It Takes A Village

So I did a thing this weekend. I graduated with my master’s degree in higher education administration! My master’s degree. Wow, I still can’t even really believe it.

This morning I woke up, with a whole day ahead of me, and I realized…I AM FREE!!!

I am free of papers and readings and discussions and assignments.

But who I am kidding? I will miss papers and readings and discussions and assignments.

I’m already dreaming of the day where I get my PhD, or (surprise new thought ahead) – maybe even a J.D.! There are so many options.I love to learn, so being out of school for too long…I’m not sure how that will be. I know I will love the time off. For example, I’m sitting here at Spot Coffee, 100% fully relaxed, writing for fun, with nothing school-related ahead of me. It really is a great feeling. But after a little while, I think I will start to miss the learning aspect of school. The intellectual conversations. The advancement of knowledge and literature.

Graduating anything is a huge accomplishment. And although I know I have worked my tail off for the past two years, I know that none of it could’ve been possible without the people around me. After graduation, I was looking for one or two pictures to post of influential people during my time at UB as a ‘thank you.’ And it was impossible to pick just two. There have been so many people who have made a difference in my life – from professors and staff, to family and friends. Everyone has been so amazing in supporting me to this point in my life, having faith in me even when I didn’t have the faith in myself.

So for that, thank you.

But friends, family, to the village – I must admit – I have no effing idea what I am doing post-graduate. AKA: please stop asking what I’m doing post-grad, unless you want to delve into a one-hour minimum monologue about my purpose and the direction of my life, listening to me talk in circles and ramble and rant forever.

It’s okay to not know what you’re doing, and it’s okay to not know what you want to do…until you become a grown-up and need to start planning your life. As of now, my options are searching for a higher education job in NYC, or moving abroad as an au pair and taking a gap year to travel. I’m only 40% kidding about that second option. I’ve also been considering law school, which is completely new, but that wouldn’t be for another few years, anyway.

And in my decision-making process, I’ve really found the importance of “the village.” I am not someone who can sit by myself and think and think and process and process and think some more until I come up with a plan. I need to talk to anyone and everyone. Now don’t get me wrong, I am still very selective in who I choose to talk with, so if you are one of the lucky hundred, consider yourself honored.

My pieces of advice?

  1. Celebrate in the moment
    • I graduated!!! I can’t let the dark abyss of future things get me down in the moment. Besides, I know that whatever I choose to be, I’ll be a good one.
  2. Do your research
    • I would love to travel for a year, but is that financially feasible? How would student loans work? Am I eligible for a visa? Or if I’m taking the higher ed route…which schools do I apply to? Which jobs do I want? Where do I want to work?
  3. Live your life
    • My new favorite saying: Live your life! *in the way you want to. And if you aren’t causing harm to anyone or anything, including yourself, then go for it. Whatever “it” is. Do whatever you want to do in this moment.

So until next time, here’s hoping that everything works out.

 

 

 

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Twentysomething: The Years of Limbo

Never before in my life have I ever been in a place that is so completely and utterly contradicted. I am a student, but I’m also a staff member. I’m young, but I’m also a professional. Being 25 has spurred this new feeling of adulthood that I didn’t even know was capable. Because yes, at 24, I really thought I had everything figured out for the rest of my adult future.

Not surprisingly, I was wrong.

I am walking around in living contradictions and I am finding myself constantly pulled in every which way. Graduation is in twelve days and I am trying so incredibly hard to be excited, but it also makes me emotional and frustrated and sad and it is just a whole roller coaster full of emotions.

Lately at work, I’ve been receiving a lot of emails from students that don’t really know me that well, addressed to “Mr.” or “Sir.” I have to do a double take around my office to make sure they are talking to me. I get the respect thing, but damn how old do they think I am?!

Meanwhile, I’ll go to my part-time job at Starbucks in the same day, and have all the old ladies come in and tell me how young I am. Or the other day, a middle-aged man came in and called me “bud.” …which immediately resulted in some major side eye, but that’s beside the point.

We are young. We feel old.
We are old. We feel young.

It’s this perpetual state of limbo…at least, for the next few years.

This sense was especially heightened this past weekend, going back to Geneseo for alumni weekend. Walking around campus, I felt like a creepy old man, and everyone around me looked like a child. Granted, even though I am only a (small) handful of years older than everyone else on campus, it feels like the life experiences I’ve had in the past three years have shot me straight into adulthood without ever wanting to look back.

Avenue Q sings about this phenomena perfectly: “But if I were to go back to college, think what a loser I’d be. I’d walk through the quad and think ‘oh my God…’ these kids are so much younger than me.”

And that’s exactly how I feel about everything lately. I feel like I’m too young to fall in love and get married and have kids, but I’m too old to be irresponsibly meeting all these random people for relationship-type things. I’m too young to be in constant career-mode, but I’m too old to ignore the impending jobless/homeless future after graduation.

So how are we expected to live ten years of our lives in this twentysomething limbo?

My best advice? Enjoy the present moment. I know, it’s easier said than done. But it’s true. I’ve heard so many people that just wish they could go back to college, or just be 19 again…but there are struggles that also come along with those times. And on the flip side, “I just want to be thirty, flirty, and thriving!” Sure, I totally understand that. But you could also end up thirty, dirty, and homeless. You just never know…so why hope for something that may or may not happen? Why not try to be twentysomething, flirty, and thriving? I know it’s not as catchy, and it doesn’t rhyme, but why wait to start your life? Your time is now. No more excuses.

I miss college because I miss having a group of friends. I miss college for the social aspect. I miss college because I was learning about so many cool things. I miss college because I was always meeting a bunch of cool new people.

Here’s the secret: I can still do all of those things, today, right now. There really is no point in wishing in what was, or in hoping for what is not. While we’re all in this twentysomething limbo, we might as well make something out of it, and enjoy it in the best way we know how.

25 Years in 25 Lessons

Hello, all! And welcome to my weekly blog post. As some of you may have known, I turned 25 a few weeks ago, and it’s been pretty great so far. My mom made this collage to share with the Facebook world on my birthday that I wanted to share with all of you…wasn’t I cute? Look at my little red overalls!

michael

Anyway…

I do feel “older.” The last day of 24 and the first day of 25 felt like a ginormous age shift. I’m not longer a “young twentysomething.” I’m one year closer to a “thirtysomething!” I need to slow down.

Birthdays are often a time of reflection for me. From one year to the next, how far have I grown? What have I accomplished? While New Year’s feels like too much of a cliche to reflect in that way, my birthday feels uniquely special to me. And this year, with the whole having-a-blog thing, I wanted to reflect here. Twenty-five lessons I’ve learned in my 25 years.

  1. It’s okay to love yourself. In fact, I would strongly encourage it.
  2. Ramen is not a proper substitute for a meal.
  3. Other people’s opinions of you really don’t matter. Really. Your own opinion of yourself is more important.
  4. Growth only occurs under constant and consistent supports. Know your support systems.
  5. Heartbreak is temporary, but the lessons you take away are lifelong.
  6. Love does win.
  7. Jumping on the bed won’t hurt anybody (unless you fall off or twist your ankle).
  8. Your body will thank you for eating your yucky green vegetables.
  9. Karma can be a jerk or a blessing. It all depends on what you put into the Universe and how you treat others.
  10. All feelings are valid, but you need logical examples to support your claims.
  11. Parents can be equal parts annoying and loving, but in the end, they will always be there to love and support you.
  12. Friends are just as important as family.
  13. Be intentional in your work, your relationships, and your purpose.
  14. The biggest sign of positive growth is resistance. Don’t give up.
  15. It’s okay to give up.
  16. Failure isn’t the experience to fear.
  17. Every experience is either a positive experience, or a personal growth opportunity.
  18. There is no “right” way to live your life.
  19. Your life is defined by you.
  20. “Hold your friends close, and enemies closer” is garbage. Hold your friends as tight as possible, and let go of any negative energy in your life.
  21. Grown-up birthdays aren’t always celebrated on your day of birth. It doesn’t mean people love you any less.
  22. Look for opportunities, and take them.
  23. Take a risk in taking risks.
  24. Move forward, while also looking back (yes, it’s possible).
  25. It’s all going to be okay. I promise.

 

 

2015: A Year in Review

Well hello everyone, and Happy New Year to you all! Last week, I wrote a blog post about preparing for the new year. With all the hype, I didn’t have much of a chance to reflect on this past year, especially in regards to my blog. Luckily, WordPress created an annual report for me!

Looking back at my blog this year, I wrote 49 blog posts (one for every week since I started blogging) with more than 5,000 views in 27 different countries. For a guy who just decided one day to start writing a random blog about the twentysomething experience, THIS IS SO COOL! So, what better way to reflect back on this past year of blogging than with a recap of my top favorite posts? Reading back, these were the top 25 lessons I learned and wrote about in 2015.

  1. Try something new.
  2. Do something you love, regardless of what anyone else says.
  3. Embrace change.
  4. Celebrate life.
  5. Home is not a concrete term. It doesn’t signify a building or a town, and it’s possible that the idea of “home” will change over time.
  6. You are a person, outside of work.
  7. So much can change in one year.
  8. Life is a roller coaster. What goes up, must come down. And just when you think the ride is over, that’s when you need to hang on the tightest.
  9. Treat Yo Self! (special cred. to Parks & Rec).
  10. Your future self will thank your twentysomething self if you work out, eat healthy, and take care of your body.
  11. It’s unlikely to know everything about yourself. The important thing is to be aware and reflect on who you are.
  12. Holidays as a twentysomething are completely different
  13. You can always change your mind…in everything. Career, friends, Friday night plans. It’s okay to change your mind.
  14. Find meaning in everything.
  15. You can only “grin and bear it” for so long.
  16. Splitting yourself into multiple identities and personalities won’t do anyone any good, especially yourself. Instead, work on congruence: blending all of your selves into one.
  17. Everything in moderation
  18. Ride the wave. If you try and fight it…you’re going to get pushed down.
  19. Money is important, but so are fun times with friends.
  20. Move forward, but don’t forget to look back.
  21. Find a mentor (or multiple mentors).
  22. There is no “right” way into adulthood.
  23. Your passions are the things that keep you awake at night. Follow these things.
  24. Break the awkward twentysomething silence. Believe me, no matter how absurd or embarrassing, you are not alone.
  25. We live, we learn, and we grow.

And with that, from one twentysomething to another, I hope you’ve all had a wonderful start to the new year. With these lessons in mind, I promise there will be plenty more twentysomething posts to come!

And on a related side note, I have some big things coming your way for Twentysomething Months! Make sure to stay on the lookout, and I’ll keep you all posted! 🙂

With blog love and New Year’s magic,
Michael

In which I relate to the Leaning Tower of Pisa

I can say, with an estimated guess, that most people who read this blog are loyal Facebook friends. With that said, most of you reading this probably know that I spent the past ten days in Europe. And for those of you that didn’t know or aren’t friends with me on Facebook, I spent the last ten days in Europe!!

And as much as I want to blog all about my trip, I have to stay true to the twentysomething theme of this particular blog. However, there was one day in particular that really stuck out to me. Docking in Livorno, Italy, I knew we had a full day ahead. We were scheduled for a driving tour through Pisa and Florence, seeing some of Italy’s biggest and most famous monuments. Two in particular were the Statue of David and the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

Since some of you might have clicked this link just to see some beautiful pictures of the trip, here you go!

But in my journal that night (yes, I kept a travel journal), I found an interesting comparison between these two monuments. I wrote: “The Tower of Pisa is not famous because it’s the most beautiful, most adored, or even biggest monument in Italy. It’s famous because it leans—because it’s unique. Because it does something that no other building is known for. It makes me wonder…shouldn’t it be like that for all people? For me? …especially in comparison to the Statue of David, which is known for being the best, most beautiful sculpture from the very best artist, Michelangelo.”

I continued: “Are you more of a Statue of David? Or the Leaning Tower of Pisa? Not everyone can be the Statue of David, and to be honest, as great as that would be, it’s a lot of pressure to uphold such a high standard all the time! The Tower of Pisa is much more relatable, anyway. Everyone leans a bit off course, sometimes. Goes a bit off track from the original plan.”

And in this journal entry/blog post, I confess that on my trip to Europe, I found myself relating with an inanimate leaning building. Awesome.

It makes sense though, doesn’t it? Think about it. If I think about all the people that I know, there is only a very small handful of people that can equate to the Statue of David, metaphorically. This one guy in particular, we met during college. He is absolutely gorgeous now—and was then, too. Perfect amount of scruff, tousled hair, built, literally a model traveling all over the world. We shared one kiss in the rain and I will never again forget that one moment with my own Statue of David.

The reality is, though, I idolized him more than anything else. The Statue of David is a perfect representation of man, literally known for being the most proportional marble statue in the history of the world, epitomizing this perfection. I wouldn’t want the pressure of that reputation, and I definitely wouldn’t want to be with someone who I saw in that way, because I would always feel inferior.

So, if we’re speaking in metaphorical Italian monuments, are you the Statue of David? Or are you the Tower of Pisa? The Tower may be leaning a bit, off the course from its original path, but still standing tall and proud. What’s interesting about the Tower of Pisa is that without its “past” of going off course and leaning to the side, it wouldn’t even be famous at all…just another building gracing the ground of Italy.

And fun fact about the Tower of Pisa: Italian architects, once they realized how much the Tower was leaning, decided to dig underneath the Tower a bit and pour in concrete underneath and all around. That way, it won’t lean over anymore, to the point of falling down and hitting the ground.

I have to say, I’m inspired by that building a bit. In addition to being famous for its complete uniqueness (as opposed to its perfection), it also has the ability to concrete itself and keep itself from falling over.

So, question of the day: Are you the Statue of David? Or the Leaning Tower of Pisa?

I’m (Mostly) an Adult!

In last week’s post, I wrote about the “right” way to becoming an adult. Historically speaking, this included completing all levels of education (usually only high school), obtaining a full-time job, getting married, establishing a home, and having children. In that order. No kids? Oh well, too bad. Not an adult. Accidentally (or purposefully) got pregnant before marriage? Nope! You didn’t do it “the right way.”

Well, it’s time to throw all of that out the window, people. Because in today’s world, there isn’t any “right way” to becoming an adult. But this idea really got me thinking. If there isn’t a right way to grow into adulthood, then what does it mean to become an adult? How can adulthood be defined? Because even though I don’t have kids, I’m not married, and I haven’t yet established a home, I still feel very much so like an adult…(says the guy who still watches Spongebob).

So in my mind, here are the twentysomething signs that make me an “adult.”

  1. Having enough money to purchase a cup of coffee when you’re in need of a caffeine boost, and not having to worry about how much of a detriment it will be on your bank account.
  2. …while also acknowledging that a Quad Venti extra-hot soy hazelnut cappuccino is a beverage that should probably only be seen as a “Treat Yo Self,” because that shit ain’t cheap, and it adds up.
  3. Going to the grocery store and being confident that you can make a plethora of relatively decent meals from the ingredients that are scattered all around the store.
  4. Paying bills. A necessarily evil…but I really like my electricity and hot water, so I guess I’ll continue to write those checks.
  5. Eating relatively healthy, or at least understanding and being aware that eating Burger King five times a week is probably not the best option for my body.
  6. Finding a job that you love, or at least having aspects of your job that you know you enjoy.
  7. Working hard, but not too hard. Everything is about balance, especially between work life and personal life. It’s not easy, but it’s so so important.
  8. Realizing that if you don’t “click” with someone on a first date, it’s nothing personal. They just aren’t the right fit for you at that time.
  9. Coffee is preferred over vodka. Most of the time.
  10. Seeing laundry as an unnecessary task, until you realize how much you’ve already spent on underwear just to avoid doing said laundry.
  11. Offering to pay for your friend’s coffee or lunch, just because you can and it’s a nice gesture.
  12. Cleaning your apartment suddenly becomes fun…? And if not fun, you can at least look around afterwards and feel rewarded in your cleaning efforts.
  13. There is a generation younger than me, and they use lingo that I don’t know. I still don’t know what the hell “salty” means, but I’m hip enough to know that it’s kind of an outdated term now. Right…?
  14. Happy hour is the new favorite hour of the week.
  15. You may still call your parents for small adulting-type questions, but that doesn’t make you any less of an adult.
  16. You hear your parents voice in your head almost on the daily. Wear a jacket! Don’t forget to bring an extra pair of gloves! And you realize they were right all along.
  17. You are much more comfortable and confident in your own skin now then you were, say, when you were fifteen. Even though it may not feel that way all the time.
  18. Early weekend mornings can either be seen as a peaceful, quiet bliss, or a time to sleep in, but either way, you praise the person that created the weekend.
  19. Quality over quantity. In almost every aspect of life. You finally understand this rule.
  20. You may not talk to your good friends every single day, but you know that they are always there for you, no matter what.
  21. Life can throw curve balls, but that’s what keeps things exciting.

So regardless of whatever the traditional pathway was, the fact is, that pathway is no longer the pathway. It’s pathway, for some, sure. But for me, I have twentysomething other ways that make me feel “adult.”

Happiness in Just Three (Easy) Steps!

This past week, as some of you may know, I was at a conference for work with other student affairs professionals. When I returned to work on Thursday, people asked, “How was it?!” I responded with one phrase: “life-changing.”

“Why?!” everyone asks.

My scripted (and entirely true response): “It was life-changing because I felt educated, inspired, and connected.”

Over the course of this past week, I’ve been thinking a lot about why those three feelings contributed to the overarching sense of “life-changing.” And as I thought about it, I realized that these three feelings – educated, inspired, and connected – were also relevant to a twentysomething life. Maybe even life in general for people of all ages. Here’s why:

  1. Educated
    • At the conference, I learned something at almost every single session I attended. For other conference goers, you know how rare that is! But after each session, I walked away with pages of notes and dozens of new ideas to bring back to my campus. Student affairs professionals like to use to term Lifelong Learners, and it applies to all of us. Having a feeling of growth is a major component to happiness, and that includes your brain. Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, suggests picking up three new magazines every month that you would have never read otherwise. Or watching a documentary on something that interests you and learning even more about it. Either way, the point is to learn. Forever. Becoming a life-long learner will absolutely contribute to your happiness.
  2. Inspired
    • The amount of times my job has come up through the course of this blog might be one too many, but here’s a plot twist: after this conference, I LOVE MY JOB! And more than that, I love the field of work that I am currently doing. It was a reminder of why I’m doing the work that I’m doing, and why I love it so much. So how do you start to feel inspired when you are feeling completely lack-luster? Well, I would ask yourself, why? Why am I doing this job? What made me want to do this job in the first place? If that doesn’t fill you with passion and inspiration, maybe it’s time to reconsider. Another idea is to check back in with yourself about your goals. When you first started at your job/company/office/etc, what were your goals? Have you reached any of them? If not, are you currently working towards them, or did they kind of fall off the bandwagon? Realign your work with your goals. Goals provide a purpose in your work, which in turns provide a sense of inspiration.
  3. Connected
    • By the end of the conference, I was able to look around the room and feel connected with most of the people in the room. Some I knew before the conference, some I met while I was there, and others were just a friendly face that I had gotten used to seeing over the past four days. Again with Gretchen Rubin (she really is great), but she says that people/connectedness is another contributing factor to happiness. So how are you connected? What are you doing to get involved, get connected in your office, or in your community? We are always telling college students to get involved, but we need to practice what we preach. No matter what your job is, get involved. Make an active positive presence for yourself. Join a committee, attend events that are not required, offer guidance to a coworker in another department, volunteer on the weekends. Soon enough, these additional responsibilities that at first may just seem like extra time commitments will soon pay off in having connections and in having some really amazing people in your life.

So, I guess that’s it folks. The three key factors of happiness: Feeling educated, inspired, and connected. Although I know it’s not that simple, it may be a good place to start.

What are other ways you feel educated, inspired, and connected?

Looking Back, Moving Forward

“This week wants to give you a psychic chisel to help you chip away at the tapes that no longer need playing. Stop letting them play you.”

This quote came directly from my horoscope for this past week (which are totally accurate and spot on, by the way. You can check yours out here).

As some of you may know, I’ve been delving more into the psychic/spiritual world this past week. Learning more about crystals and tarot cards and mediumship…it’s been quite a journey so far. But because of that, I’m finding it hard to believe that the phrase “psychic chisel” is a coincidence. Regardless…

What I really want to focus on is the “chip away at the tapes that no longer need playing / stop letting them play you” part. In other words, it’s okay to look back, but that doesn’t mean you need to go back.

This week has been another week. It’s been filled with so many new things, which is amazing and great, but also overwhelming and stressful. But surprisingly, and not-so-coincidentally, it’s also been filled with so many memories from the past. Call it nostalgia? Or maybe call it unwanted reminders of past experiences that weren’t great.

Regardless of what you call it, I think it’s important to look back and reflect on life. However, you can’t let it consume you either. As the African Sankofa bird depicts, it is possible to look back without going back. The bird’s elegant neck is turned backwards, looking into the past, but her feet are still moving forwards. Yes, it’s possible.

sankofa

Here’s why:

  1. Reflection
    • Reflection is so incredibly important. There is not one universal timeless truth. The younger versions of ourselves may have done some things that were not necessarily the best. At the time, we may have thought so. Or maybe we didn’t know what else to do. But looking back and reflecting, we are able to reevaluate the situation. And maybe you still stand strongly by that action/decision/behavior, or maybe it allows you to reconsider your younger self, and change your perspective on that previous situation.
  2. Grow
    • Reflection leads to growth. Growth stems from the water of reflection. It allows you to provide constructive feedback to yourself about yourself. If you’re anything like me, you may have said before, “I’m always hardest on myself.” For me, that’s true. But reflection also allows you to be the kindest with yourself. Keep in mind, growth is an individual process. If you are reflecting back on a weird friendship or break up, etc, you don’t need to reach out to that person to grow. Reflection is a little more flexible…you can reflect with others or by yourself. But no one can grow for you. This one is solely your responsibility. I know it’s a hard process and sure as hell can feel lonely, but it is so so worth it because you will come out as a stronger person with your head held high.
  3. Move Forward
    • Sometimes, you might realize that a lost love or a disconnected friend is worth trying for all over again. But chances are, there are reasons why those things never worked in the first place. Move forward. Move on. Grow from those experiences. Moving forward can be a difficult process because it feels so final. “I’ve moved on…” implying that there’s no turning back, no reflection. It’s over. Officially. But that’s not necessarily true…because as important as it is to move forward, reflection is a constant process. There will always be room to look back, as long as your feet are moving forward.

I hate the expression, “Move forward and don’t look back!” Because in my mind, I am not able to move forward unless I look back. It’s a part of life to reflect, grow, and move forward. How will you?

(Not) Spinning Out of Control

This week has been a freaking week, let me tell you.

In one week, I visited my sister, caught up with a friend from college, went to an LGBTQ dinner club, went on a really great date, played bananagrams with friends, started rewatching Parks and Rec, AND let’s not forget the best part…I MET LAVERNE COX!!! Yes, it’s true.

But despite all of those really great things, three events stick out the most in my mind:
1. I caught malocchio (the evil eye)
2. I lost my wallet
3. I “forgot” about a Starbucks shift and completely missed it

It’s the rotten apple idea. Why does one apple have to ruin the whole orchard?!

There’s a theme with my three rotten apple moments. I had absolutely no control over anything that happened. Although there were precautions I could have taken, the truth is, I didn’t take them. And in the moment, there was nothing I could do. I could’ve worn my Italian protection charm to bed every night, but I didn’t. I could’ve kept my wallet in my back pocket, but I didn’t. I could’ve triple checked the dates I was working at Starbucks, but I didn’t.

And when I caught malocchio, realized I lost my wallet, and got that call from work, there was nothing I could do. It was too late. Some may see this as a sign…”Michael, you are spinning out of control what the heck is everything okay what’s wrong how can I help?!??” STOP RIGHT THERE. Everything is fine. But sometimes, life sweeps you up. And when you’re being swept up in that tornado of life, here are some things to keep in mind:

  1. Remember: some things are out of your control
    • Just reminding yourself of this can help. You can tear apart your bedroom, have friends and coworkers search your office, your room, etc. But damn, deep down you know that if you can’t find that wallet, you are out of luck. It’s not going to magically appear after you’ve searched up and down for a week. Once it’s done, it’s done. That doesn’t mean you can’t do anything at all, however, which leads me to point #2.
  2. Utilize your resources 
    • When I found out I had malocchio, I immediately texted my dad. I didn’t care that it was midnight. “Help! I have malocchio!” The curse had been cast, it was already done. But I couldn’t just sit back and let it take it’s toll. The next day, my dad called me and told me that my aunt in Italy confirmed that I did indeed have malocchio, and she was doing her rituals to cast it away. And it worked! Reaching out to other people in your spinning moments can be a good thing.
  3. Take time to grieve the situation
    • This sounds dramatic. “Grieve the situation.” But I’m totally serious. Just because something is out of your control doesn’t mean you can’t (and shouldn’t) talk about it. Everyone I came into contact with last week knows about my lost wallet. And when I realized I looked at the wrong date I was scheduled to work, I was with a friend over an hour away. “Okay, deep breaths,” she said, “And let’s talk through it.” And we did.
  4. Follow up
    • You can bet your ass I’m never going to miss a Starbucks shift again. And I’m going to (try to) be extra extra careful with my wallet next time. If there is any precaution to be had, do it. Try to avoid “a next time.”

Some may see these events as “spinning out of control.” But I’m choosing to see it as a growth opportunity. You live and you learn. Learn from the experiences that are handed to you, even if they are all your fault, or not your fault at all. There is always something to be gained.