In Bloom: A Reflection on a Season of Growth

Hello my precious little corner of the intranet, I’ve missed you so much! I’ve returned from [yet another] much needed hiatus. No matter how much content I have planned or ideas I put to paper, every year I find that I need a bit of a break from the world of blogging and social media.

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Blogging has always been a creative outlet for me and a huge passion, but in the last few months, I lost the drive and passion I had for it. It honestly started to feel like a second job, and that was NEVER my intention. I found myself questioning my writing, and consistently worrying about what my people thought and if I was being judged (ridiculous I know). More often than not, we as humans have a tendency to allow fear to control us. It’s so easy to fall into the comparison game with other bloggers, especially since we only use social media as a highlight reel, as opposed to us showing what’s really going on in our lives. Truth be told, everyone has highs and lows, and sometimes the lows outweigh the highs. As Epictetus reminds us, it’s all in the way that we handle what life throws at us that makes all the difference.

“It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters”

– Epictetus

This year has been a whirlwind of activity so far with an abundance of change that has affected me exponentially. It’s only proper that I take advantage of the season and use the metaphor of spring to reflect on these last few months. You see, I used to loathe change; the very thought of it would make my stomach turn and my anxiety skyrocket. However, in the last few years, I’ve learned to embrace it: without change, we would never learn and grow into the people we are meant to be.

A quick recap on the last couple months

It’s been a minute since I’ve had a chance to sit down and really hash out what has been going on. Life has been moving so quickly lately that I feel as though I really haven’t had a second to catch my breath. There are a number of things that have taken place this year that are not so great, but I’m not going to focus on that right now. I have two HUGE changes in my life that I could not be more elated about that I’m so excited to share with you guys:

I got a promotion! Nearly three years into my first post-grad job, I got my first promotion to Brand & Events Coordinator. This came a couple weeks before our biggest show of the year, which was a bit daunting, but long story short, we rocked it and I’m incredibly proud of myself! I’ve been working a lot more lately because of the promotion, but I feel as though it’s instilled a new sense of confidence in me professionally. I have so many ideas and tactics that I can’t wait to share in the work place!

I’m no longer in a long distance relationship! My boyfriend is officially home for good after four long years and my heart is so full. It’s a bit of an adjustment (in the best way) figuring out how to actually date again, but in the last month, I’d say that we’ve adjusted quite nicely. We’ve both grown so much these last four years both as individuals and in our relationship so I’m excited to see where this next chapter of our relationship takes us.

Lessons Learned

The biggest takeaway from this is to give myself a break every now and then // On my recent work trip to Chicago for our biggest trade show of the year, my sinuses got the best of me and I was SO SICK come day two of the show. Five days later, I was getting ready to hop on a plane to come back home and it was not letting up whatsoever, and it didn’t help that I dove right back into work a brief 24 hours after touching down. My body was in desperate need of some R&R. That long weekend, I allowed myself to have a couple lazy days to sleep and recuperate. Let me tell you, that was the BEST decision I had made in a long time. The following Tuesday, I was feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and so much better!

Prioritize your time // With my new promotion, I’ve taken on many new responsibilities, and I noticed pretty early on that if I don’t prioritize my time wisely, NOTHING goes as planned and you’ll be asking for extensions on your deadlines. This also goes for life outside of work; I was making time for friends, family, Ryan, working out and staying on top of the few tv shows I have in my rotation, but I was going without making time for my blog and other projects that fuel my fire.

Unplug // There’s a reason why every single mental health article tells you to unplug every now and then, it WORKS! I have a difficult time turning my brain off in order to sleep — especially with so much going on lately. I’ve discovered that unplugging for at least an hour before bed helps me sleep soundly.

What and whom to give my energy to // This has been a long time coming. I’ve found that I get so wrapped up in certain aspects in life that don’t matter and aren’t worth my time nor energy. I recently read the book The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson and — let me tell you — this book has totally changed my perspective on so many facets of life. One of my biggest takeaways from the book was choosing my battles and stripping away all of the bs to live my best, most unapologetic life. Manson presents a hilariously vulgar tough love approach to creating self-awareness and learning about what matters most in life. This book has been sitting on my “to-read” shelf for years, and now I wish I would have had the opportunity to read it at a younger age. I highly recommend this book to everyone! 

-K.

One Year Later…

img_1387A year ago today I closed an amazing chapter of my life and opened a new one to adulthood and the “real world”! This year has brought loads of changes, life lessons, and adventures. Following graduation, I moved back home to my parents’ house which is a huge adjustment in itself. I also had to give up dance and became distant from my sorority; both things that I ate, slept, and breathed throughout my college career. I accepted my first corporate desk job which has been a whirlwind, and has taken a toll on my body — when they say your metabolism decreases after a certain age, they aren’t kidding.

Long story short, adjusting to post-grad life can be difficult. So, in true Kourtney form, here is some advice for those graduating this year and moving on to bigger, better things:

1. People will walk out of your life after graduation. Sometimes it’s because you live too far away, or minimal effort put in by both parties. If you thought having a social life in college was hard, just wait until you move away from all of your college friends and you all have 9-5 jobs. This was one of the HARDEST lessons that I learned this year after being around my close friends nearly 24/7. Just know that your closest friends will still make an effort to be in your life.

2. Don’t be afraid to take risks in the job market. I won’t sugarcoat it — finding a job post-grad is difficult. Luckily, I found my current job just a couple months after graduation, but I never in a million years thought I would end up where I currently am.

3. Take the time to take care of yourself both physically and mentally. It’s easy to forget to take care of your body once you’re no longer walking miles across campus and don’t have a free gym right at your fingertips (well, at least we did at OU). As aforementioned, I didn’t realize just how much having a desk job would take a toll on my body. Between regular desk snacking, and sitting all day, I discovered the importance of getting in some sort of workout on a daily basis and eat healthy. Also, mental health days are definitely necessary; make sure you relax outside of work, and try not to let it run your life.

4. Do not stress about student loans. This is one thing that I cannot stress enough! The same day I graduated, I had a total mental breakdown about not having a job right out of college and seeing the amount of zeros following how much I owed back in loan payments. Something that I’ve learned since is that coming out of college with debt is absolutely normal. Educate yourself on the various options you have to pay back your loans and choose the one that works best for your situation.

5. Don’t forget to have fun. Yes, being a “full-on” adult sucks. Remember that although you may be working your ass off in the office, you NEED to take time to enjoy time with your friends and loved ones. Eat cake, drink champagne, and celebrate your hard work; life is too short to be miserable!

Congratulations to the graduating class of 2017!

-K.

Ch-ch-ch-changes

Ch-ch-ch-changes

In a recent post, I briefly stated that I was making a number of changes in my life. My goal is to live a more positive, healthy, happy life by making small changes now to help me achieve bigger goals and chase bigger dreams.

Working a desk job, I don’t have much ability to be active throughout the day. After being able to be active while at school (walking across campus to class, dance practices, free gym access, etc), I realized I could not maintain my old habits. With the help of my boyfriend Ryan, I’ve devised a plan consisting of a few lifestyle changes in order to help me stay in shape and, ultimately live a more positive and happy life.

  • My FitBit is my new best friend. For my birthday a few weeks ago, Ryan bought me a FitBit Alta per my request.  While I have yet to reach my daily goal of 10,000 steps, it has motivated me to get up and get moving. At work I tend to take the long route when walking to the water fountain, bathroom and my colleagues offices in order to get the most out of my steps. It also helps a lot with tracking my calorie intake on the app; it’s free and downloads to your phone while activating your FitBit after purchase.
  • Absolutely no fast food. Ryan and I decided to use the buddy system with this one. By cutting out all fast food, we are cutting out the option of taking the easy way out when it comes to lunch breaks. While I tend crave McDonald’s fries and tacos from Taco Bell, I’m breaking the habit by choosing healthier snack options such as Skinny Pop and baked chips. I also allow myself the occasional bit of Dove dark chocolate and chocolate milk when my sweet tooth is acting up.
  • Limit caffeine/drinking your calories. We also came up with the idea of limiting my caffeine intake to 2-3 times a week since I have a serious coffee and Coca~Cola addiction. Something that’s really helping me drink more water is the ability to track your water intake daily on the FitBit app. I’ve also been turning to sparkling water to help get the carbonation I often crave from pop.
  • Thinking positive thoughts. In a previous post I discussed my desire to live an overall more positive life and discussed the various ways I was doing so. You can check out that post here.
  • Make a daily routine. Right now I’m still trying to get the hang of my new sleeping schedule, but I have a sort-of routine that I’ve been sticking to as of late. The whole point of it for me, personally is to make sure I achieved all I needed to in the day.

What do you do to make sure you stick to your goals? Also, anyone with tips to quit biting your nail pleaseeee comment because that is my next goal.

-K

Surviving My First Post-Grad Job: Week 1

Surviving My First Post-Grad Job: Week 1

Hi everyone!

Last week was my first full week at my first post-grad job. It was exciting, it was overwhelming, it was fun, and it was work. I got lucky because I’m working in a brand new marketing position at the company my dad has been working at for the past 20+ years. While I have the opportunity to help mold the position, it’s still intimidating being my first job and having a lot of expectations to live up to (i.e. daddio).

Sneakpeek of my desk

Before I started, I found myself reading articles with titles along the lines of “How to succeed at your first post-grad job” and “10 things to know before starting a job.” They all had fairly the same lessons in all of them: dress appropriately, be prepared, get enough sleep, be organized, etc.Most of them seem like common sense, but you don’t realize just how much the smallest details help in the corporate world.

Here are a few tips that really helped me get through my first week on the job:

  • Prioritize your work.
  • Get to know your colleagues even if they aren’t in your department.
  • Take notes.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
  • Plan your outfit and pack your lunch the night before so you aren’t scrambling in the morning.
  • If you’re having computer problems, it really helps to have a friend in IT.
  • Also, get those computer problems taken care of ASAP or you’ll fall behind in your work and piss off your boss.
  • Know how to clock in and out properly so you don’t have a minor heart attack when all of your hours aren’t on your time card. Not that I know from experience or anything…
  • To-do lists are your best friend.

What are some tips that helped or are helping you through your first job? Feel free to share your tips with me; I’m always looking for advice!

-K

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Good Will {Job} Hunting

Good Will {Job} Hunting

Happy Sunday Everyone!

As my senior year and college career draw to a close, the time has come for me to begin my search for my first, post-grad, full-time job. While the career services center at my University is absolutely phenomenal, I often like to check job sites in my free time to see what else is out there. So, for those of you in the same shoes as I’m in or those of you looking for internships I’ve decided to share with you some of my favorite job search sites to aid you in your search!

**Disclaimer: Not all job descriptions give light to what the job actually entails. I highly recommend going to Glassdoor or a similar site to review job/company reviews by past or current employees.

College Recruiter

Indeed

Monster

Link Up

LinkedIn

Simply Hired

Also remember that your college campus has excellent resources, make sure that you utilize them to their full potential. Check out your campus’s career services office, it will make a world of difference!

Happy {job} hunting!!

-K

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