Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Words of Wisdom 2.0

I cannot believe it's been almost 3 years since I wrote this post. It's crazy the way time works, isn't it? Your life can change in the matter of seconds, but in three years, well, it feels like that was a lifetime ago! 

Lately, my inbox has been overflowing with the absolute sweetest and most thoughtful e-mails ever. When I read these e-mails, I can't help but to get a huge smile on my face... they are truly a bright spot in my day.  Anyways, the 'theme' of a lot of e-mails that I have been receiving is for guidance in life-- whether it's high school women who are about to enter college, or college women who have just entered the 'real world'. I'm flattered that anyone wants my advice-- but I am also happy to give it, in hopes that when I need advice, someone is out there to help me. 

I thought it would be appropriate to do a follow up to my 2011 post. It is still to this day, one of my all time favorite posts and although a lot has changed in the past 3 years, every single thing on the list still rings true for me. So here we go... Summer Wind's Words of Wisdom 2.0... 

Let's start it off with something simple and a bit trivial. A few months ago, I wrote that I wouldn't talk about boys or relationships on Summer Wind but I'll be the first one to offer up some guidance: On Texting. Purposefully waiting an hour (or more) to text back has got to be the dumbest thing ever. A few months ago, I was telling one of my good guy friends about a guy I liked and I told my guy friend that the guy I liked had texted me earlier that night and my guy friend said 'oh that's great, so what are you guys talking about?'... I said, 'nothing because I haven't texted him back yet.' My guy friend just laughed and laughed. All the while, I'm sitting there, seriously thinking 'what's so funny?' He said, 'do you seriously think that guys don't think that you saw their text for hours or even days and are too cool and busy to text back? You girls are on your phones 24/7.' And really, that's when I stopped waiting to text back. Because my guy friend was right, it's just about the dumbest thing ever. I'm not a 'good' texter and I'm always leaving my phone around my house and trying to 'unplug', but please, I do social media for my job and Summer Wind... my phone is on me 80% of the time. You're not fooling anyone. Oh and guys may not be as glued to their phones, but if they like you and want to talk to you, they will always make the effort. 

In my 2011 post, I wrote to always be polite. But this time around, I think you should not only be polite but also sincere. You can tell when someone is going through the motions of being polite, but a truly kind person is one who is sincere. It takes effort to be sincere. Strive to be kind, polite and sincere every moment of every day. I know I have my off days, but I really try my hardest with this one. 

Give yourself time to reflect and count your blessings. Give yourself 10 minutes each day to reflect on your day and life as a whole. As I am going to bed, I think about all that I am thankful for... I think that is the easiest way to live a happy life and the quickest way to make an awful day, much, much brighter. 

Show gratitude and show it often. There's Mother's Day, Father's Day, Veteran's Day, etc. All of these 24-hour windows of time where everyone is supposed to show their gratitude for a certain person. Why not show gratitude every day? Even for the littlest things in life. Show people that you value them, their time, effort, love, support, whatever it may be, let them know how much they mean to you. 

The transition between college and entering into the 'real world' can be hard. It was hard for me and I know it was hard for a lot of my friends, too. Go back to your alma mater and you'll realize that what you had, your time, your friends, your life isn't there anymore and it helps you to respect your 4 years there and move forward. I went for Homecoming last year and it was my first time being back since graduation. I love my school with my entire heart, but being there 2 years out of school made me realize that I am more 'adult' than I thought and I've moved on more than I thought. 

Have fun. This one should be a no brainer, right? Not so much... working full time and the monotony of every day life can take the front seat. Hobbies, friends, family and leisure activities often take the back seat. This is fine and good for the most part because that means that you are focused and determined to be successful, but too much and it can drain you. It can take away your personal identity and make your forget how to relax. Giving yourself time to truly have fun, enjoy whatever it is that you love doing without worrying about other things in life is important. Take a weekend and escape--turn off your e-mail, leave your freshly pressed shirts on their hangers and let loose. For me, I just love  a quiet morning sleeping in, followed by lots of coffee and books, newspapers or magazines. 

Sleep in, or don't. Go to bed early, or stay up late. Basically, do what you want to do. I used to think that waking up early was the 'right' thing to do. But who says what is right and wrong? Cake for breakfast? Apparently, that's 'wrong'.. but heck with it, I'm eating cake for breakfast if that's what I want.  There are so many 'shoulds', so many 'rights' and 'wrongs', but at the end of the day, it's your call, not anyone else's.

Don't drink gross alcohol. Ok, so that's almost too much of a sweeping generalization, because if that's what you truly like, then go right ahead.. but after age 22, there is no place in anyone's diet for Burnett's flavored vodkas and natty light. Once you graduate college and have the means to pay for your own drink of choice, the Andre, Burnett's, Natty, etc. have to go. Ick. My parents are going to laugh at me for this one because I distinctly remember always wanting Sutter Home white zinfandel. They are really into wines and would try to get me to appreciate good wine, and I just couldn't get into it... until recently. I used to describe my parent's wine as 'moss on a log' tasting, but now I taste it and I truly enjoy it. So funny how that works out, isn't it? That definitely goes back to my 2011 Words of Wisdom when I said that parents are always right. Always, always, always. 

Family is everything. I said something along those lines in my 2011 post, but I couldn't be more thankful and appreciative for my family. I am the person I am today because of my parents, sister, aunts, uncles, grandparents, friends that feel like family, etc. So much love. Never take them for granted.

Home is a state of mind. Wherever we are, when I am with my family, I am home in the truest sense of the word. You all have to listen to this song, Home by Sundy Best. My sister, Callie, introduced me to the band, who is out of Kentucky... it reminds me a lot of I Feel Home by O.A.R.... another favorite of mine and both capture my feelings about being home. 

Always live below your means. Keeping up with the Jones' is a real thing, but you'll appreciate it in the long run if you don't try and 'keep up'. A penny saved is a penny earned, right? I firmly believe in this. I feel that being a blogger/blog reader makes this really hard; especially since blogging has changed a bit from a community to an industry. Seeing everyone else with fabulous things and fabulous vacations, etc. can make me want to try and keep up, but at the end of the day, I know what is most important to me. 
Slow down. I touched on this a bit back in 2013 and in an article I wrote for Elite Daily, but I wanted to reiterate it here. Places to go, people to see is the story of my life and ever since I graduated college, I feel like I am only getting busier and busier-- taking on more responsibilities, projects, saying 'yes' more than no, etc. I am wholeheartedly working on trying to savor life's little moments. You know those moments when you are with all of your loved ones just enjoying their company? Those lazy Sunday mornings when you have nothing to do and nowhere to be and you are just enjoying your coffee... and stop for a second and think 'now, this is the life', those are the moments I live for and know I will remember. Sure, I'll remember fun blog opportunities, exciting work projects, etc. but I think when I am old and gray, I will look back on the simplest of moments rather than the milestones.
'No matter how little you have, you can always find something to give.' Whether you're donating your hard earned money to charity, volunteering, or even just holding a door open for someone, giving up your seat on the subway or smiling at someone who is having a rough day, you can always give. I saw this video floating around and it legitimately almost brought tears to my eyes. You can really see a person's true character by the way they treat those who can do nothing for them. 
'Dogs are not our whole life but they make our lives whole.' #amen
So those are the 'big picture' things I've taken away since my last post three years ago. Am I missing any good ones? Anyone want to offer up some of their own wisdom? Have a fabulous day! 


Portuguese Prepster said...

Wow this post came at the right time. I've written a very similar post but didn't feel brave enough to post it. I think I will now and share many of the same feelings as you.

PS: I didn't text my boyfriend back for hours after the first time he texted me. He makes fun of me to this day telling me he knew what I was doing!

Kylie Mavrakis said...

Absolutely love this post, and agree with all of it! Especially the one about the nasty alcohol!

xo Kylie

Miss Southern Prep said...

I have a post scheduled like this for tomorrow! I love all of these tips!

Emily Helm said...

What a greatly written post, Sydney! Wonderful words of wisdom & a few of them I really needed to read today :)

Kelsey Odorczyk said...

this is a great post and i think a lot of bloggers and even people my age forget a lot of these things. i just graduated so its definitely hard not going back to school but this post definitely helped ease some pain. you are beautiful inside and out xoxo


Vi Nguyen said...

Thank you for all the wonderful wisdom. I have also graduated from college a couple years now and it seems so long ago. I agree completely on the whole texting thing (I learned from it the hard way with many emotions wasted). Yes and yes to counting blessings and showing gratitude...this is something I can always work on. Thanks for the feel good post!


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