Solo Pursuit: The Benefits of Micro Business Ownership

Article by Courtney Rosenfeld (guest writer)

When you’re a solopreneur or a micro business owner, you’re responsible for every element of your business operations. While this type of total control can help ensure your business runs the way you want it to, it can also become overwhelming from a time management perspective. Fortunately, there are freelance and other assistive services that can give you access to expert help when you need it without the added hassle of having W-2 employees on your payroll.

Hiring Out Special Projects

Most small business owners are, or quickly become, subject matter experts in their field or business. However, since they likely have their hands full with day-to-day operations, it only makes sense to hire freelance or contract services to add layers of expertise and lessen their workload. For example, if your solo enterprise is a catering company, it might be to your advantage to hire someone to design your website, handle your bookkeeping or make deliveries so you can concentrate on client cultivation, customer service, and food preparation. Even farming out personal services, like house-keeping, dog walking, or personal errands, can free up precious time to devote to running your business.

Taking Advantage of Technology

Advances in technology have created a dynamic in which small business owners can easily tackle things like accounting, tax preparation, and invoicing online. Virtual meeting platforms similarly allow people to collaborate from multiple locations, which can save everyone valuable time. You can also access remote help in the form of virtual assistants, schedulers, or receptionists. Even “help bots” on your webpage can respond to customer inquiries with answers to frequently asked questions. Not only are technology-based business aids less expensive and more flexible than employees, but you can also pick services you need when you need them.

Running a Successful Business

Operating an enterprise on your own means you’ve got to be hyper-aware of your use of time, appropriate identification of your target demographic, and implementation of superior customer service skills. Creating a detailed business and marketing plan can help you create a roadmap for how your business will function, as well as help you identify areas where outside assistance could be beneficial. According to the US Small Business Administration, writing a business plancan aid in this effort, and is a necessity if you plan to apply for a small business loan or another type of funding to get your company up and running. Good recordkeeping, target advertising, and cultivation of a loyal repeat customer base are all elements to manage when operating a solo endeavor.

Protecting Your Assets

As a solopreneur, you are the face of your business, both operationally and legally. To ensure you’re compliant with rules and regulations of your industry, and to protect yourself against liability, establishing yourself as a limited liability company can be a smart move. States have different requirements for LLCs. You can do a bit of legwork through your state’s department of businesses and industry and file paperwork yourself, hire a pricey attorney, or use a formation company to do the work on your behalf.

Being your own boss as a micro business enterprise is an exciting and rewarding experience. You increase your chances for success by providing exceptional service, comprehensive customer care, and ensuring that you price yourself fairly, yet competitively. Don’t forget, according to the US Internal Revenue Service, you can deduct a lot of qualifying business-related expenses when you file your taxes each year. Keep good records so you’re able to take advantage of all of the tax benefits that come with small business ownership and operations.

You can find this article and other information/content at AwkwardnAdulting.com.

8 Ways to Really be an Adult on a Really Small Budget

Here are my personal strategies for saving money.  They might work for you, or they might not.  Being an adult means spending all the money you earn, so here’s how I make my budget go as far as I can.

  1. Pay money upfront whenever you can.  When I bought my car, I put down as big of a down payment as I could.  When I buy insurance, I pay the plan in full at the beginning of the year.  I know this does not work for everyone, but when I do this as often as I can, I end up saving several hundred dollars a year.
  2. Never buy (new) books.  For those of you who are like me, you love to read.  Sometimes we forget about the library!  Free unlimited movies, books, and more!  Now, with Overdrive and Libby, it’s easier than ever.  You can get free online books just by using your library card.  If I do treat myself to a book to own, I will only buy used from library sales or used book stores.  Another thing I like to do is trade books with friends whenever possible.
  3. Buy in bulk.  I bought a membership to BJ’s about a year ago for $25 through an incentive program for teachers at my school.  By using store coupons combined with manufacturer’s coupons (yes, you can use more than one coupon on an item there!) I am able to get even bigger savings.  It’s not just for suburban moms.
  4. Fix, don’t replace.  Whenever I can, I fix something instead of replacing it.  If you have a needle and thread, you have a life extender for your clothes.  Ripped leggings, missing buttons, or torn belt loops can be easily fixed with a little time.  When in doubt, look on Youtube for videos on how to fix things.  The sense of accomplishment comes free with the repair too!
  5. Do it yourself whenever you are able.  Time is often a constraint, but I do things myself whenever I can.  For example, in my house, I painted the rooms myself.  It took a lot of time and was labor intensive work (especially painting the ceilings and trim) but I saved money.  I am also making my own curtains for my bedroom and living room–much cheaper than buying curtains that I would most likely need to hem anyway.  It also comes with a bit of a bonus because I can pick more unique fabric than the usual curtains at Bed, Bath, & Beyond.
  6. Cook!  Yes, I love going out to eat, but cooking at home saves money.  It is so underrated.  Make something that you can eat all week and bring for lunches.  For example, I love quiche.  I will make quiche on a Sunday for dinner and then bring a slice for lunch all week.  It’s basically meal prepping, which isn’t an original tip, but I can’t do grilled chicken and veggies every day.  BONUS HINT: Whenever I go out to eat, I always order something I am not skilled at making or otherwise wouldn’t make for myself.  If I see something I want but I know I could make myself,  I take a mental note and make it for dinner later that week.  This isn’t really money saving but it helps me get my money’s worth out of going out to eat.
  7. Shop with credit cards–then pay them off.  I have a store card to my favorite place to buy clothes: Loft (don’t judge, I’m a teacher).  I pay with my credit card, get discounts and coupons often, and always pay off the balance as soon as I get home.  If you are loyal to a specific brand or store, this can help a lot.
  8. Figure out what you love, then splurge.  My fiance and I love going to karaoke bars.  There really isn’t any way of getting around the cost.  We go out with our friends, order appetizers and scorpion bowls…and it adds up.  We know this.  We set money aside to go out, so we are mindful when doing something else.  If we end up doing other things for entertainment, we remember that means no karaoke for a bit.  It helps us prioritize what we like doing and keeps us from going out too often and wasting money on stuff we don’t love.  It doesn’t keep us from hanging out with friends, but it definitely helps us make the decision between a bottle of wine together with them or a night on the town.

Quarantine Tips for When You Feel Like You’re Losing it (Spoiler Alert: You’re not alone!)

Let me begin by saying there is no right or wrong way to self-isolate. Do not feel like whatever emotions you are experiencing are abnormal or unprecedented. While this situation is going to affect every person a little differently, it has been comforting for me to know that many of my friends and family are feeling extremely similar frustrations… Including loneliness, fear, boredom, anxiety, lack of motivation, and the list goes on.

This led me to spend a lot of time reflecting on my habits and researching techniques on how to stay on track during these trying times. I wanted to share some of tips that have been successful for me in hopes that others may be able to relate and benefit in some way.

  1. Stick to a schedule/routine. You may not have anything to wake up at a certain time for, but set your alarm anyway to hold yourself accountable. To get your day started, read a book, go make breakfast, meditate, and do whatever you need to do to wake up and activate your mind. I’ve discovered that writing down my tentative schedule for the day (in a place where I can clearly see it) has helped hold myself accountable and motivates me to keep working. It feels fantastic to be able to check off tasks as I complete them as the day goes by. On the other hand, though, do not be afraid to give yourself downtime. While it can be a great exercise to write down a list of things you want to accomplish, don’t let it make you feel guilty that you’re not keeping yourself busy every second of every hour.
  2. Give yourself praise for the little things. Many of my friends, and myself included, have been so frustrated with their productivity levels. We’ve noticed that we have not been getting as much done as we normally would have if we were at school or at work. It is important to remember that there is a reason that total isolation is one of the worst forms of torture for a human being. We are not meant to be in an environment like this so it really isn’t a surprise that people feel like they are slacking. It is going to take some time to adjust to these circumstances and to figure out what will be the most effective routine for us. Make sure you are giving yourself praise for any projects you complete. Progress is still progress, no matter how small! 
  3. Self-care. When people hear the term “self-care”, they think of face masks, mani/pedis, and a hot bath. While self-care can certainly look like this, the version of self-care that I’m trying to practice is mindfulness and heightening my self-awareness. Like all of you, I am isolated with my racing mind, my body, and the long list of tasks I have to complete. It has certainly been a challenge to not let insecurities and anxiety sabotage my thoughts. Our brain doesn’t have an off switch and it can be very easy to fall into a rabbit hole of self-doubt and overthinking. Understand that these concerns are stemming from isolation, and are most likely not warranted.  The world we live in moves so fast, and this is probably the only opportunity we will have in our lifetime where nearly everything in our outside world stands still. Take this opportunity to become more aware of who you really are and to show every part of yourself unconditional love. When you wake up in the morning, try to come up with 3 things you are grateful for, and 3 things you love about yourself. Try to take a step back from your usually fast-paced life and figure out what activities you miss the most, or what activities you really don’t miss at all. This is an incredible time for you to evaluate where, or with who, you have been spending your energy, and if this is still the best path for you to take. Reflect on decisions/mistakes, accept them, and heal from them. Every single decision you have ever made has led you to this present moment and shaped you into the amazing person that you are. Love yo-self and the journey you’ve been on!!
  4. Utilize your phone/social media. Do not be afraid to text/call a friend if you’re struggling. Whether you need help with something  specific or you just want to reach out to have a conversation because you miss them (or if you just miss human interaction in general), go for it! Chances are, they’re probably bored and would love to catch up with you too. 
  5. Pick up a new hobby or do something creative! More frequently than I would like to admit, I have ran into some major creativity blocks during quarantine. This has definitely made it difficult for me to work on projects or even do little things like clean my room. If you keep running into this feeling, take a break. Make your bed, go for a walk, stretch, get your body moving, or do something creative like drawing, painting, or journaling. Exercises like these can help you stay in the moment and can ease your mind when you’re feeling restless. Meditation is an especially great practice to get into right now. The app store/YouTube is filled with all different kinds of practices, depending on what you’re searching for. Look into a new hobby that you’ve always wanted to try. Learn a new language, develop your professional skills on LinkedIn Learning, learn how to cook your favorite meal, take a new class (a lot of online courses have been discounted or are totally free right now), read a happy book, repaint your room, try a new kind of workout, the list is endless.

Like I said before, there will never be another opportunity where our whole world is essentially standing still. Let’s try our hardest to make sure we come out of this quarantine as kinder, stronger, and more self-aware versions of ourselves. I want to emphasize again, however, that there is no correct or incorrect way to spend your time. My goal with this post is to encourage and inspire, but most importantly to remind us that the frustration we are experiencing right now is mutual but only temporary. There is light at the end of the tunnel.  

Prepared but not panicked

Remember when we were kids? When our mom or our teachers told us to play the quiet game? Remember how hard it was to take that seriously? Remember being that person to end the game because you knew it was crap? Well the way I see it, the recent outbreak of COVID-19 is very similar. Why? Because while data shows that social distancing is proven to reduce the spread and break the curve of highly transmittable diseases like this one – people my age (early to mid 20s) can’t or rather won’t seem to comply because they either 1. don’t take it seriously or 2. they would rather risk it and party.

So let’s change the rules of the quiet game. Let’s make it a little more serious.

Say you are in a classroom and suddenly there is an intruder drill. Do you stay quiet? Do you comply with the rules? Of course you do. Because there is a threat to life and a threat to the way of life that your family and friends know. You stay quiet and lay low in this instance because if something happens to you or if you make a lot of noise it effects those around you.

The way I see it, going out and partying right now – When organized sports are shutting down, when the economy is struggling, and when you have older parents at home is selfish.

Now let’s get one thing or rather a couple things straight. I’m not saying panic – the last thing we need to do is panic (or buy tons of toilet paper) but this is not a game and this is not a drill. There is an intruder in our country, there is a virus that threatens the way of life we know and with it has come a choice. We can lay low and quiet ourselves for a couple weeks to mitigate its effects or we can make noise and party and break the rules and it’ll last longer.

In a lot of ways the past week has been a test of immediate gratification – and young people are failing because they think or know that the risk to themselves is low.

In other words why wait til the cookie is cold to eat it. If I burn my mouth so what? I’ll be fine in a week – so what’s the worry?

The problem with this is that some of us. People like me. Have older families. We have friends that are elderly who have pre existing conditions. We have people whom we wouldn’t dare come into contact with because if we are a carrier, the last thing we want is to threaten them.

Some of us are taking this game seriously because we know that by doing so it will end sooner and we can go back to our lives, our jobs, and our parties.

Look I’m never here to tell you what to do. And I’m not a doctor so I don’t know how bad this really is or how bad it can get (although Italy is a good indication). But I do know one thing. I’d rather give one month of my life up to lay low and mitigate harm than take months from someone else. I know that I am a believer of how bad this can get if we aren’t smart and that I plan on doing my part in all of this even if it really sucks for me.

In this time of uncertainty it is important to be prepared not panicked and hopefully, if we all do our part – everything will go back to normal before we know it.

Stay healthy out there.

The after-match of online dating

In the aftermath of the holidays I’ve been thinking a lot about dating lately and with dating at my age comes the obvious…sex.

Now while I have no problem with human sexuality I am on the more modest side – so if you opened this to read salacious details about my sex life – well let’s just say that my career in romance novels isn’t about to start on this blog… that being said, the issue I want to talk about today –

When to bring up sex – the “after match”

Let’s set the scene – you a male or female 20-30 something have just downloaded a dating app, you have no real expectations for romance but as a hopeless romantic you think hmmm this time, this time maybe it will be different. I mean … my friend said she found her match here, so maybe there is one for me too?

You proceed, swiping left and right and finally you have that sea full of fishes that everyone has been talking about. You “match” with a couple people and start talking and it seems to be going well and then…

The turn off

When it comes to dating apps I have three MAJOR turnoffs. (1.) the guys who are DTF before they even say hi. (2.) the sleeper cell guys who are nice and then BAM they use some grotesque and crude language saying how they want to “please” you over and over and over agian. and (3.) Someone who can’t hold a conversation on or offline. (which fyi is not rocket science)

The break down

For me the option 1 guys are not the worst. They know what they want and sadly, their method has probably worked once or twice so they stick to what they know. These guys aren’t pigs, they are opportunists. They know that dating sites have girls that are looking for what they are and they know that it won’t have to lead to some sticky relationship that might drain their wallet and take their bro-vado.

Then we have option 2, the guy who starts off nice, compliments your eyes instead of your a** and genuinely wants to take five minutes to get to know you. However, the problem with these guys is that those five minutes seem to be all they can take before they whip out the innuendo.

Lastly pet peeve numero 3 the conversation desert. This one like the other two is fairly self explanatory. When it comes to dating chemistry is a huge deal and a lack of ability to converse – well – even a fire cracker can’t recover that lack of a spark.

The takeaway

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again – a major problem in my generation is that we dive into “relationships” before we dive into ourselves.

Truth is I have no problem with guys wanting what they want – what I do have a problem with is timing.

Choosing the right time to bring up sex in a potential relationship is hard. Probably harder when it comes to girls like me who use self respect as a means to turn to frustration before conversation. But at the end of the day for me it is about respect over assumptions.

I want someone to respect me enough to ask me how my day is before they assume I want to spend it rolling around in their bed. I want someone to respect that a relationship, even at the beginning, isn’t about talking about how many f**** you’ve given or assuming that I’d want to be the next. I want someone to respect that sex isn’t the first or second thought on my mind because health and work come first. And maybe that means that I need to stop assuming that guys will know that not all girls are DTF upon first match – but maybe it also means I need to stop being the girl that lets guys hide behind screens and be bold enough to put myself out there.

It’s all about timing

When it comes to dating in the “modern” age – I feel like I was born in the wrong time. But as much as I would love to go back to a time when courtship and courtesy was a thing, I don’t want to live in a time where women’s rights were virtually non existent. So maybe I can learn to deal with boys better, or maybe I can find men who get it or maybe its not just my time yet.

All I know is that there is a right time to bring up sex in relationships and one day we will find someone who gets and respects that too. But for now we’re all just learning and maybe that’s cool too.

Music is art

Whats good, my names Kevin also known as KevinXI. My purpose here is to spread mental health awareness through, music, culture, and basically anything related to art. I believe that music can bring people together, as well as split them apart, so it is important to keep that in mind when creating any track.

I want to let everyone out there to know that there is hope. I have been struggling with depression and anxiety ever since I was 14. I am now 22 and trying to bring awareness to these disorders so that further research can be done in order to gain more insight on them.

Hopefully this insight can lead to some sort of solution, but for now we are all just trying to survive. Live on and be grateful 🙂 Attached below is a link to my music and merch. Lets start a movement; Lets end the stigma associated with mental health disorders; Lets build a community were people can be open without judgment.

Music and Merch –

https://linktr.ee/KevinXI

peace, love, and positivity

KevinXI

I’m Buying a House, and So Can You!

Recently, my fiance and I had our offer accepted on a house!  We are very excited–who said the dream of property ownership was dead?  We are doing it and so can you!

All you need to do is…

  • Never start renting.  You will lose all of your money to a landlord.  Instead, live at home until your mom tells you she is buying a condo and you need to leave!
  • Shop smart! You don’t need a house with more than two rooms.  So what if there is mold in the basement?  So what if the windows are painted shut and there is termite damage?  It’s a roof over your head, and it is yours!
  • Work until you think you can’t work anymore, then work more!  I regularly work anywhere from 50-60 hours a week and go to grad school.  Sure, I’ve had a mental breakdown here and there, but hey–I am getting a house.
  • Get into a job that pays you way more than anyone else your age.  My fiance is in sales for a tech company making about 20k more than I do PLUS commission.  So I guess what I am saying is either do that or marry someone who makes more money than you. Lock down that partner who is paying for the majority of the house fast–you would never be able to afford this on your own, so make sure you have that figured out and secured
  • Don’t pay 20% down. We don’t have that much money in the bank!  Are you crazy? We are 24 years old.  We are paying 5% down? I think?  Plus then there’s mortgage insurance which is a fancy term for “If you don’t have 60k in your bank account right now, don’t worry! You just have to pay an extra $200 a month to live in the house that the bank owns but lets you keep your stuff in!

Truth be told, there are a lot of reasons we are getting a house and not an apartment.  We don’t live together yet and are doing this to save money.  In the long run, yes, a house is a better investment than renting, but it takes a lot up front and a really big commitment.  My family and friends have asked me–how do you afford it?  The truth is, as satirical as my tips sound, that’s what we did.  I have worked way too hard for too long.  I have lived rent free in exchange for taking care of a woman with dementia.  I am marrying someone who makes more money than me and always will–get into sales, not teaching, people!  And no, I can’t afford to put sixty thousand dollars down.  Combined, our savings accounts don’t even make it halfway there.  So yes, I’m buying a house.  That’s where all my money is going.

So say hello to the unofficial adultiest adult of AwkwardnAdulting?

How Are You Pursuing Your Happiness?

Some people believe that if we lived in a perfect world we would get everything we asked for. Many people want money, fame, a perfect job, and the list goes on. These same people will probably tell you their one major goal in life is to be happy. While this is a great aspiration to have, I’ve come to realize that many are going about their pursuit of happiness the entirely wrong way or for the entirely wrong reasons. Nowadays, we believe that happiness is associated with tangible “things”, like a fast car, the newest version of the iPhone (that doesn’t look all too different than the last…), or maybe that new pair of shoes that just seems to continuously pop up on your Instagram feed. As humans, we crave experience by our very nature, not “stuff”. And as a marketing major, I’ve learned a lot about consumer behavior. Something so intriguing to me is that marketers are taught to create an experience that can truly connect with people on an emotional level. If you look at Nike, for example, they sell shoes, a commodity, for crying out loud. If their advertisements told you they sold a comfortable shoe in a variety of styles, you would probably not be all that interested. Instead, Nike tells you why and how this product can change your life, and you suddenly feel drawn to the shoe. Because of their superior marketing strategies, when you think of Nike you believe that you can become the athlete you’ve always dreamt of being. 

Anyways, where am I going with all of this you ask? I believe that our generation is striving for happiness, but they are taking the wrong routes to get there. If you ask me, we all need to work on understanding what activities and people make us feel truly alive. Whether this is discovered through meditation, journaling, or whatever it may be, that is up to you, but the moral of the story is that happiness will only lie in bettering oneself, one day at a time. 

Ask yourself…

  • What am I devoting my time to? 
  • Do I have enough room in my schedule for me-time?
  • How do my hobbies and my peers make me feel? 
  • Are some of my time-commitments a waste of my energy?
  • Am I in an environment that will allow me to reach my goals and aspirations?

If you think you are wasting your ever-so-valuable time, it may be a good idea to reevaluate your current situation.

It is so important to understand that you are not being selfish when you make the decision to stop allocating your energy to things that don’t bring you satisfaction anymore. Don’t ever believe that just because your life is taking you down one path, that this is the path you are meant to stay on forever. 

There are very few things in life that follow a clear, black and white, linear pattern. When it comes to things like healing or learning, there will be many challenges that arise out of the blue. Going back to the point I made earlier, many people believe that an ideal world would present everything you ask for on a silver platter. But I disagree. I honestly think that the journey you take is so much more important than the destination. We all face struggles of some sort, but if you think back to situations where you were challenged in some way I’m sure you can think of a number of lessons you got out of the experience. The bumps in the road are what build our character and can actually show us so much about ourselves. For example, sometimes it can take people years to finally realize they are on a career path that they are just not interested in anymore. And that is okay. It’s never too late to make a change in your life, no matter how large, if it will be beneficial for your mental health and wellbeing.

The key to feeling totally fulfilled, in my opinion, is to be honest with yourself when it comes to what you are passionate about, and then figure out a plan to get there. Stop going after “stuff” that will only bring short-lived bliss, and stop wasting your precious energy on situations that don’t make you feel totally and utterly fulfilled.  Continue to pursue experiences that bring you purpose. You know that rush you get from that Nike ad that makes you feel like you could run a marathon by simply Just Do(ing) It? Chase that feeling and implement it into your everyday life, and I promise you, you’ll be happy. 

 

To the ones with weak spot syndrome

We all have a weak spot for someone. A friend, a family member, or a lover. We all have that one person we’d wait for – the one who could get away with murder and we’d forgive them.

Me, I have weak spot syndrome – and maybe you do too. For me it’s never one person but rather, a list. A list of people who enter and exit my life on a whim and yet I am always thinking of them. A list of people who I care about unconditionally no matter how much they hurt me or say things behind my back. Yeah I have weak spot syndrome – but maybe you do too. So this letter is for you.

To the ones with weak spot syndrome. Know that you are loved. Know that there is someone out there who will love you like you deserve someday. Know that it will be hard to let toxic people go. Know that you won’t be able to let certain people go but you have to.

To the ones with weak spot syndrome. I get it but not everyone will.

I know what it’s like to wait for a call, a text, or any form of acknowledgement. I know what it’s like to hurt when you don’t get it. And 95% of the time you won’t get it – because some people these days don’t understand what it’s like when someone on your list is begging to be removed but you can’t let them go.

To the ones with weak spot syndrome, know that this kind of burn is good. This kind of hurt is good. This kind of pain is what you need – because one day you will be able to let that person or people go.

and when you do

The feeling will be glorious.

Repping the Awkward Adult

Announcement!

AwkwardNAdulting now has a clothing line!! (https://teespring.com/stores/the-awkward-adult)

I got mine!!

To rep the brand go check out our merch tab and if you like what you see consider repping for us.

To stay up to date on all things awkward also follow us on Instagram @awk_adult where you can find discounts and more!

We come, we post, we conquer (kinda)

5 things “the bachelor” teaches you about getting your man

The Bachelor. Many of us have seen it. Some of us haven’t, but whether you have or have not there is no denying the popularity of the bachelor brand. So today I thought I’d jump on the band wagon and do a little listicle.

5 things “the bachelor” has taught me about getting my man...

1. Every second counts: when faced with a game time scenario that time is yours. Seize the day to seize the guy.

In the bachelor we are quick to judge the girls that go back for seconds or thirds before others have gotten their fill. THIS IS NOT THANKSGIVING DINNER WITH YOUR FAMILIES LADIES. In this situation it’s time to act and act fast. When that first night comes around get after it. Show initiative by showing interest and take the time to get your time and get to know the guy you are out with.

2. Nurse your drink: when it comes to first dates most of them are bound to be awkward. But that doesn’t mean you can down three drinks and dance on the table.

Staying casual, composed, and interested (if it applies) should be the cornerstone rule of dating. And while this rule may not be possible for a room full of 30 girls chasing after one man – you are most likely not in a situation like that so stay cool and take it slow.

3. Look your best: ladies there are a lot of fish in that sea and while I am the first to skip makeup 5 out of 7 days a week dating is a meal best served with a side of “dayum I look good” so put your best foot forward. And whether that means mom jeans and a v neck or a full on gown and a full face of makeup well I’ll leave that up to you.

4. Don’t eat the food: (kidding!) back when I was 16 I went on my first date and as a precursor to that date I asked some friends for advice. One question I asked was about food… however, their advice to eat a salad or something that didn’t make me take my true form as a farm animal was not helpful.

When on a date in bachelor world you will notice that the girls don’t eat. This is apparently because filming takes so long that the food is out all day in gross conditions. It is for this reason that I would never survive the bachelor because my advice is to EAT LIKE NOBODY IS WATCHING

5. Be yourself: whether you are someone that dresses like a shark and calls yourself a dolphin or dresses like a princess and calls yourself “the BEAST” my best advice and the best lesson I learned from the bachelor is that you should always be yourself.

At the end of the day, whether you’re competing against 30 other women for one man or simply competing for the eye contact of one man trying to stare down your shirt – the most important thing to be is yourself because why? BECAUSE NO ONE ELSE IS GOING TO DO IT FOR YOU. DUH.

The closing credits

So whether you watch the bachelor or you don’t. Whether you think it’s good tv or trash best served with a glass of wine and a side of used tissues (some of us are lonely ok). There is a lot to be learned from the experience of watching 30 women cat fight over a single man until they are ultimately sent home.

New year no resolutions

Growing up I took New Years as a sort of shooting star meets genie in a bottle. A single night to make a wish or three for the next 365 days to follow.

When I was younger (and more selfish than I am now) I used to wish for a first kiss, a first love, a first … Well the list goes on, but this year (the second or third where I didn’t even make it to midnight) I’m finding myself a different tune to sing.

This year I’m not making resolutions. 1- because they are bull sh** (no offense) and 2- because making a big elaborate promise to myself or a wish on a “shooting star” to get the guy or figure out who I am or invest in my 401k (which I will do… when I have the money) or even break bad habits isn’t something that should only manifest on one single day in a whole year.

I mean think about it. We wait a whole year, for one night, just to get drunk off our asses and ring in the new year with a bad hangover and hazy memories of the clock striking midnight. We stay up all night – way past my bed time – to test this sort of Cinderella effect where we prove or disprove that we can stay a princess for a couple more hours, or days, or weeks. We wait all year – where we are constantly evolving and growing and becoming the person we want to be, just to make a wish that we can skip the hard work and turn pumpkins into carriages over night. IT DOESN’T WORK THAT WAY.

And look I hate to be a cynic. (A little) but I’d also prefer to be a realist.

For me 2019 was one of the most challenging years of my life (and yes I’m young so it seems inconsequential but it’s not). BUT it was also the year where I grew the most. Challenged myself the most. Ended jobs and started new ones. Lost friends and made new ones. Searched for love when I didn’t understand how to love myself first. And yeah in a lot of ways, and form the outside looking in, you could say it sucked – and in some ways it did – but for me, while 2019 was not the best year of my life – it was exactly what I needed and no resolutions to get fit or get kissed did that… I did.

I don’t know if I believe in destiny, I don’t know if I believe in the big man in the sky, and I sure as hell don’t know if I believe in fate because that gets twisted real quick… what I do believe in though, is me.

I believe that 2020 could be the best year of my life but I don’t want it to be. I want it to be hard and frustrating and full of wins AND losses. And I’m not resolving to make any of this happen. I’m just going to feel it out day by day and make changes up as I go. Because Adulting and living aren’t about one night to define them all – they’re about a whole new year to write and re-write the narrative.

So here’s to 2020 and the promise to make no promises and take no prisoners.

We're all just awkward little ducklings trying to fake it until we make it in this 'Adult' lifestyle

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