Secret 14. Don’t go Into the Wild all by yourself.

So I started a book club. It started the way I imagine many others have as well, I met a great group of girls that I wanted to learn more about and thought we could bond over a story and a bottle(s) of wine. The first book I chose was based on an article I found back in September titled 11 Questions Every Twenty-Something Needs To Ask by Paul Angone. The article hit home for me specifically one particular question:

5. Do I love from my insecurities or do I love from my strengths?

I never thought of love as a push and pull but simply an is, you love or you don’t love. But instead this question challenged that same idea, do we love in order to take or do we love in order to give. Do we love in order to simply get love from others? To fill the voids in our lives with the attention and adoration from another? Or do we love in order to share our lives, our stories, to celebrate life together? Do we surround ourselves with those we want to get love from or want to give love to? Or better yet…both?

What’s the difference? Loving from your insecurities demands from others. Loving from your strengths gives to them. Loving out of your insecurities does not want to see people succeed more than yourself. Loving from your strengths hears of other’ s success and is the first to celebrate with them. Loving from insecurities daily demands “what are you going to do for me?” Loving from your strengths asks others, “what can I do for you?” Too many people love from their insecurities, and that’s not love.”

Last night was our first book club meeting as we joined together to discuss 101 Secrets for your Twenties, Paul Angone’s book inspired from the popularity of his original article. We began with the first 25 “secrets” highlighting those that felt the most relatable and flagging several we were sure we’d encounter years down the road. As we discussed these “secrets” common themes quickly became apparent:

  1. No one has it all figured out. While we all thought we’d have our lives planned by the time we hit a certain age that has clearly not been the case. And the plans we made for ourselves in college, none of us have lived out. No one knows what you “should” do, we’re all just blindly trying to find our way.
  2. Girlfriends are essential. Boyfriends come and go, but girlfriends, the ones you just click with, those are invaluable, those make life full.
  3. We aren’t stuck. We aren’t stuck in this city, this job, this relationship. Have the power and the confidence to not only identify what part(s) of your life that is holding you back, but to harness that and change it.

Several months ago when my roommate, Katelyn, and I were moving in together she shared a piece of advice with me that her Mom had given her. Relationships are a two part game, each person having to give 100% to make it work. But some days will be bad, some days your boss will yell at you, or you’ll get in a fight with your boyfriend, or you’ll forget your umbrella in the middle of a rainstorm and you’ll only have 30 or 50% to give. Surround yourself with those that are will to make up for you, are will to give you 150 or 170%. Fill your life with those that are willing to give to you, and you are will to give back to. We can’t survive on our own, we can’t be 100% every day.

Last night was one of the first nights Katelyn and I invited “the girls” over to drink wine, hang in our sweats, share stories, give advice, and just laugh, completely comfortable. These girls are those girls. Our people.

We need to know, and to be known. Invite a friend or two over for dinner. Talk, laugh once or twice – even if it’s forced, and before the meal is over you might just notice that your friends are chewing on the same questions you are. And at that moment of honest conversation, you will see light in the dark and dusty corners. – From Secret 14, Paul Angone.




Its felt a lot like I’m starting over lately. Very obviously in many ways, new city, new job, new friends. But more than anything it feels like a reoccurring pattern. The past few months have certainly been challenging and I’ve realized, almost too obviously, that’s it’s because I once again hit the reset button. I worked four years long and hard to create a reputation, build credibility, and expand my network all just to graduate, hitting the reset button and sending myself back to the bottom on the totem pole. Realizing that as exciting as being in your early twenties is, the career path I’ve chosen, like many of my peers, is one of dedication, long hours, and an impeccable attention to detail. I’m learning from the bottom up. It’s the way it most always works, right?
I spent this past weekend in Houston with one of my best friends from college, Lauren. It was one of the first times people would ask how we knew each other and we became “old friends from college” rather than that simply being assumed. We poured over old school pop music, cheesy 90’s movies, and ongoing conversations about life and love. All too cliche for a girls weekend right?
Sunday we ventured down to Galveston to spend time with my Aunt Pam and Uncle Craig who welcomed us with homemade crab cakes, cheesy grits and red wine. I’ve always valued my relationship with them, but this time I felt like there was a shift. We shared stories of reunions, and family updates. But we also talked about work, and my Aunt Pam, a very successful business owner, even asked for my advice on PR and marketing for her company, it was the first time she saw me as a professional and a young adult. It was also a conversation about love, time, and a reoccurring theme in my life….the importance of relationships.
Since my post about the challenges of finding true girlfriends, I have been overwhelmed by the support of friends, family and mostly strangers that have reached out with similar stories. I didn’t realize I had tapped into a common thread many of us share, the struggles we face when we hit the reset button. Even my Aunt Pam, who has never met a stranger, shared her recent connection to the struggle trying to find friends in a new city while her husband, my Uncle Craig, was so often away. She so honestly stated “We seek those that share our same values, we seek the ones we can call in the middle of the night and they come running. That bond takes time, takes patience,” and she’s right.
This weekend was my mini vacation, it was my reminder of priorities, it was a my chance to sit back and reflect. This weekend was my reset button. Lauren and I shared our individual challenges we’ve faced with these new lives we’ve attempted to create for ourselves over coffee on the front porch overlooking the bay. We stayed in Aunt Pam and Uncle Craig’s getaway home perfectly named, “Exhale.” It was a perspective I needed to find. We all face our own battles everyday, no ones’ anymore more or less challenging than our own. We need those around us to often remind us to keep our head above water and push through. We seek change, to challenge us and to experience more. We seek these situations. We press the reset button everyday, we start over with every new chapter in our lives, and more importantly with each day we face. It’s a chance to excel, to embrace what is next. So often we fear change, we fear having to face the world on our own, but this weekend gave me much needed perspective.
In the midst of change we hit setbacks that often lead us to seek a way out. You will never know how great you can truly be unless you instead face your fears, face your setbacks, head on. No matter how big or small the change is, the challenge is, sometimes in the midst of defeat all we need is to simply reset.


So lately I’ve been trying to meet girls. Do you know how hard it is to meet girls in a new city?! So hard. Never did I think I would move to a new city and try and think of the spots were I could meet not boys …. but girls. Katelyn and I walk down the street and try and think of excuses to talk to the trendy girls in front of us, or the cute girls that just walked by with their yoga mats or the girls that were next to us in line at the bar. How do you meet girls in this city?!

I’m not trying to make moves, I’m trying to make life long friendships. Or at least find someone to grab lunch on a casual Tuesday. And as much as I love dating and meeting boys, they have totally taken a back burner because who am I going to gush about the cute boy from the coffee shop I saw earlier without girlfriends?!

So number one this post goes out to you Katelyn, my perfect roommate. How lucky am I to have landed a best friend by chance, one who I can share my Shipyard Pumpkin beer obsession with and always convince it’s time for Bova’s (best pastries around and perfectly placed at the end of our street). Bless you. And thank you to two girls that feel like my Boston big sisters, Lisa and Jen. They have totally taken me under their wing. You might be a locals and a couple years older but you did buy me my first drink in the neighborhood and definitely remember your years of being 22. And I love that one of my best friends from Wilmington, Maureen, just moved here too. This city needs a few more southern girls like us. Oh and one final shout-out to my latest best friend I made last weekend as we bonded dancing to “Sweet Caroline” and venting about how hard it is to make girlfriends in this city. Just the start to a beautiful friendship.

But most of all I truly cherish my ladies from home, my UNCW girls and Asheville loves, that have scattered all over the country. How lucky am I to have you all in my life even if we are hundreds of miles apart.

So here’s to loving my old friends, brand new friends and all the ladies I have yet to meet! It’s all part of my big city adventure.

“Surround yourself with the dreamers and the doers, the believers and thinkers, but most of all, surround yourself with those who see greatness within you, even when you don’t see it in yourself.” ❤

*Disclaimer: Boston boys, you haven’t gone unnoticed. And let’s be honest, if you come up with a better pickup line than “Have we met before?” I might even say yes.