Phew. This is a big day for me, you guys. Today, I start my first grown-up job and embark on a my career, a path that will likely (hopefully) continue for the next 40-odd years of my life. I feel like my life has been building up to this moment since I moved to San Francisco almost a month ago, and I’ve definitely been in a state of limbo since then. It’s been lovely getting to know this odd and wonderful city of mine, but today is the day for bigger things. There’s a lot of gravity. I’m feeling kind of queasy. Somebody, quick, tell me everything’s gonna be okay.
There’s always a measure of bittersweetness when you turn a new page. I felt it a few weeks ago when my friends went back to college and I did not. I felt it a few days ago, when I (finally) unpacked the few books I kept from school and realized that I would probably never need to use them ever again. And I’m definitely feeling it now, as I bridge the transition from studentto employee.It’s kind of a scary concept, but at the same time I’ve never been more excited for anything in my life. I’ve enjoyed my period of rest, but now I’m 100% recharged and ready to start living. I think Mindy Kalig said it best when urged us all to ask “why the f*ck NOT me?” (censored for varying sensibilities, you know how these things go). Why not indeed.
So here’s to closing the book and feeling the full brunt of the storm. I think I can…I think I can…I’m ready, I am. Here’s to new beginnings, to new friends, to a new job and a new life. Let’s do it.
I have a love-hate relationship with inspirational quotes. I wish I could be the type of person who reads something like “make it simple but significant” or “be brave with your life” and feel energized or motivated to do something awesome. Instead, I look at these adages and think “damn, literally what have I done today that could be thought of as significant or brave? I can’t even wash my sheets on time. That’s not very brave — that’s actually pretty worthless.” I have always been the type of person who overextends and makes toomany plans, then feels terrible when I can’t finish everything I’ve started. When I was a kid, I would have all kinds of machinations about what was in my capacity to accomplish, most of which were far outside of the realm of possibility for a 10 year-old anyway. Once, my dad and I attempted to make a ship in a bottle, a task which proved so impossible that when we finally gave up, I felt doubly awful for both failing to accomplish what I had set out to do and putting my father through such an exercise in futility. And the list goes on.
I get so down on myself for not yet having done anything of note at my ripe age of 22, at least in my own definition of the word. Sure, I just wrote a 130 page thesis and graduated with high honors, but so many people do that. True, I’m living in the coolest city on planet Earth, but so are so many other people.It’s absolutely absurd that I feel this way, even as I type it out, and yet it still happens. Just because I was able to do it or because something came relatively easily to me, it must not be very important.
Everyone talks about how true geniuses were able to structure their days down to the minute, get up early, finish everything they set out to do, and still have time to read a whole book before going to bed at night. And I can’t do any of that. I am not yet self-disciplined enough to be able to balance my fluid and often hectic existence. I’m at the point in my life when keeping my apartment clean feels like a relative victory. But, in addition to everything else, I need to be living my life “bravely” and “daring greatly” and “doing one thing a day that scares me.” What does that even mean? My garbage disposal scares me. Somehow, I don’t think that’s what Eleanor Roosevelt was talking about, though I could be wrong.
I think that, as a generation, we get really down on ourselves for not being able to do things fast enough or with enough purpose. We’re regaled with these amazing stories of freshmen founders who made millions before they graduated college, and this happens frequently enough that we’re led to believe that that type of blind luck is the norm of success. But here’s the thing — some kid getting wildly lucky at age 20 (looking at you, Mark Zuckerberg), is the exception, not the rule. Just because you haven’t made a million bucks by age 23, or been featured in a major art publication, or been profiled in whatever magazine is popular these days, doesn’t mean that you’ve somehow failed your life. Of course. Of course it doesn’t mean that. And yet, somehow that simple fact is so, so easy to forget.
So screw all of the backyard philosophers urging you to live life to your absolute fullest capacity and accomplish one great thing per day. Here’s my new thing: just get out there and go. Whatever it is that you do, just get out there and do it. You don’t need to change the world every Saturday or found the next great iPhone game. 3/4 of the battle is putting yourself out there and doing what you need to do – such a feat requires courage, self-confidence, and enough optimism to keep you going back every day. Your life is what you make it, and this seems like a pretty great place to start. And that, my friends, is enough. Don’t you think?
Can you believe that it’s already September? I feel like this summer just flew by! September has always been one of my favorite months, not only because this special month heralds the return of my all-time favorite season: Autumn. And what better way to celebrate the leaves beginning to change than by having a giveaway?!
The lovely Janee over at Yellow Bird, Yellow Beard and I (and a couple of other awesomebloggers) are giving away one $450 Gift Certificateto the clothier of the winner’s choice. So, if you win, you get a cool $450 to spend at your favorite store. How cool is that? And the best part: if you’re already following Ex Vitae on twitter and instagram, you’ve already earned two entries! Where do you think you’d spend your giftcard if you won??
There are a lot of great people who helped make this giveaway possible – take a moment to stop by their blogs and see the amazing work that they’re doing!
The Details: This giveaway is open to international readers, and will be running from Monday, September 1st to Monday, September 15th. The winner will be randomly chosen via Rafflecopter and will win a $450 gift card to the clothing store of their choice! Remember that the more entries you do, the more chances you have of winning. Continue reading to enter, and good luck!!
HELLO. This is Ex Vitae, a nice little place where we share our daily inspirations. This blog is the brainchild of Amanda and Elisabeth Dillon, two sisters/best friends with a passion for food and family that knows no bounds.