Category Archives: travel
I finally broke up with my “Student-Athlete in love with health and fitness” tag line in the blog header above. About time, considering I only graduated….11 months ago. It took me a ridiculously long time to settle on “Post-Grad Life – Balancing Health & Happiness.” Finding a new direction takes time, y’all!
The timing of this is so appropriate and unplanned, since most of you are in college yourselves and graduation season is just around the corner!
Now that I’ve officially cut ties with my student-athlete title (no looking back now!), it’s time to fully embrace the unpredictability and freedom that come with that first year out of school. There are unlimited directions. You can eat gummy worms for breakfast. You can move to a new city. You’re probably going to want to update that resume.
Having goals for our career and lifestyle once we earn that degree is expected, but make sure you aren’t getting caught up in what everyone else is doing. Figuring out post-grad life isn’t a race or a competition; try to focus on working towards your own goals instead of comparing everyone else’s. Especially not what they’re showing on social media – you have no idea what else is going on behind the scenes of that strategically and perfectly curated post!
We see other people’s individual achievements and take them as a collective goal. What I mean by that is we see one friend with their dream job, someone else with the most gorgeously decorated loft apartment, another friend with a daily habit of $15 Whole Foods smoothies, a different someone with the most flawless make-up and hair, someone else in the most inspiring relationship and yet another who seems to spend everyday on a hammock at the beach sipping sangria (with a ridiculous bikini bod, to boot). And as a natural human instinct, we want all of these things too! We take these individual accomplishments and expect ourselves to achieve them all. But the reality is – no one has them ALL at the same time.
I think that social media, “reality” television, and our generation’s culture in general have provided a false sense of reality for a post-graduate. Of course there are the lucky select few who are the exception to this rule. In general, though, the vast majority of recent college graduates (or just those in their early 20’s) should expect to put a lot of time, energy and sacrifice into working towards the lifestyle that they admire. Dream jobs don’t land in your lap, and oftentimes they require a great deal of tedious or dirty work at first. Expensive habits like daily fancy coffees, superfood green juices and bottles of champagne can only happen if you pay your utilities, gas, phone bill, etc. first. (If you have to prioritize, hint: electricity > organic donuts.) And things don’t happen exactly as you picture them in your head. Exhibit A:
I’m just going to use my own personal experience because I know a lot of my friends relate and you might too. Right before graduation, I had the fantasy goal of moving across the country, renting my own apartment, decorating it like Lauren Conrad, throwing adorable and elaborate parties, working out on the beach, finding the dream marketing job for a non-profit company with co-workers who would all become my best friends, meeting a guy straight out of a Nicholas Sparks novel, running an uber-successful health and fitness blog and never feeling an ounce of stress.
There’s nothing wrong with GOALS and we should all have an idea of what lifestyle we want to create for ourselves! But expecting it all to happen the day after graduation was my downfall. I felt like having a gap between graduation day and this fantasy life meant I failed. I was disappointed that I’d have to move in with my parents until I worked everything out. My expectations were so far-fetched that I let myself feel disappointment and failure RATHER than feeling damn proud of graduating college, appreciative of my parents for all of their support, and excitement towards the possibilities of my post-grad life. No More! My parents have helped me become more realistic, and even though my personality type will always have pretty big goals and dreams for myself, I know that nothing is instant and that the time and work we put in will make it worth it. And taking a little time after graduation to figure it out is okay!
Now that I’m wrapping this up, I hope this doesn’t come across as “make your dreams smaller” or “don’t aim so high.” My original post-grad southern life on the beach is still my dream/goal/plan! I’m just saying expect to work for your goals, you have to earn that end result, and don’t set such strict deadlines. Don’t be so hard on yourself, or compare your journey to anyone else’s. It’s not a race.
And P.S. The majority of these types of posts are things that I know I need to remind MYSELF, so I’m not writing this as a mentor or a preacher – I’m right there with ya. :)
Thoughts? Post-grad experiences? What are YOUR goals?
I need more weekends like this past weekend.
Persian cats, happy hour boat rides, salt water snorkeling, and one of my best college buddies.
I’ve never been one to really buy into the whole ‘spiritual realm,’ but I am starting to believe that our positivity or negativity towards situation will affect the outcome. A ‘you-attract-what-you-emit’ type of thing…
Huh?? Well, it seems that during circumstances where I adopt a go-with-the-flow attitude and truly believe that everything will work out actually do work out better than I even imagined (like my Southern Road Trip!). A positive outlook brings a positive experience. Similarly, when I am skeptical or pessimistic about my day, it naturally tends to go downhill.
This weekend, one of my best friends from college Chelsea invited me to visit her and her family and it was so perfect and refreshing! Chelsea is such a patient and positive person, and I think that our go-with-the-flow/we’re-going-to-have-fun-no-matter-what attitude made the weekend such a blast. So on Friday I happily packed up the adventure backpack and headed towards Orange County!
I spent half of Friday, Saturday and Sunday with Chelsea’s family in a very water-filled weekend that also included many “firsts.” First time surfing, first acai bowl, and first cold brew coffee. But the weekend began with a little visit to a friend where I met this photogenic little guy… (Too many captions come to mind for his expression, I can’t pick one!)
In the evenings, we took a walk around the lake and saw so many friendly people walking their dog. Chelsea has an extra surfboard and wet suit that I could borrow so we started planning our beach day….I was a little shocked when she suggested we start our Saturday at 6:00am. (!!!) Monday through Friday I wake up before the sun to squeeze in a workout before work. I have to give a disclaimer to any friends I have sleepovers with…my bedtime is somewhere between 9 and 10pm. #proudgrandmastatus
We compromised, setting our alarms for 6:30am ;) Starbucks made it a little easier, and we were westbound with an americano in hand before 7am!
Chelsea suggested hitting up Doheny State Beach because it’s known as a ‘beginners’ beach for surfers. The sky was grey and overcast and the water was flat. I got a little tutorial for paddling, standing up, and surf etiquette on the shore before we pulled on our springsuits and paddled out. I was nervous that the water would be freezing but it actually felt so comfortable!
There were looooong lulls of flat water between sets, so we spent lots of time just paddling, floating, sitting in quiet with other patient surfers, taking pictures and appreciating the morning.
When the sets of waves did come in, they were little baby waves crashing close to shore. There wasn’t much to catch with the board and we never stood up on the board. But somehow, four hours flew by and before we knew it, it was noon! We have no idea how the time passed so quickly as we floated on our boards.
All of that not surfing worked up an appetite ;) I’ve been eager to try out the trendy acai bowls but I’ve been told to hold out for the REAL DEAL at a specialty shop rather than a chain restaurant’s knock off. Chels and I loaded the boards in her car and drove to Laguna Beach for Bonzai Bowl where I ordered the Shark’s Cove Acai Bowl —> Acai, hemp milk, and frozen bananas blended together and topped with fresh strawberries, blueberries, goji berries, bananas, coconut, granola and honey.
Now that we were full of super-food yumminess, we were re-energized to get back into the water! This time we used Chelsea’s snorkeling gear to check out Diver’s Cove. The water was SO CLEAR and blue, it was a gorgeous day. Chelsea brought her GoPro (so many fun toys!) and we took some fun underwater pictures.
I guess we weren’t done with the water yet so our evening consisted of a happy hour boat ride around their community’s lake, some snacks and good music. I felt so grateful for such a beautiful perfect relaxing day, where the toughest decision was which smoothie toppings I should pick ;) Even though I also had my first cold brew coffee that afternoon (which was STRONG), we crashed early again. Being out in the salt water and sunshine drains ya!
Weekends like this deserve a little extra appreciation. It was a total recharge going into this next work week. :) And now we’re all caught up! See you here again soon XOXO