, or a strategy, and I will have to say “wait, is this game or real life?”. These little instances never fail to make us chuckle.  I love that even though I don’t have much interest in that part of his world, he manages to include me by sharing little stories about it and asking my advice. Finding the humor in small, everyday things is our strong suit, and to tell you the truth, it’s one of my favorites.

Let’s talk about burnout

Let’s talk about burnout

Burnout is a relatively new term people and some businesses are starting to recognize, and let me tell you, it is REAL! Burnout can affect you physically and mentally.  According to Mayo Clinic, “Job burnout is a special type of work-related stress — a state of physical or emotional exhaustion that also involves a sense of reduced accomplishment and loss of personal identity”. If that doesn’t explain half of the jobs I have ever had, I don’t know what does! There have been a few times I’ve experienced it, and I told myself – never again! Turns out that’s easier said than done, it creeps up on you. You don’t always realize you are stretched out so thin, until doing a simple task like making a cup of tea is just too much. 

I work full time, and I pick up side jobs when and where I can. One of my weaknesses is saying yes, when I should really say no.  Especially if it’s a favor or a task that will help another person out. I am a helper, and I like feeling like I could have positively contributed to someone’s day. But here’s the thing about being a helper, people figure it out, and take advantage. Whether it is your time, your generosity, or sometimes even your trust. 

Being an adult in your 20’s is hard, your in this weird limbo of “live your life, its okay to be a little crazy!’” and “plan for the future, stay on course”. One side says enjoy this time,  travel, spend time with friends, and find a hobby. While the other side says find that secure job, travel when you have the PTO (but also save it), and you can freely live your life when you retire. I have always tended to favor planning for the future, but my brain sometimes manages to flip a switch if there is something I really want to do, and it doesn’t necessarily contribute to my future. I can’t think of any examples off the top of my head, but I am sure some of you guys can relate. 

I am in that wonderful snippet of time for a woman in her 20’s,  where the questions: “are you married?”  And “Are you getting pregnant soon?” are ingrained in some people’s question rolodex. These questions are sometimes okay, but if you’re asking someone in the middle of a burnout period, it’s the worst, and be prepared to be told why. 

As you might have guessed, this happened to me recently. It came from one of my side jobs, during a period of burnout. At first I was stunned by the person who asked me this, since it came after an uninvited string of advice for my life, but also because it was none of their business. After a little bit I realized I had to cut the burnout source in the bud. This meant cutting the side jobs out, and letting my life settle back into its normal semi burnout status.

If you can relate to any of this in your past or present, my advice is to find the source of the strain, and try to find a way to cut it loose. 

M. (2020, November 20). Job burnout: How to spot it and take action. Retrieved February 28, 2021, from

OK cats, you win

OK cats, you win

I suppose this could apply to anyone with an animal they absolutely adore, but in my case- I’m talking about my two Maine Coon Cats. 

My husband and I love them so much, and we honestly treat them like absolute kings. They are our little buddies, and get treated as such! 

The two of them get a variety of decadent wet foods, and not one, not two, but three DIFFERENT types of foods to rotate throughout the day (something my husband keeps track of, thank goodness). Not to mention the many times they demand to be pet and loved, while they consume said foods. They even have a plethora of tiny houses and XL scratching posts , strategically placed in almost every room of the house. All of this according to their preferences (I mean, but of course!). 

Our house is 40% ours and 60% the cats. If a piece of paper falls and they fancy it, it stays for the rest of the week. If a bag from our take out has the right crunch when they step on it, then….you guessed it – the bag stays.  Heck, we don’t even move if they decide to grace us with their snuggles. 

Sometimes I even go to the store and think about giving myself some shop therapy, and end up buying some fun snacks for them and organic cat nip! 

So, why? Why do these little fur balls get whatever they want, whenever they want? I mean, their cute fuzzy pawed selves obviously play a huge part, but I think the ultimate power they have, is that they DEMAND it and don’t settle for anything less than what they deserve. 

I often look at my cats during my work week, while sitting in front of my double computer screens, and while I’m glued to my desk,  I think “I’d love to be a cat, what a life!”.  

I’ve decided that one of my 2021 goals is to now have the confidence and authority of a cat. I’ll demand for what I deserve, and I’ll MAKE it happen or even will it into reality (I’ll have to think of something that is as convincing as a meow, tail rub, or intense pur). 

In all honesty, we should all embrace how our animals have the authority to make us do what/treat them how they want – and channel it for our everyday lives! Want that promotion or raise? Channel your inner animal mindset!

Take the trip with your parents, you won’t regret it

Take the trip with your parents, you won’t regret it

When I was 20 years old, I drove across the country with each of my parents. My father and I drove and camped through US & Canada to Seattle, and my mother and I drove/camped/sketchy hoteled all the US way back home, to Upstate New York. 

As children, we forget that our parents crave just as much adventure and experience that we do, sometimes even more. I believe this is because they know what there is to experience outside of everyday comfort zones – like our cozy blanket bundles and computer screens. 

I say this because, while my parents definitely fall into some of their age stereotypes (goofy dances & embarrassing moments), but I mean don’t we all? On these trips,  I saw their love for life and adventure were much greater. 

My father journaled, drew pictures of what he was seeing on our drive, and managed to plan our roadmap on the go. My mother took pictures and stopped at beautiful little stands for jewelry & experience.  They both made sure to push their 20 year old to enjoy the unknown and unexpected. I learned what else life had to offer besides college, and a 40 hour work week. I learned how little I knew of other cultures, and oftentimes how willing people were to teach you. 

Genuine appreciation for life is contagious, even more so when you are seeing it on the faces of people you love. Sitting on the top of a mountain in Bamf and on the edge of Bryce Canyon, made me realize the vastness this world and all it has to offer.  I experienced first hand the gift that our parents are for getting us to the point where we can see it and experience it. 

Waiting, it’s one of the most thought about actions

Waiting, it’s one of the most thought about actions

To be myself unapologetically is a heavy statement. I think I grew up, learning to be who others needed me to be, but I suppose who hasn’t? We often need to be who we can be proud of through someone else’s eyes. As we grow up, it changes and it develops to being only those we respect and care about. Eventually it will only be up to you and who you see yourself as. 

This blog has been something I have wanted for some time now, but I never had the nerve to actually do it. I didn’t know how, or who would even read it. I love the idea that someone out there feels something similar, or had experienced something just like me. The world can be so lonely, though with our technology, we can reach to those who we never knew we could.

Follow me, and read about my life, who knows, we might have more than one thing common. I’ll share the pain, laughter, happiness, and everything in between. No one is perfect, and sometimes that is what we wait for - perfection. So, here I am. Unapologetically me, imperfectly me. 

– Maelyn