It's funny because when you're preparing for the real world, no one talks about these things outside of just throwing the words around. Literally what the heck does any of that mean? Well, I can officially tell you. I can officially tell you that being a real person includes all of these things and I now know the meanings.
In essence, money we pay to the government- state and federal- to help pay for stuff. You can delve more into that on your own I'm sure, so I'll spare you the nitty gritty details. But, I will tell you that when someone suggested I use Turbo Tax and someone else suggested I take my W2 to H&R Block..... my thoughts were "my W-what?" and "Where do I even start with Turbo Tax?". It was also suggested to me by my parents that I should do my taxes on my own the first time (while it's still simple), without any technology or accountant, just so I would know how to do it. Ugh. I did. Let me just tell you the fact that I still owed money hurt. They should pay me to fill out those forms! It's like reading hieroglyphics trying to go line by line and see what the heck the IRS is looking to assess. The freaking instructions involve tables and charts and grids and all this information you think you have but you really haven't a clue. I mean honestly, I chose communications as a major for a reason. This whole following instructions thing isn't really up my alley. Nonetheless, I finished! I did it! With the help of my dad, because I wasn't kidding when I said "My W-what?" BUT I DID IT!
Bitch better have my money. But seriously. So while paying taxes all year long kills, sometimes the government takes too much and you get some back! That's the best. State and Federal filings are different and sometimes you'll owe to one and get back from the other, owe to both, or get back from both. It varies from person to person and how you do your withholdings and all that jazz. I highly recommend getting some insight from someone who knows what the heck they're talking about when setting it all up, which brings me to...................
Start investing as soon as you start working. It's so important. If you wait 10 years, you're already 10 years behind in saving which means you won't have that when you want to retire. Besides, what's 1-3% of your paycheck when you're starting? Not much. I promise you won't miss it. You can increase it as you get pay raises. Most employers will match to a certain percentage as well, so you're saving even more when you consider that. It's easy because all you have to do it sign up, pick where you want to send your money, then watch it grow. DO NOT PANIC. Be patient. Again, talk to someone who knows what the heck they're talking about so you feel comfortable about your decisions.
It's easier said than done, I know. Establish savings plans, come up with a reasonable monthly budget, and at the end of it all- just relax with a glass of wine. Hey, I didn't say what size glass!
2. Red wine (actually white wine, too!)
#SCIENCE. You're welcome.
** Full disclosure I'm not a doctor, or a scientist.... so you should look into these facts based on an individual basis, and of course drink in moderation. Always have a DD. And alternate with water!
I love getting dressed up, always have. Don't get me wrong, I love my yoga pants and sweatshirts but it feels nice to look spiffy! With that being said, it can be difficult to look nice all the time, especially when following a corporate dress code. SO! I'm giving you my 5 favorite basics that every corporate wardrobe needs.
1. Pencil skirt.
I have this exact skirt and I LOVE it. It goes with SO much. It's versatile for seasons, too. AND it goes with tights, boots, flats, heels, leggings, literally everything. I personally love the camel color, I also have a navy blue, black is always a win, whatever your personal preference is.I bought mine at Nordstrom, on SALE! Ann Taylor, Bloomies, Banana Republic, Ross, TJ Maxx, Marshalls, they all have some thing like this.
2. Pant Suit.
Even after the initial interview you'll have interviews for other positions. This means you'll want to dress the part. Get a pant suit. It's worth the investment. PLUS when you don't think you have anything to wear you at least have the suit!
3. Black flats.
They match everything, they're comfortable, and they're simple but stylish. Buy them. I recommend in a nude color as well.
Again, another thing that goes with everything. I have 5, 10 (at least) if you count the ones I can borrow from the mall of Mom! They're great to add with a dress, or to just jazz up a simple blouse and slacks. Get one or two in neutral colors and you'll be looking fly!
5. Maxi Dress.
This is my go to for every occasion. You can dress it up, dress it down, wear heels, flats, throw a blazer or a sweater on and you're golden. Again, one thing you can never have too many of..... because I have 6.
Piece them all together!
Get the Cher Closet app... Closet space! Never have an "I don't have anything to wear today" day again! All the hard work will be done for you!
1. Have a drink.
Or 2. Or 7. Whatever it takes to unwind a bit from the effects of work relief and the blizzard.
2. Watch a movie
How often do you just get to sit and enjoy watching a movie? Nothing to distract you, because let's face it- the snow has shut down the east coast right now.
3. Build a snowman.
Or a snow family, but definitely go out and play! Even if you can't get the snow packed tight enough to build, find a dog and throw some snow around for it to catch. Trust me, they'll love it and it'll bring you joy.
4. Snuggle up!
It's cold. Duh. Grab a buddy, blanket, or booze and snuggle up tight! Hunker down!
5. Bake a cake.
Baking always warms your heart. So warm up the house as well and get your apron on! It's fun, and the end result is rewarding.
6.Take a bubble bath.
Might as well try to relax since we're all snowed in for a few days anyway. Light a few candles, bring a glass of wine in, and soak up the bubbly softness.
7. Clean out your closet.
Let's be honest. You've been meaning to do it for a long time now, but just "haven't had time." Yeah, I know, me too. Well now is the perfect time! Also, there's an app, like the one Cher in Clueless has to match up outfits! Put all your clothing items into the app and.... Never again will you not know what to wear!
8. Play Games!
Monopoly, Chinese checkers, ping pong, Wii. Whatever it is, have some fun!
9. Binge on Netflix.
I've got like 5 seasons of PLL to catch up on, you know you've got a guilty pleasure too.
10. Color a picture.
Those intensely detailed coloring books take time when you really put the effort into it. It's also oddly therapeutic.
11. Catch up on Skype dates!
How many times a day/week/month do we think "wow I miss so-and-so, but I just don't have time and we live so far away." Well- here's your chance! Skype 'em up!
12. Online Shopping.
The benefit to cleaning out your closet is now you have room for more! Better get to filling those empty hangers!
13. Catch up on your beauty rest.
Nap, nap, nap. Studies show naps improve brain power! That's reason enough for me.
I hit my one year anniversary with Enterprise recently and it felt really good. Hard work pays off, and it's as simple as that. Well, there are a few more things I've found are very important along the road to success.
Believing in your own ability is 100% the most important thing. If you don't believe in you, why should someone else? It's important to keep your head up, make mistakes, and take those mistakes and make them the best learned lesson going forward. You're worth everything you want, and everything you can dream.
Accept responsibility for your mistakes. No one is perfect. You may be the best at XY&Z, but you'll mess up going through the rest of the alphabet without a doubt. That's OKAY. Take responsibility, apologize if necessary, and keep pushing through.
Be on time. If you're serious about your personal success, prove it. That starts with showing up to the right place at the right time. And this is coming from someone who's cardio has become running late- but I always make it!
BE POSITIVE. No one likes a Debbie Downer. See the opportunity, not the failures. Decide to appreciate the chaos, the mishaps, being short staffed, and you will soar. Who cares that things aren't perfect? Not you! Because you're ready to take on the world all on your own! (But don't actually do that, you need help.) Some days will be better than others, but you don't ever want to let a bad yesterday ruin a perfectly good today. Enjoy the journey to wherever it is you're going or the destination won't mean a thing.
Whether it's with your peers, your boss, or your people, communication is the largest component in any relationship. If you love something, say it. If you would like to change something, say it. If you have a different idea than your boss, tell him or her (because btw, it's good for that to happen. That means you're thinking).
Be strong and emotional in all the right ways. Know your business, know your people, and not for any other reason than it matters to you. Not because of money, not because of a promotion. It matters because you care and because your heart is in it. If your heart isn't in the company you work with and work for, leave. It's not worth it. You'll never be happy, and you'll never find what it is you're looking to find.
Do everything to the best of your ability today, and tomorrow will take care of itself. It's scary not knowing what's going to happen in the future but it's comforting knowing you're putting your heart into everything you do. Everyone else will stand behind your efforts, too. Happiness is never where you look for it, but always where you find it. Trust you're in good hands. You get what you give in every situation when you trust that it all works out for the best.
Warm and fuzzy. We all need it. It's that simple.
1. A kitten and some ducklings!
2. This smiling otter, omg.
3. I think I speak dolphin happy.
4. He mustache you a question..
5. Hoo-hoo is ready for snow?
6. A teacup pig!
7. Do what ya gotta do for warmth.
8. Any snuggle partner will work.
9. Put on your warm clothes!
10. Smile big!
11. Oh and enjoy these other Qokkas.
12. IT'S SO FLUFFY I'M GONNA DIE
13. Look at those ears!
14. OMG OMG. Look how happy!
15. Pigs on a blanket!
16. Oh heyyyy
17. The most unlikely of friends.
18. THOSE PAWS
19. I can touch my tongue to my nose, too mr. cow.
20. Not everyone hates the snow!
21. Others want to hunker down.
22. Some just want more snugs.
23. With the best partners ever.
24. Hippos, the gentile giants.
25. "Aw mommmm"
26. "I'll sit here, thanks"
27. "C'mon George! I'll help ya!"
Everyone needs a little pick-me-up, especially in the corporate world. Smile! It's almost the weekend!
New Year, Same Me!
First of all... What is a resolution?
A resolution is a firm decision to do or not to do something.
Why do we make them only to break them?
We don't fully commit to ourself or to the dedicated beneficiary of the resolution, because it's easier just to "forget" about them.
Why will these resolutions be different?
Everyone deserves to be loved, mostly loved by herself. So, these will be stuck to because they're important. They're important to my well-being.
Let the list begin!
1. Judge less
2. Sleep more
3. Drink more water
4. Eat what I want and stop feeling guilty
5. Love myself
6. Forgive others
7. Be patient
8. Be kind
9. Be flexible
10. Share more smiles
11. Appreciate chaos
12. Stop comparing myself to others
13. Wear comfortable shoes
14. Believe for a reason everything happens
15. Support loved ones and their decisions, they are all trying their best.
16. Step outside my comfort zone and believe discomfort is actually good for me.
The best is yet to come!
Something to remember-- even when it's not a new year, you can still make a decision to make a change that betters who you are as a person.
Here's to new beginnings.
Don't get me wrong, 2015 was filled with wonderful things. There are also some not so wonderful things that I am fully willing to leave behind. I feel as though 15 years happened in 2015. Many changes, mistakes, achievements, and friends (gained and lost) all helping to develop me as a person.
15 Wins of 2015
Immediately after the new year began it was time to hit the ground running. I invested so much time in others, but now it was time for me. I put together a workout routine and was pleased with how well I stuck to it the first 6 months of working a full time job. As a management trainee of Enterprise-Rent-A-Car, I had much to learn and little time to sleep. There was a BIG balancing act that needed to be adjusted and I found myself getting there pretty steadily.
In 2014, I already celebrated my graduation from JMU, but I received my diploma (finally) in 2015 and was super duper stoked to show it off! After all, JMU was the place I learned the most about myself.
~at least this far in my life~
A major event in the midst of it all was Super Bowl 49! My entire family and I had the pleasure of seeing the Seahawks and Patriots play in Arizona. It was a blast! We had passes for the tailgate beforehand and our seats were pretty incredible.
Being that I work at the most successful rental car agency, I had to be at work in all weather conditions. This meant snow. I used to drive this adorable sports coupe and I LOVED that car. It was my first car, I took great care of it, and it was front wheel drive. So after almost spinning out on my way home from work on a snowy morning, I decided to invest in something for myself and I bought a new car!
Work hard and you will be rewarded for your hard work. This far into my career, I have attended 7 awards events and have been promoted because of the results I kick my own ass to get.
I went out on a limb and tried something I had never expressed interest in... I went to a Caps game! Turns out, hockey is awesome. You can be pissed off, turn around and hit some guy in the face because he was too close to you, and it's cool. Who knew!?
I gave myself permission to just be. It's important to recognize that you're doing your best. Feelings are very rarely logical. It's not fair to feel guilty for trying to find balance in your life. I personally expect a lot from myself and it's because I know I am capable of so much. But, it's also important to love myself for what I do accomplish and not what I think I have to accomplish. We can't fully appreciate being happy until we allow ourselves to feel sad sometimes, too.
I forgave myself for making mistakes. I let go of the worries that don't matter. I allowed myself to be at peace with my own heart and soul.
I fell in love with someone who cares about me as much as I care about him. And that, is something to cherish and be proud of having done.
I finally left the country! It was only Prince Edward Island, Canada... But it was awesome! It's neat just being able to experience anything different and new than what we do on a regular basis.
My mom and I completed a mindful triathlon. We gave strength to ourselves and to one another and did something to re-center our beings. We cared for our wellness, and that is most of all important.
Sometimes random trips are the best. I made plans in May for October to visit a friend in Sonoma, just to see what it was like. There is never a "good time" so you have to make time to have a good time!
Being an alumna is weird. You think you're ready to handle going back and that it's not going to be different, but it always is. You knew the day would come when everyone had graduated, but you didn't think it would ever be you! I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it definitely doesn't stay at all the same. It's totally ok to go back, but try not to remember things better than they were, just enjoy the moment you're currently experiencing.
One of the biggest and most self fulfilling things I did in 2015 was to accept an apology I never got. It's hard to do that. We hold on to things because we feel like we are owed something for it. Maybe we are, and maybe we aren't. But I can tell you one thing is for sure, resenting the person for what they have done or who they are does nothing. It's like poisoning yourself. They will never know, and you're the one who feels the angst and pain from it all.
And, most importantly, in 2015 I lived. I gave myself a break when I gained a few pounds because at least I enjoyed the company and the delicious food, for which I skipped my workout. I believed that everything would work out okay, so I stopped obsessing over the little things so much. I also helped others achieve their goals and I found out I make a difference in the world simply by being in it, and that's something to be proud of in my book.
I lived my life the best way I knew how and for that, I am proud of myself.
2015, it's been real. I'm ready to take on 2016. I have a feeling it's THE (next) year.