(My Version) of 23 Things to Do Instead of Getting Engaged Before You’re 23

My friend and I began a tally of people we knew who were engaged as of the Christmas and New Year’s season. I think he reached about 6 couples, and I counted about 4. It does not help that every time I log onto Pinterest, the bride-to-be has mapped out the entire wedding.

I understand. Though many people may consider me the single cat lady, I too would like to get married some day…but not right now.

Let me tell you what I was like during 2013:  During student teaching, I decided I realllllly did not want to teach. Ever. I graduated with a degree that I no longer wanted. However, I found a Master’s program that I am absolutely in love with. Until recently, I was glued to my cell phone like a teenager. I probably had a “crush” on at least 8 guys. More than once, I was determined to cut ties with some “friends” (but never did). At 22, I finally found the sport in which I am talented:  archery. I acted like a 22 year old during 2013.

Though I am pursuing my Master’s, I have no idea where it will take me. At least 50% of the time, I have no idea what I am doing. I still live with my mom and dad. I do not even know what tomorrow will hold for me. And that is exciting and beautiful. It makes me feel young (which I am)!

I am really confused. What is so great about being engaged/married before or at 22/23 years old? Maybe being engaged/married so young is enticing to my age group because it is like playing in The Hunger Games; Effie may be cheering the young couple on, but let’s be honest, the odds are not really in their favor.

I will admit, all of these engaged/married couples make me question myself. “Why am I single? Is there something wrong with me? Is my window of opportunity gone?” Then, I quickly realize how silly I sound. I am awesome. I am pursuing my Master’s, I am independent, I still get to hang out with whoever I want, I do whatever I want, I made a career/degree change to make myself happier, I work with WKU athletes, and the list goes on.

I am living MY life.

I agree with Vanessa Elizabeth in “23 Things to Do Instead of Getting Engaged Before You’re 23”

     I can’t help but feel like a lot of these unions are a cop-out.

     It is a way for young people to hide behind a significant other instead of dealing with life’s highs and lows on their own. It’s a safety      blanket. It’s an admission that the world is just too big and scary to deal with it on your own; thus, you now have someone that is          legally obligated to support you till one of you dies or files for divorce…

     If your love is truly eternal, what’s the rush? If it’s real, that person will continue to be committed to you 2 months from now, 2 years      from now, and 2 decades from now. Grow, learn, travel, party, cuddle, read, explore. Do. Freaking. Something… other than “settle      down” at 23 with a white picket fence.

 Because you owe it to yourself.  You are a human being that deserves to thrive inside AND outside of a relationship.

I will get some heat from Bridezillas on Facebook and Twitter. They will probably delete me as a “friend” and compile a list of reasons why they are so much better than me because they are engaged or married. So while they fret over which shade of blue they will use on their wedding invitations, here is my version of 23 Things to Do Instead of Getting Engaged Before You’re 23:

  1. Pursue [even] higher education
  2. Take up a new hobby
  3. Learn to play an instrument
  4. Work a fun part-time job or begin the job of your dreams
  5. Adopt a pet
  6. Go to Hawaii
  7. Create a blog or YouTube channel
  8. Watch the entire How I Met Your Mother series (9 seasons)
  9. Take selfies like no one is watching
  10. Cut ties with “friends” that are not making you happy
  11. Have a designated tea or coffee time (mine is 4pm)
  12. Discover your style (I personally gravitate toward Kate Middleton’s style)
  13. Hang out with friends of the opposite sex
  14. Hang out with your parents whenever you can
  15. Figure out what issues are truly important to you and fight for them
  16. Learn more about U.S. History & Government so you may be a more educated citizen
  17. Enjoy the silence
  18. Create a Vine account, and make vines that you think are funny, but are really not.
  19. Watch the following movies:  Shawshank Redemption, The Last of the Mohicans, Legends of the Fall, and the Robert Redford version of The Great Gatsby
  20. Read the following books and/or book series:  The Hunger Games, the Divergent series, The Great Gatsby, and a biography about your favorite celebrity or historical person
  21. Paint something, even if it turns out horrible
  22. Go to as many sporting events as possible
  23. Learn to be independent

Why Did I Just Watch That?!

As I was trying to think of a topic to write about, one just fell into my lap.

While on Facebook, one thing led to another and I stumbled upon Miley Cyrus’ new music video for “Adore You.” I am not a MC fan. I watched the awkward video to see what bizarre thing she does next; it made me uncomfortable. Not straying from her latest trend, she was as nude as she could get laying on a bed, and from here on you can guess what happened. I made faces, turned my head, and squinted my eyes. 

We have two groups when it comes to MC:  avid fans and people who are appalled by her behavior. If my blog were more popular, I imagine the MC lovers would begin relentlessly defending her now. I have said time and time again, people knowingly make their own choices. In my opinion, MC cares less about her lyrics and their meaning and more about shock value:  “How can I get people to watch me…talk about me among their friends…etc.” 

Then, as if I were not already alarmed enough, I realized her video is not age restricted on YouTube. If you watch it, think about it. Think about how, especially today, young children have access to the internet. Like what happened in my situation, one thing leads to another and that child discovers the video. Without having to enter an email and password to “confirm” they are 18+ years of age, they watch the video…as impressionable young children. They begin asking their parents, friends, or even researching what MC is “doing” in the video. Now, at a young age they know. It makes a child cursing seem not as bad. You have to wonder, will this video (among other artists’ music videos) encourage young children to think about and act upon sex at an even younger age?

Another alarming thought:  how many of her songs, music videos, and Tweets will be about a previous relationship? Not realizing it, we are teaching people that dwelling on relationships (past or present) is a good, healthy way to cope. It is not. Sure, we need our outlets to cope:  running, talking, baking, writing, singing, and so on. However, I believe we need to cope in a way that pushes us to move on. Multiple documentaries and books tell the story of when William and Kate broke up; Kate’s mother told her to come home, mourn for a couple of days, then pick herself up by the bootstraps and move on as a stronger woman. That is exactly what Kate did, and William noticed. I believe her strong demeanor attracted William and look where they are now:  married and with a new addition to the family. Maybe it is just me, but I believe MC’s obsessiveness over a previous relationship is not only creepy to that ex, but to any guy she might pursue in the future.

Most of all, I blame myself. I had a pretty good idea what the video would portray. I knew it would make me uncomfortable, yet I still watched it. MC (and other artists like herself) are winning. No matter if a person likes the song or music video, they are still getting millions of viewers. They will continue to release songs and music videos that are risque. I am not attempting to be the “Music Police.” However, I think websites, like YouTube, should be more considerate and careful when uploading content that could potentially be accessed by young viewers. When wanting to see a change, we must start with ourselves. If you are not a MC fan (or any other similar artist), stop listening to her music, stop watching her music videos, stop following her on Twitter. 

So from here on out, I am done. Done listening and watching her. The only way I will “hear” anything about her will be if anyone brings up the latest, crazy thing she says or does.

Merry Christmas

I hope you are having a Merry Christmas!

My Christmas was full of Burberry, Richmond Tea, and Kate Middleton books. To complete my British-themed Christmas, HLN is showing documentaries about William and Kate!

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Me, Myself, and I

I could not come up with a topic for today’s post, so I suppose I will formally introduce myself via blog.

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(Picture is from Honolulu, Hawaii)

By now, you have probably caught on…my name is Hannah. I am 22 years old; although, many people mistake me as a high school student. This makes me hopeful that when I am 50, I will look like I am in my 20s or 30s.

This past May, I graduated from Western Kentucky University with my B.A. in History & Social Studies with a concentration in Secondary Education. However, I decided I did not want to teach. That was a great epiphany to have months before I graduated (sarcasm). Thankfully, I found a Master’s program I absolutely love. Now I am pursuing an M.S. in Instructional Design. When people ask what I am getting my Master’s in, I get the same look:  the “I have no idea what that is, but I am just going to nod my head and sound impressed” look. In short, Instructional Design entails analyzing an educational or work setting, addressing the performance needs of students or employees, and developing strategies or products to address needs (i.e., training materials). It is a pretty broad field, but my dream job would be to work as an instructional designer for the NCAA.

Currently, I work as an athletic tutor for the Student Athlete Success Center at WKU. I love my job so much. I work with WKU’s athletes, get to know them really well, and watch them succeed off the field, as well. 

Other randoms:

  • I have one older sister who is married
  • I have 3 cats, but only 1 is my favorite (Molly)
  • As of July, I have taken up archery (and love it)

I believe that is enough about me!

Love,

Hannah

How Pinterest Has Ruined Marriages

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Okay, so Pinterest has not really ruined marriages. However, I think the website has created this cult of women who do not desire a loving marriage, but a fantasy wedding. It does not matter who they marry, as long as their dream wedding comes true. I have seen both engaged and single (yes, single) women pin their entire wedding:  venue, gown, cake, color scheme, food, hair, makeup, flowers, and so on. The captions of the pins read:  “OMG, totally happening at my wedding…GOT TO HAVE THIS…This gown, but with lace…” Without attending their weddings (or fantasy wedding), I already know exactly how it will look.

Save it, sister.

Pinterest is obviously a great place to store your ideas. Planning a wedding is a big deal, in no way am I saying it is not. Since this is such a special event, I believe the planning should be shared with the fiance, family, and close friends:  not the rest of the world. Honestly, a few wedding pins here and there is tolerable; it is when the pins become 20 a day…from the Victoria’s Secret panty that will be worn under the dress to the chalkboard “Mr. & Mrs.” sign. If you REALLY need to pin your ideas for future reference, create a private board. Plus, it is more fun to surprise the guests! Imagine if Kate Middleton had pinned her entire wedding; there would have been less anticipation.

Less wedding pins and more casserole recipes would be great (and beneficial to my rumbling stomach)!

Love,

Hannah

 

 

May the Force of Kate Middleton Be With You

Growing up, I do not recall having a favorite female celebrity. 1990s female celebrities were not as risque as those female celebrities today; however, I just did not “connect” with the Britneys or Christinas. It was on April 29, 2011 that I found my celebrity inspiration; I was 19 going on 20 years old. For those of you who do not understand, it was the day Kate Middleton and Prince William were married. I began to admire her poise, class, style, and of course her taste in men. Without pushing her agenda or twerking, she quietly became an icon.

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Grown women may choose to do what they want. It does not matter if you are a grocer or an international sensation, impressionable young children and young adults are watching. There is no “On/Off” switch or invisibility cloak to shield you from watching eyes. Even when you are not out and about to the public eye, social media allows viewers to “watch” you 24/7. Whether you like it or not, young children/young adults may be justifying their actions because you said or did the same thing.

Kate seems to be a quiet and humble woman. She dresses conservatively but fashionably, speaks eloquently, and carries herself with confidence. There is no way someone could justify being scantily clad or cursing like a sailor “because Kate did, too.” If one of our goals, as women, is to be a positive influence on young women…no, the WORLD…we have to start taking responsibility for our actions. We have to stop with the double standards (i.e., dressing inappropriately yet demanding respect). 

Drawing from some admirable celebrities (Kate, Jennifer Lawrence, Taylor Swift), this blog will address everything from fashion, beauty, and health, to being a strong, independent woman.

Let us conquer the world…and…May the force of Kate Middleton Be With You.

Love,

Hannah

 

(P.S. – comments and suggestions are encouraged!)