Tugging away on these heartstrings today is this crazy little thing we call life. I am by no means old and wise. In fact, I’m quite the contrary. I’m in my early twenties and still figuring out life, forgetting to get my oil changed in a timely manner and calling my mom when I’m not sure how to remove a wine stain. But as much as I DON’T have life figured out, I do feel pretty confident that life is weird and wild and incredible, and I don’t think we appreciate or celebrate the moments that make up that crazy ride quite as much as we should.
The past few years have been really freaking hard. Since graduating college in 2014 (just 2.5 years ago), I have moved four times. And not just apartment moves down the block. Every single one was a cross country move. San Diego to Chicago. Chicago to San Francisco. San Francisco back to Chicago. And most recently, Chicago to Orange County.
This was never my intention. I was just so hell-bent and determined to be successful in my career, I decided a long time ago that location would not deter me from taking a job. I tried to isolate each opportunity and take them as they came my way, embracing the wacky and unconventional route I was on while pursuing my career, but by no means did I mean to uproot my life over and over again in that quest.
Yet here I am, two and a half years later and not an ounce wiser, but very well-traveled. While repeatedly moving away from family and friends does NOT get any easier with age, its pretty incredible to think that I have met truly remarkable humans and have a couch to crash on in cities all across the globe. I have made the most incredible memories, both big and small, and that is definitely worth celebrating.
I can assure you that not all of those memories have been grand and glamorous. Living in a tiny shoebox of an apartment in San Francisco was one for the books, second only to the months I spent renting a pull-out couch in Chicago, which is surely something I will discourage for my children someday. Yet despite those settings, I made some of my fondest memories during those times without even trying. My roommate in that tiny San Francisco apartment instantly became one of my closest friends when she rear-ended my car while teaching me how to parallel park on a hill on move-in day, leaving us both in fits of laughter. And I’ll never forget my friends and I waking up covered in glitter and Christmas attire on that pullout couch when an all-day bar crawl did us in. Throughout it all, it’s been the little moments that have mattered most. So in that respect, although I definitely don’t have it all figured out, I’d like to think I’m a little bit wiser.
So today, we raise a glass to the little moments that make life big: not landing the dream job, but making ends meet with the mediocre job. Not running the marathon, but the Saturday morning training run with your best friend. Not graduating college, but celebrating with your roommates at the local bar after tanking a final exam. Not Thanksgiving dinner, but a random Saturday in November when all your family members are gathered around the table for leftovers. Those are the moments worth celebrating in this crazy life.
So cheers, to the smallest most life-changing moments you could ever imagine. It took a few cross-country moves for me to figure it out, but it’s these small moments that matter. Don’t take a single one for granted. Celebrate as much and as often as humanly possible. Everything is worth celebrating. And although I call this holiday sangria, I whipped this up for the family mid-November because we were overdue for a celebration, and nobody seemed the least bit surprised when they saw the ‘Merry Christmas’ stirrer in their drink. Quit waiting for the next holiday to celebrate. I wholeheartedly encourage you to celebrate anything and everything you can in this world. We all need more of that.
- 1 bottle sweet red wine
- 1 cup club soda
- 2 medium grapefruit, peeled and sliced
- 1 cup pomegranate arils
- 1 lime, sliced and zested
- 2 granny smith apples, cored and diced
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- 1/3 cup water
- In a pitcher, mix together wine, club soda, grapefruit, pomegranate, lime, and apples.
- To burst the cranberries: In a saucepan over medium heat, add cranberries and water, and cook until cranberries are bursting and water is simmering, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and add cranberries to pitcher.
- Mix together, serve and enjoy. Cheers your neighbor! (we’re celebrating, remember?)