Peaking is not actually a thing.

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You guys, I am here to alleviate all of your fears and misgivings. I mean, this may be more for myself, but I know a lot of you have the same feels even if you don’t want to admit to it. Don’t worry, I will confirm it for you. I got you. And if someone catches you actually reading this and asks what you are doing just be like hey I can’t hear you above all of the judgment you’re throwing at me right now. That’s my go to, even if it only sporadically works.

But seriously, PEAKING IN LIFE IS OVERRATED.

And if you think that’s a stupid statement and doesn’t apply to you it’s probably because you’ve already peaked so hard in life you think that earning All State in high school for baseball was your biggest achievement. Or you still think that the Valedictorian speech you gave at your college graduation changed all of your classmates’ lives. Four years later. And it didn’t. I am sorry. Half of us were probably drunk.

But, you know nothing, (Jon Snow).

What is peaking? When you’re at your prime. The absolute pinnacle of your life. All your goals are met. You’re maxed out. Seriously, what’s the point of even getting up in the morning to put pants on? Because game over. You won. I hope the $200 you collected at Go lasts you throughout the rest of your stagnant years. We can only assume that the Battle of Hogwarts pales in comparison to the promotion you received at work with that  one-dollar raise (Omg, if this recently happened to you though, seriously congrats. But don’t stop there.)

The point is society– along with ourselves, has dirtied our minds with these obsessive needs to figure life out. And there is the unrealistic timeline in place to achieve it. We graduate from high school. At eighteen we are pressured to enroll in college and choose a major to stick with for all four years. And from there we graduate again and then expected to plan for the rest of our lives and exceed in a premeditated path that we end up feeling stuck in. All the while, there’s the whole “find a partner and start a family in your twenties” image that’s been injected into our heads even though more than half of us aren’t even ready for that type of committment. Because it’s a societal norm.

And we are then plagued with the idea that if none of this is achieved within that specific timeframe, we aren’t considered accomplished.

I say that’s unacceptable.

But what’s next? Let’s say we have peaked in the eyes’ of society and have meet the low standards we set for ourselves, where do we go from there?

We stop living. And we then consider any type of chaos we face a failure.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking living and peaking are the same. Living is the act of challenging ourselves with experiences that we continuously learn from. Peaking is when we accept a challenge, conquer it, and then settle. You didn’t win. There is no winning in life. Because when it comes down to it, if we aren’t facing anymore challenges then we aren’t learning. So, ya, kudos on that promotion. But that isn’t an excuse to get comfortable. It’s incentive to work harder.

You guys, I didn’t plagiarize any of this. I know that’s what you’re thinking. “Omg, Ariel isn’t talking about her aversion to adulting or complaining about the hardships of being a middle child.” That will be saved for another day.

Today I am just here to encourage you to aspire to live instead of just simply peaking. Anyone has the ability to achieve something so massive in life that we then convince ourselves that it isn’t going to get any better after that. Life always gets better. And if you aren’t at that stage yet, then you have time to prepare yourself for when it does happen and you’ll have a better understanding of how to proceed moving forward.

I am twenty something years old (I refuse to say I am in my mid-twenties). With a full-time job in a field that has no correlation to what I majored in for my Bachelor’s studies or to what I am pursing right now for my Masters. I am tragically (at least that’s what my family believes) single. I have absolutely no idea of what I want to be when I grow up. I’m a modern day gypsy with no set direction. But most importantly, I am having the time of my life. Because I am living.

It doesn’t matter how many jobs you’ve had. Or how old you are. Or how long it took you to get where you are. None of is relevant in the big scheme of your success and happiness. I mean one of my best friends Evan (who is just as much as a lost soul as I am) is a Combat Controller in the United States Air Force. Before that? He changed what he wanted to do with his life as much as the Kardashians change who they’re dating– or married to.  And now, he’s about to kill it in dive school and is married to a stunning lady (who I am convinced puts the fear of God in him). My sassy seventy something year old retired grandmother was just hired as an assisted living helper and bought a new car (AZ watch out). WE ARE SURROUNDED BY INSPIRATION.

Society doesn’t encourage you to be the best version of yourself. Society doesn’t pay your bills and it sure as hell doesn’t keep your bed warm at night. Society isn’t the one who is going to suffer after you’ve wrapped yourself up in your own cocoon and miss out on life when you refuse to step out of your comfort zone BECAUSE YOU’VE ALREADY PEAKED.

That’s all on you. Because to be honest, it may have its standards, but society really doesn’t give a damn whether or not you peaked in life. You’re just dollar signs.

But like I am not saying don’t be proud of yourself when you’ve crossed a goal off of your list. Dude, celebrate. Have a bottle of champagne. Have two. I am saying don’t stop. What’s next on that list? How are you going to keep killing it?

S0 when you feel like you haven’t peaked. Just know it’s not the end. But if you feel like you aren’t living, then it’s never too late to start. Push yourself. Do not rely on others to take that first step for you.

Work hard for yourself. Love yourself even harder. The rest will always follow.

I’ll leave you with this:

“For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again.”    -Eric Roth

Stand by,

Ariel Ross

Side Note: Shout out to my cousin Megan for being the absolute inspiration for this post today. One day they are going to create a Marvel superhero dedicated to your unrelenting strides of dominating every obstacle you’ve been faced with.

 

 

Are Babies Actually Aliens?

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Babies—or aliens, whatever term you prefer.

I don’t want any of that. (And I am mostly writing this post as a reminder for when I turn 30, aka old and decrepit, and start to forget things.)

Once upon a time, okay so maybe like once every other week, my father reminds me that not everyone is meant to pro-create.

He looks at me, with gaze unwavering or sometimes an arm place around my shoulder like we are old friends, regardless of the setting we are in and says:

“Ariel, not everyone is meant to pro-create.”

Always the same line.

 Like I get it, Charles. Okay, I get it. Even though you aren’t saying YOU, using my name insinuates the same damn thing. But, hey, I am not saying I disagree.

Don’t get me wrong, I like children. I enjoy annoying them and returning them back to their parents once they’ve started to wail and snot at the nose and they’re no longer fun to play with. Or look at for that matter. But I have never been captivated by the idea of having one of my own. (And this is twenty-something young, wild, and free Ariel speaking).

I say this to people and they act insulted, as if I personally looked them in the eye and told them that their own kid is ugly. I mean I would never do that, I like to imagine that I have more tact than that.

But I get the:

“You don’t mean that; you’ll change your mind.”

“You’re so young, you don’t know what you want.”

“Kids give you purpose; they are the greatest love you’ll ever have.”

“Who is going to take care of you when you’re older?”

 

I also get the:

“When are you going to start settling down?’ (TRACY TAYLOR, just let me live.)

“You are going to be a spinster for the rest of your life.” (Just trying to make you proud, MOM.)

“So, do you think you will ever be NOT single, or?” (SAM, judge me one more time and see if I continue to answer your annoying calls at 8:15 am.)

 

FIRST OF ALL,

I do not predict a change in mind, and if I do, then I am probably possessed by some baby loving cult and you should seriously save me. But when it comes down to it, it’s my uterus and my lady area and I don’t want any gremlin tearing it apart, sucking out the nutrients from my body like a little terror vampire, and serving as a reminder for the rest of my life that I have to spend money ON THEM and instead of myself.

I am a twenty-something and we are selfish, as we are allowed to be per right of passage. At least I tell myself this, but my sister’s finance told me that this is something that I have made up. He could be right; he is right about a lot of stuff. Kid’s a genius.

Regardless, we are all entitled to our opinions, and I totally get that, but I think your opinion is stupid when you give me fifty reasons why I should have a child instead of supporting my decisions not to, especially when I support all of yours (subtweet at the fam&friends, ykwyr.)

So let me give you reasons as to why it is in THE WORLD’S best interest that I do not pro-create a little human:

 

  1. Really quick, just imagine a little Ariel running around, because we all know I would be CURSED with a girl. All sass, all drama. Her first word would be an abbreviation of some sort and she would grow up to think she was a wizard, setting her up for a life of disappointed. I can’t have that hanging over my head, I refuse.

 

  1. I am twenty-something (my real age is irrelevant) and I can barely take care of myself. I forget all of the responsibilities that I have. I don’t even know how to cook, I don’t remember the last time I have done laundry. My mom still makes my dentist appointments (and comes with me to them, so what). I literally FORGET that I am an adult, what makes you think I won’t forget that I have a kid if I were to have one?

 

 

  1. All of the pets I have ever owned have DIED. I don’t know why or how—probably because I didn’t feed them, but they have died. And children are like dogs. You have to like clean up after them and take them to the park. AND PAY FOR DOGGY DAYCARE. Absolutely not. That is a hard no. And they slobber, talking about kids now, and lick you—I witnessed my little niece LICK her Tante’s face just the other day and I was appalled, and they run around a lot and have too much energy—way too old, and probably hung-over at this point to keep up with that mess. I can’t live that life.

 

  1. I instigate. All of the time. I have gotten into an actual fight with an eight year old where I locked her out of my room because she wouldn’t give me my phone back. And when that eight-year-old was six, I bribed her with lipstick to not tell her mom that I locked her in the bathroom because I needed a break. This is all real life situations. And then there is my 2-year-old niece who I annoy for my own enjoyment. Watch the video below and witness it yourself.

 

 

  1. I don’t adult. I don’t want to adult. And I don’t want to be responsible to teach another human how to adult either. I am not a manual guys, they would fail in life. And I doubt I would feel bad about it either.

 

All you moms and dads out there, I give you guys tons of credit for everything you do. My parents raised THREE girls and we all turned out okay, and I would consider that to be one of their biggest achievements in life—also you’re welcome that I turned out to be a contribution to society instead of an extra body on death row. But to the single moms, single dads, divorced parents, grossly in love parents, step parents (who are always under credited) and any other owner of children, you guys are great. And I respect most of you. And your decision to be parents. It truly is a miraculous experience and role and I know that. I applaud all of you that make daily and life-long sacrifices for your children. My parents have been doing that my entire life and my love for them is something I could never elaborate on using words. So keep showing our young ones a world that is strange and beautiful and keep encouraging them to dream big and not only big, but without boundaries.

Just remember, its probs best if some humans out there just don’t pro-create, though.

And even if they should, and would make dope parents, respect their decisions of not wanting to.

With all of that being said, let me just leave this here as well:

My sister called me a couple of weeks, laughing so hard that I am pretty sure it turned into a wheeze (no offense, Sam). She had just left visiting my Memere Roland who is a vivacious, stubborn old Canadian lady. And they were talking about …. Kids. That’s right, you got it. Mem was asking Sam how many kids she wanted. And Sam said either two or three. Probably three because her fiancé has two brothers and Sam has two sisters. My memere, the little angel that she is, said no, no you can’t have three kids. That’s unlucky. And Sam was all like why is that unlucky. And she said, it just is, look how your sister Ariel turned out.

Chances are, if you’re reading this, then you’re the unlucky child, too.

After you read this give your parents a big hug and thank them for putting up with your annoying ass all these years.

 

Stand by,

Ariel

Pop Culture Monday Updates

In addition to my rants and outrageous thoughts and phases—I actually have hobbies. Real life hobbies. That I am incredibly passionate about. Therefore my blog will be an extension of who I am and what I love as well. I will sporadically post book reviews, music reviews, and even film/television reviews. And weekly, I would like to post my “currents”—what I am working on, reading, listening to, and watching. That way you all know I am just not some complain-ey millennial, but a woman with interests.

I have also been meeting really amazing people on Goodreads, Twitter, and other blogs who share my interests. So this is a way to connect with all of you, too.

CURRENTS

MUSIC:

Sleeping on the floor- The Lumineers

Sky- Birds of Bellwoods

Never Come Back Again- Austin Plaine

Drums Make Me Happy- The Golden Hippie

TO BE READ BOOKS:

Outlander- Diana Gabaldon

Everland- Wendy Spinale

The Boy with Words- C.E. Wilson

Falling Kingdoms- Morgan Rhodes

RECENT FILMS: 

Captain America: Civil War—it’s as good as everyone and EW has said it is.

Dirty Grandpa—I mean, I am not going to say I didn’t laugh. I love Zoey Deutch, even though The Vampire Academy didn’t do as well as anticipated, she killed it as Rosemary. So this was my main attraction, and Zac’s abs didn’t hurt either, but there was a lot of forced humor which kind of made it “meehhh” at some points

Lap Dance—before you guys think I am a freak, Briana Evigan is in this and I loved her in Step Up (that makes me a freak), but this film was awful. You are welcome for watching it so you didn’t have to.

TELEVISION:

Vikings- I AM OBSESSED, Lagertha you are my woman crush everyday.

Game of Thrones- I am just starting Season One but have kept up with it because Charles loves it.

The Americans—Sometimes I find myself cheering for KGB Agents which makes me feel like a terrible American

A RECENT BOOK I’VE READ:

'Me_Before_You'

Me Before You by JoJo Moyes—and I am sure a lot of people out there that are reading this as well.

Listen, I cried so hard that I had to put the book down because my mascara was starting to sting my eyes and I could no longer continue to see the words. But when I say that a book has the ability to change an individual’s outlook on life, I am talking specifically about this. Lou Clark is relatable, charming, and unapologetic. And not unapologetic in the way that people are so blunt and open about their lives and careless of how others perceive them—but unapologetic in the way that she embraces being weird and accepts being awkward– she doesn’t shy away from it.

Is there romance? Yes. Of course. It’s a chick-lit and these types of novels are founded on budding love and the messy, life altering pain that accompanies it. But it’s also about choices as well. And the notion that every human is entitled to one regardless of how others feel about the choice that is being made.

Don’t read this expecting a love story that is going to sweep you off your feet, but as a lesson.

And if you read this story and learned nothing—then you ultimately missed the point of it.

MY NOVEL:

Three Chapters in, hoping to have the next three done by the end of the week. I am starting classes my new classes today, but it’s a challenge that I am accepting!

I am working on a YA Fantasy novel! It’s such an incredible world and plot that was inspired by niece and nephews zealous love for Rapunzel. When Tangled is playing, they are completely immersed in a different world, similar to the one I am in when I write. One night I was discussing the idea with my cousin Dan, the imaginative and ingenious human that he is, and he encouraged me to not only continue to build this world, but start a blog documenting my journey. And because of his ambitious demeanor, he followed up with me on my progress, and not only suggested ideas, but aided in building a world that I had only dreamt and scribbled about. This is as much yours, Dan, as it is mine. And I am looking forward to witness Lorne’s and Mooney’s journey with you.

Then there is Tracy Torres. I called her at like 9pm on weeknight rambling about my ideas and intentions, and instead of telling me I was crazy, she agreed to critique my chapters and give me honest feedback—which has been so incredibly helpful. Tracy witnessed all my awkward middle school/high school days in addition to being my second softball mom and getting me to practice and games. And pushed me to do better on the field as well. So thank you! For that and this.

I will be adding updates about this throughout the journey, the initial intention for this blog, and I look forward to all of you reading this to join me for all of it.

Beta Reading and Reviewing:

I met this really rad author on Goodreads and she sent me a few of her chapters. Once she is more public about her work, I will ask her to add something to my blog about it. BUT IT’S INCREDIBLE. I wish I could add more. As of right now, I am waiting for the next ten. Impatiently. BECAUSE IT’S THAT GOOD.

C.E. Wilson is sending me over her novel, The Boy with Words, which I will be reviewing. My first actual book review, and I will be posting that on here as well. She writes young adult fantasy novels—my favorite.

I have a friend helping me with the layout and such, trying to find an easier way allow you guys to subscribe since I have gotten a lot of questions on that, so look out for that! I work fulltime and take classes, too. So. I’m a busy bee. But shout out to MY Nikki, my person. Thanks for pushing me to do this. And for being my fangirl.

Stayed tuned.

Minimalism: Is it for you?

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(Does an assassin count?)

Real quick, the seriousness of the title of this blog makes me feel kind of uncomfortable.

This past weekend I decided I wanted to be a minimalist.

I have been following this Facebook Page called Becoming a Minimalist and they posted a photo that read: It costs $0.00 to be a decent person: well, great because that’s my remaining balance in my savings account after buying the new laptop I didn’t actually need, and … probably not going to return either.

So I told my family and like the MVPs that they are, they provided me with a mixture of laughter and forced support. But I don’t blame them, a couple of weeks ago I asked my dad if it was too late to attend Med school after finishing a Grey’s binge, so I accepted their feels.

But my little sister (eehhh, I use little tentatively, she took an online quiz once and it predicted that she was like forty. The lady is wise as shit), the angel that she is, told me she would pay me $100, basically equivalent to like $500 for us millennials, if I went 3 months without buying: clothes, shoes, and makeup.

I HAD HEART PALPITATION, GUYS. Nearly had to feel my pulse to see if I was still there. 3 months? DID YOU KNOW THAT TWO YEARS IN DOG YEARS IS EQUAL TO 10.5 IN HUMAN?– well now you do, and that’s how long the first day felt after I accepted this outrageous deal.

So I left Maine on Saturday, got home around like 8ish—for those of you stalking me, and stayed up until 4 am deep cleaning my room. And most of you reading this probably know me and know how much I detest cleaning. In high school I told my mom I couldn’t clean the bathroom because the cleaner she made me use gave me headaches—which was a lie. (Sorry, mom … but I still don’t regret it.)

Bags and bags. I got rid of clothes, cleaned out my junk drawer, my closet … kept all my shoes. But I got shit done and I was amped. That was really hard for me! The only thing me and minimal had it common was my attempts of getting rid of things, so you guys, this was huge.

Before I get to the next part let me just provide you with my assumed definition of being a minimalist: a person who doesn’t own as much make up as I do, a person who doesn’t spend as much money on shoes, sunglasses, and books that I do, and a person who cuts up their credit cards, like I should do.

Ehhh … (And I am Canadian so it’s acceptable for me to use that) … I gotta say that I was wrong. Not even like minimally (proceed to chuckle) wrong, but like really, freaking wrong.

Let me break this down for you:

Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus are minimalist gurus and they really have their lives figure out (rude, to brag guys, really, really rude).

And their definition of minimalism is: “a tool that can assist you in finding freedom. Freedom from fear. Freedom from worry. Freedom from overwhelm. Freedom from guilt. Freedom from depression. Freedom from the trappings of the consumer culture we’ve built our lives around. Real freedom.”

Baaaaaack the heck right uppppp, do you guys work 40 hours a week? At a call center? Or anywhere else in the world for a company that requires 8 hours a day—and that’s on a good day. What about nurses who world like 27 hours in one day—I got you guys, I support you. But seriously, what do you guys do with your lives? Just with my eating habits alone I feel guilt everyday.

But then I searched further and found this instead: “It’s simply getting rid of things you do not use or need, leaving an uncluttered, simple environment and an uncluttered, simple life. It’s living without an obsession with material things or an obsession with doing everything and doing too much. It’s using simple tools, having a simple wardrobe, carrying little and living lightly.”

So my rage chilled a bit, because I liked the idea of carrying little everyday, my purse is heavy and I think it leaves actual indents on my shoulder. I have no idea how Mary Poppins does it.

But moving on, after my cleaning, at 4 am, I reviewed an article written by Courtney Carver called “25 Reasons You Might be a Minimalist”

You guys should read the article, or not—do what your heart feels, but I am going to pull out a few things off this list. And compare them to my progress:

If a friend asks you to go shopping, and you would rather go to the dentist, you might be a minimalist.

I would rather take shots of bleach and then light myself on fire with the remaining moments left in my life, because I’ll probably die from the bleach, than go to the dentist.

If you don’t have a junk drawer, you might be a minimalist.

I can feel the judgement rolling off of that sentence, and I just want to tell you that you should keep that to a minimum.

If you are curious about living with less than 100 things, you might be a minimalist.

My makeup and books make up 100 items alone and again, I would rather send my little sister to the Hunger Games than give up any of those possessions (but let’s be serious, she’d probably win anyways so I don’t feel bad for saying that.)

If clutter makes you crazy, you might be a minimalist.

My family makes me crazy, does getting rid of them count? … I feel like the appropriate thing to do is follow this with just kidding, but …

If you schedule time for nothing, you might be a minimalist.

What do you guys do to support your lives? Seriously. Tell me.

If there are less than 33 things in your closet, you might be a minimalist.

That’s the amount of black pieces of clothing I own, and I wear all of them. So is that 33 things altogether? Or like, ….

Basically, in this short-lived journey, I learned something about myself: probably never going to be a minimalist. And the crunchy granola vibes that I carry really get what people are trying to accomplish with this. Stress free living and more money in the bank– sign me up. But  like most things in my life I am sure that this is just a phase. I mean three days ago I was looking for jobs on the Cirque du Soleil website and  I can’t even do a cart wheel. In the future I am sure there will be other phases as well and you will all have the opportunity to hear all about them.

I am going to kill that bet, though.

Hunnits, hunnits, hunnits.

Stand by,

Ariel

So, hey.

Welcome friends and family and strangers, but mostly my mom because I am sure she is the only one who is ever going to read this (why’re you so obsessed me with me, mom?)

Anyways, everyone–okay so I am generalizing here, tells me I should have my own blog. Why? No idea. I am articulately challenged, perpetually awkward, and speak in hyphenated words that no one really understands, expect maybe my friends– all three or four of them.

But I have a lot going on in my life right now. So if you’d like to witness that journey, stay and have some tea.

I am working on a YA Fantasy novel that will blow your socks off (really weird idiom though, right? Like, I barely wear socks), and if doesn’t then I will feel really foolish.

I am pursing my Masters in Marketing.

And sometimes I pretend I am a retirement specialist as well.

I say pretend because I can barely take care of my own finances.

But most of all I am twenty-something year old who goes through crazy phases like every other millennial out there. But why am I special? Because I …. Well I am still working on that. Right now. As I type this.

A lot of these posts will focus on my eccentric thoughts– whether it’s a book, music, or film review. A list of ways explaining how I am trying to adult. Or rants that I don’t have the energy to say out loud.

Exhibit A: Currently, I have decided to dip my toes into becoming a minimalist—the whole less isn’t more because less is actually less stress lifestyle. I recently read that minimalists get anxious in Target. I feel like I am already failing. I love Target. I can buy pickles and a new t-shirt all in the same trip (I am also single, so just … don’t do that). And then there’s the part about giving away your books after you read them. Absolutely not. I would first give away my little sister than let some heathen borrow a book and not return it.

I also am eagerly looking forward to learning how to make my own Kombucha. Guys, I am a bit of an earth muffin, okay?

But I am rambling now. And you will learn more about my minimalist phase. My novel. Me. In other posts. And maybe I’ll even add videos. Once I figure all that techy stuff out (I am a pitiful millennial.)

If you actually read all of that, you have too much time on your hands.

Standby.

-Ariel