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Welcome to the Junior Year of Life, Class of 2010

 Ok, so I’m stealing this concept — I read Commencement (something I recommend everyone should read, no matter how long ago you graduated!)the summer I graduated (June 2010) and realized that the author totally had it figured out. Life, especially life right after college, is like being in college all over again — so she split the four years after graduation in freshman, sophomore, junior and senior years of life. And as I embark on the summer before my Junior year of life, I’d like to take a little time to look back and, in the process, perhaps help you evaluate your time out of college as well.

Freshman Year May 2010-May 2011

In this time, I moved out to Long Island, got a job, got a new apartment, got a new job, got a raise and learned the meaning of true friends.

Sophomore Year May 2011-May 2012

In this time I traveled for work, traveled for SPJ, joined the SPJ Generation J committee, spoke as an expert on a morning TV show, got another raise and got a brand new apartment. I also fell in love with Hot Yoga and started taking my “future” seriously. Still in love with journalism and finally learning that I am, indeed, enough.

Sophomore Year Summer 

In college, this was the summer that ultimately defined the course of my life…or at least my life as I know it now.

Sophomore year I traveled to Italy and back, broke up with my boyfriend and found friends who were like the sisters I never had. Although some of those friendships are still intact, so many of them drifted away…much like the dreams I had for my life in that sophomore year summer.

I started visiting Huntington, Long Island regularly and boldly proclaimed that I would “live here someday.” Well, guess what — someday is today and as of June 1, I’ve been living out here for 2 years.

This summer was also the summer I fell deeply in love with Journalism — I had my first internship for an online news organization and worried that because I lacked print experience I’d never get a job — yet another ironic statement. My digital experience led me to internship after internship, and ultimately out to Long Island.

I am thankful for all that success and as the promise of another “sophomore” summer is upon me, I am eager to see what grand changes will happen.

What year are you in? What changes have you made since graduating from college? Do you believe in this? Share your thoughts with me.

20something adviceadviceCollegeCommencementgrowing upmoving onpost grad life

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The Mommy Wars from Someone Who Isn’t a Mommy

My mom started talking about the Mommy Wars the other day — or at least the latest incarnation of it between Ann Romney and Hilary Rosen — and it got me thinking.

My mother is a very successful attorney, something that I am now quite proud of, but it wasn’t always that way. When I was in grammar school, the nuns at St. John Villa Academy on Staten Island, NY asked me to name a community helper. As a child (I was 7 at this point, but don’t let THAT fool you — I’ve pretty much been 25 (and I’m not even 25 yet) since the day I was born) I watched my mother bake cupcakes, make special Saturday breakfasts and go to work. Before I played “house” or “school” with my little brother, I played “going to work.” I used to grab my “briefcase,” my miniature (fake) Louis Vuitton purse and my baby dolls, load them into my car and go to work. It was funny for the adults, but for me, it was reality.

My whole life, I’ve never imagined that I wouldn’t be a working mother.

And yet, now as I get closer and talk to more women around my age, I see that I am not the norm, but the “weird” one. My thoughts are the same as the millennial women I surround myself with and all I can say about that is good for them — they’ve decided to seek out a man who will make their dreams of being stay-at-home moms possible.

For me, that is simply not enough. I would never want to ask someone else — be it a man or my parents or a husband — for money; I’d never want to be completely dependent on someone for the things I need and want. I think that that’s the shift we’re going to start seeing — women who decide for themselves that a life where they are not at least partially responsible for themselves is not worth living, will slowly, but surely stop feeling guilty about leaving their kids at home or in day care while they go to work.

And those lucky, lucky women who do stay home? Stop ragging on us (and by us I mean the working women who have children or working women who know they won’t stop working when they do have children). Don’t make us feel bad for picking up donuts instead of making them. Don’t let our daughters think it isn’t OK to be exactly what we are — women who fight to have it all, and succeed.

Women of the world, I urge you to teach YOUR “little women” that whatever they decide is OK — let them think of every option as just that — and option — not as good or bad, but as something that can, without a doubt, be done and done well.

adviceAnn RomneyelectionHilary Rosenmommy warsmommy wars Rosen RomneyreitanoRosenstay-at-home momsThe Giornalista FilesVictoria Reitano

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Teacher Training Weekend 3

I stuck crow last night. For a whole three breaths.

This may not seem like an accomplishment to you, but to me, it is. I’ve been trying to stick crow since I walked into the now defunct Ananda Center last March. It seemed so easy; I’m strong, I can lift cases of water and handle all my own groceries but for some reason I couldn’t hold myself up.

Initially, I thought I needed to lift more weights. I have been “training” since middle school — as a cheerleader, I had to lift weights so I could do the crazy stunts we always accomplished without hesitation and that continued to grow throughout my time in high school. Once I got my license, I decided it was time to get my fitness routine under control. I treated myself to a trainer the summer before I went into my senior year of high school and that’s when things really took off. I lifted weights, slimmed down and learned more about how my body worked. I began to know what I needed and what I didn’t and was very good at keeping up with this level of activity. Throughout College, I maintained this lifestyle, transferring a stair stepper for Subway steps and the treadmill for jaunts through Grand Central Station, but when I took my first job with Patch.com, things started to slow down. I became so stressed out, I couldn’t even focus for the 45 minutes I needed to spend on the ellipitcal and so I slowly gave up. Then, I found Insanity, the tapes that quite literally drive you to the brink of Insanity, BUT make you feel so strong. I eventually gave that up and went back to the gym until I found yoga.

So, incredibly long story short, Yoga saved me. It saved me from that crazy roller-coaster we call “being healthy,” and taught me that being healthy isn’t something you do to prep for the summer, it’s something you do all the time.

That being said, I’m still not there yet. Mary (my Teacher Training teacher) loves to say that yoga is a practice, a journey. I’m just starting out on that journey and I fight with myself each and every day. I fight to stick the poses, I fight to finish out the vinyasas, hell, I fight to keep my hair from sweating in my face and burning my eyes (note: Lu Lu Lemon’s headbands are not as great as their pants).

I knew about all of these challenges going into training, but yesterday, I faced my fears (with a smile on my face) and accomplished one goal. So, for me, it’s on to the next goal — which is quite a long list, check out my pinterest for more on that — but what will you do? Will you stay on that roller-coaster or will you jump off, face your fears and turn your goals into accomplishments? There is no “tomorrow, next month, next year,” there’s only now, so stick it. ;)

accomplishmentsadvicebaksanacrow posesGoalstips and tricksyoga adviceyoga posesyoga teacher trainingyoga trainingYogatoria

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Time to Reset Your Resolutions

February is a great time to evaluate what you’re planning to co-create this year and try to plan out how you’ll accomplish the rest of your list throughout the year.

How are you doing on your co-creating journey this year?

A friend said that February is really a great time to reset because the holidays are done and there’s not as much pressure to “resolve” to be better this year. And as much as I agree with her, I think it’s also a really great time to revisit your vision board.

I plan on editing my board as I’ve already had some great successes this year — for which I am incredibly thankful!

Here are some things I learned that perhaps you can incorporate into your planning for the rest of 2012:

Trust
Sometimes things are exactly what they seem. Sometimes they’re not too good to be true, sometimes if it looks, talks and seems real, it is. You have to trust that what is being presented to you — even if it feels a bit too good to be true — is what is supposed to happen at that point in time. My new apartment (that I’m moving into in February) seemed WAYYY too good to be true, but when I went to see it, which I was hesitant to do, it was absolutely everything I asked for, AND more! This taught me to trust that some people are actually true to what they say and that things are possible.

Patience
Good things come to those who wait. It sounds ridiculous — and truthfully, I have a hard time with this — but it is true. Things happen for a reason and when they’re supposed to — you can’t force something to happen. You have to wait and see. Unfortunately this often leads to a lot of stress. I am trying to simply give over my destiny to the universe every single day and hoping that will mitigate some of the stress. How do you stay patient on your journey to co-create? Share your tricks with me and I’ll let you know how they workout in March!

Faith
Faith and trust ARE two different things. You need to have faith in the people around you, the people you choose to share this life with. You have to have faith that they will be there for you — no questions asked and no guilt given. I have a very hard time asking people for help; I always feel that I’m a burden and this is something I plan to work on in February (and hopefully all year, although to be honest, I hope it doesn’t take all year to feel comfortable doing it!).

Honor Yourself
If you don’t want to go out, or don’t want to stay in, honor your needs. Be sure that you’re always checking in with what you WANT to do instead of what you feel you SHOULD do. The “fear of missing out” may seem like it’s over-hyped in the Media, but it is something we millennials suffer from. If you choose to stay in and see that friends are posting photos from an “epic” night, how do you feel? Sometimes it doesn’t bother me and other times it bothers me immensely. I am trying to figure out exactly how to honor my needs, the needs of my friends and keep everything balanced. This, in my opinion, is the key to a happy life.

What will you be co-creating for the rest of 2012? Will you be reevaluating your vision statements? Talk resolutions with me!

20122012 resolutions20somethingaadviceco-createfaithFebruarymotivationpatiencereset resolutionsresolution motivationresolutions

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One Week: The Last of the Mohicans

Ahhh New Year’s, you’ve snuck up on me again. Actually, JK, I’ve been looking at you for the past ten weeks.

What did I accomplish in this #10to2012 blog challenge of mine? I learned to be less rigid, follow through even more than I already do and to be kinder to myself. And also to not let everyone’s baggage bother me.

What did you learn?

My goals weren’t all accomplished, but I’ve reevaluated some, added, tossed and decided on a great set of resolutions for 2012. Here we go!

1. Networking Challenge: I’m officially starting (on January 3) the Classy Career Girl blog networking challenge. Read about it here (and follow this blog for more posts).

2. Personal: I want to be fit and confident and happy. I’m pretty confident, but I still have moments where my 8-year-old self rears her unconfident self. That, hopefully, will stop in 2012…or at least happen less.

3. Career: I’m going to focus on what I need/want and then devise a plan to get it. And I’m going to do that in other areas, but you don’t need to know about that.

What will you accomplish in 2012? Share your resolutions with me! And enjoy and safe and happy NYE!

#10to2012201120something goalsadvicecareer goalsend of the yearGoalsone weekresolutions

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Week 3: We’re in the Home Stretch!

Well, I know I missed a post last week, but let me explain — it was one heck of a week.

I reevaluated some goals and added some new ones for 2012.

2012 is going to be a year of self-discovery and good things!! I have found a new apartment complex (where I want to move as soon as my current lease is up), figured out a way to budget better and have great success in my professional and personal arena.

As resistant as I am to change, I’m desperately trying to give it a chance. I am trying to see things from a different angle as I so often advise my friends to do.

I’m also trying to gift myself with patience this holiday/new year and the ability to understand that things that are scary as sometimes really amazing.

I will be baking cookies and trimming a tree this weekend, preparing for Christmas and trying to keep my stress level down.

How are you spending this week? Hope you are exceeding/reevaluating your goals!

#10in2011#10in2012#10to20123 weeks in 2011adviceavoid stressdebt goalsgetting out of debtGoalssetting goalsways to avoid stressweek 3Yogatoria

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New Month, New Goals

Ah the beginning of another month.

December, that cold-hearted beotch is back. She’s here to rub it in our ruby-red noses that we’re single, cold and tired. That another year has passed us by and that despite the accomplishments we’ve had, we haven’t done nearly as much as we thought we would this year. She’s the meanest of mean girls, and even that is being kind.

What will you do to fight her?

Since we can’t change the date and since a time machine has yet to be invented (another thing I didn’t do this year!), we’ve got to keep going.

As they say in Finding Nemo, “just keep swimming.”

I’m going to keep swimming by setting another set of goals. It is officially the last 30 days of my 90 day challenge and there are only 5 weeks left in my 10 till 2012 goal setting challenge.

My 90 Day Challenge had me setting goals in the six areas of my life as I define them.

Personal, Work, Friendships, Love, Money and Family. 

I separated it into 15, 30 and 60 day goals and now that 60 days has come and gone, I’m taking today (a fresh slate, if you will) to reflect on what I’ve accomplished and what I haven’t.

I’m also taking the opportunity to re-write them for the next 30 days and then using that list to create my resolutions.

I have accomplished three of my four Nov. goals, and my Dec. goals are already started! From my experience, saving/writing this list is a great idea!

How do you do this? Do you think setting goals helps you succeed?

 

#10till201230days90daysaccomplishing goalsadviceGoalslosing weightrelationshipssetting goalsweight lossweightloss

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Week 6: What are You Thankful For?

Ahh Thanksgiving, we meet again. You are, at times, the bane of my existence. You ask me to eat and eat until I feel like the bird we stuffed in the morning.

This year, however, this year I have the upper hand. I am now a health nut and YOU WILL NOT CRACK ME!!!

I’m thankful for my family, friends, life, lifestyle choices I’ve made and the fact that I am passionate about my career choice.

I’m also thankful for this past year. I learned a lot this year. I learned that as much as I love journalism, I also love having a life, good friends, an established workout routine. And I learned that it IS okay to make a job/relationships work for you instead of always being afraid of “not measuring up.” Fear of not being enough kept me from a lot of things and I am slowly, but surely, releasing that fear. If I accomplish nothing else in the next six weeks, being content with myself is going to be the best gift to myself this holiday.

How are you going to show your gratitude this week? What are you most thankful for? And how are you going to fight the Turkey Day Tug-o-War?

#10in201120somethingaccomplishing goalsadvicecaringgiving thanksGoalssharingsharing thanksThankfulthanksThanksgiving

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Week 7: Honesty, Gratitude and a Place of Peace

I love all of my yoga teachers — each of the four wonderful ladies at YogaFlex in Commack, N.Y. has something different to offer. Dana offers a bit of a dance and determination with her practice; Karen always has a fun, quirky tidbit to start off class (and she always reminds me to be patient); Kim teaches one of the quickest hot yoga hour classes I’ve ever had and always offers a challenge when I need it; and Pam is always there with a smile, a challenge and an insightful thought that keeps my mind working days, and sometimes weeks, later.

All of these four teachers have taught me to love myself through my yoga practice AND to learn to be understanding of my limits on, and off, the mat.

Once you understand your limits on the mat, in the various poses, you can then understand how to push past them. Same in life. Once you understand what may be holding you back, or what you need to work on to push forward, you can then take the necessary steps to do it.

And it may not be actually doing anything — it may be learning to be more patient. Or learning to be less judgmental. It could also be learning to be more organized, or to take on more risks.

Sit quietly in a room for ten minutes. Set the clock on your iPhone (or Android) to keep yourself honest. Then think about what it is you want. Don’t think about the obstacles just yet, just think about what you want to accomplish in these next seven weeks, in 2012.

Then, when you’ve finished thinking about it, write down what your obstacles are. Then write down how you’ll over come them.

This to-overcome list is a great way to set clear goals and then set honest, accurate deadlines.

As my yoga teacher said “If you think you’re coming in here once and putting your feet over your head, you’re going to be disappointed.” So don’t be disappointed, start out touching your toes and then go to laying your palms on the floor.

You can do it, I know you can. And the best part? I’m doing it right along side you.

#10in201120somethingaccomplishing goalsadviceBikramGoalsnew year'sresolutionsWeek 7yogaflexYogatoria

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8 Weeks to Go: What Have You Learned About Yourself?

Life, a wise person once told me, is like the lazy river at a water park. Some people sit in their rafts and float on by, basking in the sun and cool breezes. Others push and push until they end up stuck in one corner or another and have to hop into the pool to actually get back on the right path again. And then there are those that actively relax and, at times (when it’s necessary) actively push themselves along the river to enact one change or another.

This same wise person read the “Missing Piece Meets the Big O” by Shel Silverstein. In this book, the missing piece is, much like all single men and women are, looking to find the “O” that completes her. I say her because she’s pointy and waiting to be rescued, like I often find myself. On one hand I’m self sufficient and can just sit here and be the missing piece, but on the other hand, I want to be rolled around this great big world, experiencing the magic with someone else.

Anyway, back to Silverstein’s version, as the missing piece goes through life, she sees too many pieces that simply don’t fit. Some have too many missing pieces themselves, others have too many pieces and still others are just not the right shape. She finally meets an O with a piece that seems to fit, until she grows and no longer fits in the O, who thought she would be the same size forever. Then she meets the Big O and he tells her to start rolling on her own, which she eventually does by rounding out her edges and catching up with him — proving that no matter if you’re alone or with someone, you’re always ultimately on your own.

This story made me realize that perhaps I need to be a bit less picky when it comes to different aspects of my life and a bit more open. I’m still on my Yoga challenge and I’ve been doing great things with meals — I made crock pot chicken soup and szechwan tofu, AND figured out how to make my favorite salmon lox roll-ups gluten and dairy free. I’m realizing that the things I see as challenges are really just barriers I put in place to avoid getting hurt, overextending myself or falling into a cycle of doing too much and not having enough time for “me.”

What have you learned this past week? What do you want to learn in week 8? Share your thoughts with me!

#10to20128 weeks8to2012@giornalista515adviceadvice for lifeGiornalistaGiornalista FilesLifevictoria ann reitanovVictoria Reitanovictoriareitano

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