7.28.15 40

On Finding Happiness

Alright guys. Not going to lie—it’s 8:50 pm on Monday and the second to last thing I want to be doing is writing this blog post. (The last thing I want to be doing is grocery shopping. Which I haven’t done in weeks. So here I am.)

Some days, post ideas really just come to me. Today’s, not so much. But, then I had a phone call with a dear friend last night. So, today, I want to talk about a phone call I had last night and why I hope you have a similar one soon, too.

Do you have a time in your life that you can think back to and just go, “damn, I really liked who I was then?”

For me, that time was summer 2012, when I lived in Manhattan. In Lenape, a Native American language, Manhattan literally means the island of many hills.

Sidenote—the only reason I know that is because in order to secure air conditioned housing, I had to enroll as an NYU student for the summer. Every Wednesday, my roommate and another sorority sister would attend our very academic class—’Walking and Talking New York.’ So, yes, I essentially paid to be a tourist. It was the best $350 I ever spent.

But back to the hills—which only seem appropriate because there were many ups and downs that summer. But somewhere along the way, just like how humans flattened out and figured out the island overtime, I hit my stride in New York. I lost weight. I found God as an adult. I figured out it wasn’t the place for me long term. I crossed every tourist attraction in town off my bucket list. And most importantly—I figured out the key to happiness was doing the things I wanted to do, not the things others wanted me to do. It was the first time I felt like a true adult, and at the ripe old age of 21, I really felt like I could achieve anything and be anyone I wanted to be.

a touch of teal classic navy shift dress

I’d like to think I am still that person, only with more money in my wallet and less Forever 21 in my closet.

If you would have asked me if I thought I was that person a few days prior, when I was actually in New York City for the weekend, I might have said yes, but I probably would have said no.

Last night, after months of playing phone tag with my roommate—hi Steph!—from that now-romanticized summer in New York, we finally caught up—and obviously spent adequate time reminiscing about the Union Square Forever 21 and our nightly read-alouds of Fifty Shades of Grey. 

But after that important part of the conversation was done, as I was regaling her with both my latest life trials and triumphs—three years later we are in charge of the interns, like what—she said something that really struck me, because it’s the same key to happiness I found a few years ago:

“JUST GO OUT AND DO WHATEVER IT IS YOU WANT TO DO. THEN THE RIGHT OPPORTUNITIES AND PEOPLE WILL COME ALONG.”

go-to summer white dress

Talk about a #GirlBoss statement. And Steph—trust me on this one—she lives this statement, and reinvigorated my passion to do the same.

///

So while procrastinating this blog post—I am in grad school, it is practically a pre-requisite you procrastinate—I made a list of everything I want to do for me over the next year.

I want to take a calligraphy class. I want to take a cake-decorating class. I want to visit my cousin in Japan. I want to head to Las Vegas while my liver has a shot at keeping up.

I want to be more like the girl I was in New York—adventurous, confident, salad-eating, and free.

I want to worry less about the future because three years ago in that tiny, air-conditioned NYU dorm room, I could have never dreamed up the life I have today.

And I want to call Steph more often.

a touch of teal summer seersucker memento boutique

Leave a Comment

40 Comments

  1. Rachel wrote:

    LOVE this! I was thinking about all of this the other day. I completely agree with finding and doing the things that you want/make you happy and just going from there. Good luck with your list of things, you got this!

    Published 7.28.15
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    • Katie wrote:

      I am so glad you loved it! I am sure you’ve got your list too! xx

      Published 7.30.15
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  2. Bree wrote:

    I love this so so much! I think it’s so important to go after the things you want to do and #designyourlife! I can’t believe how much happier that realization has made me in the last 6 months! Keep going after that list, I love the beginnings of it 🙂

    xo Bree

    Published 7.28.15
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    • Katie wrote:

      Aw thanks for all your support, Bree! I love the #designyourlife hashtag! xx

      Published 7.30.15
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  3. Ok first of all, what a super cute outfit!! That can go anywhere and do anything! Then, I know what you mean about some blog posts are harder than others. Yours turned out great though! Good luck with your goals and wishes – you’ve got a great attitude.

    Published 7.28.15
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    • Katie wrote:

      Thank you lady! So glad you enjoyed it, and I really appreciate the support.

      Published 7.30.15
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  4. LOVE this post Katie!!! I can relate so much since I interned in NYC too!! I totally agree with you and love Steph’s quote. Happy to tag along on any fun adventures you have in mind!! See you soon!! XO

    Kristyn
    Primp and Proper

    Published 7.28.15
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    • Katie wrote:

      So glad you liked it K! Interning in NYC really is a bond that brings us all together! Can’t wait for many more adventures with you :]

      Published 7.30.15
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  5. Love it! My boyfriend and I just got back from a quick NYC trip. So your post totally resonated with me. (P.S. LOVE the college class story!!)

    Published 7.28.15
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    • Katie wrote:

      Aw so glad! xx

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  6. Great post. I loved your outfit with all its bright colours and radiating happiness! 🙂

    Published 7.28.15
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    • Katie wrote:

      Aw thanks lady! xx

      Published 7.30.15
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  7. I love, love, love this post. The writing is great AND I love your dress and photos (those things do not necessarily always come together in the same place). Good luck on your list, it’s a wonderful one. xo

    Published 7.28.15
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    • Katie wrote:

      Aw thank you so much! Your comment really made my day Carla xx

      Published 7.30.15
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  8. I hope you get to do all of these things and more! I relate so very much to this. I feel like I’m in the same headspace/situation in my life now. I think I always felt like an adult before the rest of the world saw me as an adult and now it’s strange that those two things are finally aligning for me. By the way, your NYU class sounds like it was a ton of fun and so smart. You got to do all the tourist-y things and you gamed the system to guarantee A/C?. Genius!

    Published 7.28.15
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    • Katie wrote:

      Aw I am so glad you relate Miranda :] I completely agree with your analysis about how you felt like an adult before the rest of the world saw you as such. It’s a tough battle! xx

      Published 7.30.15
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  9. Maddy wrote:

    Aw, I love this! I totally agree – sometimes we all need to harken back to our happiest times and figure out what it was that was making us feel that way. Was it the environment, or our adapting to it? Was it our choices? Was it our freedom? Who knows! But I’m so glad you had that phone call – those friend moments that inspire you are the best types of friend moments, I think.

    Published 7.28.15
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    • Katie wrote:

      Completely agree with everything you said! Thanks for the validation! xx

      Published 7.30.15
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  10. I feel you! Kudos to you for getting it done anyway!

    Published 7.28.15
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    • Katie wrote:

      Thanks lady! xx

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  11. I am kind of having that same experience right now. I just graduated college and I feel stuck. All my life I’ve been following this path of normalcy…of what you’re supposed to do. And then I graduated college and I’m like well now what? and I find myself wanting to go back to high school (of all places!) when I knew what I was supposed to do (go to school, get good grades) and I was freaking good at it. Eh, time will tell what I’m meant to do next!

    Side note – I lived in Manhattan for my first two years of college. I went to Marymount Manhattan College in the UES. Definitely an experience!! However, I did figure out NYC is not for me!

    Published 7.28.15
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    • Katie wrote:

      It’s tough feeling stuck — I think that is one of the worst feelings. Especially because post college is the first time people really go off into the world and do their own thing, on their own timetable. I used to feel that way about high school too — so you aren’t alone :]

      Everyone seems to have a NYC experience! Such a rite of passage. xx

      Published 7.30.15
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  12. Shannon wrote:

    Love, love, love this post! It really makes you think! I really need to start doing stuff I want to do rather than just living life. It’s so hard to actually focus on what we love when there is so many other “obligations”. Great post and a great reminder!

    Shannon
    Clothes & Quotes

    Published 7.28.15
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    • Katie wrote:

      I am so glad you love this post! I think it’s one of those things that is easy to forget in daily life. xx

      Published 7.30.15
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  13. I think you may be the same person, but you just haven’t aren’t in the same situations you were in then. I think we all owe it to ourselves to learn more about who we are now. We’re the same but we also develop new things about ourselves that are just as beautiful. I just wrote about this on my blog, because it happened to me as well. Beautiful dress and wedges as well… you know I love me a good pair of wedges ;).

    Kia / House of KTS
    http://www.houseofkts.com

    Published 7.28.15
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    • Katie wrote:

      I love your perspective on this. Your comment really made me think about whether or not I am the same person, and I think you’re absolutely right. Such a great insight – thanks Kia! xx

      Published 7.30.15
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  14. Love the print – and the dress! Love that purse, too!

    Published 7.28.15
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    • Katie wrote:

      Thanks Clare!

      Published 7.30.15
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  15. I love this post Katie! It’s good to take a step back and examine where you’ve been, where you’re going and where you ultimately want to be. I was 21 a looong time ago but I remember that feeling of excitement about the future and working towards my goals and dreams. Always listen to that inner voice because that’s the one who know you the best and what is right for you! And by the way, love your floral dress and wedges!

    Taffeta & Tulips

    Published 7.28.15
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    • Katie wrote:

      Aw so glad you like this post Kate – completely agree with everything you said about the excitement of age 21! xx

      Published 7.30.15
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  16. Brooke wrote:

    What a fun perspective/question to write from. Sounds like a great way to right the ship of life and set goals that really matter.
    Also, I love the print on that dress! Fab.

    Published 7.28.15
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    • Katie wrote:

      Thanks lady! xx

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  17. libys11 wrote:

    that dress is just phenomenal!!! and you are glowing and so optimistic, i love it!

    Animated Confessions

    Published 7.28.15
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    • Katie wrote:

      Thanks lady! xx

      Published 7.30.15
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  18. Christine wrote:

    I can relate to struggling with coming up with things to blog about lately. I’m just not that into it for some reason at the moment. Love your friend’s girl boss statement; something I need to remember. Great post!

    Published 7.28.15
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    • Katie wrote:

      Completely agree — it goes in waves! xx

      Published 7.30.15
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  19. Jennifer Urban wrote:

    Love, love, love this post! This is such a great message for you to share with all of us. I’m so glad that you are going to do more of what YOU want to do. You deserve all the happiness! And as for my favorite thing about 2012 Katie…it was definitely that you shared your twin XL with me 🙂

    Published 7.29.15
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    • Katie wrote:

      Aw so glad you liked it! The only time we will ever be able to share a twin bed civilly xx

      Published 7.30.15
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  20. Really beautifully written.

    Xx Taylor
    http://lightscameracatwalk.com

    Published 7.30.15
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    • Katie wrote:

      Thanks lady! xx

      Published 7.30.15
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