Tag Archives: Growing Up

Family Fridays: No Matter What

“Cousins are usually the first friends we have as children. No one will understand your crazy family like your cousins do. No matter how long it’s been, cousins can pick up where you left off. They are your heart, your soul and understand you better than anyone.” 

All of my cousins have a special place in my heart. Cousins can offer an outside perspective that parents and siblings often can’t. I am fortunate enough to have the greatest cousins ever, in particular an older cousin who has become my big sister over the last 13 years.

AmandaAt 10 and 13, neither of us were sure of anything. We were young and impressionable, without any care in the world. We spent the majority of our weekends together, took vacations together and grew up side by side, there for each other whenever necessary. Now at almost 23 and newly 26, life certainly has changed, I’d like to think for the better.

As kids, we were too mature for our age, over-thought things and were hypersensitive. As adults, those qualities are still there but we’ve grown up and learned to manage ourselves, each other and our families. I’ve seen Amanda grow up, be successful (the girl is already getting her second Master’s degree!), fall in love and genuinely be happy, a foreign concept for us at 18. She works hard and has earned the right to be happy and to live her own life; that’s kind of difficult with our family. I am constantly inspired by my cousin, her ability to fight for the things she wants and the way she lives every day to the fullest.

As we grew up, things that we couldn’t control changed. Our once seemingly perfect family has changed It has been a challenge to stay sane and keep our relationship grounded. But, from a young age, we stood by the ‘no matter what’ principal. No matter who said what, no matter what happened, we trusted one another. Today, that hasn’t changed. It’s something we believe in and will follow forever.

There are so many songs that have turned into anthems for Amanda and I. The list is long and continues to grow. However, one song consistently reminds me of my cousin and of everything she’s taught me. There have been so many lessons learned but most importantly, Amanda has taught me to live everyday, to make myself happy first and to not waste it.

Family Fridays: Going The Distance

friends1My friends play a huge role in my life. They are my sounding board for big and small decisions, my shoulders to lean on when life becomes unbearable and my personal entourage when dancing appears to be the only solution. Over the years, they have become my family and for that, I will be forever grateful.

I am a firm believer that any relationship shouldn’t be difficult. It should not cause you stress or panicfriends5 when making plans. Once you all are together, conversation should flow naturally and everyone should feel comfortable. This is how I’ve always felt about relationships, especially friendships. In my mind, friends are there to relieve stress, not create it. However, within the last few months, everything has changed.

friends3Graduating college and moving back to New Jersey has singlehandedly changed most of my college friendships. I went from seeing these girls most everyday, having to walk only a few blocks to find them. Now, my best college friends are in Philadelphia, Washington D.C. and California, among other places. They are no longer a quick walk away and I can’t just run down the stairs for a hug when necessary. That being said, my hometown friends are just minutes around the corner so presumably, it would be easier to see them. Well, one has moved closer to her job and another is in graduate school. Our schedules just don’t coincide the way they did during careless summer breaks. So what are we supposed to do now?!

friends2We go the distance. We make sacrifices for the people we care about. Thank goodness for FaceTime, Gmail chats and GroupMe conversations. Ifriends7 don’t know how people survived in separate parts of the country without technology. I think all of us have received a wake-up call, realizing making our friendships last will take a little more effort than in the past. This has caused some additional stress in that finding the time to check in, visit and coordinate schedules isn’t easy. As I searched Amtrak and Megabus yesterday for reasonable and timely trips to D.C., I could have easily pulled my hair out. Instead, I thought about why I was going to D.C. and how many times Niki (and Mike) trekked to Philadelphia or New Jersey to see me. It made the process worth it.

friends6My friends and I have struggled with the changes growing up has brought us. We each now have different responsibilities that consume a good majority of our time. Despite jobs, graduate school, wedding planning and volunteer work, we have managed to keep our friendships going. Calls, text messages, tweets, emails and gchats have all contributed to our success. Technology has played a huge part in keeping us in touch and I am very thankful for its evolution.

Most importantly, nothing has truly changed. Being together still brings its share of laughable moments and thought-provoking conversations.friends4 No matter how long we’ve been apart, things seem to fall right back into place like we’ve never left one another’s side. I am blessed with the greatest friends in the world and know our friendships will continue well into the future, thanks to our ability to go the distance.

All Grown Up

I am not a big fan of the word adult. I don’t like being called one and I often joke with my friends that we are nowhere near adults. Despite my efforts in trying to stay forever young, I’ve grown up more in the last two weeks than in the last two years. Let me explain.

Perhaps the most obvious adult activity I’ve participated in during the last two weeks occurred today. While it is not my first time voting, I did feel empowered this morning casting my vote. One positive part of growing up is earning the right to vote. With that right comes the responsibility of educating yourself about the candidates. I hope everyone exercised their right to vote, a right so many were denied in the past.

Throughout the last month, I’ve been redoing my room. New paint, new curtains, carpet cleaned and picture collages updated; the room has done a complete 360. Since I was away at school for the last four years, I didn’t bother to change my room at all. Now that I’m home, it was time for a change. I also got rid of a lot of clutter in the room, making it look much more grown-up. Having a bedroom that represents my age and not my shoe size has made me much happier.

Yesterday, my two friends and I donated blood. Again, this is something that I’ve done before, but this time it felt different. I’ve never donated blood with my childhood friends before. It showed me that we have evolved from little girls to young adults who are willing to give back. We also knew that our donations were going to Hurricane Sandy victims. For us, it was a small way to help so many people who were effected in our area.

About two weeks ago, I leased a 2013 Scion TC also known as the car I’ve wanted since I was sixteen. I absolutely had a mini panic attack when I made the down payment and figured out the insurance. It was a big step for me, being completely in charge of something for the first time. I’ve never felt more like an adult than I did when I signed the papers for my car. It was both exciting and terrifying.

So here’s the biggest reason I feel more like an adult lately: I got a job. Consider this the official announcement. I will be starting at Pricewaterhouse Cooper in Manhattan next week as part of their project management team. I am extremely lucky for this opportunity and can’t wait to start next week. As I read through employee benefits and 401K information, I couldn’t help but think, this is it, life is going to start. As much as I’ve tried to deny it, college is over and it’s time to be an adult. While this next phase of my life is a bit scary, I am finally ready to experience all adulthood has to offer. I guess this growing up thing isn’t as bad as I thought!

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