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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The Average Girl's Guide To Dealing With A Quarter Life Crisis

One's 25th birthday is a special one, no doubt. You've grown up and traded your mini skirts for pencil skirts. So much changes in each year of your 20's after your legendary 21st birthday and it's hard to get control of the reigns of your life when that happens because there are just too many decisions to be made. 

But once that day has come and gone, adulthood hits you like a ton of bricks. All sorts of new adult things start coming at you like wild fire and eventually, when you succumb to the "adulting" pressure, you have reached your quarter life crisis. 

2015 was an incredible year for me. I got a new job furthering my broadcast journalism career and I got engaged. Those are some of the major boxes I just checked off my life list. Now, I'm starting to panic because an entry level reporting job means an entry level pay and my bills seem to be piling up more and more. Do the math...I'm broke. It sucks, but I'm managing, and here is how.

Here is the Average Girl's Guide to Dealing with a Quarter Life Crisis. 

quarter life crisis

1. Get yourself the most plush, comfy robe
Mine is Victoria Secret and probably every person who has been to my apartment has seen me in it, I wear it that frequently. There is nothing like coming home from a long day of work from your two jobs, dropping everything and putting on that robe for the first enjoyable moment of the day. It's that one time you can get coddled like every working 20-something wants. 

A part of going through your mid-twenties includes that time where you focus on getting your dream job and once you are on the right path, you miss how easy you had it working as as a Dunkin' Donuts girl. And tax season? Every 25+-year-old LOVES tax season because it means you can finally go shopping with your refund which seems to last a hot second. And then you realize how much money was taken out of your pay check to pay Uncle Sam. That's a slap in the face when that moment comes. 

2. Ben & Jerry's
Find your Ben & Jerry's ice cream flavor. Everyone is destined for one of their amazing flavors. I would highly suggest Fish Food or Half Baked. This small pint of ice cream can play both sides of the fence. On pay day, what better way to spend the first $5 than buying a fresh pint of goodness from your hard earned pay check. This same pint of ice cream comes in handy once you sit down and pay your bills shortly after getting paid. You will want to eat your sorrows away and hang with Ben and Jerry. It's life. 

3. Listen to your friends, because you need someone to listen to you
I've found that genuinely caring about your friends lives really makes for a good friendship. Common sense, right? Everyone likes to talk about themselves and for someone to actually care. Listen long and hard because you are going to need someone who will answer your call at all hours of the night when you realize how supporting yourself is not what it is cracked up to be. Like that time a pipe burst in my apartment in the wee hours of the morning and had to sleep on my mattress on my kitchen floor. 

I have it a little easier because I have a twin sister who is forced into dealing with my frantic calls 247. Thanks, Sam ! :::insert smirking emoji here:::

LIVE WITH YOUR PARENTS AS LONG AS POSSIBLE (or until they kick you out). 

4. Push notifications are your friend
There is just so much that needs to be done now that you have real responsibilities and not everyone can remember all of the bill due dates by heart. I sure can't. So I set a reminder each day that I owe my life too that way I don't get hit with fees. And don't forget about your student loans. After all, you did pay thousands upon thousands of dollars for that education that your getting paid basically minimum wage for. 

It's totally worth it...

5. Get a Rubik's cube for your coffee table
This will come in handy when your are trying to figure out where you are supposed to be going in your life. There will be a point where you are faced with that hard decision, mostly involving a job -related crossroads that you can't manage to decide which way to go. The Rubik's cube on my coffee table is my best friend...although I still haven't figured out what journalism route to take. 

On that note, when is a quarter life crisis supposed to end?!? Because I've been stressed since the day after my 25th birthday. 

6. Lots and lots of clocks
Clocks tickle my fancy, not sure why but I just love them. I like to know what time it is all the time (pun intended). I know, super weird. When you are a teenager, it seems like the days can't end quickly enough and now I'm running out of time to do everything on my imaginary to-do list so knowing the time somewhat helps... and reminds me how much stuff I still have to do. 

7. Time Hop will bring you joy
It's the little things in life.

There is nothing better than waking up at the ass crack when it's cold as hell and as snow is piling up outside than using your precious morning social media stalk-sesh to jump back to photos to when you had it easy. Facebook has perfected it because they pop up first thing you check your social media in the morning. Genius.

It gives you a moment to reminisce to when you would line outside a college bar that turned into a sad attempt of a "club" and dressing like its Fourth of July weekend. My only two responsibilities while in college at URI: pass all my classes and get into Bonvue before 1 a.m. Ah, to be young and stupid. Speaking of, hangovers in your early 20's to mid 20's are like night and day. I just can't hang anymore. I'm sure as hell not feeling 22 anymore, Taylor. 

8. A tissue box...for your car
Those damn Andrea Bocelli songs will hit you hard when you are pondering life while driving to work and stuck in the inevitable rush hour traffic. These will also come in handy when you get a call that your bank account overdrew and now your next pay check is toast from overdraft fees. Or when you realize you have $800 in back car taxes you need to pay in order to renew your registration... in one month. Gotta love having your own car! At least I'm less than six months away from paying off that loan. Now, I can't wait to say that when I pay off all of my student loans...in 2040.

So, these tools didn't yet solve my quarter life crisis that I'm suffering from right now but it sure as hell helped me (a tiny amount) in dealing with the repercussions of my grown up decisions, or lack thereof.  

I know, I know, life is sooo hard. But with the right coping tools, you will be just fine. 
Friday, January 8, 2016

Why I Would Consider Calling Off My Wedding

Got Eem

In case you didn't catch the hint from the above photo, no, I would not call off my wedding. I just booked a trip to Amsterdam and Paris for this coming spring and considering I'm in the midst of planning and saving for a wedding, it probably wasn't the smartest idea to travel. 

I came across this new airline, WOW Air, based out of Iceland, that is offering super cheap flights to Europe. I mean, dirt cheap. Like, you can go to Paris for $250 one-way cheap. Factor in a couple hour layover in Iceland, which isn't that bad. How could I pass that up? Like the true journalist that I am, I questioned why it really is so cheap. Much to my surprise, there were numerous articles from very credible news sources about WOW that eased my overthinking mind. 

There has been talk amongst my siblings and significant others for doing some sort of trip in May and when we discovered we could book a round trip flight for under $800, there was no question. There was a $67 fee for luggage but still, it is almost half of what I paid for my flight ticket to Italy this past July.

But did booking it really pose no questions?

While I was convincing my twin sister into coming on the trip and having her tell me why she doesn't think she should do it because it isn't "fiscally responsible" right now, I started questioning my own decision to go. I was going against the very words I was persuasively and frantically texting her because looking in the mirror, I should not be going to Europe less than two years from my wedding. My brother wanted to book it before the New Year to prevent any increase in cost which gave us all but four days to decide, so we needed to think fast. Talk about pressure. 

As soon as I made up my mind, I could sense all of the shade that would be coming my way.

Tisk tisk Anita. You are planning a wedding that is very expensive and you shouldn't do anything to take away from your savings. 

But it's Amsterdam and Paris! And I'll never have the opportunity to travel this cheap to Europe, probably ever. 

An older, much wiser co-worker of mine convinced me. He said to me the day before I booked my flight something along the lines of, "Travel while you're young and able. Don't worry about the money, just make it work. Experience is far more valuable than money will every be." Now, he is married with three children and reiterated to travel as much as possible before Jake and I have anyone other than ourselves to worry about. It was a done deal. From that point, I realized I'm going to Amsterdam and Paris. 

Europe

Anthony Bourdain's show, The Layover, provided us with tons of good spots to go and all sorts food to try. Who knew Indonesian food was popular in The Netherlands? The history, canals, boat homes, Dutch food and herds of bicycles, why else would someone travel to Amsterdam? 

We plan on keeping it as cheap as possible, by staying in hostels and traveling light. My brother caught the travel bug since going to Japan in December so he has plenty of tips on how to stay alive in hostels that will get us through our trip. Hopefully. 

Is it just me or does anyone else think of the horror movie, Hostel, anytime the word is mentioned?

Eiffle Tower

With so much happening in Paris right now, it's crazy we are going there. But, it's probably the safest it's going to be for travelers because of the heightened security, right? We have plans to take a three hour train from Amsterdam to Paris and eat our way through the city. I picture myself wearing a beret, in a super Parisian outfit, holding a freshly baked baguette and several kinds of the stinkiest cheese found in the city, walking over the Pont des Arts (aka the lovers lock bridge) and eating our goods under the Eiffel Tower. 

As a side note: when the 45 tons of padlocks were removed from the sides of the bridge this past summer, I cried a bit inside. What will happen to all of those lover's dreams?! More importantly, I'll never be able to put a lock with #Anderoni2017 on it. However, I'd rather not be able to put a lock up then have mine taken down and probably melted and destroyed.

We've gotten some tips from others who traveled to these parts and with that and Bourdain's must do's, I think we can get an authentic trip in each country. And I'm not talking about standing in line for three hours to go up the Eiffel Tower or other big attractions (other than the Louvre which I'll wait for). While I would love too, I want to spend my limited time living like a true Parisian would; eating, drinking and being fancy. 

If there is one thing to take from this blog post, it's that I would never call off my wedding nor is there something that would make me consider that. The title was click bait and if your still reading this, you were hooked. 

Amsterdam and Paris is happening, even though I financially shouldn't. Why stop my life in anticipation of one big, glorious party? 

I'm just going along for the ride. 

P.S. I'm already questioning my decision on using the first photo in this post but I couldn't resist. It's borderline nauseating because it's so in your face, but worth it. 

P.P.S. Check out and follow my new twitter handle, @theAGchronicles ! 

Happy Friday. 

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