Beyond Twenty Something

megan

Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of my blog, beyond twenty something.

A year of writing whatever I want and sharing it with anyone who wants to read it.

It may not seem like a lot to most people but to me this was huge.

Not only was I sharing my opinions and stories with other people, but I was making myself vulnerable to anyone who might think negatively about it, and that’s a big deal to me. I tend to worry about what other people think of me.

I know I know..I’m working on it.

I had started a blog prior to this one, but I told no one and deleted it after a few months. I was incredibly embarrassed at the thought of letting people into my mind and opening myself up to peoples criticism.

It wasn’t until I saw my best friend create a blog that I got so inspired. I’ve probably quoted this a handful of times on here before but my favorite thing she ever told me was..

“Do what you want and say how you feel, because those who matter don’t mind and those who mind don’t mater.”

I opened up my laptop and started writing, about my life as a new mom. The words just poured out, as easy as it’s always been for me to just write how I feel. When I was all done I felt so many different emotions. I was proud of myself for this step I was about to take, but so incredibly nervous at the same time, and then it hit me.

What am I going to name this thing?

What words or phrases sum up my life at this very moment in time?

 I went through a few and kept sending them off to my sister for approval, every one slightly better than the next, until I came to a realization.

I’m sitting here at 26….

married

a son who’s a week old

a solid job and a comfortable life.

I am more than just a 20 something.

All my life, well all throughout college at least, I’ve heard of 20 something.

That time in your life that you’re supposed to go crazy, spend money, travel, care about only yourself, and ignore your responsibilities.

According to the 20 something stigma, I was doing it all wrong.

But I wasn’t.

I absolutely loved the exact spot that I was in.

I felt like at my age, I had things under control, and I still do feel that way…

Some days.

I am a mom, there are days where I wake up and the first thing that I think about is going to bed that night.

It happens.

Living in a world where Instagram shows you that you need to go out every Saturday night and party with your friends, or that you need to live your life this certain age at 26 and not be “settled down” already, it makes it hard to think that you’re doing life your way just fine.

But I am.

I realized in that moment that even though I sit here, being a 20 something, I was beyond a twenty something.

That most days I do have my stuff together.

That I’m a wife, mom, daughter, and most of the time a responsible adult.

Adult.

Most people cringe when they hear that word.

They think that adults have no fun, zero time to do anything for themselves, get no sleep, work boring jobs, and just have an uneventful life.

That’s completely false though, except the no sleep thing.

That’s true.

Even though some days I still feel 20, I know that I ‘m an adult and I have responsibilities and stuff that I need to do.

And it’s fun.

Getting my shit together.

(Sorry grandma)

Waking up in the morning and getting ready for your job that you worked your butt off for.

 Getting to see the smiling faces of your son and husband as they get their day started.

Jamming out to Christmas music in September on your daily commute because you want to.

Knowing that you’ve created this amazing life for yourself by working hard and now you get to spend it with the best little family that you and the love of your life created.

It makes you feel like you can take on the world.

Obviously there are some days where I get stressed out and eat an entire box of brownies that I just made, those days happen.

But I know that once that day passes it’s going to be okay.

This blog is my corner of the internet to do whatever I want, say anything that I need to say, and share stories that have taught me the most valuable life lessons.

But after the first year of having it, I think I’ve just now started to realize the theme of this.

The reason behind the hundreds of words I type and the music that floods my headphones while I write.

That at whatever age you are..

Wherever you live..

Whoever you call your family..

However you choose to live your life..

That it’s okay.

That it will all be just fine.

It’s how you choose to fill the chapters of your story, and no matter how you choose to do it, it’s beautiful at the end.

And it all works out.

That you don’t have to live your life according to your age or how others think you should.

If you’d rather spend your Saturday nights curled up on the couch drinking wine and watching a Harry Potter marathon, that’s fine.

You make the rules.

You create the life you want, and you live it with all of the passion that fuels your days.

That you are more than a number and beyond capable of living your life exactly how you want to.

 

 

 

 

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Cheers to 2017

makeithappen

I have always been fascinated with New Years Eve, maybe not the holiday specifically but the idea of a fresh start. I loved ending the year with the best intentions on making the next year better than the last. Just the thought of a brand new year..an opportunity to do things differently..a chance to do something new..and a time to make goals…I love it. In the past I have made resolutions like everyone else..

Be healthier.

Exercise more.

Eat less junk food.

All health and fitness related because I figured that’s what a resolution was supposed to be. They were all resolutions that I wouldn’t stick to for more than a month or so and I was back to chugging a soda and sitting on the couch instead of going for a run.

This year I wanted to make better resolutions. Things that I could control more, and things that would better me in some way or were a reflection of my goals in life. I’ve been brainstorming my resolutions for a few months now and I am pretty happy with them. All things that I believe at this time next year I will look back on and be able to check them off as completed. Despite what I may believe sometimes, I am clearly not perfect. I know some things won’t get completed..and that’s what 2018 is for. There will always be an opportunity for more resolutions.

  1. I want to sing in the car more. Not because I want to show the car next to me that I can turn into Drake in the blink of an eye..or that I know the lyrics to almost any song..but because singing in the car makes me happy. When I sing in the car I don’t yell at cars for being stupid or get super impatient right away. I used to sing in the car with my sister every day when we commuted to school for 30 minutes. It was the highlight of my day and I will always cherish it. I believe that if I sing in the car more it will give me a little bit of joy each day.
  2. I don’t want to overthink and obsess over things. This one will be the hardest by far, and I am aware of that. I think that is half of the battle, knowing what my hardest resolution will be. I tend to overthink almost every situation in life and obsess over every little detail. When in reality that takes me away from living a better life. I spend so much time obsessing over things that I don’t have time to do anything else. I know this will make me happier and give me more time in the day to do other things.
  3. Put my phone down while eating. I didn’t realize this would be a resolution until I was eating dinner with my husband the other night at home. I looked up from my phone and noticed that we were both eating dinner and staring at our phones instead of enjoying our food and each others company. Eating is a time when you can really sit and enjoy your meal and your company, whether it’s with yourself or another person. Sitting by myself eating gives me 10 minutes of peace and quiet and 10 minutes of eating dinner with my husband gives us an opportunity to talk about our days or plans for the weekend. Disconnecting for those few minutes won’t kill me.
  4. I want to keep writing. This was so hard for me to even begin doing. Writing what’s going on in my mind and putting it out for other people to see and judge. It may seem small to others but it was a huge step for me and one that I am super proud of. I am so proud of what my little corner of the internet has become and I don’t want to stop doing it in 2017.
  5. I want to stop striving for others approval. I worry what others think of me a lot. People’s opinions are pointless, if they like me awesome! If they don’t, I shouldn’t have to sit there and worry how to fix it and how to live up to their standards. Once again, something that may be easy for others but is hard for me. I always go back to a great piece of advice my best friend gave me, “those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”
  6. I want to go to another Major League Baseball game. Only a few people know my lifetime goal, and that is to go to every major league baseball stadium, buy a hat, and watch a game. It’s a goal that gets me to travel more, and explore cities I might not originally go to. I also fell in love with the sport of baseball and the history of it thanks to my dad. Each stadium has so many stories attached to it and I would love to explore every one. So far I have been to three. Dodger stadium my one true love, Oakland Coliseum to watch my husbands favorite team the A’s, and Yankee Stadium with my husband on our honeymoon to watch the Yankees play the Red Soxs under the lights. I don’t care what game I see, I just want to add one more to my list and collect more hats.
  7. I want to learn that I can’t control everything. This goal kind of goes with goals number 2 and 5. I try so hard to control every little thing and get upset when I can’t. I guess I just feel more comfortable when I know what’s going on, and I think the best way of knowing what’s going on is being able to control everything. I guess I need to get more comfortable with chaos and letting things just happen. Having a newborn will help that, and it already has.
  8. I want to go to a concert. I love going to concerts, even though I have only been to a few I love going to them. From my first concert at 11 (thanks for suffering through O-TOWN with us dad) to the Hunter Hayes concert my husband took me to this last summer. They were all so much fun. Going along with my last goal of enjoying the chaos, I think concerts give you just that. Lots of people, loud music that you love, and everyone just dancing and not caring what anyone else is doing. I love the carefree attitude that comes along with going to concerts and I would love to be able to enjoy that for a night.
  9. Dance more. Again, this goes with my previous goal. Let me first say that in no way can I dance, at all, I’m like the drunk uncle at a wedding dancing to Party in the U.S.A. I just love being able to dance along to your favorite song while cleaning the house or cooking dinner. I used to do it all the time and it made me feel as if I had no other worry in the world and I would love to do it more.
  10. Run more. Running is by far my favorite thing ever, next to my family. I have been running competitively since I was 12. Running after college has been one of the harder things I have had to figure out in life and I am still trying to figure it out. It was pretty hard trying to run while I was pregnant. I would get so discouraged because I wasn’t running the paces I did before and it was frustrating. I need to do it more. It is my way to let things go, be by myself, and push myself to do more.

I hope 2017 brings me half of the joy that 2016 brought me. I hope I can reach most if not all of my goals and if I don’t I hope I have the opportunity to tackle them the year after. I hope it’s full of lots of smiles and love from my little boy, adventures with my amazing husband and family, and a new Taylor Swift album.

Keep Sparkling.

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I feel good.

Seriously..I feel really good.

Such a simple statement for most people, but it’s not that easy for me. Confidence does not come natural. I am not the type of person that wakes up in the morning, looks in the mirror and thinks “damn I look gooooood.” I don’t do that. I mean I have, on occasion. This isn’t meant to be depressing or anything, trust me, it’s just something that I know isn’t my strong spot.

It likes to come in waves. Different parts of my life or different moments I feel completely untouchable, I walk into situations feeling like Beyonce. Other times I am constantly second guessing myself or comparing myself to every other person in the room.

I can tell you exactly when I started to second guess myself too, I was 17. It was the summer before my senior year in high school and I had just got done visiting with a college coach who wanted my sister and I to run for his team. I told my boyfriend at the time how excited I was and how this was such a great opportunity. You know what his response was?

“You know the only reason he wants you is because your sister is fast? You two are a package deal, you just come with her.”

Yup.

I know what a winner.

I got out of that about a month later, but because of that moment I got in this habit of second guessing myself. Was I good enough? Was I fast enough? Was I pretty enough?  Was I smart enough? Getting out of that relationship and focusing more on running helped me a lot. I was 18, I felt invincible and I was running the fastest times of my life. I started listening to Lil’ Wayne before races and rapping along, in my eyes no one could catch me and even come close to my awesomeness.

That feeling lasted through my first semester of college, it was the first time in my life that I was the best at something. It was amazing. It started to disappear when I transferred to a bigger college. I knew no one except my sister and everyone already had established friendships and relationships. And sometimes I felt dumb for trying to push myself during workouts, I remember hearing that some girls made fun of me for doing so well during a specific workout. I was told they were just bashing me and saying how dumb it was that I ran so hard, they questioned what I was trying to prove. I let that get to me.

Mistake #1.

I thought, “maybe I shouldn’t push the pace that hard today, don’t want anyone to be upset about it.”

I ACTUALLY THOUGHT THAT..SERIOUSLY MEGAN. Looking back at it I don’t believe it myself.

You really are your own worst enemy sometimes. It wasn’t until a couple of years later and some good friends by my side that encouraged me to do my best and not care what anyone else says that I realized how good I was and actually started running hard. I held myself back from my one true passion in life because some people thought it was uncool. Don’t worry, moral of that story is I finished college running the fastest times of my life and let go of those negative people.

That’s the biggest part of being confident and happy in my opinion. Let go of the people who hold you back. The people who tell you that you aren’t good enough, who don’t share your goals and who don’t see a purpose to the crazy beautiful dreams you have.

They’re stupid, let them go, seriously do it. You will feel so much better.

I started really surrounding myself with the people who thought I was as amazing as I use to. My sister, my parents, my best friend, and my husband. I also coach high school athletes. If you ever want to feel good about yourself get into coaching. Those kids are always excited to see me, well I like to think they are. They hug me when they haven’t seen me in a day, and appreciate me for being upfront and tough. I love them for that.

If you want to do something that might be crazy but you are incredibly passionate about it, and anyone in your life questions you, get rid of them. You should always surround yourself with people who love you and support you no matter what. I am so lucky and blessed to have that support.

I think that’s why I am in such good place in life, finally. I have the best support system who I wouldn’t trade for anything. I realized today how good I felt, after my workout. I look great for having a baby two months ago, I have a college degree that I worked my butt off for, I have a great job, a beautiful baby, husband, and the best family ever. All of it makes me confident and gives me the faith that I really can do anything.

That’s the key to it all.

If you have anyone in your life that makes you feel insignificant or small get rid of them. Anyone who questions your dreams or passions doesn’t deserve to have you in their life. Sometimes that lesson takes 21 years to learn but when you realize it, it feels amazing.

Sitcoms and Snow

snow1

Oregon does not know how to do snow, ever. We’ve had some crazy snow in my lifetime but most Oregonians freak out and close the state down. Okay, it’s not that bad but a lot of people who live in Oregon overreact and in today’s case we got a snow day out of it.

I was so happy, it meant my husband didn’t have to go into work. We could sit under the christmas lights we have hanging from the curtain and watch the snow fall in flurries. Our son couldn’t really enjoy the snow, since he’s only six weeks old and would turn into a snowman out there. That meant we had to cozy up inside and watch it from the windows, and surprisingly I was okay with that. I usually like to go out and explore the snow, take some pictures, and let our dog run free. Not being able to do that today didn’t bother me one bit. I was so excited to introduce our son to the snow through the windows and see his eyes get wide at the sight of the ground covered in white.

Being at home with my family brought me back to snow days I had growing up. It was an excuse to be in PJ’s all day and watch sitcom reruns until the nightly news came on. The last major snow day we had was on my twenty fourth birthday. I was pretty devastated to be honest, when I couldn’t go out to Dutch Brothers or run around town and do things. I thought my birthday was ruined and was acting like it was my fourth birthday not my twenty fourth. My husband (boyfriend at the time) walked over to my family’s house with his dog and we all ended up playing outside. My brother and dad built a slope down our front yard and into the driveway, we all grabbed sleds and spent hours running around in the front yard playing in the snow. Even though I wasn’t acting like it, looking back, it was the best birthday ever.

Spending the day with my family and reminiscing about snow days has me thinking about how lucky I am to have them all around. How, especially during the holidays, spending all of the time you can with your loved ones is all that really matters.

My family used to go all out for the holidays. We spent Christmas Eve with my grandparents on my mom’s side and did our own special night and I always looked forward to the time we got to spend together. It might not have been this big thing but it was always fun. On christmas day we would go over to my other grandparents house and have this giant, amazing christmas morning. There were so many members of my family, a giant breakfast, and so many memories.

As the years passed the celebrations were different, each year smaller but still so special. We’ve lost both of my grandpas, and not having them around makes me really want to celebrate the holidays more. To celebrate every little thing and cherish every second I get to be around my family. Family is the most important thing during the holidays, and today helped me realize that.

When Ian’s older I want him to remember having these special memories during the holidays like I had growing up. I want him to remember being so excited for snow days because it meant him and his dad didn’t have to go to school. I want him to be so excited to go over to grandma and grandpas house to open presents on Christmas morning and remember every little moment as vividly as I did.

Today I sat at home with my little family and watched daytime sitcoms and watched the snow fall, just like I got to to when I was younger. Something so small, but still so special. Something that reminded me how important it is to cherish every single moment you get to spend with your family and to take advantage of the time you do get to spend with them.

Best Advice.

bestadvice

“Look at them and know that you are going to beat them.”

“Don’t worry about what anyone else thinks about you.”

“Give me strength, give me speed, let me fly.”

I’ve gotten some great advice in my life, all at the times when I needed them the most. I am so beyond thankful for everyone that was there for me, when I couldn’t find just the right words for that exact moment in time. Your words helped me see my true potential, or the answer to my question. Some of the advice I received was terrible, some wonderful, and some of it was not what I wanted to hear but rather what I needed to hear.

I can remember exactly where I was when I got my most favorite piece of advice. It was 2013 and I was in my room in the worst mood ever. It was most likely a Saturday night and I was laying in my bed watching a movie. I felt like I was the only person in my exact spot in life and I was miserable. Do you know that feeling? You are the only person ever who got a flat tire, you are the only person to ever get dumped, or to have everything in a day go wrong. That was me.

I had recently gotten dumped, and was feeling completely devastated. Contrary to what I had believed when I was younger, I didn’t have life figured out right after college..the complete opposite in fact. My mom must have had her mama bear instincts on high alert because she came walking into the room. She asked me what was wrong and of course I gave her my usual “nothing.”

I don’t remember exactly how the conversation went after that but I do remember word for word what she left me with.

“In order to fall in love with someone Megan you have to fall in love with yourself first.”

I remember her walking out of my room and thinking she was crazy, I clearly loved myself. Ask anyone, I am my biggest fan most of the time.

It wasn’t until the next day when I really thought about what she said. What does it mean to love yourself? How does one truly love themselves? After I love myself will my one true love walk into my life?

I realized that I needed to stop overthinking things for once, just stop obsessing over everything and to stop trying to control everything, which was so incredibly hard for me. It wasn’t easy, putting your worries of the unknown aside and putting your needs first.

I decided to pick up a book one afternoon instead of obsessing over the things I couldn’t control. I honestly don’t have the attention span to read but I decided to pick up a book I had heard some good things about and give it a try. To say it was good would be an understatement, but that’s besides the point. The point is that the book I read made me happy, 313 pages of words made me incredibly happy and thankful to have the things that I did. I never knew a book could do that.

I started reading more by that author. I started listening to more music. I started being present when I was hanging out with my family and really enjoy the small moments. I took moments to myself and really enjoyed being by myself. That was pretty difficult, enjoying the quiet and taking a few moments to myself.

I sang along to the radio more. I got a kitten. I started to really enjoy my relationship with my little brother. I ran more. I signed up for a marathon. I took more selfies and spent less time criticizing my appearance. I volunteered at my old high school and started coaching.

I got up every morning and started to absolutely love the person I saw. Not saying that I didn’t love myself before..I was pretty fond of myself..I just really started to appreciate every little thing that made me who I was. Everything that I enjoyed doing, I really took the time to enjoy it and appreciate every single minute of it.

I had finally realized what my mom was talking about.

Once you truly love and appreciate everything about yourself, you allow others to fall in love with you.

Would it be cheesy if I said I met the love of my life coaching that summer? We ended up getting married and have an amazing son? Because it happened. I honestly do believe that the only reason it happened was because I took the time to love myself. To find out what I was really passionate about, what made me happy, what my favorite things were. What Megan loved.

I guess the whole point of this post was to give thanks to my mom for some pretty amazing advice that she probably doesn’t remember giving. Telling me exactly what I needed to hear exactly when I needed to hear it. And to share the importance of this advice to anyone who wants to hear it.

Yesterday I went for a run.

todayiwentforarun

I got a little bit of myself back yesterday.

It was the first time I was able to run in ten months, and I would be fooling myself if  I said that it was absolutely amazing and it felt like I had never stopped running. That the fresh air filled my lungs and fueled every step. Something filled my lungs alright, it was like Elsa went all ice queen down there.

I stepped outside my front door, watch in hand, ready to go. Honestly, just that felt great, to have my running clothes on and my watch around my wrist, a sense of normalcy rushed through me. My running shoes were still loose from the last time I wore them, at nine months pregnant with ankles the size of apples…very large apples. I took a deep breath right before I pressed “start” and took off on my run. I started out a little too fast, in typical Megan fashion, and felt it by the time I got to the crosswalk.

I cannot express how happy I was to get to the crosswalk 400 meters in. I’m normally that runner that takes advantages of crosswalks for a quick break, and today those 15 seconds did not last long enough. It was a beautiful fall afternoon, which made the run a little easier. For a second I would forget how cold it was and pretend that it was late August. I ran that same road with one of my favorite athletes before her senior year. She was struggling, dry heaving the entire way down the long and grueling stretch. I had to convince her multiple times to keep going, and she did. By the time we ended the season she could run that stretch of road easily. I kept reminding myself of that athlete, and that it’s only a run they get easier the more you do them. She definitely helped me on this one.

I kept looking at my watch, hoping that first mile would come faster. I had set a goal to run three miles, so at that glorious mile and a half mark I could turn around. I told myself that if I made it that far I could stop for a couple of minutes and catch my breath. At one point I saw a cop car and thought to myself, “I mean if I am really struggling I guess they could help me?”

It was now time to head back home, I kept thinking about my hydro flask I had just filled up and was waiting for me. I’m not sure what it is but I’ve always thought that the last part of an out and back run feels so much faster than the first part. I just kept repeating that in my mind, over and over again, until my legs were moving a little faster.

Every time I felt the slightest bit of doubt I would try and motivate myself in any way I could..

Megan you ran all of those hard workouts in College, you can get through this.

Did you stop after you fell during the last home stretch of your marathon? No! So finish now!

You had a kid, seriously suck it up.

At last, that wonderful crosswalk that I swear had a halo around it, was back in my sight. This time I let it go through one full cycle of traffic so I could catch my breath for the last home stretch. I thought of my husband and my son at home, and that gave me fire I needed to kick it in.

I like to sit outside after I run. It helps me catch my breath and reflect on my run, but mainly to not look like a sweaty mess before I go inside. I sat outside a little bit longer on this one. I was really proud of myself, for getting out there and doing it. Ten months had passed since I had really gone on a run, and I had been dreaming about this moment since the summer. Imagining the day where I could run, even walk, without getting winded and needing to slow down.

Then I thought to myself, yeah I am super proud of myself and the fact that I got out there and did it. But I wasn’t satisfied.

I wanted to be faster and be able to run more miles. I knew that this run was just the beginning of the long journey to get back to where I used to be . I know it’s going to be hard, and it might hurt, but I couldn’t be happier to keep going. Here’s to working towards your dreams even though you know it’s going to be tough, and looking forward to the pain.

Fall foliage.

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“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall” F. Scott Fitzgerald.

I always come back to this quote in the fall time, I love it. The first time I saw it floating around on Pinterest I thought to myself, “I love fall, and this quote is about fall so it’s perfect for this picture caption on Instagram.” Somehow it kept coming up, one way or another as the years passed. I would always think about it, wondering if there was more to it that I wasn’t really thinking about.

Every year things change. They come to an end so brand new things can begin. New adventures start creating new memories and we say goodbye to the old ones. I am reminded of this every day as I open Facebook and check the “on this day” section. Sometimes I find myself overwhelmed with emotion as I see a status about singing Taylor Swift at the top of my lungs with my sister as we drove to school, or about my Cross Country team traveling to apple ridge for the conference meet. Memories that, at the time you really don’t think about and appreciate for everything they are. Don’t get me wrong, I try to enjoy everything as it happens and appreciate the little things, but you really don’t realize how much you will miss something until it’s gone.

Just the other day I was thinking about my first college up in Portland. It was beautiful, especially in the fall. I was so incredibly nervous, I was an hour away from home, which for me was a huge deal because I was so close to my family. I remember so many little things like blowing up my espresso machine with my sister, and driving my boyfriends car 70 blocks with the emergency break on and not realizing it until I smelt smoke.I miss the 20 feet I had to walk from my dorm to the building where we had classes and how peaceful those twenty seconds were. I loved how small and close everything was. I miss that place, I have always wanted to go back just to look at what remains.

I especially miss my second college and that small town. Looking at that special track every day as I walked to class. Getting coffee from my favorite spot with just a splash of cream and peppermint to remind me of Christmas. I miss my best friend, I feel like I met her way too late in life. I learned lessons from her that definitely would have helped earlier.

That year after college, that was a hard one. Living at home which was away from all of my friends felt like the end of the world but it was definitely one of my favorite points in life. I was having the hardest time looking for a job, I had just got dumped, and I was really struggling. It was in that time that I started coaching, met my husband, got the job that I have had now for almost four years, and was best friends with my dad. Every morning we would walk my dog at the high school nearby and just talk. It was when I moved out that I realized how incredibly thankful I was that I had that time with him, I think those moments are why I feel so close to him now. That year definitely was my favorite, it was a year that had started out feeling like the end of the world. Yet, just like the fall, it ended and started something new. A new year, new memories and new adventures.

 Lately I have been reminiscing on old times and missing the small things that made memories that will last a lifetime. As the fall begins I look back at how every year things end so new things could begin. It really is a beautiful process. All of these memories I have are just that, memories, and this fall I am creating new ones. Five years from now as I drop my son off at kindergarten I guarantee you I will cry like the biggest baby ever in the car missing these days when he was curled up in a ball asleep on my chest. That process will never end, every year I will miss things as they come to an end, but be so grateful that I get to create new memories. I think that’s why I love the fall season so much, because it reminds me that no matter what ends in life, new things will always begin.