Life is Like a Box of Chocolates

By Tina Murtagh

You never know what you’re gonna get.

Needless to say, if you read the title, you know where I’m going with this: life as of late has gone in many directions for me, all unexpected–some good, some bad. Overall, the words I’m reaching for are chaotic and unprecedented. In 2015, I was ripped out of my college bubble and into the harsh light of day, also dubbed “the real world.” As I’ve attempted to gain my footing in an arena cold and unknown to me, all while hitting the ground running, I’ve learned some valuable lessons. Lessons that were painful, but nonetheless necessary.

One of the major decisions I’ve arrived at? You really won’t come to understand your true self (and I’m still trying) until the very illusion of the world that surrounds you has been completed shattered. Yes, you heard me. Until everything you’ve learned in life has fallen apart and you’re forced to pick up the pieces and build your own, new, educated perception, little pain will occur — but so will minimal growth. So, at the risk of baring my soul, allow me to tell you why Forrest Gump’s words ring so true to me.

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How To: Be Happy in Your Late-Twenties

It’s hard to be happy. I often equate it with going to work. Somedays you wake up, and it’s easy. Simple as that. Other days, you hit snooze seven times and pray for a sudden bout of strep throat so you can have an excuse to call out sick. Those days are when you have to really remember why you’re doing this “responsible adult” thing in the first place. But you get up anyway, you put on your big-girl pants, and you go to work.

That analogy is not to say that I’m always happy. Anyone who follows me on twitter knows that’s definitely not the case, and people who are very close to me are probably reading this wondering what I’m talking about because the chances of me being “in a mood” are about 50/50 on any given day. The kind of happiness I’m talking about isn’t a constant, giddy happiness that, if we’re being honest, is kind of annoying. I’m referring to something that might better be defined as contentment. A state of happiness that runs deeper than just smiling a lot. Anyone can do that. What’s more challenging is being truly satisfied with life. Finding reasons to keep going, keep pushing, and keep smiling (a normal not creepy amount of smiling, of course).

I’d like to share with you 27 ways to be happy at 27, from my personal experiences. Some are silly, some are more serious, but all have been important to me. Keep in mind that everyone has their own path to happiness!

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