20 Reasons Why Being in Your 20s is Hard

1) FOMO (Fear of missing out). Because according to your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds, everyone is doing something awesome right now (even if they aren’t).

2) Sundays. Because the next day is Monday. And five days of deadlines, meetings and the feeling like you need to stop and reevaluate your life make you nauseous. You might have an ulcer. Heartburn at the very least. #SundayFunday

3) Your desk job. Because now your pants are tighter and your cortisol levels are higher. You’re also at risk for blood clots. Cool.

4) Your rent. Because it makes your bank account look so…empty.

5) The holidays. Because you have to spend money that you didn’t budget for in the 11 months prior. You also realize how much more fun Christmas was when you were five. Hey Santa, remember me? I miss you.

6) Birthdays. Because it’s scary getting old.

7) The gym. Because you don’t go and you should.

8) Magazine covers. Because whether or not Jennifer Lawrence is airbrushed, she’s perfect and you’re jealous.

9) Dating. Because Grouper doesn’t really count.

10) …Dating. Because people in the Real World do not come with background checks…which can be terrifying for multiple reasons.

11) Getting dressed in the morning. Because thanks to #3, certain options are now off-limits. And despite multiple reports that leggings should not be worn as pants, you’re running late and leggings have never seemed like a more perfect option right now. Thank. God. For. Spandex.

12) Hangovers. Because you were warned that you would not always be able to drink like a fish and be fresh as a daisy all within 12 hours. And right now you’re paying for it with a headache that rivals a 10.0 on the on Richter scale. And the very likely possibility that you might vom in your cube. Cheers.

13) Sleep. Because you never get enough even though you sleep 5x more than you did in college. And you’re 10x more tired than you were in college.

14) Laundry. Because Mom lives so far away…and going back home to visit with three duffel bags filled with dirty clothes just doesn’t seem acceptable anymore. Probably because it isn’t.

15) Grocery shopping. Because let’s be serious…you don’t cook, and therefore don’t know what to buy. All you know is that cheese is always a safe and versatile option. As is wine. But don’t buy too much or else your grocery bag will rip on the way home and you’ll look like a helpless spaz as all of your food (and wine!) spews across the sidewalk. I may or may not be speaking from experience here. Keep it light people.

16) Vacation. Wait…what vacation?

17) Your hair. Because haircuts are a chore. And the inevitable need to color those impending grays or ashy brown roots is down right expensive. So you settle for split ends and convince yourself that DIY ombre is cool. Tres chic.

18) Bars. Because the older you get, the more unsure you are of where you belong. Is this an underage establishment? A post grad hangout filled with depressed 23 year-olds pretending like they’re still in college? Or worse…a post grad hangout filled with depressed 28 year-olds pretending like they’re still in college? You just want to drink somewhere other than your couch, damn it!

19) Friends. Because you don’t all live in the same hometown or the same .5 mile radius on campus anymore. True friendship takes effort.

20) Family. Because there are days when you just need a hug from your mom or dad. There are nights when you want to cry and wish your parents would comfort you, tell you you’re okay. There are mornings when your alarm doesn’t go off (aka you didn’t set it or you snoozed too many times) and you know Mom would have pulled you out of bed on time. And then there’s this strange internal conflict you feel because you’re unsure if you should miss your family this much. You’re in your twenties and supposed to be independent and strong. But you’re also human.

You know what makes it all better? The realization that you’ve got a whole generation of twenty-somethings feeling your feelings. You’re not alone.

The Tune of My 2013

As 2013 comes to a close, I find myself flooded with memories — all amazingly vivid despite their multitude. And while I am tempted to sit here and reflect on them all, I realize that in the background of my beautifully chaotic life has been one constant: music. Throughout every plane ride, tailgate (including one announcing the engagement of my best friends), run (& race), work day and more somber moments, there has been a playlist to see me through. So here, for your listening enjoyment, is my 2013 according to music. Thirteen songs to be exact.

Hope you enjoy.

Happy New Year! ~Katherine

1. Pompeii, Bastille

2. Clarity, Zedd

3. Let Go, RAC

4. Royals, Lorde

5. Ho Hey, Nashville Cast (Lennon & Maisy cover, amazing)

6. Roar, Katy Perry

7. Off to the Races, Lana Del Ray

8. I Love It, Icona Pop

9. Ribs, Lorde

10. Warm Water, Banks (Snakehips Remix Version)

11. Counting Stars, OneRepublic

12. The Wire, Haim

13. Mr. Brightside, The Killers (For those who know me, I saved the best for last. 🙂 )

Encore:

Don’t Stop Believin’, Journey (on the last 800m of the Chicago Half Marathon…); Young and Beautiful, Lana Del Ray (song of Gatsby), Dark Horse, Katy Perry; What Now, Rihanna; I Want Crazy, Hunter Hayes

10 Things They Didn’t Tell You About the Real World

1) You will value the importance of free things now more than ever before. In fact, you never realized the lengths you’d go for a free sample of anything, until now. Here’s looking at you, cheese cube at Whole Foods.

2) You will also appreciate your college dining hall and all of the things you were overly critical of, like pre-made grilled cheese and gyros. Because now all you eat is take out, or foods that take less than five minutes to make.

3) You will learn that catty people never really grow up. But that’s okay, because karma always wins.

4) Life will be terrifying, confusing and thrilling. You may experience these emotions one at a time or all at once. If you don’t experience at least one of these then you aren’t a real person.

5) You will miss your parents on multiple occasions and regret all the times you wished they’d let you be more independent. Because all you want right now is a big a hug and the feeling of being enough for someone.

6) One day, you will come home from work and cry. You’ll cry because you’re tired — tired of being overworked and underpaid. But you know that if you don’t get up and do it again tomorrow, you won’t be able to pay your rent. So you deal.

7) You’ll still be trying to figure out what you want to be when you grow up. Even though you kind of wish you would’ve just become that astronaut or zookeeper or ballerina that you were determined to become when you were five.

8) Texting, FaceTiming and Snapchatting will become your most preferred methods of communication. But remember, your phone still makes calls, so don’t forget to use it for that once in a while too. Because your college friends who held your hair back, and pulled all-nighters with you before finals, and celebrated your birthday like it was the best day of the year, are the people who make life meaningful. Make sure they know you care.

9) You’ll meet a lot of new people in the real world. Unfortunately, they don’t come with background checks written on their foreheads. So you will have to live and learn…which can be painful, frustrating and incredibly rewarding. Don’t be afraid to let some people go just as quickly as you let them in. But know when to embrace new friendships. You’re guaranteed to learn something in the process.

10) While you might (will) experience an unsettling state of nostalgia whenever you see a college student, hear about college or watch college sports, you’ll slowly start to embrace this weird thing they call the Real World. Because you’re in your twenties and you have your whole life ahead of you. It’s a scary, beautiful thing.

Enjoy.

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Onward to 2013!

Hard to believe 2012 is coming to a close, isn’t it? For me personally, this past year feels both like a blink and an eternity all at once. I can’t believe that just a year ago, I was about to embark on my last semester of college. My classmates and I headed back to campus in January with an infinite amount of excitement en tow – it was almost electric. We were ready to enjoy a series of lasts without fully realizing the finality of graduation. With #YOLO leading the way, we charged through spring managing to balance academics with plenty (and I do mean plenty) of fun. From cruising off to the Bahamas for Spring Break to singing the alma matter with a degree in hand, this has been one heck of a year. And did I mention that life in the “Real World” also commenced? It’s certainly a change from college life, but parallels do exist. It’s about squeezing in just enough fun to make the tough days bearable, and remembering that no matter what, it’s the people that make every chapter of life worth living.

Here’s to a fabulous, prosperous, and healthy new year – live the life you’ve always dreamed of!

xx Cocoa & Lace

CL 12 29 12 New Year

  • The Toast: The Flirtini (marie claire)
  • The Dress: Morris Sequined Dress (BCBG)
  • The Party: Anywhere, USA (snapshot via Cocoa & Lace)

Sunday Musings

First weekend of freshman year, August 2008.

Oh, how I love rainy Sunday afternoons. As I sit sipping my coffee and listening to the soothing patter of raindrops coating the thirsty Midwestern lawns, I find myself in a state of quiet self-reflection. I’m choked by nostalgia, almost painfully so, as I realize the significance of this week. My alma matter is now back in session, and I, for the first time in four years, am not there. Ten thousand students march the quads, my two feet left out of the pack. I sit from the outside looking in, and quite honestly, I miss the view from within.

I was warned of this. I was told that college would fly. I was told that each semester would evaporate faster than the last, until one day, the eighth would mark the last. I didn’t believe them. For, no matter how mature for my years, I felt invincible to the passing of time. I was too busy planning my future to stop and fully appreciate the present. Life revolved around tomorrow’s test, next weekend’s party, next month’s job interview – today was taken for granted.

But now, I understand the warnings. I understand what they meant by the phrase, college will fly. It did indeed.

Here’s to the class of 2016, the talented young people who have joined a new collegiate family. Embrace each day for, “we have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand and melting like a snowflake.” It was perhaps the most valuable lesson that came with my degree.

xx C&L