Monday, November 13, 2017

IDGAF

Honestly - why do we care so much about what other people think?

We spend our whole lives trying to live up to not only our own expectations, but the expectations set by the people around us. We watch what we say, we watch what we do, and we watch what we think. All because somewhere there is someone who might not agree and belittle us because of it. We constantly try to please people who in many cases don't even deserve our efforts. But why?

Quite frankly I haven't got a clue. I've spent years caring too much about what other people think. I remember it being the worst when I was younger. Those years in middle school can really test your self-confidence, and then I spent 4 collective years of high school worrying even more about what everyone was thinking - or worse, saying. It wasn't until I got my first serious boyfriend when I started to realize just how judgmental people can be, but also how much I was learning not to give a shit.

Now here I am at 23 and as much as there are still days when I consider what others might think, I have realized that life is too damn short to spend any more than a few seconds giving a fuck about it. Sure, take some input from the people who know you best and those who care about you, but as for the unsupportive bastards who are just there to bring you down - screw it. If people really love you, they will stick by you no matter what. 

So instead of wasting time caring about what other people think, devote more time to self-love and appreciating the things that differentiate you from the crowd. Make decisions that you are proud of and say yes to things that make you happy (and say no to things that don't). And encourage your friends to do the same. Because life is so much more enjoyable when you can throw your hands up and say "IDGAF."

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Nobody Likes When You're 23

Here we are. Another year older. Another year... wiser?

I guess you could say 22 was an tough age. I learned a lot about myself. A lot about love. A lot about life. 22 tested me in ways I never thought possible. It brought me new challenges. Made me more self-aware of my faults, my weaknesses, and where my confidence had begun to waiver.

I started my first big girl job and learned what it's like to only have a life on weekday evenings and weekends, which doesn't seem so bad until you add in the exhaustion that keeps you from wanting to do anything but sit at home. I moved into an apartment with my best friend and adopted two kitties, the greatest highlights for sure. I continued to work on my relationship and all of the responsibility that comes with being the center of someone's world.

I have realized so much about myself at 22. I realized I'm not the same girl I was in college. And I realized that, in some ways, I miss her. I miss being the girl who was unapologetically herself. The girl who didn't give a rats ass what anyone thought. Here I've been, beating myself up day in and day out for not being that same girl. For not being as skinny. As funny. As driven. Or as confident.

I've changed into someone who has little patience, little motivation, and little time for self-love. I've let things bring me down that shouldn't. I've let people influence me who shouldn't have a say. I've let my relationship and friendships at times go uncultivated and unappreciated. And I've let myself become so stuck in this rut that I didn't feel like I could find a way out.

But I'm ready for things to change. 

So here's to making 23 my year. Here's to making changes, taking chances, and not taking no for an answer. Here's to saying yes to more adventures. Here's to standing stronger and finding my inner "that girl" again. Here's to falling back in love with myself, so I can put my best foot forward back into life. Here's to putting myself first, and taking the relationships I know I love and need back into the forefront.

So maybe nobody likes when you're 23, but I'm going to make this my best year yet.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

The Balancing Act

When someone in your family or friend group enters into a relationship, it can be a testing time for everyone. Not only is this new person about to become a big part of their life (possibly against your wishes), but they're also going to be taking away some of this person's time that used to be spent with you. Whether it's a friend, a sibling, or even a parent- if you're relationship is close, it might be hard to adjust to at first.

Sometimes they're going to choose this significant other over you. And it's not because they are more "significant" than you, it just means they're significant enough to make sacrifices for. They just might not have as much time to give you anymore because now it's being split in another direction. I know what you're thinking - "Well, make time!" Unfortunately, there are only so many hours in a day (and truthfully I don't know anyone whose rubbing elbows enough with Father Time to change that). There is only so much a person can do to balance everything they have going on in addition to this new relationship and you.

Although it might not feel so simple, it really is a simple matter of time. When this person starts dating, it's possible they may only be able to give half the time they used to, or even less on some days. And sure it may feel awful, but that doesn't mean that they don't care or they don't want to spend time with you at all. It just means they want to spend time with the new person in their life too, and the only way to do that is to spend less time with you. And that's just simple math, not an act of disrespect.

The reality is, if you care about this person as much as you think, maybe it's time to stop griping about their lack of time, and start getting a grip. Change is inevitable. This person could be in their life for an indefinite period of time, and the sooner you start to understand their new priorities, the sooner things will start to improve. Taking things personally will only lead to them wanting to spend less time with you because they won't feel supported or understood.

So instead of getting angry, try to be more understanding. Have open conversations about how you feel, but also know that they may not be willing or able to do much about it. The amount of hours that they have in a day will never change, but your attitude can. It's all just a balancing act - and they're most likely doing the best they can, whether you think so or not.

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Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Crying on the way “Home”

Moving out on your own always sounds like a great idea. I mean, sure there are the bills and everything that comes along with it, but the reality is you are FREE. Free from rules, free from expectations other than your own (and maybe your roommate’s), free from being nagged about your messy room.

But once the boxes are unpacked and the moving dust has settled – you might have time for the reality of this change to weigh on your mind. Maybe you underestimated just how much you valued all those things you’re now “free” from; not to mention, all the benefits you had before that you most likely took for granted (such as your mom packing your lunch for work every day- thanks, mom).   
   
Sometimes you’re driving home and realize you got off the wrong exit because you forgot that isn’t “home” anymore. Sometimes you have a question that you know your mom could answer but instead of walking down the hallway you have to pick up the phone. Sometimes your roommate isn’t home so there’s just too much silence. And sometimes it all just gets to you – more than you thought it could.


But even with the few downsides, moving out really can have plenty of upsides, especially when you plan things right and you know you're ready. It gives you an opportunity to test yourself and find your strengths and weaknesses in a new realm of adulthood. It allows you to learn more about yourself than you could have if you never left home. 

So maybe you'll cry on the way to your new home for a few days. But eventually it won't make much of a difference because you'll know that no matter where you are, you still have your family. They're just not down the hallway anymore, but that's okay because you can walk around the house without pants on.

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Thursday, December 15, 2016

Happy Holidays

"This is America - Say Merry Christmas!" 

Allow me to break down this completely ridiculous phrase real quick... 

Sure - this is America. A country made up of so many diverse backgrounds, cultures, and - you guessed it - religions. So I ask, why should we then be expected to only say Merry Christmas when there are so many people around us who don't celebrate it? You can say it's the "majority" but that doesn't make it unanimous. This is America - land of the FREE. As in, freedom of religion. As in, freedom to not have to be subjected to Christianity and it's practices if individuals so do choose because we (SURPRISE) don't have a national religion. I thought this was clear in my third grade history book, but maybe a lot of people skipped that chapter...

I'm not asking you to go around and say "Hey, which holiday do you celebrate so I may wish you a happy-whatever and not offend you." I'm asking you to just say "Happy Holidays" because we already have a phrase that takes the place of that completely unnecessary question and still allows you to wish others well during this season. You could always give "Season's Greetings" a test drive if "Happy Holidays" is just not doing the trick for you. 

And I'm not saying you shouldn't say "Merry Christmas" to someone who you know celebrates it. I'm just saying if you don't know just stick with the ever-so-inclusive "Happy Holidays." And no it's not because I'm a spineless liberal - it's because I'm a Christian who can acknowledge that not everyone believes what I do, but I'm happy to encourage them to celebrate whatever holiday resonates with them this season and I hope that they start the new year happy and healthy. Now isn't that what we all should want for everyone? 

So this year instead of squinting your eyes and saying "Merry Christmas" to someone who wishes you "Happy Holidays" - how about you just say "You too." Cool, glad we could agree on that.

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Thursday, November 3, 2016

Hire Me... I'm Begging You

I never thought that looking for a full time job would be so hard. Everyone always said, "Go to college. Get a degree." And that's what I did. I dedicated countless hours and thousands of dollars worth in debt to get this mystical piece of paper that people told me would be my only ticket to a happy, successful life.

The job search process is hands down one of the most crushing experiences. You consistently sell yourself for things just to get rejections weeks later when you forgot you ever applied. You write countless cover letters. Read your resume so many times you wonder if you'd even hire yourself. My search honestly made me question my sanity at some of the lowest points.

If you're lucky like me and eventually find something - it can make the search finally seem worth it. But before you reach that point it can seriously make you question everything. What you studied. Where you studied. Where you moved after graduation. Why you didn't join certain clubs in college. Why you didn't try harder in that one stupid freshman class that was supposed to teach you what to do with the rest of your life and how to write a resume because good lord that would be handy right now. The list goes on.

But as much as the experience can crush you, it can also teach you to build yourself up, keep your options open, and how not to sell yourself short. The key to it all is keeping your cool and remaining confident. I know what you're thinking - "Sure you say that now that you have a job." But I'm serious. Beating yourself down and feeling sorry for yourself won't help you find a job. You have to remember that the right place will want you. You have to ensure you have a good support system to be there for you and keep pushing. Eventually you will find something and maybe it won't be your forever career, but it's a start.

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Friday, July 22, 2016

Bypass Bigotry

The reality is, racism isn't born into someone - it is taught. From the very moment that a racist comment leaves someones mouth it is transposed into the minds of the people around them. And unfortunately some of them aren't strong enough not to blindly follow. One day you were sitting around the dinner table and someone said something racist and all of a sudden the innocent frame of mind from which you used to see the world became a cracked pane of glass, each fracture dividing everyone into categories that had an assigned value. And yours was placed at the very top.

Even as someone who sits on the fence of Black vs. Blue, unable to pick sides because I think we do enough of that already, I will still say that racism in any case is wrong. To single out a group of people and label them less than isn't anyone's place. No one has that power, but some just feel they are so privileged that they should.

So don't be upset when you see people out protesting to try and make changes. You see it as a waste of time or a pain in your ass, but they see it as their only hope of creating a better life for themselves. They're not hurting anyone, so let them do what they came here to do. And no I'm not talking about burning flags here because that is, in my opinion, disgraceful.

But so many people are pissed off that protesters are blocking sidewalks and barricading freeways. But what so many people fail to realize is it's a metaphor for the constant blockades that minority groups face in this country. They are consistently pushed away from paths of opportunity or they never even make it to them because they are pushed in directions that impede their progress.

As much as many people can find this form of protest to be a nuisance - they are just trying to be heard. You may view it as ineffective, but then again you've probably never had to protest for the safety and equality of your entire race. You having to choose another street or walk the extra block enables you to check your privilege and walk away. You'll look a lot better than the people who try to drive or push straight through them. Bypass bigotry, and maybe someday this country will be a better place where we can all walk down whichever path we want instead of being forced to simply choose what is left.

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