Open Letter to My Future Employees

It’s no secret that I cannot wait to have my own staff some day, or be a chief or director of a department. In the short 2 years I’ve been working in a professional setting, I’ve seen and learned a lot about employees.

My observations taught me exactly what kind of employee I want to be, and further more I realized what kind of staff I want someday.

Listed below are just a few of things it would take for me to hire you:

1. Good attitude-This sounds so cliche but, I’ve come across so many people with terrible attitudes about work and life in general. Believe it or not, your attitude actually impacts everyone around you. And being that we spend most of our time at work, I want to be surrounded by positive people.

2. Work Ethic-I love to work, and I enjoy working hard. It amazes me the amount of people who show up late, take two hours lunches and spend their mornings talking for hours about what they did on the weekend. You weren’t hired to socialize.

3. Quality of Work- It’s so easy sometimes to half-ass a job, especially if your boss doesn’t micro manage you. DON’T DO IT. Your work and the quality is a direct reflection of what you stand for and who you are as person. Do shitty work, I’m about to make some assumptions.

4. Dress the Part- I wear high heels, dresses and skirts every day to work. I realize that not everyone has to dress up for work, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put the effort into looking nice everyday.

5. Lack of Interest-– Look, I get it, if you are reading this you are probably a millennial. You might be stuck in a job, totally different than what you want to be doing. You may not even be interested in that job. Doesn’t matter, don’t act like you don’t care. You never know who is watching you. Don’t sit in company meetings and stay silent. Speak up, be engaged, ask questions.

6. Lack of Initiative- I’ve heard people over and over again say the following phrase about work, “Well no one showed me, or I don’t know how.” I’m guilty of it myself! But, we are no longer in college, our bosses are not there to spoon feed us or show us how to do everything step by step. Take initiative and learn.

This list may sound a little harsh, but showing up on time, working hard and having a great attitude will get you far in your career and life.

Millennials: Stop Complaining, You’re Ruining Our Legacy

A few days ago I was mindlessly scrolling through Facebook and saw a status filled with expletives and complaints about student loans. Normally, I wouldn’t have given the status a second glance, but I couldn’t help but read the comments.

One comment in particular, caught my eye. It went like this: “Our generation whose parents didn’t have the ability to pay for their education are f****d. “ I had to read the comment a few times, just to make sure someone had actually typed those words.

This comment stuck with me. I started to realize that many young adults in the millennial age group, actually believe that their parents are responsible for paying for their college education. Not only did this person believe that their parents should be paying for their college, but it’s their parents fault they have student loans and are in debt.

NEWS FLASH: No one owes you anything. Being born entitles you to nothing more than simply being alive.

As a generation we need to stop complaining about low paying jobs, student loans etc. We are not the first generation to experience hardship and we won’t be the last.

I’m constantly thinking about the kind of legacy I want to leave behind. I don’t want my generation to become known as a bunch of self-entitled, complainers. Unfortunately, I believe that we have already earned a few negative titles for ourselves.

It’s true that most of us are overworked and underpaid. But, instead of complaining what if we decided to push ourselves harder, work more and prove to the older generations just what we are made of.

I know that’s the attitude, I’m striving for. However, I will be the first to admit that I have complained just as much as anyone else my age. I’ve complained about how long it took to find a job, how hard it is to pay $500 a month in student loans.

Guess what all of that complaining got me? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

So, I say we stop. If you are a millennial with student debt, and low paying job you don’t like, I’m challenging you to join me and stop the complaining.

This may sound a bit crazy, but let’s take a minute and look at the positives of the situation.

1. We are able to say that nothing was given to us, we have worked hard to get every little thing we have.
2. We know what it’s like to struggle, and overcome adversity.
3. We are probably one of the most innovative and creative generations. Most of us had to take jobs, that had nothing to do with our majors. This means we had to re-invent ourselves time and again.
4. We are resilient. I think I went on something like 15 job interviews before I landed my first real job. By that last interview, I lost my fear for interviewing all together.
5. We are well prepared for whatever life has to throw at us. Not being able to find a job right after graduation was one of the hardest things I’ve ever been through, but I got through it. I’m not too worried about whatever else the future has in store for me.
To recap: No more complaining. This may sound harsh, but suck it up buttercup.

It’s not too late to re-write our generation’s history and legacy.

A Quick Guide to Talking About Your Mental Health Issues in Public

I know what it feels like to not be able to breathe. It’s horrible. My chest constricts, my heart starts to race, and I start to sweat.

I don’t have asthma, or any other medical condition. I have anxiety. Most of the time my anxiety comes out of nowhere, nothing is wrong. I just can’t breathe.

This confession may come as quite a shock to some of you. For the most part, I can be found with a smile on face. People don’t know what I am hiding.

It’s hard to explain anxiety to people who don’t experience it. I can’t tell you why my body randomly freaks out on me, it just does.

I’ve heard many different things when it comes to handling my anxiety. Some of my favorite are, “Just don’t think so much,” or “You worry too much,” “Stop making everything such a big deal.”

I’m here to tell you that I physically CAN’T stop my body from freaking out on me. However, I have learned small ways to control and mitigate the anxiety. I run, clean obsessively, call a friend or sleep.

So much of our society is dedicated to our physical bodies. We care more about the way we look than how we feel. Being physically healthy is extremely important, but it is also important to be concerned with our mental health as well.

Unfortunately there is still a large stigma put on people who struggle with mental illness. If you are depressed, you are often seen as “lazy”. If you deal with anxiety issues, you are “high strung”. I could go on with examples like this forever.

I believe these labels keep people from sharing how they are truly feeling with one another.

I often have terrible allergies in the spring. I can be found on any given day with watery eyes and a runny nose. I talk to people all day long about my allergies, but if I am having anxiety I don’t say a word.

I’m not saying we should all walk around sharing our feelings with the world. I realize that some things are meant to be kept private. I do however, feel that we should work together to create a society that accepts everyone no matter what they are going through.

14 Things Love Doesn’t Do

Love. It’s such a simple, sweet word. But, once two people fall in love, things can get complicated.

When you truly love someone there isn’t much you wouldn’t do for that person. Your lover’s happiness becomes more important than your own. If the relationship is healthy, then your partner is also concerned with your happiness.

There’s a saying that sounds a bit cliché, but I believe is true. It says that love is blind. Sometimes when we are so in love with a person, we choose to not see what is happening right in front of us.

Obviously, there are no hard or fast rules when it comes to dating, so often it’s very hard to figure out what true love is. It’s hard to know what behavior is unacceptable in a relationship.

We all know the verse in the Bible that tells us what love is, if you can’t remember, click here:

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20corinthians%2013:4-7

There are so many things that love is, but what should love never do? I put my own list together below. Some of the answers are from my friends on Twitter and Facebook as well. What would you add to this list?

• Love isn’t hiding the truth even if its painful
• Love isn’t controlling
• Love doesn’t hold you back from becoming who you were meant to be
• A person who truly loves another doesn’t put their needs before their partner’s
• Love doesn’t keep score
• True love doesn’t pressure you to do things you are uncomfortable with
• Love doesn’t keep you from having friends
• Love doesn’t keep score
• Love isn’t insecure, it trusts
• Love doesn’t manipulate
• Love doesn’t take advantage of another person’s feelings, finances, etc.
• Love never controls your life and who you are friends with
• Love doesn’t make you feel scared
Love does not take away your strength, or make you feel powerless

I could go on forever. But, if you are reading this article and realize that you have experienced some of these things in your own relationship, stop reading right now, and go talk to your partner. Start having a conversation about what real love looks like. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did.

Oh and if you don’t want to read this whole blog, just watch Ariana Grande cover Whitney Houston’s song, “I Have Nothing”.

The whole song doesn’t apply to this post but, I think the lyrics in the first part of the song are perfect: “Share my life, take me for what I am. Cause I’ll never change all my colors for you.”

Simply put: love lets you, be you.

A Breakup is like a Death Without the Funeral

We’ve all experienced the highs of being in a relationship. There is something so exquisite about having a significant other. The world just automatically seems to be a better place when you have someone special in your life.

And then the thing that everyone in a relationship dreads happens-you break up. It doesn’t matter who does the breaking up, you or your significant other. Breaking up is one of the most painful things a person can go through.

It seems as if someone in your life has died suddenly. You no longer have that person to call, text or spend your spare time with.

A break-up is like a death without the funeral.

In society when someone dies we commemorate the life of that person with a funeral. The family receives closure. Cards, flowers and meals are sent to the family who experienced the death.

Yet, when you experience a break-up none of these things happen. The world just keeps spinning and expects you to move on with it.

A break-up is almost worse than a death because the person is still alive. There is hardly ever closure. The person is living and usually very quickly after your break-up, loving some one else.

Facebook has only made the awful experience of breaking up even worse. For days or even months after the relationship has ended people can be found repeatedly going through their exes photos, checking up on statues and creeping on the new person their ex is in a relationship with.

I do not claim to have the answer to getting over a break-up. I do, however, suggest having a “funeral” of sorts to mourn the loss of the relationship.

This may sound a bit odd at first, but I believe that it will help in the process of moving on. Having been through many break-ups myself I have found that having a funeral for my past relationship has helped me learn and move on.

In the past I have obsessed over exes by pouring through their photos, re-reading old facebook messages and saved texts. I wasted so much time doing this, until recently.

I laid my last relationship to rest by making a list of all the good aspects of my past relationship. Just like you choose to remember all of the good things about a person after they die, I chose to remember the happy times in my past relationship. I made a mental list of all the happy times and promised myself I would move on.

I asked a few of my closest friends to participate in my “funeral” for my past relationship. I read aloud my best memories. After that it was over.

I had the closure I needed to move on. I wasn’t sure how many more “funerals” I would have to endure. The one thing I did know was that I had found a way to move on and keep living my fabulous life.

Southern Boy, Northern Girl

The coffee shop I’m sitting in right now has an old meets new feel to it. The walls are brick and covered in abstract paintings. As a self proclaimed Starbucks addict, the coffee I am drinking tastes strange. The coffee shop baristas claim, that the “coffee is real.” Not sure what that means. I’m surrounded by long haired, beanie wearing adults in their twenties.

I’m only a five minute walk from my new apartment on Post Street. I’ve never lived so close to a coffee shop before. In fact, I’ve never lived in an apartment period. This is my first apartment. I’ve been experiencing a lot of firsts lately.

Decisions, Decisions:

Two weeks ago I was faced with the biggest decision of my life. I had to decide between my personal and professional life. Anyone who knows me, will tell you how career driven I am. I love to work, and my career means everything to me. For the last two years, I’ve worked hard at a job that I loved. I learned and grew as a person. I met people that changed my life.

But, while working I also met and fell deeply in love with a guy in the Navy. It all started when I made a trip out to San Diego to visit my brother. I knew pretty quickly that I liked Clayton. At the end of my trip, he promised he would drive across the country to Cleveland.

I sweetly smiled back at him, and said I couldn’t wait to see him again. After I left him, I rolled my eyes. There was no way he would drive across the country for a girl he barely knew. Two months later, I received a phone call from Clayton saying he was in Cleveland and wanted to take me to lunch. I honestly couldn’t believe it.

After that day, we dated for 6 months long distance. I flew across the country every two weeks to visit him. Every time I had to leave him my heart felt a bit heavier. That’s when we started talking about me moving to Jacksonville, Florida.

The Dirty South:
At first I was super excited to move. I’ve always wanted to experience a new city, and state. But, then I started thinking about all the other things I wanted out of life as well. I didn’t want to move to the South. I wanted to move to NYC.

Before I met Clayton, I ran around and told everyone that’s where I was moving, now I was changing my mind again. Plus, I wanted to be a journalist more than anything. How was I going to make that happen in Florida?

To make things more complicated, Clayton would be leaving on a 10 month deployment in March 2015.

Feminist:
My heart was completely torn in two. I wrestled with the decision. I was just starting to make progress in my career, but my heart was half way around the country. I’ve never been more confused.

I also consider myself somewhat of a feminist. I believe that women should have the freedom to pursue the lives and careers they want. I’ve told many people that women should never put a man before their career. Interestingly enough, I found myself faced with this very decision.

I talked openly with Clayton about everything. After many long conversations, I knew what I wanted to do. I knew it was time for me to move. So, last week we loaded up my 06 Chevy Malibu and drove from Cleveland, Ohio to Jacksonville, Florida.

Originally, I thought I was just moving to be with Clayton. I quickly learned this was only part of my story.

I love Cleveland, Ohio with my whole heart. Cleveland is a place filled with amazing people and places. But, so is Jacksonville. I’m in a new state, and city. I don’t know anyone, and I couldn’t be more excited. I’m here to meet new people, explore and find another part of myself.

I literally have no idea what JAX has in store for me, but I’m ready to find out!

Top 5 Misconceptions About Marriage

So here’s the deal. There are a lot of misconceptions about marriage out there, especially if you are a young couple freshly married. Some of these misconceptions are good. Some are bad. Some are surprising. Some are confounding. However, through it all, there is one thing that remains true about: it is how you react and respond to the misconceptions — as a couple — that will define your marriage down the line.

Misconception #1: Once you are married, you don’t have time for others.
This is not true. It is not that you don’t have time for others; rather, you have to work harder at making time for others. Your life becomes a giant balancing act: Spending time with your spouse vs. friends, spending time with your family vs. in-laws, spending time alone vs. with your spouse.
Granted, finding the balance in your joined life is not easy. You will probably make more mistakes than you do correct decisions. You will disappoint your spouse and he/she will disappoint you. You need to make sure that the lines of communication remain open. That is the only way that you will find the proper amount of time with each other and with others.

Misconception #2: A child will be on the way once you are married.
This could not be more false. If and when a child is on the way is completely up to the couple. Yes, you will receive plenty of pressure from friends and family. I can’t stress that enough. You will receive PLENTY of pressure. But in the end, it is completely up to you and your spouse. Don’t let what other people want you to do determine your future. When you are ready, you will know it.

Misconception #3: You married your best friend.
This is complete and total garbage. You did not marry your best friend. You married your spouse. Would you file joint taxes with your best friend? Would you have a joint bank account with your best friend? Would you travel to your best friend’s work at 4 a.m. because she wants something to eat and forgot dinner at home? No, no and no.
If you continue to think of your spouse as your best friend, bad things will happen. The relationship between a married couple and a pair of friends is completely different. You have to view your spouse as your spouse. Because having a spouse is even closer than a best friend. Trust me.

Misconception #4: You are so in love that you will no longer see others.
Point blank, this is untrue. When you get married, you will, at times, begin to dislike your spouse. Things that they do will grate on your nerves. You will become so accustomed to them that you will begin to overlook them. You will see other women/men and begin to think about being single again. You may even come close to acting on impulses that could be dangerous.
Don’t panic. That is normal and only the first step in the process.

Yes, you will find yourself attracted to people who are not your spouse. The beautiful thing, though, is that when you do, you will compare that person to your spouse. And doing that comparison will remind you of why you love your spouse in the first place. It will make you realize that you are being stupid. It will make you realize that this person you are attracted to could never live up to your spouse.

Misconception #5: Divorce is always an option.
I guarantee there will be some disagreement with this one, but it really is not always an option. It is the last option. The option that comes after you have tried everything possible.

I have been married for eight months. I have had my fair share of issues and arguments with my wife. I have not once come close to divorce.
Yes, it is still early in our marriage and things can change. However, I doubt that divorce will ever happen. That is because both my wife and I understand that divorce is the LAST option.

Nowadays, too many people enter marriage thinking that if things go south, they can always get a divorce. That is the biggest issue with the world today. That is why divorce rates are at record highs. People enter marriage thinking divorce is always an option. As soon as things start going south or the honeymoon phase passes, they would rather get a divorce than have an uncomfortable and difficult conversation to rectify differences.
When divorce is viewed as the last option, things will get better. I promise. You will learn things you never knew about your spouse. You will appreciate him or her more. And I guarantee that, even though you will hit rough patches, your marriage will be the envy of your friends. I know mine is.