Making Friends After 20

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I have a question for those of you reading this today, especially if you’re over the age of twenty – how do you make new friends?

Do you find it as difficult as I do? If you aren’t in college or a workplace that allows you to cultivate new friendships, how do you seek them out? Do you even attempt to?

After moving five hours away from the vast majority of the people I have known for two decades, I found myself in an interesting dilemma – besides my immediate family, I know no one here. I have no friends besides my spouse, and at almost 24, I haven’t a clue how to make them.

I also realize that because I work about 45-50 hours a week, entirely from home, my chances are even slimmer than someone who works in an office or outside of their own house.

Another uncomfortable truth I realized was that I haven’t made a new friend since I was in high school. Not that this is terribly important, but making a connection with someone new and having it last has not happened for me in 6-8 years. Talk about being rusty.

Through this blog and my YouTube channel, I have found some incredibly people online to interact with. People that have similar views and like to read as much as I do, and sometimes I doubted whether these people existed outside of a few family members. However, these are not people that live near me, that I can invite over or go out and have coffee with.

It’s not that I need dozens of friends. In fact, I’d love to just find one or two people nearby that I can meet up with and talk to once a week or so. I have never been someone to have a multitude of friends in my life, and that is honestly perfect for me. Being extremely introverted makes parties and large gatherings uncomfortable for me, and being an INFP makes me want to have more intimate, smaller interactions with humans.

There are apps now that allow to find groups and meetups around you to meet people that like the same things as you. I think I am going to try that out and see what I think. However, I still wanted to ask those of you with similar experiences, what do you do when seeking out new companionship? Any and all advice is welcome.

Thank you so much for reading, it means the world to me.

 

I’m Back

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Hello friends!

I am so excited to say that I am back and am going to be posting regularly again.

As far as a posting schedule, I haven’t really decided what I am going to commit to at this time. Right now I am going to get back to my regular YouTube videos on Tuesday and Thursday, and then a blog post on Sundays. Then I’ll build from there!

Just a little bit of a life update in case you don’t know my personally – I moved to a different state over the the last few weeks. My spouse, dogs, and I are now in a much better living situation in Ohio.

I also went vegetarian about a week ago. A couple years ago I was vegan, and ever since starting to eat meat afterwards I have wanted to officially give it up again.

My work has also been a little more hectic. I started a second job that is quite a bit of writing, and giving myself a break from creative projects has been a nice way to ease into a new life. However, I have really, really missed making videos and writing blog posts.

That brings me to my last point. Over the past few weeks I have noticed a lot more followers on both this blog and my YouTube channel, and it has been such a heartwarming mood boost for me. For everyone who is new to my content, I can’t thank you enough for connecting with me and enjoying what I spend a LOT of time making. Thank you.

-Kristen

An Enormous, Heartfelt Thank You

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Every day I get on here I am simply amazed at the outpouring of people who dedicate time to reading, commenting, liking, and conversing with me on this blog and my new YouTube channel as well.

I have had some personal stuff come up over the last few weeks, making it very hard to convince myself to write and film as much as I have in the past. Mental health is something I have had to work tirelessly towards and it’s harder at certain times than others.

So I just wanted to say, thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. The fact that even one person gets on here and reads anything that I have to say has been incredible, let alone the many, many readers I talk to throughout the week.

I am doing my best to stay on top of everything and to keep writing as I take care of myself as well as moving my family a few states north over the next month. If a post or video falls through the cracks, as they have over the past week, I am sorry. Thank you again, for reading.

How to Read More as a Busy Adult

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I have seen a viral post going around the internet that basically states ‘I read so much as a child dozens and dozens of books, and now I am lucky if I finish one book a year.’ That isn’t the exact quote, but that is the thought behind it.

This is completely, 100% understandable. I can personally relate to this myself, and it took a while to get myself out of that rut as a ‘grown-up.’

Who has the time? Honestly-between working at least 40 hours a week, cooking, cleaning, taking care of pets, social lives, children, and keeping yourself sane, it really doesn’t seem like reading is or should be anywhere near the top of the list.

For me, it is an absolute necessity. I can’t live without it. Reading and literature are living, breathing life for me. So I make time, no matter what is going on. However, even if you are not quite as involved in it as myself, you may be interested in just keeping up on reading even just a few books a year to keep yourself sharp.

So whether you want to read as much as humanly possible and immerse yourself in literature and learning constantly, or you just want to sharpen up your reading skills slightly in order to read a little more than a book a year, I have some tips to share with you.

This is an important skill, and reading even a little bit is a fantastic way to keep your mind sharp.

 

The first tip I would give you is to always have something to read.

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This is the single best piece of advice my father has ever given to me- don’t ever go somewhere without two things to read. That way if you finish the first book/magazine/newspaper/etc, you will have something else.

Because of this, I get way more reading done, even on busy days. Rather than always pulling out my phone and watching garbage (which I have a tendency to get sucked into), I am able to engage myself in something better.

Now, even if you don’t want to lug around some huge book all day, bring an eReader, a magazine, whatever it is that you enjoy! That way you are never stuck without something to read.

The second piece of advice that I have for you is to keep track of what you read.

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Whether you use Goodreads or just make a list- it can be satisfying to keep track of what you read and see how you progress throughout the year.

If it is just to motivate yourself to read more or to see what sort of material comes up the most, keeping track of what you read can be a great way to inspire yourself to push harder.

My third and last tip would be to engage with other readers. 

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The hardest thing for me as a reader is having no one to talk to about it. If you have people with similar reading tastes, or even just likes reading in general, it’s easier to read regularly and then discuss it with someone.

If you don’t have a lot of people around you to discuss what you are reading with, do what I did! Start a blog to review books or even a YouTube channel to talk about reading and literature. Once I did that for myself, not only did it provide me with a fantastic outlet, but it motivated me to read more challenging works and more often.

Those are three of the best ways I have found to read more. You do of course have to want to read and engage with literature, but if you need a little help-these tips should do it.

What motivates you to read more? 

 

Rewarding Yourself

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This week isn’t really going to be a lengthy post, I just wanted to give you guys a brief life update and some thoughts on being nice to yourself.

Over the past week I got a full time writing job.

In case you don’t know me personally, this is pretty much all I want out of life. I love to write, and getting paid for it is the dream.

Something I struggle with and strive to be better at is patting myself on the back when something good happens. It’s SO easy to punish myself when I mess up, or something goes wrong in my life, but not when I succeed.

Why is that so hard?

Part of me feels that I just don’t deserve it. Another part of me thinks that if something decent happens, it has to be dumb luck. While I know in my part that neither of those things are true, it’s a hard mental block to pass over. This year is about love, acceptance, and forgiveness of myself, so it’s something I am determined to overcome.

Any advice that any of you have is welcome for this.

I worked hard, I went through a lot to get this job, and I got it. Yay! As part of my resolution to love myself better this year, I am finding a way  to celebrate.

Not quite sure how yet, but positive recognition is important and it’s something I will be giving myself.

How do you reward yourself when something good happens? Is it difficult for you as well? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

The No Disclaimers Book Tag

It’s me, just complaining about stuff in books. The original questions that I am answering are listed below!

1). Which trope (or tropes) in books, annoy you the most?

2). Which writer or writers do you feel are overrated/overhyped?

3). What are your least favorite books you’ve read, since joining BookTube?

4). A terrible ending, that ruined an otherwise quality book?

5). Which Fictional Character(s) do you wish were not killed off?

6). What are some of your bookish pet peeves?

7). What are some books you feel should have more recognition?

8). What are your thoughts on censorship, and banning books?

9). Who do you tag?

If you agree or disagree with my answers or want to answer the questions yourselves, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

A Letter to Girls That are Younger Than Me

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I recently wrote a letter to women that were older than me. It was a fun, almost therapeutic experience for me, and I wanted to continue the idea with a letter to girls that were younger than me.

To Girls and Woman That are Younger Than Me: 

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I know there are millions of things flying through your mind at any given moment, so I appreciate the time. 

To those of you under the age of ten, how are you feeling? Life is probably still relatively simple at this point. You wear sundresses, spend your afternoons playing outside with the frogs and the flowers, and eat whatever you want. Don’t forget these habits later in life. There will come a time where you will feel that you need to watch your eating habits and stop playing outside so much. 

Don’t mind those scuffed knees and rosy cheeks. They are signs of bliss. Spend as much time outdoors as you can. Try to show kindness in any form you can to those around you, and avoid those that don’t do the same. 

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You will probably be told by adults that a boy who is mean to you actually likes you. Avoid those boys like the plague. A young man who thinks that showing affection with abuse is not worth your time, even at your young age. 

Don’t be afraid to speak loudly, take up space, and to say no. You have those options. You will need this later in life as well. If something doesn’t feel right, question it and tell a trusted adult. You deserve to feel comfortable – just because you are a child doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be listened to when something is wrong.

To those of you between the ages of ten and twenty, I am sorry. This is most likely not the best time for you. You are dealing with everything from periods and pimples to dating and trying to figure out the rest of your life. 

Don’t forget the advice for the younger girls a few paragraphs ago. It applies to you too. Boys that are mean to get your attention are not worth a second of your time. Find a boy who looks at you like he’s just hit a home run or he’s seeing the ocean for the first time, not one who teases you and pulls your hair. 

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Your body is changing a lot, and constantly. Your weight will fluctuate, your skin and hair will probably be oily, and you’ll grow upright like a weed. I know it’s an impossible task, but try to love yourself through these changes. Keep eating all of your meals, make sure to get enough carbs/calories/vitamins. Wash your face often, use deodorant, and spend time exercising outside. The sunshine and activity will do wonders for your mental and physical health. Try and focus on how you feel, and not so much on how you look. 

You will probably start dating and come across some awful, awful people. Don’t settle for someone who doesn’t listen, appreciate, and respect you. No one has the right to make you feel inferior, or to make you do something you don’t want to do. There’s nothing wrong with waiting for something better. I wish I had. 

Drinking or drugs may seem really cool, but they aren’t. You will feel like awful the next day and get into trouble with your parents or the police. There will be plenty of mornings to wake up hungover as an adult, why do it now? But if you do, don’t be afraid to ask a trusted adult to pick you up and get you out of the situation. They may still be angry but they will appreciate that you didn’t get in the car and drive drunk. 

One more piece of advice that cannot be overstated- school is not overrated. Do your best. Whether you go to college or not, you will thank yourself later.

Most importantly, don’t grow up too fast. You are going to be an adult for the rest of your life, and you’ll only be the age that you are once. Try and savor things like your family members, free time, and not having to pay bills yet. This time will go by so fast, you’ll wonder why you were in such a hurry. 

Thank you for reading, it means so much to me! Happy Sunday.