Worrying About What People Think About You Is A Stupid Waste of Your Time

Everyone has haters. Everyone.

Here’s why we worry about them, why I used to worry about them, and why we can all stop:

We worry it means we are not good people: 

There are people who hate Mother Teresa.  No joke… Mother Teresa.  I won’t go into the reasons why.  You can Google them on your own time.  And I don’t know much about Mother Teresa…never met her.  But I do know that to many, she was not only a good person, she was a GREAT person. Better than me.

Mother Teresa has haters, she was a good person.  You have haters, you are a good person (Logic)

Stop worrying.

We don’t understand why they don’t like us. 

That’s fine because it’s none of your business.  Not at all.   It’s not your business to understand how someone else thinks.

I am a great friend.  A lot of people who barely know me also think i’m a fantastic person.  Since starting this blog, people have called me “inspirational,” “motivating,” people have messaged and said I’m a “good role model for young women.”

It’s great to hear all of that, it really means a lot, but it doesn’t mean I don’t know that plenty of people HATE ME.  I don’t understand why one group of people feels one way, and the other feels how they do.  People make no damn sense.

Just move on.

We don’t want people to be mean to us in public. 

There are so many ex boyfriends, ex friends, relative strangers out there who despise my existence.   We all know who those people are, and we worry that it will make things strange for us if we see them out in a bar or at a party.  I get it.

But take it from me…no matter how much someone dislikes you…when they see you, they’re going to treat you like they love you. That’s because people are chicken shit.  Even though they dont like you…they’re going to pretend like they like you.  I promise.

So basically, if someone likes you, they are going to be friendly when they see you.  If someone doesn’t like you, they too, are most likely going to be friendly when they see you. No issue.

We worry other people we meet won’t like us because of things our haters say. 

So you’re worried about people who make up their minds about others before even meeting them.  You’re worried these people won’t want to be your friend?  Why?  That doesnt  sound like a problem.  Not even a small one.

Sounds like the haters are doing you a favor on this one.

We are worried there is actually something wrong with us, and that we need to change.

Fair enough.  Some of us really do need to change things about ourselves.

But if the haters are the one pointing these aspects of our personality out…you’ve got bigger issues.  Your friends and family…the people who love you…that’s their job.  And it’s your job to listen.   So were you listening?

I’ve said it before…my friends are my mirrors.  Yours should be too.  And if they’re good friends, odds are they have mentioned things to us that we should adjust…but for some reason we only pay attention when other people say it to us.  So if you’re getting the message from both sides…yeah…evaluate that.  Change it if you want to.  But it still doesn’t make you a bad person if you don’t.

You don’t owe anything to the haters.  Never change for them.  Never.

You do owe a lot to the people you love.  You can change for them. Always.

So like I said before…everyone has haters…

You can find a group of haters for pretty much any “good” cause or person out there today.  We often wonder why there’s a shortage of good or honest people in the world, but I’m pretty sure it has something to do with the fact that people only love to TALK about how they don’t have “good” things or people in their lives.

Then the second they meet someone who is happy, or honest, or doing something good, many people try their hardest to tear them down.  Or to find the cracks.  And if none exist…people try to create them.  Never crack for haters.

Keep your head up, shake it off, keep smiling (always keep smiling).  That’s what you do and should keep doing.

Let the hater’s hate.

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The “Body Shame Game.” Can We Stop Playing It Now? It Sucks

The “body shame game” is a behavior many of us are familiar with.   The game can last anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours, consist of any number of players, and take place anywhere and everywhere.  The only thing that’s consistent about it is that absolutely no one walks away from this game as a winner.  Everyone loses.  It’s the worst game ever.

So what is it?

The game usually starts with a group of girls catching up.  Things are cordial for a while.  Banter and jokes are flying around, people are smiling and laughing, the night is looking pretty good…and then someone decides to make the first move.  She looks at one of her friends and goes:

“Oh my god…you look so great!  Have you been working out?  Ugh, I have no time for it anymore, I’ve gotten so fat.”

The table will get silent for a second.  The friend, not sure what to say at this double edged sword of a compliment will think for a second and quip something along the lines of, “Oh no, I’m actually so out of shape at the moment.  I mean…that’s why I’m wearing pants right now, my thighs are like cottage cheese!”

Anxious to get involved, another woman quickly thinks to herself and goes, “You have great legs! I mean, I would kill for your legs.  Mine are super short…I look like a penguin.”

And thus the game begins.  When it’s your turn to speak, you have two choices:

Say something positive about someone ELSE

 OR

Say something negative about yourself 

This game is quite frankly…pretty gross.  And like I said…no one wins, no matter how many cards you have to play.  This game is what causes so many of us to look at our bodies every day and see it as a combination of problems to be fixed.  This game is what causes us to take a healthy, functioning human body and view it like this:

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To be fair…I loved my calves

I mean…seriously…what the f*ck.

We need to quit this game, and we need to quit it now.  Your body is not a problem…it is the one thing you are guaranteed to have until the day you actually freaking die, so it’s time to start honoring it, and all it does for you.

Now look…We all have that little voice that speaks to us every time we look in the mirror or see a photograph of ourselves.  That’s where the “body shame game” starts: at home…in our own heads.

This voice sneaks up behind us and says: “Hey…you’re not actually happy with what you’re seeing here, right?” It points out our thighs, the texture of our skin, our rolls of body fat.  It does this so often, that when it’s time for us to actually talk about our bodies, those are the only things we have to say.  We define our bodies by what is wrong with them…so I think it’s time we start re-defining what we view as problems:

Stretch marks:

Yes…I have them.  They are a result of a dark shameful  period in my life where I put A LOT of weight in a short amount of time.  The doctors called it puberty.  I called it hell.

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Before puberty: The “no stretch mark” glory days

And that’s all stretch marks are… signs of growth and change.  They show us how adaptable our bodies are.

Did you have a baby?  Did having the baby leave you with stretch marks?  Now you don’t want to wear a bathing suit because you don’t want people to notice them? I completely get that…but…i’m sorry…I may have trouble noticing them because I’m busy being in complete awe that you GREW A HUMAN in your body.  Where there was NO human…you made one…and now it’s here… walking around and talking and stuff.  That’s amazing!  And your stretch marks…they are a badge of honor that show everyone that you loved someone else more than you loved yourself.

Did you lose a lot of weight?  Now you don’t want to wear a bathing suit because of your stretch marks?  I completely get that but…no.  No wait, I don’t get that.  You freaking FOUGHT for your new body.  Blood, sweat, and tears for this new body.  Those stretch marks are your battle scars for winning a war most people never even have the balls to start.

Body Fat:

Yes, I have it.  I also have the luxury of eating food everyday.  I have the luxury of not having to walk miles for my food. I have the luxury of never knowing what it’s like to have to be hungry.  And If you’re reading this, I’m going to assume you’re like me.

We don’t know what it’s like to have to be hungry…so why do so many of us spend our time time trying to starve ourselves?  Why do we try to convince ourselves that body fat is something we are supposed to eradicate?

Bringing up body fat is ultimately the Ace of Spades in the Body Shame Game.  Girls and women love to bring up the fact that they need to lose weight.  Please don’t play that card.  And if someone you know needs a way to feel good about their body fat, please remind them that their fat rolls are the only thing that will help them survive the next famine.  Seriously.

Thick thighs and thick arms: 

Instead of trying to make these body parts smaller, can we please just try to make them stronger?  Get off the elliptical and get onto a pull-up bar.  Stop with the crash diets, and go and get to know the squat rack.

And if you don’t want to do that, at least acknowledge and thank your body for giving you arms and legs that work.  None of us have any…freaking…reason to ever shame the body parts that allow us to get from point A to point B and allow us to pick up and hold people and things that we love.  None of us.

Faces: 

My face…I used to hate how it looked when I smiled.  Im assuming a lot of women feel this way (would explain duck face). I would hide my face when I smiled or laughed.  It was a cool time in my life.

But then I found that a lot of people in my life made me smile and made me laugh, and I didn’t want to shield myself from those experiences by putting a hand up or turning away.  We all need to live life by putting our best face forward.  And your face…well…it’s your best face.  And it’s wonderfully your own.

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Just smile

So, the body shame game.  Needless to say, I don’t play it anymore.  When I look in the mirror, that little voice that used to dominate every view I had on my body has no choice but to say, “sure…I guess you look good.”  It’s not easy at times, sometimes, after a hard day or experience, that voice still has a lot to say.  But just like a drunk friend at a bar, I let it talk at me, but not to me.  I let it ramble and rant until it has nothing left to say, and then I get on with it.

I don’t play this game when my girlfriends bring it up either.  I don’t even try to re-assure them about their bodies anymore, because by doing that, all I’m doing is validating that “voice” in their head that is speaking for them. And I don’t want to talk to it.

 I don’t shame my body anymore.  And because of that, when I look in the mirror, I’m able to see a true reflection of who and what I am on the inside…someone who is happy and healthy and loving life.

So ladies…honor your bodies.  You would not let someone else call you fat or ugly or thick…so why are you letting yourself talk to yourself that way? If you don’t like something about the amazing vehicle you have been given, you have two choices: accept it or change it. Don’t shame it. 

And ladies, gentlemen, who ever is reading this still.  I want you to stop talking to “that voice” in your head.  Stop giving it power over you.  You are valuable. We all are.  And no matter what that voice is saying, whether it’s telling you that you’re not good enough, or pretty enough, or smart enough… whatever it says, please just know one thing…

It’s lying.

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Disclaimer (read if anything slightly upset you in this post):

I KNOW body fat is a huge issue for so many people.  We all need to honor our bodies by keeping them healthy, and some people do NEED to lose body fat to be healthier versions of themselves. Im not talking about that type of body fat.  I’m talking about the “shame game” version of body fat  where we agonize over things like having a slight muffin top when we don skinny jeans.

Also…this is not a “woe is me” post.  I’m aware that I have no reason to feel bad about my body.  But then honestly, neither do you.   We ALL struggle with these issues.  No matter how we look to other people, it’s ultimately how we view ourselves that define us.  

And for over a decade, I didn’t see what a lot of people may see when they look at me…I saw a girl with gangly wrists, a fat tummy, and oddly placed knees.  The purpose of this post is to show you that for a long long time…I did struggle with body issues.  It wasn’t easy for me, and realistically… it should’ve been.  It should be easier for all of us.

Stop Saying, “I Don’t Date Short Guys.” You Sound Awful.

“He’s super cute and nice but…I don’t date short guys”

I can’t express how hard I want to laugh when I hear a girl say this.

After ALL of the crap we give guys about appreciating us for the unique angels we think we are, we sit around saying this nonsense, with almost NO hesitation, to our friends, at dinner tables, and worse of all…to guys we know.

It’s awful.  Epically awful.

Now don’t get me wrong…we all have “a type.”  You are entitled to liking whatever it is that you want.

But ladies, we have been BATTLING to eradicate body shaming  for years and years now, and we are making some major progress, we really are. There’s a long list of things that men are just not allowed to say about us and our bodies in public domain.  So then why should it not go both ways?

Just because historically body shaming has been directed towards females by men AND women, doesn’t mean we get a break when we do it.  I’m not saying it’s wrong to feel this way about dating shorter men, I’m saying it’s horrible, awful, and hypocritical to be saying this stuff out loud.

The measurement of a man is not in how tall he is, it’s in how much he measures up in your life. He may not stand tall, but does he stand up for you and the people he loves?  Does he support you? Does he bring things to your metaphorical table? Those are the things that should matter.

Once again, I’m not saying you should want to date short guys… just stop saying it without realizing the double standard you are very openly playing into.  Stop saying it because you are basing someone’s value on something they have no control over.   Stop saying it because your words are hurting other human beings.

And come on…We know how it feels when people do this to us, when they make us feel like less of a woman because we have small breasts, non-existent hips, short legs etc.  So let’s stop trying to instill the cycle of insecurity that has held us back for centuries onto men. We all know where that leads.

For the first time in a long time, many guys are working on themselves and their friends…challenging each other to be better partners and allies to us.  Don’t you think we owe them the same respect?   

Gentlemen, if a girl says this to you or around you in any way shape or form…avoid her.  And if she SAYS she doesn’t want to date you because of your height, let me be the first to say: Congratulations.  You dodged a very basic bullet.

Oh, and ladies, if one of your friends is dating an amazingly great guy who is barely taller, just as tall as, or <heaven forbid> shorter than her, and you feel the need to bring that up publicly as a “con” when discussing their relationship…please hand in your “opinion card” because you’re no longer allowed to have one on this issue.

With men beginning to step up to the plate on issues like gender equality, it’s becoming harder and harder to excuse women who perpetuate these double standards. And remember…I’m a girl’s girl…I WANT to be on your side. But ladies, we are wrong on this one.  Very very wrong…so it’s about time we start treating the men in our lives with the very same BASIC decency we have been fighting for for the past few hundreds/thousands of years.

Five Signs You Need a “You” Makeover

I was told recently that people love, love, love lists.

Now, since i’m here trying  to write about issues that will bring women together and since i’m trying to discuss topics that will hopefully allow all of us to have better relationships with one another I figure it’s a good time to personally address how to better the relationship we have with ourselves.  And I will do so…with a list of my very own.

As a result, I sat down and thought of five everyday things I had to call myself on to really get to the core of any discontent I had in my life.  And when I examined each of these things, I realized that I had a “me” problem…and those things needed to change.

Some of the phrasing in this list may sound harsh, and that’s okay…we have to be harsh in order to call ourselves out on our own bullshit.   And all of the stuff Im saying in this list, is stuff I have actually said to myself…while staring into a mirror…shaking my head in disappointment.  So…happy reading, ladies and gents.

FIVE SIGNS YOU NEED A “YOU” MAKEOVER:

 

1. You’ve un-subscribed or un-added someone on Facebook, yet still look up their profile about once a week to see what they’re doing.

Let me describe a situation for you: you’re on Facebook, or Instagram, sorting through cat memes, weekend photos, and your friends’ random musings about life.  You’re scrolling through your feed, and then you stumble on it.  “She” has posted something.  It doesn’t matter Who “she” is or what she did or did not do to you.  What matters is that whoever this person is…seeing her photos and posts, simply just irritates you. Or stirs up negative feelings deep in our lady brains.

Long story short, this person’s existence on your social media makes you feel badly about yourself (whether they deserve it or not).  So, you do what any rational person our age does: to remove the negativity they bring into your life from your life (whether its her fault or not), you “unsubscribe” from them OR un-add them if you’re ready to start some  real drama.  (I personally go for the un-add, much to the horror of my friends…bye felicia).

This feels great for a while.  For a few hours, days, or even weeks, we feel 20 pounds lighter.  The clouds have parted, birds are singing, this person is for all intents and purposes…dead to you. Go…you.

Then it happens…the itch.  You find yourself typing their name in your “search” bar, and looking at the preview of their profile that pops up below.  You do this a few times, maybe hold out for a day, and then BOOM, before you know it, you’re all over their page scouring it with so much intensity and diligence that it would make any crime scene investigator proud.

Now…I know what you’re hoping to see.  You’re hoping to type in their name and that you’re going to come upon something like this:

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This never happens

But what you really find is something along the lines of this:

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And you KNOW they’re going to get close to 350 “likes” on that picture of cheesecake

So, there you go…you wanted to see if she had fallen into a social black hole, and was left feeling miserable and destitute ever since you shunned her from your Facebook world…instead you see that nothing’s really changed: she still has friends who love her, she still eats desserts, and life seems to be pretty good.  But I get it, I get it…you wanted to see who she was with, how she was feeling, what she was eating.  You just wanted to see what she was doing. Sure, I get it..  But…here’s  a better question for you:

What are YOU doing.

I mean, really…You went to the trouble to cut this person out of your life because, for whatever reason, you’re not happy when you know what they’re up to.  And then…you go out of your way to see what they’re up to…  Why?  Why do this to yourself? Here’s why you need to STOP doing this…

It’s emotional cutting.  It’s going out of your way to find people who cause you to feel like shit.   Going out of your way to find someone else who makes you feel inadequate.  So why do we do this? Probably so that we don’t have to focus on what is actually making us feel inadequate…in most cases… it’s ourselves. We do this with ex-friends,  ex-boyfriends, our ex-boyfriends new girlfriends (because that’s healthy) and the result is the same. You look them up. They’re doing just fine.  You feel like shit.  Cycle repeats.

End…the…cycle.

 

2. You look around at all your friends and realize…you don’t even really like any of them anymore

People say you tend to “out grow” your friends. But that makes no sense…they’re not sweaters, they’re humans.  You don’t out grow people.  You “out grow” behaviors.  And our habits and behaviors are, for better or worse, directly tied to our morals and values as people.

So when your behaviors change…you yourself change.  You’re going to be making yourself either a better or worse version of yourself and if you concentrate on developing behaviors that allow you to develop deep meaningful relationships with others and with yourself…you’re most likely becoming a more awesome person. Yay.

Now here’s the thing, you are the average of the five people you hang out with the most.  If you and all your friends are doing the same things when you meet, you guys maintain each other’s average.  Now, let’s say you decide to quit boozing five days a week.  As a result, you are able to focus more on work, make a few less mistakes in the evenings, and spend more time reflecting on becoming a “better” version of yourself than you once were.

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People who live on Jupiter have no actual foundation, are constantly changing, yet ironically have the most amount of “moons” around them…Don’t be one of their moons

Whether you like it or not, you’re now bringing your friends’s average up, and they are bringing yours down.  They will either see this as a call to action, and start finding ways to step up to the challenge of bettering themselves, or they will more likely make a few comments along the lines of “you’ve changed” or the wonderfully passive aggressive “so you think you’re better than me?”

And no…you are not “better” than any of your friends, that’s a silly way to think.  You have however moved on to a different “emotional planet.”  Some planets are closer to the sun light, some are steeped in darkness.  Some are built around a solid foundation while others have seemingly no grounding force to be found.  We are all on planets that allow us to play out our behaviors. So the thing is…  once you find yourself on a different emotional planet than your friends, the air and environment surrounding them will be toxic for you…and you need to move on.  Some may follow you, most won’t…that’s not your issue.

Keep your average high.

 

3. When someone tells you about something great they did, you feel and stay jealous

It’s natural to feel jealous when someone you know does something that gets them a lot of attention.  I’d say most people’s reactions run along those lines.  It’s when you get stuck in that “jelly” that it then becomes a problem.

When you feel the initial rush of envy: Own it.  Recognize it… Question yourself.  Then better yourself.

And while you’re figuring out the “bettering yourself” part… post a congratulatory Facebook status and tag them in it.  And use the emoticon that looks like the clapping hands. That’s what it’s there for.

Also…don’t insert yourself into people’s achievements.  If someone is telling you about how they finally got a promotion at work, don’t bring up the time that you got a promotion.  Let them have their moment.

 

4. You expect others to be better people than you are

 Do you ever lie?  Ever cheat? Ever not tell people how you really feel?  Odds are you do.

Well…Do you get mad when people lie to you?  Feel indignant when someone you love starts finding love somewhere else?  Do you hate trying to decipher the morse code of other people’s emotions? Odds are, you do.

Well. That’s a big ol’ Southern helping of hipocrasy, and I’m pretty sure you know it.

Here’s the thing:

You DESERVE to be treated how you treat others, simple as that.  If you lie and cheat, you deserve to be lied to and cheated on.   Does that mean other people SHOULD hurt you, if you do “bad” things?  No.  But people will always hurt other people.  But  if you are the one hurting people, and someone else hurts or lies to you,  at the end of the day, you know you can’t  look yourself in the mirror and say: I really didn’t deserve that.  Because you did. You so did.

Does that mean other people will always treat you well if you’re a “good” person?  Fuck no.  But you’re the one who gets to sleep at night.

If you want the best out of others, you need to be the best version of yourself, simple as that.  If you lie and cheat and hurt people, no amount of enabling friends and coping mechanisms can really hide you from the fact that karma came around, and turns out she’s as big of a bitch as you were.

 

5. You’re holding onto an apology that someone out there in the world, really deserves

And I know why you’re doing it too.  If you apologize to someone, it forces you to own up to the fact that you messed up, that you hurt someone, that you did something wrong.  And if there’s one lie we like to tell ourselves, it’s this: other people do the hurting.

We tell ourselves that WE are the ones who get hurt.   We’re the good guys, the resilient ones who overcome hurt that other people do to us.  Not the other way around.  It’s a cute story to tell ourselves so we can sleep at night, but it’s not reality.

Has anyone ever apologized to you about the part they played in hurting you?  How’d it make you feel… Pretty damn good?  A little bit more human?  A little less likely to be crying yourself to sleep that night?   Yeah, I bet.  It’s nothing short of a miracle when someone swallows their pride and says  to you: hey…I fucked up…you didn’t deserve that.

Think too much time has gone by and they’ve probably moved on?  No.  No, no.  There’s not enough time in the world that can erase the bad things people do to one another, even if they have moved on…they deserve that little boost of humanity that every apology gives us.

So what’s stopping you?  Don’t know what to say to them? Cut, copy and paste what I just wrote two paragraphs ago into a text message and click “send.” Use that line as many times as you want…I know I sure have.

I mean, if Taylor Swift can write out “Back to December” for Tyler Lautner and perform it at the Grammy’s, you can write out that one sentence and send it to the one person who deserves to hear it.

And yes…I saved the Taylor Swift reference til the very end because I knew many of you would stop reading at that.  I’m smart like that.  And I love that girl.

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If Taylor did it, we can all do it

So, Are You in a Relationship With Anyone?

We all know what it means. If we think of all the times we have asked it and all the times we have been asked it, the answer is one of two things:

“Yes!” followed by  a meet-cute story of how we met our boyfriend or husband
OR
An awkward pause as the room dims. We shake our head, “No,” while someone randomly begins to play an organ in the background 

In summary: if we have a boyfriend, we ARE in  a relationship with someone.  And if we don’t have a boyfriend, we are NOT in a relationship with anyone.  It is so simple to think this way. It is also, utter and complete bullshit.

But first, let me answer the question myself before I explain why.

Now, there’s no meet-cute in these stories…These relationships have been challenging and difficult.  These relationships are the very definition of “til death do us part,” they’ve made me cry, made me  laugh, and made me change.  That’s probably why these relationships matter.  So, after 30 years of living and loving, here’s my answer to:

So…Sonia, are you in a relationship with anyone?

Yes.  Yes I am.

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I’m in a relationship with my mother:

Everyone says me and my mom have a great relationship.  And, it’s true… we finally have a GREAT relationship, but, I’m not gonna lie, It wasn’t easy.  I don’t’ know if you know this, but I’m no bed of roses. Me and my mom would throw down, gloves off.  We’ve fought til we were both red in the face, slammed doors, stared each other down, and then I realized… I was the one with the problem and I needed to change.

Each door I had slammed over the course of my life had to be pried open, and I had to face the reality of the damage I had done.   I had to change.  We both did.  And now I’m best friends with one of the bravest women I’ve ever known.


With my father:  

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Dad and I

My dad.  The surgeon.  The man who taught me how to ride a bike, was with me every moment of the way during cancer treatments, the man who worked to pay for new clothes, cars, college, medical school, Master’s programs.  The man who I never knew quite how to talk to about things other than money and his practice.

The man who did everything for his family with stoic diligence, and never asked for, or got, any thanks.  None.  He went to work, the bills were paid, he showed up to to teacher nights, helped us with our math homework, and went to bed for over 25 years, until I finally realized that in any other context… this wouldn’t fly.  I was taking advantage of one of the best relationships that had literally been handed to me since birth.

Well… a few years ago (27 years too late), even though it felt weird and strange, I sat down at the breakfast table and I thanked him.  And I told him that I loved him.  And then I waited.

He put down his Wall Street Journal for a second, looked at me, cleared his throat, and said:  Would you like the other half of my English Muffin?  (Baby steps.  He’s never shared his English Muffins with anyone.)

 With my brother:  

We’ve overcome a lot, and he’s seen me put myself through a lot.  Yes he’s married and has a kid, and yes people told me that things would change and he would be less able to “be there” for me.  So I decided to try to be there for him whenever or wherever I could.   I know, we are SO different, but it’s weird how as time goes on, I find myself really enjoying the time we get to spend together.  I wish we did this earlier.

And yes, he’s a surgeon. Yeah, yeah.  But, surgeon or not, he still signs all his emails to me with a, “meow,” so don’t look too impressed.

My brother's last email

My brother’s most recent email

 With my  family:

My cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents…the army behind my back at every step I take.

It’s like whack-a-mole, really.  I focus on one of them, and a million things pop up with the others.  I’m not very good at it yet, but I think they know I’m trying. Trying.

I’m in a relationship with my friends:  

My friends, my champions, the family we choose.

11196304_10106055164199280_1042217132853861116_n

Nothing better than being a friend to friends worth having

 I worked hard for these friends. We fought with and fought for each other.  From  missed dinner dates, missed weddings and misunderstandings, we’ve survived it all.

In life when I’ve been  a bit broken down, these people have stepped up and had my f*cking back. My friends are my magic mirror, they speak the truth and only the truth.  They tell me they love me, they tell me they’re proud of me, and they tell me when to shut the hell up.

 Im in a good relationship with my career:  

They say you shouldn’t be married to your work.  But I’m not sure I agree with that.  If a marriage is supposed to be a commitment that both challenges and fulfills you, requires that you grow and evolve, develop compassion and patience, well then, consider me hitched.

Most importantly, I’m in a good relationship with myself:

And it was the hardest and most difficult relationship to build…ever.

I am not in a romantic relationship:

I’m not.

I don’t have a “love life” at the moment, but I have no shortage of love in my life.  And if you think this is the “make or break” relationship…the ultimate void to fill, you have a little bit of growing up to do and some perspective to be gained.

This type of relationship is a piece of some people’s puzzle.  They will find it when they find it, so leave them to their journey.

For some, it’s the whole picture entirely.  Let them paint it with whoever they want… Even if its not the vision you have for their life.

And for other’s it is the icing on what is otherwise, a very very delicious cake.   They could take it or leave it.  We all need to accept that about one another.

***********

Real talk:

Think about your definition of being in a relationship with someone:

If you have a relationship with a boyfriend/husband, fantastic!
Now start building those relationships with other people in your life.  If you think about how rewarding it is to have a partner you can rely and depend on, think about if all of your relationships were like that? Why be defined by the one relationship you DO have in your life.

(If you’re one of those “my husband is my everything” people, that is amazing, and you are lucky to have one another…but you’re building a very pretty glass house on a quick sand pit…in a rock slide area…set on a fault line)

If you don’t have a relationship with a boyfriend/husband, fantastic!
Start building those relationships with other people you DO have in your life.  Call your parents more, start “liking” your cousin’s or sibling’s facebook pages more…talk to that one person at the gym who always seemed nice…just do it, already!  Why be defined by the one relationship you DONT have in your life?

(Truth bomb: Whether you have a boyfriend or not,  if you have absolutely no acquaintances, friends, or family that you can reach out to…you’ve got a “you” problem…so start on the inside, girl)

And to everyone who is reading this and thinking, “I haven’t called my mom in months…it would be weird.”  I have to say this: What the mother-loving-earth are you talking about!

It’s going to be weird? To call your mom?  The woman who wiped your ass, showered you, and KEPT YOU ALIVE through infancy…it’s going to be weird to give her a phone call? What exactly do you think your mom is going to do if you call her for the first time in a long time?  I’m going to take a wild guess…she’ll probably f*cking pick up the phone and want to talk to you. That’s what.  If not…try your brother.  And keep going down the list until you make contact with another human.

Think it’s weird to drop your dad a text message that says, “I love you?”  Chug a few beers, send the text message, turn off your phone, put it under a couch cushion,  and go to sleep.  Just get it done!

Call to action:

Whether you have a boyfriend/husband or not, there are probably several people in your life that you don’t reach out to because you guys ‘just don’t have that type of relationship.’  Well…BUILD IT.  You’re an adult now.  Pick up the Lego Blocks of missed opportunities and build that bridge to someone, anyone,  you want to care about.

That way, the next time someone asks you whether you’re in a relationship with someone or not, you may have more than one answer to give.

Oh and update: I sent this article to my family ahead of time, to make sure they were fine with me writing about them, and look what I got in my inbox…three years later.  Baby steps.  

FullSizeRender (4)

Dad responds

Disclaimer:  Do NOT call or get in touch with people who have severely hurt you, neglected, or abused you in the past: parents, siblings, boyfriend, friends etc.  Some people don’t deserve to be in your life and this article is not a “sign” to call up someone who treated you like a door mat…In fact, if you still have their numbers, delete them right now

The One Question You Need to Stop Asking Single Women


“Seriously…Where do you find these guys?”

Ok, ladies…now I’m sure some of us have heard this question.  Usually it’s after we’ve shared a  Wes-Craven-like dating horror story with a group of friends (usually not single friends).  I’m 30 years old, and this question never really seems to go away, and I’m sick of it. I mean…does  a more frustrating/pointless question even exist? 

Let’s do like Uncle Joey, and “Cut… It… Out” (Sorry…I may be a more than a little excited for the Full House reunion)

Now, I KNOW it’s well intentioned, and usually just said as a passing comment to seemingly validate a person who is hurting, but before I get to why the question actually makes people feel like crap,  I’m going to go ahead, and very briefly answer it.  

So…in case anyone’s wondering where their single friends go out and meet ALL “those guys”…those emotionally inept, socially awkward, chronically dishonest, relationship atheists, I’m gonna answer your question so that you NEVER EVER have to ask it again.  Are you ready? Want to know where  we meet them?

Earth.  

Screen Shot 2015-09-07 at 10.26.40 PM

Earth: Where 100% of all creepy guys are met

We met them on Earth.  On the street, in the grocery store, at the gym, at work, in a bar, in class, at a coffee shop, at a friend’s party, online, in an airport. At Pottery Barn, in a book store, at a conference, in a movie theater.  On a plane, on a train, in a bus, at the car wash, at a concert, in line at a festival, at a gun range, at a casino, on a beach…Trust me…they’re just…out there, and it’s not our fault that we happened to meet them. 

They walk amongst us freely, and they don’t wear signs. Not a single one of them.  Their IDs and passports look just like ours, they wear the same clothes we do, they smell the same, look the same, walk upright, just the same as us.

When you prick them, they bleed. They have jobs, have friends, have families (sometimes of their own)… trust me…they’re out there.    

So, let me ask YOU a question…Where do YOU think we meet them?

Like…do you think we see a guy in Aisle 7 of the grocery store sobbing over a box of his ex girlfriend’s favorite flavor of Pop Tarts and think to ourselves… “hey, he looks like a keeper? He looks like he has it together.  Let me emotionally invest in him, cause he seems swell.” 

Ok. Rant over.  I think you get the point.  Now, let me explain why I hate this question other than the fact that I only hear it when I’m usually in an emotionally raw state:

Regardless of your own relationship status, whether you’re single or married or a sponge,  by asking your friends “where they met the guy,” you make them partially to blame for someone ELSE’S bad behavior.  It’s not fair.  I mean, you’ve just listened to a whole story your friend has told you. A story about something that someone else did to them.  By asking the question, you’re switching the focus from another person’s actions to your friend’s actions.  

Instead of saying, “I can’t believe HE did that,” you switch the narrative (and pronouns) and make your friend the antagonist in her own story.  It’s all about where SHE met the guy. She becomes the final subject in the story.  So… Stop it!

Additionally, if you’re in a relationship or married and you ask that question, you sound like a smarmy know-it-all and that’s never good.  You also have an icky yucky dirty dating past.  You too were once one of us.  Show some solidarity.

Let’s look at dudes… When a guy tells one of his dating stories (because yes ladies, we too can be the stuff of waking nightmares) more often than not, the only comment they have to deal with is, “Man, she’s crazyyyy,” then everyone drinks their beer, nods along in agreement, and moves on.  Case closed.  SHE’S crazy.  YOU’RE fine, man. ( Not that I agree at all with girl’s being called crazy…in fact this article should be gospel, but I’m just trying to make a point.)

So now…I know, I know that this seems like making a mountain out of a mole hill to some, and that’s fine.  I’m just asking everyone, guys and girls, to be better advocates for their single friends, because remember…where you met your guy is where all of us have met “these guys:”

  1. The guy who drove me to the treehouse he lived in (no I didn’t know he lived in a tree house) and showed me the Crayon drawings the ocean inspired him to make and then violently lost his shit when I asked him to take me home
  2. The  guy who took me out to eat, and as soon as I sat down,  smiled and said: I really like big
    An impulse buy inspired by all the

    An impulse buy inspired by all the “lone wolves” I’ve met. Howl on, brothers

    breasted women

  3. The guy(s)  who refer to themselves as lone wolves…that’s right…love them only if you dare
  4. The guy who said “that’s not me” when pictures of him and another girl popped up on facebook.  Yes, he was tagged in them and yes he was wearing clothes I had bought him (Hindsight: I may have deserved that one)
  5. The guy who had a nosebleed all over my cushions and just flipped them around when I wasnt looking

So the next time you find yourself about to ask “the question,” take a moment and remember…They walk amongst us.

Why You Should Be a “Girl’s Girl”

Girls

Genesis: 

In the beginning, I used to be a “guy’s girl,” not gonna lie.  We all know the type.  The girl that simply just is one of the guys.

In my late teens and early 20’s, I was proud to be a declared a guy’s-girl. You know, one of those low-maintenance- no-holds-barred-roll-her-eyes-at- other-women type girls.  I thought  it was the highest compliment, that the men folk viewed me as an equal because I was, “not like most girls.”  I was a renegade. An outlier.  So so cool.

And then somewhere along the line, I evolved.

And Let There be Light: 

It was one day, a few very transformative years later, after life and love had kicked my ass six ways from Sunday, that a guy friend and I were at a bar. We were talking about dating and issues he was having with his girlfriend. He looked at me and said, “Guys probably never have these issues with you.  You’re like a dude…you’re one of us,” and for the first time, ever, I gave the appropriate response:  I asked him if that was supposed to be a compliment.

I mean, what was it about my personality that made me “like a guy?”  That I was funny? Honest and outspoken?  That I didn’t 10347177_10105813528489180_6245183151221667281_nlet people walk all over me? That I could maintain my cool in the back and forths of dating (in my LATER 20’s)?  If so…what did it say about my actual gender?  I can’t even IMAGINE telling one of my guy friends that he was “like a girl,” and have that go over well. When did being “like a girl” become an insult?

Why had being accepted into the ranks of “the boys” become a point of triumph for me and so many girls?   I mean, let’s face it… guys really aren’t that hard to impress.  Being friends with a dude is relatively simple: you go somewhere, have some beers, make a few jokes, maybe talk about the gym, and go home.  It’s easy.

You know what IS hard to do?  To form meaningful and lasting relationships with other women.  To pick away at the barriers you and other women put up between themselves and realize that when we are at our best around one another, we are unstoppable.

I’m not saying that every woman needs to be friends with every other woman that they meet.  We are not houseplants. Just like you aren’t going to like every guy you meet,  you’re not going to like every (or many) woman you meet.

The thing is: we, as women, rarely ever really give other women a chance.  We will so quickly say, “Oh, I don’t like her,” when what we really should be saying is, “Oh, I don’t know her.”  And I want that to stop.  

Why do we so quickly dismiss women we meet? There’s an excellent, excellent explanation for that here In this TED talk by Caroline Heldman.  But from what I’ve seen,  it’s usually because this unknown female commits one of the following sins within the first few times of meeting her:

  • She’s prettier than you
  • She’s confident
  • She’s funny
  • She has a talent you don’t have and brings it up in conversation
  • She has a talent you do have, and brings it up before you do…that ballsy, evil, bitch

So basically…she is everything you have ever wanted to be.

Ladies, this  insecure pettiness is beneath you, and you need to eat cement and toughen up (thanks for the saying, Sash).  There are always going to be funnier, prettier, more successful women than you.  You know what you should do when you meet one?  TRY TO BE HER FRIEND.   How on Earth are you going to better yourself if you’re surrounding yourself with people who don’t challenge you?

Jealous that she’s got a banging body?  That’s a you problem.  Ask her for some workout tips and see if she’ll spot you at the gym.  Jealous that she seems to be more confident than you?  Hang out with her and find out her story to see how she got that way.  Think she’s standoffish because she’s not speaking to you?  Well…have you gone up to her, or are you just waiting for her to ignore the daggers you’ve been staring at her and mosey on over to you? Sort yourselves out, stop hating, and start making an effort.

The New Testament

Now here’s the tricky part, in order to have a friendship with a genuinely strong, confident female, we ourselves have to be genuinely strong and confident.  This is where a lot of girls (myself included) get stuck.  You have to work on yourself before you can be much good to anyone of value.  That’s true for any relationship.

So while “confidence-izing” yourself (yes that’s so a word) is a tricky uphill battle,  I will leave you with the first, and very simplified, steps that I took to becoming a “girl’s girl,” and a girlfriend worth having:

I made a list of all the things I dislike in other girls and people: the cattiness, the body and slut shaming, the competitive vibes that came out around the company of the guys. And I asked myself if I was guilty of having any of those traits.  That answer was a resounding, “yes.”

And then I decided to change.  I realized I didn’t have to be that person anymore.  And I’m not.

And that voice in my head…you know the one…the one that whispers to you everyday that you’re really not THAT smart, you’re really not THAT pretty, no one REALLY likes you.  I told it to shut the f*ck up.  I decided that if I wouldn’t let another person say things like that to me, there was no way I should be talking to myself that way.

And after I started making those changes, the rest (very slowly) came into play.  I’ve had a lot of hits and misses with female friends, but they’ve gotten better, mainly because I’ve gotten better.

So…ladies…if you’re happy with your bro-card and all of this sounds like arrogant “who does she think she is” nonsense…keep doing you.  You are still, at the core, wonderfully intuitive,  caring, and amazingly strong people, which, I’m sorry to tell you, makes you very much “like a girl.”

And I’m also sorry to tell you that no amount of social awareness campaigns targeting males is going to advance the status of women very much if we ourselves don’t start having each other’s backs rather than stabbing one another in the back. 

So please…be one of the girls.  Be for the girls.  Be like a girl.

Some of the amazing, talented, inspirational women who I love to love

Some of the amazing, talented, inspirational women who I love to love