Learnin’ to Walk Again: How 24 May (Not) Be My Year.

Now I know what you’re (Kristen) thinking.
“This girl is so depressing! Glass half empty!”

BUT hear me out.

For some reason ever since I turned 23, I’ve felt like I’ve been experiencing my (early) quarter life crisis and now that I’ve turned 24 – I still don’t feel like I have my sh*t together.


For some reason this anxiety always takes over whenever I’m alone in my car driving to and from work. (It probably doesn’t help that my commute is easily 40+ minutes.)
I’ll admit this is mostly my fault because I always end up listening to heartbreak/my life sucks songs. Why these are my songs of choice, LORDE knows. (I blame the feels I get from belting out “I Will Survive” while driving on the interstate.)
I’ve always heard that whenever you have something on your mind, it’s best to write it out and get it off your chest. Of course some of these things I probably shouldn’t be posting to the internet because then it’ll probably end up on my E! true Hollywood story when I become a famous _______. (Future producer of my documentary, please fill this in at your earliest convenience. Thanks!)
But part of me feels like I can’t be the only one who feels this way. I’m also interested to see if some of these things will change within the next couple of years.

(Please note that these things will probably read better if you’re listening to some mid 2000’s punk pop. Preferably some “Take this to your Grave” by Fall Out Boy.)

Am I a failure?

Most of my close friends (bless them) know about my personal struggles over the past year with this question. I felt alone all the time. Even though I was constantly with people! It’s pretty silly to read that as I type it because I’m in a better place now, but the feeling still creeps up every so often.
I felt very defeated and drained for having to deal with various negatives things and people. None of which matter anymore but it was very rough on me mentally and emotionally.
I’m proud to say that I’m now I’m at a better place all around. I’ve gotten a promotion at work and am surrounded by some pretty amazing people that are always there to cheer me on. Even after I’ve listened to “Little Too Much” by Natasha Beddingfield a little too much. (HAD TO!)

Help me, I’m poor.

This one is a bit more embarrassing than I’d like to admit. I daily wish I could magically add two zeros to the $5 in my checking account. I also ignore the tumbleweeds in my savings account.

But that’s what happens when you’re a independent person that has to pay for:

  • Rent
  • Car
  • Car Insurance
  • Renters insurance
  • Health Insurance
  • Gas
  • Credit card debt from when that lady at Wells Fargo suggested I use a credit card to pay off things in college (WHY WOULD YOU SET UP A 18 YEAR OLD FOR FAILURE)
  • Various other debts
  • The list goes on and on.

Sometimes I literally feel like Lily from How I Met Your Mother.
And I know someday there will be a light at the end of the tunnel. And I really owe a lot of credit to my boyfriend that takes on all the groceries and bills at our apartment. (You are an angel from Heaven.)
But waiting for that moment to come really keeps me up at night – I can’t wait for the moment I’ll finally be able to add that extra guac into a burrito at Chipotle.

Relationships are hard.

Hollywood. I have you to blame for most of this.
Having never dated someone for 20+ years and growing up on TV shows and movies that made relationships seem like a piece of cake has been the single biggest letdown of my life. Only One Tree Hill has semi refreshed my judgement and that’s only because they’ve literally scared me from thinking happiness is possible. JK, but if you’re a OTH fan, you’ll understand.
I’m not saying that my current relationship is the worst thing I have going on in my life and that my boyfriend is terrible, but I was genuinely thinking that once I got a boyfriend everything would be easy as 1, 2, 3.

I’m currently very blessed to say I have an amazing boyfriend that puts up with all my craziness, but it’s taken a lot to get to this point!

By a lot I mean:

  • A lot of bickering over little things (I’ll never forget the 20 minute Brita battle)
  • A lot of crying (on my end)
  • A lot of real arguments

But these moments have also made me appreciate when I know I’ve found a great guy. Someone who:

  • Holds me when I cry over having a rough day or week.
  • Makes me laugh over silly inside jokes we create together
  • Is always there to push me to be a better person and encourages me to follow my dreams.

Why aren’t I successful and traveling the world like everyone else?

This one is more selfish than anything.

I’ll admit it’s hard for me to not become envious whenever I scroll through my Facebook or Instagram feed and see someone travel to a cool new place or afford things I can only get in my dreams. That dumb little green monster always likes to whisper in my ear.
BUT I am more than that.

I have found my new mantra and I will live by it.


I will look back on this post and know that even though 24 may not be my year because I won’t be able to change most of these things in less than 12 months, I will learn to be positive. I will encourage myself to be the best person I can be.

I’ll get to be 100% comfortable with my life and know that everything will be okay.maybe-its-not-my-weekend-but-its-gonna-be-my-year-quote-2

Let’s make our drives full of happy music and count our blessings!
We’ve got this gang!

Peace n’ Blessins,



Letter to My 16 Year Old Self

Dear Alli (you will change the spelling of your name to “Ale” soon enough),

199776_1002191510105_9147_nI am writing to give you some advice, my delicate flower. I know you are going through a little bit of a crisis at the moment. I am here to provide some insight, some guidance perhaps.  With this foreshadowing I am going to give you, I want you to remember one thing; Everything happens for a reason.

First and foremost, be yourself. Through and through, 100%, be true to who YOU are. Don’t be afraid to want to listen to screamo and rock out in your room to System of a Down and Fall Out Boy. Identifying with Peyton Sawyer is okay because even 8 years later she is still your spirit animal. Stop trying so hard to get the coolest jeans from Abercrombie & Fitch, and attempting to pop your collar, it’s never going to be you. Understand that some of your friends truly aren’t meant to be your friends. You will find the best group of people in life who will truly get you on so many levels (Pam & Kristen *hint*hint*). I know you’re not happy right now and feel trapped, but this is all a big chapter in your life story, I promise. (Side Note: Get closer to Cristina, when you meet her grasp onto that friendship and hold it tight, she will be one of your best confidants in life).

300x300Second, be nice. Be compassionate. Think before you speak. You are a very unhappy young girl right now and you tend to take that out on everyone around you. Stand your ground, but understand that people have feelings, and they will get hurt by your judgement on their life choices. They didn’t ask for your opinion, don’t give it. You will learn how to handle these situations better when you sit in your first communications class at JJC. (SIDE NOTE: Sorry to tell you, but becoming the next Atoosa Rubenstein, is unlikely to happen. But you will get a chance to have a lovely email chain with Jodi Picoult and it will be one of the best moments in your life). At 24, you will pride yourself on positivity and it’s the greatest feeling in the world.

Next, forgive. Stop holding that grudge; that demon will break you down. Stop bringing it up every fight. You will look back on it and tear up at the fact that you broke her heart with every offensive name you called her. You love her. She will be your biggest cheerleader, best friend, and favorite drinking buddy. The light you see in her eyes when you walk across the stage at Texas State, and the tears you shed when you have to say goodbye, will eliminate the hate you have for her now. And don’t blame him for his actions. He’s hurting just as much as you are. He loves you unconditionally and will be the first person you call when you learn to cook. Appreciate them. It’s a struggle, but they love you, so very much.

Finally, stop fighting for their attention. They will make you second guess your beauty and confidence. You know exactly who I am talking about in reference to changing everything you believe in to make them happy. You will be disgusted with your actions when they repeat itself with someone else. At 24, you will not need that reassurance to be happy. You will be so content with who you are as a person, that the acceptance of them is not needed.

full-1You will grow to love music even more than you do now. And attending concerts will be your favorite hobby.  Don’t fret that you failed the drivers test once, Mom will call you a great driver eventually. You will still love collecting magazine covers and Gilmore Girls. When Midnight passes be ready for this little pup named Spike to show up and steal your heart. Soak in your trip to Italy in the back of the van; Florence is not as scary as it seems. Myspace is a thing of the past, and Mom will join Facebook. This thing called Netflix will come and rock your world. And remember being a  Zia will be the  greatest title you will hold in life, be proud of it.

All in all, I hope this finds you as you are riding on the bus to the next football game, or in the basement with BAANgkok. Take a shot of cheap vodka and listen to Party Like a Rockstar, and cheers to your future self for understanding what it truly means to live.


Your future (grey-haired, vibing, pop-punk princess, tattooed) self.

P.S. When Sabrina yells at you during labor, know that when you leave that delivery room, your life will change forever.