Entries Tagged as 'Life'

Lucky Andi Archives: 20 Things Every Twentysomething Should Know How to Do

Posted on: Tuesday, October 18, 2016

I shared this blog post three years ago and wanted to re-share today! The post was originally from RELEVANT Magazine. Back then, my favorites were #1 (yay breakfast!), #3 (love talking to my grandparents on the phone), #6 (spending less time on my phone is a good thing), #14 (more sleep! always!) and #19 (slooooow down. life is not an emergency). Now, I still love all of those reminders, but also have learned to appreciate #4 (forced to learn to do this in SF on hills!), #17 (as an extrovert, this is a work in progress, but spending time alone has become more enjoyable for me over time) and #20 (close friends, especially those who have known me throughout different life chapters and seasons, are the best gift).

I hope you enjoy!

1. Make a Great Breakfast
Ideally, you should be able to craft a great meal for any occasion, but this is the most important meal of the day and so, it’s the one you should have down. Use real butter, large eggs, fresh mushrooms, cheese, whatever, but know the ins and outs and invite a lot of people over to eat it with you regularly.

2. Argue Kindly
An increasingly rare trait, but you’ll be better for it. Learn how to have your own opinions (and make sure they’re actually yours—not just something you “heard somewhere”) and how to put them firmly and politely, in a way that invites spirited conversation. It’s a rare and wonderful thing.

3. Hold a Conversation With Someone of Any Age
Whether the person you’re talking to is eight or 80, you should be able to hold a meaningful, intentional conversation with them. Remember to ask a lot of questions, be more interested in who they are than in who you are, and strive to make their day.

4. Parallel Park
Nothing menial about it, and not nearly as hard as it looks. Practice a little. Become an expert. Dazzle your friends.

5. Defend Your Media Choices
Whether you like Kendrick, Kings of Leon or Ke$ha, you should be able to articulate why. The media we consume affects us, and you should be able to explain to yourself why you’re listening, watching and reading the things that you are.

6. Limit Your Online Life
This cannot be over-emphasized. The inability to manage an online presence has toppled promising careers and made fools out of otherwise competent individuals. You should have a good grip on how often you use social media and what you’re using it for. If you find most of your free time spent on the Internet, it’s time to make some choices. If you’re checking your phone at every awkward pause, delete that Facebook app.

7. Approach a Stranger
Whether it’s for directions, a favor or even just to pass the time on an airplane, knowing how to strike up a conversation out of the blue is a marvelous skill. Ask them questions (don’t lead with information about yourself), be approachable (not aggressive) and look for clues that they’d rather be left alone.

8. Stand Up for Yourself
Whether it’s your boss shooting down an idea before you’ve explained it or a guy shouting rude comments as you’re walking by, you should know how to keep from getting walked over.

9. Say “I Was Wrong”
A relationship squabble. A professional tiff. A theological debate. Whatever it is, you should always be looking for where you might have messed up. “I was wrong” is a magical little sentence that diffuses conflict and brings peace to any situation. You should have it at the top of your go-to phrases.

10. Brew a Great Cup of Coffee or Tea
Look. Once and for all, turning on the coffeemaker and brewing a pot of coffee is totally fine. But you should also be aware how to make a perfect cup of coffee or tea. For yourself. For your friends. Do a little reading. Perfect your technique. It’s a skill you’ll be glad you have forever.

11. Tip Generously
What’s just an extra buck or two to you can completely make your server’s day. Make it a habit to tip generously and, if you’re really feeling daring, write a brief thank you note on your check.

12. Maintain a Mentor
Your twenties are a great time to invest in a mentor. Find someone you want to be like—be it your pastor, a friend or even a peer—and commit to meeting with them regularly. It takes a little humility and a lot of dedication, but there is no ceiling to the value it will add to your life.

13. Bite Your Tongue
Know how to pick your battles. It’s OK for you to be right without getting everyone to admit you’re right. It’s OK for you to be offended by something without everyone knowing you’re offended. Understand when you should go to bat for what you’re thinking and when you can let it go.

14. Stay Well Rested
Late nights will come (if you’ve got kids, they’ll come pretty frequently) but our generation has forgotten the value in a good night’s sleep. Push yourself to go to bed earlier. Utilize your downtime wisely. Resting is just as important as being productive. In fact, you’ll be more productive if you are resting well and often.

15. Respond to Criticism
Defending yourself against criticism is easy. Graciously accepting it is harder, but the improvements it can make to your life and work are wild. Remember that criticism usually isn’t meant to be a personal attack and, if you can learn to take it in the spirit it’s offered, people will have fewer things to criticize you about in the future.

16. Write a Cover Letter
Filling out an application is a pretty simple process but, in all likelihood, the job you really want is going to take more than a list of references and previous employers. Cover letters require some effort, but it can be the difference between “don’t call us, we’ll call you” and “when can you start?”

17. Be Alone
The Millennial generation prizes community, which is very good, but it tends to come at the cost of fearing loneliness. The truth is, being alone can do you a lot of good. Be able to sit quietly—reading, writing, praying or just listening to the silence—and use that time to truly evaluate how your spirit is. Loneliness is exercise for your heart. Do it regularly.

18. Recommend a Book, Movie or Album
It’s harder than it sounds. It’s easy to sound like a pretentious snob or a gushing fan when you’re telling someone to check out something you love. Be able to explain not only why you love something, but why you think someone else would love it.

19. Prioritize the Important Over the Urgent
There are two types of demands on your life. The first and easiest to focus on are the urgent: paying your rent, getting ahead in work, etc. The second and much harder to tackle are the important: your spiritual life, your relationship with your family and looking after the health of your soul. Know the difference between what’s urgent and what’s important, and know which one matters more.

20. Hold on to a Good Friend
There’s going to be a lot of transition in your twenties as both you and your friends float from job to job and location to location. You’ll have to say a lot of good bye’s in the midst of it all, but you should know when you’ve found the rare friend who you don’t want to lose, and you should be able to prioritize staying in touch with them beyond the occasional text message.

{Photo by Geoff Duncan}

THIS

Posted on: Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Shauna Niequist truly is my patron saint or long lost big sister or something to that effect. I’ve read all of her books several times and find myself flipping through them, over and over, to soak up more wisdom and encouragement frequently. It’s like everything she writes, I am screaming YES YES YES out loud because her words hit so close to home and really resonate with me. I also like to think we would be besties IRL, but that’s for another blog post.

I recently started reading her latest book, Present Over Perfect, and one part of the What the Lake Teaches chapter made me stop and pause. I read it again and re-read and re-read and re-read. I showed it to Eric, telling him, “this is me! This is exactly what I need to remember every day!” and he agreed (and told me to print out these words). I read it to my mom, who said something similar; that I need to keep reminding myself of these truths over and over.

This was a powerful reminder to me – an extrovert, a die-hard people pleaser, an affirmation seeker – that I need to stop craving approval and acceptance from external sources and lean into what I know to be true about myself, what God thinks about me, and who I am without all of those compliments and affirmations and heavy expectations.

Here’s the excerpt. Hope you get as much out of it as I do and I highly recommend her new book! <3

But this is what I’ve learned the hard way: what people think about you means nothing in comparison to what you believe about yourself. Essentially, my identity depended on outwards approval, which changes on a dime. So you dance and you please and you placate and you prove. You become a three-ring circus and in each ring, you’re an entirely different performing animal, anything anyone wants you to be.

The crucial journey, then, for me, has been from dependence on external expectations, down into my own self, deeper still into God’s view of me, his love for me that doesn’t change, that will not change, that defines and grounds everything.

I bet it all on busyness, achievement, being known as responsible, and escaping when those things didn’t work. What I see now is that what I really wanted was love, grace, peace, connection.

When you decide, finally, to stop running on the fuel of anxiety, desire to prove, fear, shame, deep inadequacy – when you decide to walk away from that fuel for a while, there’s nothing but confusion and silence. You’re on the side of the road, empty tank, no idea what will propel you forward. It’s disorienting, freeing, terrifying. For a while, you just sit, contentedly, and contentment is the most foreign concept you know. But you learn it, shocking as it is, day by day, hour by hour. You sit in your own skin, being just your own plain self. And it’s okay. And it’s changing everything.

After a while, though, you learn you weren’t made only for contentment; that’s only half the puzzle. The other part is meaning, calling, love. And this is a new conversation, almost like speaking a second language – faltering, tongue-twisting, exhilarating.

#LoveOfTheJourney: On entrepreneurship & Wente Vineyards

Posted on: Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Wente #LoveoftheJourney 3

Wente #LoveoftheJourney 5

I recently discovered Wente Vineyards, a winery based a few hours from San Francisco in Livermore. I learned that Wente has been around for more than 130 years and is the country’s oldest continuously family owned and operated winery. While I looooove a good trip to a winery to sit in the sun, casually drinking wine, I haven’t had a chance to visit the Wente winery in person yet. I did pick up a bottle of the Wente Southern Hills Cabernet Sauvignon here in SF and enjoyed it recently during a picnic in the park!

Wente Vineyards recently launched their #LoveOfTheJourney initiative, celebrating the brand’s heritage and story. Their family – and brand – focuses on the reason behind why they make wine, which is simply because they love doing it and love the journey the Wente family (five generations!) has been on to get to where they are today.

They asked me to share on of my own journeys, so as I was sipping on the Cab Sav in the park, I started thinking about the past few months and my journey as a (newbie!) entrepreneur. I made the leap to launch my own company Lucky Collective a few months ago and it’s been a challenging, but mostly really positive, journey so far. The whole #LoveOfTheJourney idea had me thinking – why did I start my own company? Am I focusing on an “end goal” or am I simply enjoying the journey of entrepreneurship right now?

Rather than always focusing on achieving milestones or growing my business, I want to make sure I’m learning as much as I can, soaking up the experiences in front of me, and enjoying the freedom and flexibility that comes with being my own boss. I’ve learned A LOT about myself by working solo and the importance of confidence and believing you are good enough to do a job or get a client, “selling yourself” and networking, strategic time management skills, and when it’s okay to just slow down and RELAX (or celebrate – both which require wine, naturally). My go-to way to relax, especially on weekends, is to pack up an epic picnic (including a bottle of wine!) and hang out in Duboce Park near my apartment. This past weekend, we picnicked while sipping on the Wente Cab Sav, lounged and played cards – it was definitely a really great way to stop the hustle and bustle of work and emails and to-do lists and just soak up the sunny afternoon.

Thank you to Wente Vineyards for partnering on this post and for the challenge to focus on my own #LoveOfTheJourney! Learn more about Wente on their Facebook page + Twitter. Cheers!

Wente #LoveoftheJourney 1

Wente #LoveoftheJourney 2

Wente #LoveoftheJourney 4

Wente #LoveoftheJourney 6

#nofilter // speaking words of love over our bodies

Posted on: Wednesday, June 15, 2016

“don’t say that about yourself.”

this simple statement, said to me during a facial by a lovely esthetician, really stuck out to me. while she was doing extractions (ugh, these are so bad and good at the same time) i apologized to her for my “gross skin.” and she called me out – telling me that i should never call myself or my body gross and instead speak love to myself. and that i shouldn’t apologize for my body, period. it was nothing deep nor profound, but her words were a wake-up reminder that the words we say to ourselves, about ourselves, are so important.

for the past nine (!!) or so months, i’ve been dealing with some not-so-ideal hormonal adult acne. i didn’t really have bad acne growing up, aside for some small breakouts during that time of the month, and it’s been really challenging to experience bad acne as a 27-year-old. i changed my birth control method last fall and since, i’ve been struggling with acne on my chest, neck and parts of my face. i’ve tried lots of solutions and continuing to treat it – topical lotions and creams, antibiotics, these murad skin clarifying vitamins (highly recommend as they seem to be what’s actually helping), the whole nine yards. and the acne sometimes comes and goes. a few weeks ago, my chest was really clearing up – no redness and barely any bumps – and i was so excited. it’s working! i’m getting better! and then, this past weekend, my skin flared up and is redder and bumpier than ever. sigh.

i spent the morning of my wedding day anxious and upset about my skin (pre-makeup pic below, where you can see some breakout on my chest. thank you Sarah for your magical makeup skills! ). I’ve spent many regular mornings in a bad mood, not sure what to wear or how to cover up the bumpiness, the red, the imperfect. now, with warmer weather comes swimsuits and skin-baring tank tops, and that brings a whole new wave of worry over my skin.

i know that there are much bigger and more important issues that people are going through, but this whole skin thing for me has been unsettling and upsetting the past almost-year. my self-doubt and self-hate gets all worked up when i look at my skin and i say things to myself, about myself that aren’t edifying, helpful or remotely loving. it sounds weird to say this, but looking at my skin automatically puts me in a sour mood and makes me feel grumpy and frustrated.

so what i’m really trying to do, slowly, even when it’s hard, is to speak love to myself and to my body. even when i don’t look the way i want or when my skin isn’t “going back to normal”, i’m trying to not freak out, but to instead take a deep breath and move on. i’m trying to not let the way my skin looks on any given day affect my attitude and mindset. i’m trying my best to find solutions that work for my skin type, continue talking with my dermatologist and try my best to alleviate the redness and bumpiness, but ultimately – not let my acne define me as a person or ruin my day. when words like gross or disgusting or ugly pop into my head after looking at my skin, i’m remembering to “not say that about myself” and instead give myself, my body, my skin, grace and love.

i don’t really know what compelled me to share this, as it’s not something i’m necessarily proud of sharing. i also prefer to share the pretty and inspiring and happy things on my blog, but i also want to share the real and honest. i’ve had my blog for 6+ years now, and it’s changed a lot, but i always want it to be authentically me, and right now, this is where i’m at.  it was helpful for me to write down how i’m feeling and what i’m experiencing and to read my feelings, put into words.  i’m just hoping that even one other person out there reads this and is reminded to speak love over their body and to not be quick to judge and condemn yourself based on the way you look. <3

xo

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