Why Your Relationships Fail, and Why You Shouldn’t Take it Personally

This post is not about the romantic relationships that matter.  Those few great romantic relationships we get in a lifetime (yes…you will get more than one, I promise).  Those relationships deserve to be cherished when they’re around, and missed when they’re gone.

This post is about “filler” relationships.  The relationships that have the emotional equivalence of bubble wrap.  We have many of those in our lives, and many of us spend far too much time worrying about them.  

This post is about the relationships that shouldn’t matter:  

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I can’t count the number of times one of my girlfriends has come up to me, crying and upset, because some douche-bro went MH370 on her and vanished without a trace.

This happens to all of us at some point. Someone we like, or thought we could like, decides to cut ties with our existence.

Poof. They’re gone.

Sometimes we get a conversation.  Sometimes we get a text message or email.  But most of the times, the person simply, just one day…is gone. Just gone.  Like magic.

When someone we like disappears, it sucks.  It’s hard to understand “why.”   (In fact, a friend of a friend has a great coping mechanism for times when this happens: he just pretends that that person died)

This stuff happens to all of us.   And when it does, we ALL have questions.

We want to know why they decided to stop calling.  In fact, we NEED to know…so we start to evaluate the entire relationship.  We scour over each detail and conversation and text message, and we just can’t figure out why they stopped calling or stopped wanting to hang out.

We do this after every failed relationship…ask ourselves why, why, why.  And eventually most of us come to the only possible conclusion: there has to be something wrong with us.

There HAS to be something wrong with us, right?

Are we are too clingy, too distant, too blunt, too secretive? Too skinny, too fat?  Am I not funny, too funny, funny but not in the right way? Too insecure? Too secure?  Too stand off-ish.  Maybe we didn’t laugh at his Batman impersonation when he did it for the millionth time?

I mean, there has to be something wrong with us…that’s the only way to explain how this just keeps happening to us over and over and over again.  We think there has to be something wrong with us because ALL of our relationships in the past month/year/decade have failed…

Well there’s not.  There’s nothing wrong with you.  If you want to know why relationship after relationship has gone no-where…I can go ahead and tell you the reason:

Most of your relationships will fail because that’s just how dating works.  

Very few romantic relationships will ever go past a certain level.  Those are the ones that matter.  It’s dumb luck and timing. It has nothing to do with you.

You date until you find someone who you can get to “that” level with.

 So if you date a lot…it may seem that people are always walking away from you.  It’s not you…they just know it won’t get to “that” level with you.  If you’re tired of being rejected, take a break from dating.   It gets exhausting. Three dates in a month?  None of them worked out? Sounds completely normal… but it still sucks. Take a knee for a moment.  Get back out there when you’re ready.

 If you don’t date a lot, and you go out on one date…unless you are very very lucky,  it won’t work out.  Do not make that one date a personal statement about your value.  And stop saying stupid dramatic things like, “this is why I never put myself out there.”  Just shut up about it.  You DID put yourself out there, and you got hurt. Take a knee for a moment.  And get back out there.

Side note: If you know anyone who always seems to “luck out” and find a boyfriend or girlfriend, please just know they’re probably majorly settling.

You may now be saying, “Hey…you don’t get it…they said such nice things to me.  They really seemed to like me.  Why would they lie?  Why would they lead me on?”

Why did they say nice things about you?  Probably because they meant them. I hate to bust your personal tragedy bubble by telling you this, but they really probably meant those things.

And if someone tells you you’re funny and amazing to be around, and then they stop hanging out with you…it doesn’t mean you’re NOT funny or amazing. It means they’re super weird.  Or it means they just didn’t see things going to the next level.  Or it means they got busy with life and realized they want to focus on other things… A relationship not being one of them.

So please…

Accept this fact: 99% of your relationships will not work out.  They will fail.  Because…math.

No one can ever have more than one successful romantic relationship in a life time. So even if someone has been married for ten years, the second they get divorced, 100% of their romantic relationships didn’t work out.

 As single people…we’re all in the same boat.

In the interest of full disclosure, 100% of my romantic relationships have never worked out.  And I’m awesome.  It has NOTHING to do with me.  And it has nothing to do with you.

It’s luck. Dumb luck.

So if you’re still not convinced, and you still think that YOU are the reason things don’t work out. Let’s think about this logically:

 Let’s imagine there’s something “wrong” with you. Maybe you think you’re not pretty or attractive enough, and that’s why nothing has worked out.  Ok.

So what you’re saying is that the only people who have successful relationships are attractive.  Fine.

Now think of all the people you know who are currently in relationships.  Think about them.  Are ALL of those people pretty and attractive?  NO FUCKING WAY.

That’s because finding a lasting romantic relationship has nothing to do with what you look like. It’s luck.

So maybe people don’t want to date you because you’re boring and insecure?

Think of all the people you know who are currently in relationships.  Are all of those people interesting and confident?  NO.

In fact, I think we all know some awful people who have managed to find someone to put up with them.  Being in a romantic relationship is not validation that you’re a good person.  It’s just…not.

Because being in a successful romantic relationship has nothing to do with you or what you’re like.  It’s luck and timing.

Real Talk: Why do you want to even be in a romantic relationship?  Why is this a goal? 

I always ask my friends this.

 I mean…how much more fun do single people really think committed people are having ?  Relationships are hard fucking work…that’s why most of them fail.  If you think being in a relationship means you won’t feel lonely at times…  Im sorry…but you will.  In a relationship, you’re also going to feel let down at times.  And bored as hell at times.

Single or not, life is hard for all of us. So stop making it harder on yourself by thinking you’re the one with an issue.

And for all of those people who don’t call you back, or who vanish into thin air…here’s how you deal with them.  Get out your phone and scroll to their number.  Delete it.

Poof…they’re gone.

Looks like they’re not the only one who can make shit disappear.

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How to Talk To Women: A One Step Guide

A very near and dear friend was talking to me about my blog posts a few months ago.  He was wondering if I could write a post for guys.  A post where I give advice on how to talk to women.

So I’ve been giving it A LOT of thought.

I’ve gone through my interactions with guys at parties for the last few years.  I thought about what “worked” and what “didn’t work.”  What a guy should say and what not to say.  I even talked about it with some of my girlfriends over wine.  And, guys,  i’m happy to report back that I’ve narrowed it down to one…easy…step.  That’s it! So, listen up, boys…here it is:

How to talk to a woman:

1. Go up to her, introduce yourself.   And then talk to her like you would talk to any other human.

That’s it.  There’s really no trick.  No “lines” needed.  No aces up your sleeves.  Just walk up to her, introduce yourself, and say whatever it is you would say to any new person.  Pretend like she’s just a normal standard human that you’re trying to get to know…because that’s what we are.  We’re just like you.

And if you don’t know where to start…just start with your name.  It’s simple.

If she walks up to your group while you’re in the middle of a conversation…you can continue that conversation.  No need to switch to a topic you “think” she would be interested in.  If she’s bored, she will walk away, and this opens you up to going up to her later and saying, “hey…didn’t catch your name back there…where are you from?”

You can talk to her about pretty much anything at all.  Sports, work, life in the city you live in…be creative.  If you’re having trouble thinking of topics, just think about what you say to dudes the first few times you meet them.  It works the same way.  We all just kind of like stuff. And she may like the same stuff that you do.  Find out!

However… just like any other human you meet, she may choose that she doesn’t really want to speak to you for too long.  A woman, like anyone else, may have her own friends that she came to hang out with, or may just want to enjoy the party and socialize.  It happens.

It has nothing to do with you…

Or what you look like or what you’re wearing.  And as long as you are just talking to her like any other human, I promise you, it has nothing to do with what you said.  So just walk away, and hang out with people who love you for a while.  Shake it off.

Now look, I know you were hoping for something a little more “exotic.”  A guaranteed way to strike up a conversation.  But that doesn’t really exist for any human on human interaction you can think of.

Think about it:  at a party…how many times has a relative stranger been able to keep your undivided attention for more than ten minutes?  Those types of situations where you really “hit it off” with someone just don’t happen all that often, which is why we cherish them when they do.  Don’t take it personally.

And remember…women have to deal with a lot of douche-bros throwing attention our ways.  So if you get overlooked every now and then…please give us a little bit of a break and just back away nicely.  And please please please, don’t ever say: I’m not like most guys.  Just don’t.  Because every guy says that.   It’s annoying.

So that’s it…that’s how you talk to a woman.  Talk to her like any one else.  We are no different.  And trust me, as a woman, I realize how hard or intimidating it is to speak to us.  I get shot down regularly when I’m actually genuinely just trying to be friends with them.  I feel your pain, but I’m telling you…the gimmicks, the lines, they simply don’t work on women.

So that’s women…we like it when you treat us normally.  Because we are just normal people. Mostly.

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That being said…not every female out there considers herself a woman who just wants to be spoken to like everyone else.  Some of us like to be treated differently, treated like princesses,  treated like girls. Talking to a girl is a completely different ball game, and generally, they’re much more fun to talk to at parties.

This guide is a little more detailed, but go ahead and give it a look.  (Warning: these will not work on women…we will just walk away)

A step by step guide to talking to girls: 

1.  Start off by “negging” her

Example: You see a girl with a hot body and you say, “Wow…you need to workout” 

This is probably the most effective way to get a girl interested as it makes her feel like shit about herself for a second, but then she realizes it’s a compliment, so she feels DOUBLY good about what you said.

2. If the negging works, compliment her, but only in the 3rd person

Example: A girl makes a funny joke, and you look to the person next to you and go, “Aww…she’s so funny, isn’t she?”

You don’t want her to get bored too quickly…so very slowly, slowly show her you approve of her existence and personality.  Baby steps.

3.  Ignore her when another female walks up…but only for a few minutes

 (You can also combine this with some slight negging.  You can say something like, “finally…someone interesting to talk to.”  Follow this with a wink in her direction so she knows you’re not serious.  She’ll go crazy!)

4.  Interrupt the flow of a normal conversation to give her an out of place compliment about her appearance…then continue said conversation  

(The trick is to make it seem like you’re so overwhelmed by her beauty that you couldn’t control what came out of your mouth)

5.  Just be very very attractive and stand there and let her come up with things to say (Ok…this one may work on women sometimes…we are only human after all) 

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Now…none of this is an attack on “girls.”  Or on guys who like talking to them.

I used to really enjoy being talked to like a girl…it kept me on my toes, I never really knew what to expect,  banter goes back and forth…just like a game.  And then I realized I really hate games.  If you never know what to expect from someone, you can probably just stop expecting much at all.

And I just don’t have time for that anymore.

xx

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.

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

Why This “Girl’s Girl” Owes it All To A Nurse

I promised myself when I started this blog (a whole three weeks ago) that I would keep my posts universal, relevant and humorous (when needed).  I’m not sure this post will meet any of these criteria, but this needed to be written.

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Miss Colorado

I needed to write this because  I thought this morning that maybe, miraculously, the nurse/ medical assistant I’m writing about will recognize themselves in this story.  I wish more than anything I knew her name.

But this probably won’t reach her. So, hopefully and more realistically, this will at least be read by a few nurses or medical assistants, that often never get to hear what they so often deserve: thank you, thank you, THANK YOU.

For those of you who don’t know, during the Miss America pageant last week,one of the contestants (a nurse)
performed a monologue that she wrote about her profession.  It later came under scrutiny by a talk show host, and has caused quite a few people to share their experiences with the awesomeness that is nursing.

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So here it is: 

To A Nurse,

I’m a doctor’s kid.  In fact, most people in my family are doctors, or surgeons.  I understand the fascination people have with them, the way we tend to glorify them… They are Gods amongst men, the healers of the sick, the fixers of broken bodies.  In TV shows and movies, the doctor is the one who takes the special interest in the patient and makes the breakthrough that changes the course of their patient’s lives.

So I get why people feel that way about doctors, I do.  And honestly, I think we all tend to think that because very few of us know what it’s like to be really really sick.

I know what it’s like.  When I was 18 (so twelve years ago) I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma…a bad…but highly treatable form of cancer.  At 18, I was shuttled from doctor’s office to doctor’s office, out of one scan into another, injected with all sorts of dyes, liquids, chemicals, to see how “bad” my cancer really was.  I met a million doctors, was poked, prodded, asked a thousand questions, and was scheduled to start chemo all within in the span of a week.  My life, as I knew it, had ended.

And then I ended up in a room with you.  In what seemed like the basement of the hospital.  You were supposed to take one of my “baseline” tests (to like make sure my lungs didnt melt or something during treatments, I don’t know really).  You took my blood pressure, listened to my breathing patterns (with your stethoscope!) and gave me a tube I needed to blow into.

You handed it to me, and said, “ok, honey, take a deep breath and just blow sharply into this tube…let it all out.”  So I took a deep breath, held onto the tube, and did exactly what you said…I let it all out.  I cried.  Inconsolably.  It was just so quiet in there and you were just so nice, I needed to let it all go.

You didn’t look away like my friends would do.  You didn’t “give me a minute” and leave the room so I could get myself together.  You sat there, and you listened to me snuffle and sob, and you waited until the hysterical teenager in front of you finally quieted down.  And then you took the tube out of my hand, and put your hand on mine and said:

“Hey…look.  I see people come in here all the time.  I don’t know what your prognosis is, or how long you’re going to have to come to this hospital, or how things are going to go for you.  But I know one thing…

I know that one day, years from now, your doctor is going to say to you that you’re done.  That it’s time to start living your life.  And that’s what you need to do.  Take your time…be sad… but when the doctors tell you it’s time to move on, promise me that you will.  Don’t be one of those people who is constantly looking over your shoulder and thinking about this part of your life…forget about this place, and just promise me, you’ll move on.” 

I nodded my head, wiped my nose, and you handed the tube back to me and said, “Ok…let’s get this done now.”

And that was it.  I went on with the treatments, lost my hair, got my hair back, went to my follow up appointments, finished school, and then five years later, in March, I was done.  My doctor said I didn’t need to worry about coming in anymore, and that it was time to move on.

And that, dear Nurse, was when I remembered what you said…what you said about moving on and not looking back.  And I listened.  I really think you would be proud.

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Life’s been good

People who know me know what I’ve been up to, but I’ll give you the Spark’s Notes version: I live overseas, I work a job I love, I travel and meet more people than I ever imagined, I’ve learned empathy and compassion from the empathy and compassion you and others have shown me, and I almost never think about those days when I was really sick.  I do, however, think a lot about you.

Anyone who ever asks me how I ended up overseas, has heard about you.  You’re nameless in the stories, and I hate it.  I’ve rarely cried about cancer since then, but I’ve often teared up thinking about what you said, and how I would never get to tell you to your face, because what does an 18 year old really understand about the impact our word’s have on others?  So I’m sorry.  I wish more than anything you knew in that 30 minutes you spent with me, you changed the course of my life.

With eternal gratitude,
Sonia

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So, if anyone who worked at, or is still working at Medical City Dallas, remembers an 18 year old girl in 2003 wearing a shirt that was entirely too low cut, and crying all over your equipment…please know that I owe much of who I am today, to what you said to me.

And to the chemo nurses, the medical assistants, the people drawing blood and the guy who operated the PET-CT scans (yes I remember you)..all of you were my angels at Medical City Dallas.  I have innumerable stories from that time I spent in your good graces, and without you all, your jokes, your sincerity, your all around bad-ass-ness, I don’t think I would’ve been able to move on from it like I did.  I mean…one guy saw me run into a bathroom crying, and waited outside just to make sure I was okay…really…he had a job to do, and he did that instead.

And to ALL nurses…if you think you remember the one or two patients who stood out to you, please know that numerous people hold your faces and your words in their hearts, even though they may never know your name.  Keep up the good work, I just wanted to drop you all a line.

And to anyone still reading this, nurse or not…your kind words matter.  Say them.