The Battle of Being Traditionally Sexy

A guy told me once that I wasn’t “traditionally sexy”. Upon my immediate reaction, I thought this was kind of insulting. What do you mean I’m not traditionally sexy, you asshole!? I thought as I angrily stirred my wine with a straw (whatever – I drink red wine with a straw). But then I started to think – although his initial comment was probably a really nice way of saying “you’re pretty but in a weird way”, I kind of thought it was refreshing. I started to think – who really wants to be the traditionally sexy girl anyway? That’s fucking boring.

I started to really narrow down what it means to be “traditionally sexy” in my mind – maybe a Charlize Theron or a Halle Berry. These actresses that have sex appeal in the most physical sense – a gorgeous, toned body, perfectly done makeup, and exquisite hair. The starlets who are idolized for their immense, tangible beauty, whose life revolves around keeping up appearances. Maybe it’s just me, but that sounds super-duper mundane. And kind of sad. Perhaps for some, this kind of sex appeal is really attractive – the kind that everyone wants, everyone strives for, the top prize if you will.

But for me, I’m kind of glad I’m not traditionally sexy. I’m weird. I eat more pizza than I do vegetables. I avoid the gym at all costs because I don’t like sitting in other people’s sweat, or my own for that matter. I’m lucky if I wake up in time for work to throw on makeup or do my hair. I almost always get something on myself while eating. I eat hummus off my stomach while watching reruns of “Law and Order: SVU”. I’m not traditionally sexy in any sense of that phrase. I think I’m okay with it too.

I think about my idols – who are all not traditionally sexy either – and am completely reassured that it’s okay to be this way. Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, Chelsea Peretti, Mindy Kahling, Maya Rudolph – all huge idols of mine that aren’t considered to be “drop-dead sexy”, but are still hugely influential in the way they carry themselves, inspire girls across the globe, and are unapologetic about being hilarious. They’re writers, mothers, actresses, leaders, motivators, and so much more while still having this crazy beauty that makes them sexy in more ways than one. Which makes me think – who actually defines the word sexy?

To me, sexy isn’t a thing at all – it’s how you feel about yourself. Many women, including myself, struggle with self-esteem problems and insecurity on a daily basis, from which they think “sexy” comes from. However, I really feel that this isn’t the case – sexy is the way to truly feel about yourself. The way you get up in the morning and think, If this is as good as I’m going to look today, that’s fine – I have other awesome qualities that make me extraordinary. It’s confidence. It’s accepting you’re a human being that is different from everyone else in the world – with different flaws, strengths, qualities, and emotions – and still being proud of it. It’s keeping your back straight when all you want to do is slouch with the weight of your insecurities hit you in the back of the head. It’s owning yourself and being unapologetic for the way you feel, while still taking responsibility if you flub up. Sexy isn’t a thing – or rather, it shouldn’t be a physical thing. It’s a confidence you get from accepting yourself exactly the way you are.

I also think that sexy is accepting the fact that others will put a price on your physical beauty, no matter how smart, talented, or brave you are in life. However, it’s the way you accept that harsh reality and still keep your chin up is what makes you deliciously interesting and beautiful. As the lovely Barbra Streisand said as Fanny Brice in Funny Girl, “You think beautiful girls are going to stay in style forever? I should say not! Any minute now they’re going to be out! Finished! Then it’ll be my turn!” 

What I’m getting at is that you define your own definition of sexy and what it means to be it. If that definition is mixing patterns in your outfit and wearing brightly-colored eye shadow, that’s sexy. If the definition of sexy for you is wear that bikini that’s been hiding itself in the back of your closet since the beginning of college, no matter how much weight you think you’ve gain, that’s sexy. If you think the definition is to get accepted to the Ph.D program you’ve been working towards for the past year, that’s sexy. Bottom line – never let anyone else tell you what it means to be sexy. Sexy is feeling fabulous in your own skin, and knowing that you’re the best god damn whatever you do in the whole entire world – flaws and all.





Bigger Picturism: Why You Need to Do It and How it Can Help You Get From Day to Day


BEFORE YOU SAY IT, I KNOW. It’s been a really long-ass time since I wrote anything that wasn’t work related. And honestly, I’ve been cheating myself out doing this, too. Since I’ve graduated, I have had time to collect my thoughts over the past, oh I don’t know, six or seven months and really get down to the core. I’ve had a lot of time on my hands since school is officially over. Forever (muahaha. I’m done. I’m not actually maniacally laughing, but I think it hasn’t completely hit me yet).

So what have I been doing? Besides doing weird old lady things, like clean, buy a label maker, and scrapbook, I’ve been reminiscing like a mad woman. Whether it’s the past year or the past five years, I’ve thought about it all. Every last detail. From who I was to who I am now. I’ve gone over my life with a fine-toothed comb.

How do I even begin to sum up what I’ve learned? It’s really impossible. Teachers, friends, coworkers, family, and people I’ve met in passing have all taught me truly important lessons. And I’m always trying to get to the deep pit of what they taught me. Finding the message, the meaning, whatever it is that they intentionally tried to make me realize or just did it without really knowing.

So I’m sitting here digging through all the knowledge and valuable life advice that has been passed down to me from people and trying to come up with something to categorize it as. Well, go figure, I can’t do that in one sitting. No matter how hard I try. So what I think I’m going to do is look at the bigger picture…

Imagine yourself going through a fossil collection. Dissecting every single bone. From the structure, to the condition in which you found it, to the components that make this fossil a fossil. You dust all the dirt and soot away from this bone, treasuring it while looking at it through a magnifying glass. When do you stop and realize that what you’re sorting through, dusting off, and collecting is part of a bigger picture? When do you take a minute to pause, look at all of your fossils together, and realize that it’s actual a whole animal? You have yourself a huge picture, my friend, and you have yet to realize it.

What I’ve realized after all my sorting and rummaging through memories, advices, thoughts, struggles, and heartaches, is that you have to take a minute and look at it all as one, big, cool collection of shit that just randomly comes together into a lovely picture you have to call your own. And guess what? You have to be grateful about it. Be glad you have it. Just be glad to have something that otherwise is just a bunch of messed up, thrown together pieces, and ends up being absolutely perfect and necessary to where you’re headed.

Instead of me sitting here, recounting all of the great stuff I’ve collected over the past year or so, I’m going to paint you a picture. Here are my bigger-picture tips. Hopefully when you read this, if you’re going through a tough time or just have forgotten how to put the brakes on your life, you’ll realize that stepping back is exactly what you need.

  • When shit is weird, that’s okay: HI I’M AWKWARD. IT’S IN MY BLOG TITLE. IT’S ALSO HOW EVERYTHING ENDS UP BEING IN MY LIFE. And guess what? That’s totally fine. I used to think that when things were weird that you were supposed to run in  the other direction. That is actually false. When things get hairy or too uncomfortable for you to stand, you have to just sit, wait, and laugh through it. And also, guess what? It’s really going to be okay. Seriously. So just do it.
  • Always know what you deserve: This was a biggie. Taking what you think you deserve, whether it’s a pile of shit or a canopy bed laced with diamonds (seriously my DREAM), you have to know what it is that you have coming to you. If you’re a terrible person and you know it, bad things are coming your way. If you’re a lovely person with beautiful everything and wouldn’t even throw a gum wrapper on the ground, the good stuff is right around the corner. And you get EXACTLY what you put into the world (thanks, Eleni–I didn’t forget that you told me that).
  • There’s always hope: Things are going to be really, really, really tough. No matter what kind of person you are. Nothing is going to be easy, and if it’s easy it’s dumb and you don’t want it anyway. But trust me when I say that there is always better stuff around the corner. I’m not really sure how to verify my credibility on this specific bullet point, but I do know that no matter what kind of shit you may wade through, you’re going to get to a field full of daisies someday. Promise, promise, promise.

I know that I’m 23, I probably don’t have all of my shit figured out yet, I know I haven’t completely experienced all that I need to be considered “wise”, but I do know what I listed above to be true. Sometimes all you need is to take a step back, look at everything that’s happening, and appreciate it for what it is. Because if you don’t, you’re missing out. Big time.

Cracking the Dude Code: Stop Checking Your ‘Read’ Receipts and Do the Damn Thing

So this one time I left my number on a sugar packet on a table so the smokin’ hot waiter would see it, think it was clever/cute, and call me. The tagline on the packet said: “Call me, Sugar! 607-XXX-XXXX”
THAT WAS HUGE. I think I was like, 18 and could not even talk to boys without broken English coming out. This was big and made me feel like that girl that always gets the guy. I get it. It was cheesy. Whatever.

Are you wondering if he ever called?

Because he didn’t. And I was a little bit sad. Plus, I thought it was so super ballsy of me and perhaps he would find it attractive.

.  This was one of those stories I tell my friends when they’re nervous about approaching the person they think is attractive. It’s the classic telltale of rejection; person steps out on the ledge in attempts to pull the person theyfind attractive to their side, only to lose their balance and fail miserably. It happens. It’s a part of life. Rejection is always possible, no matter how much in your mind you believe what you’re going to succeed. It’s shit, man. Good news is: it gets easier every time you get put down.

Ok-before you dig into a bottle of Vino and some Cheetos: let’s get back to the point.

Thanks again to Brent Pennington for making me look a hell of a lot cooler than I actually am.

What does putting yourself out there mean? It means this: being vulnerable. Some people (ahem, me) absolutely dread this feeling.
Like literally avoid it at all costs.
Like, you would rather be hung from the clothesline by your toenails.
Okay, maybe not that dramatic. But do you see what I mean?

It means being your complete self in front of someone and having him or her accept or deny you. Unfortunately, it is something that we have to deal with. Whether you’re the most confident bro that ever existed or the most insecure lady ever, it is something that is uncomfortable sometimes but something that will happen again. No matter how many times you run away from it: vulnerability is a necessary evil that makes even the most confident bombshell seem like a preteen with curly hair complex.

We all know that sinking feel, whether you’re a dude or a chick: looking at your phone constantly to see if that person you just texted has finally texted you back. Seeing if they said anything in response to you “lol” or “haha” that would keep conversation going. Unfortunately, this texting game is something we are all too familiar with.

Want to know what I’m getting at? Rejection and vulnerability go hand in hand.

To do one, you have to risk the other and vice versa. Texting unfortunately involves both of this. Yes, this can be insecurity, but I’m almost positive most of us have dealt with that. From the most confident person to the meekest, we all know what it’s like to hate these two things from time to time.

Girls: we all know that the iPhone’s new update has “Read” receipts for iMessage that come standard now (before you turn them off), and it freaks us out to all shit (and makes us HELLA paranoid). So what do the guys think? Do they feel the same way when they text a girl? Of course they do, asshat. But to what extent? I gathered my excellent set of gentlemen to help me out on this question and help crack this part of the dude code.

So I asked them, in my fantastic survey, “Are you ever scared to text a girl?”

Dude #1 said: 

“Oh, absolutely. But recently I realized that if you tell a girl something nice randomly, the worst that can happen is she says “thanks” (one word), tells her friends, and they make fun of you together (this has definitely happened to me). The best thing that happens is that you plant a seed that blossoms into the most beautiful real life fairy tale that will ever exist. I’d say that is worth the risk. Oh, also in the “worst case” her bf could threaten your life and follow out with his promise; that’s why we have Facebook for research. Facebook is the Wikipedia of needs relationship.”

INTERESTING. So, they are scared? And sometimes they don’t know what to say? Weird. Unexpected. But totally human.

Dude #2 said this:

“The only time I get nervous about texting a girl is when it the first one after I get her number. After the first text exchanges, not really. It easy to text because it’s not face to face, you can be more honest, or lie more effectively.”

A-ha! Some honesty. But interesting, still.

And Dude #3 said this:

“Absolutely. Guys have no idea what is going inside a girls head, and we don’t know what they talk to their friends about. I talk about liking it when girls put themselves out there, but it’s a bit of a double standard because it’s hard for me to do it as well. I personally am scared that I’m going on to long/dragging a conversation out. But then sometimes I feel that if I don’t text they’re going to think I’m not interested. So yes, scared, most of the time.”

So there you have it girls: Guys are just as scared. So I asked them: do they actually like it when we text them first?

Dude #1 said:

“I hate texting for no reason. If you are texting just to say ‘Hi’, it’s not cute. It’s needy and pathetic. If you’re long distance, it’s acceptable on a busy day. If we just exchanged numbers, then yes I do like when a girl texts first; it shows interest and relieves a lot of pressure (I’m a wuss when it comes to girls). But on an everyday basis, if you’ve got something to tell me, then text me and tell me; unless you’re gonna see me later because then we won’t have anything to talk about.”

Hmm. Guess that’s a no for Dude #1, unless you’ve won the lottery or met Paris Hilton.

Dude #2 said:

“Umm… YES! It takes a lot of pressure off even if the first text is simple like ‘hello’ or ‘whats up?’ Even if it someone you been talking to for a little while; that first text of the day is nice to not be the one to start it. Also it shows that she was thinking about you. It gets old fast when I am the one who only starts the texting. Also it makes me think well she must not be into me.”

Whoa. Dude #2 sounds kinda like us, eh? Scared to text and wants the other person to start conversation.

Dude #3 said:

This is a tough one. 80% of the time I love it when a girl texts me first because it means she’s interested in talking to me and is willing to come up with conversation topics to talk about. BUT, it matters the text she sends. Is it another “Hey, what’s up?” or something along that lines? If so, DON’T send it. I can’t tell you the several times my friends and I have just been so annoyed by a girl texting that to us more than 2 times a day and we just have nothing to say to it. We then store that in our memories (me especially) and will honestly use it to prove not talking to you, or even breaking up with you. In summation: I enjoy it when a girl texts first, but only if it’s something worth reading.”

Welp, Dude #3 hit the nail on the head with that one.

So what can I gather from all of this surveying and poking and prodding of these guys? They’re scared of rejection, too, just like every other human being on the planet. Sometimes, we can forget that they aren’t a completely different life form than us, and they have feelings and emotions and qualities. Many girls (guilty here) when they’ve been played, broken up with, or just plain hurt, can forget that guys just aren’t out to break a bunch of fragile, 20-some’s hearts, and they make mistakes too.  Although we may not take this into consideration when we get mad at them, or give them the cold shoulder, they are scared of being vulnerable just as much as we are. Texting or no texting, these guys are just as scared to take the first leap as you are. So just do it for them. Everyone is scared of the same thing, no matter how confident we may seem.

Moral of the story: Get to it! Take the leap. Being vulnerable and outside your comfort zone is uncomfortable, but everyone truly feels that way from time to time. Plus, to play the texting game you have to let go of those inhibitions. So why not start up a fun conversation? It’s only your loss if you don’t.

Cracking the Code: The Straight-up Dude Relationship Knowledge Series

It’s literally almost been a whole year since my last post. HOLY BALLS. Wow. Life has been crazy-busy. But now I get to write for a living so I guess that’s pretty badass, right? Right.

Since then, besides being insanely busy, I’ve had the chance to really get to know the one person who really counts: me. Yeah, it

Me in my favorite dress, obviously. Thanks Brent Pennington for my sweet ass headshots!

probably sounds super-duper cliche, but it’s the God-honest truth. I’ve learned what my strengths are, what makes me tick, and importantly, who I should NOT date. For some people, the dating game comes pretty easy (or so it seems). Some people spit so much game that they are unable to clean it all up in the end. However for me, dating has been less than…uh…easy (see my blog title, please).

I’ve dated some good guys and bad guys, as any girl does when she’s in her mid-twenties. Like my mother always says: “It’s all practice.” And she’s so freaking’ right when she says that it’s all practice, because it truly is.

SIDEBAR: Betty DeLuca Tompkins (aka Ma) you now fully have proof that I am claiming that you are right about something. Sorry for being an angsty teen, love ya! xoxo

You have to date people, get to know them, then figure out what you want/deserve in the process. Sigh. It’s life–sometimes it truly sucks, but I have to say it’s been pretty funny/awkward/educational along the way.

…But wouldn’t it be lovely to make it easier on ourselves by just knowing the trick to dating? Like, a handbook of sorts. A million things run through my mind as I type this out, but I know that most women are not too fond of dating. It’s truly the uncertainty of getting to know someone you are remotely attracted to in hopes of them thinking the same of you. But baby, that’s the game of life: It’s a big, nasty, tangled rat’s nest of your extensions that you slept in the night before. But isn’t that the fun of it, too? Having to rip out those nasty raccoon tail extensions, brush them out, and put them back in for the next night at your bar of choice. Kind of like dating: you get burned, sort it out, then try again. Yeah? Yeah.

Let me back up a bit: the handbook of dating. You know, something you can refer to when you need an answer to your burning questions, like, “If he wiggles his nose and twitches his eyebrow three times, does that mean he has a thing for me?”

Another Sidebar: If you legitimately ask that question above, your dude has allergies. Or is a warlock.

What about the serious stuff, like, “How do I even know I like him?” or “When do I know when the right time to text him is?” Perhaps this is trivial to you, but to most girls, this is a thing. And I don’t mean like, a thing-thing. I mean like a THING.

Definition of ‘THING’- Something women care about. Also known as “a really big shitting deal”.

I get it, I get it. Men and women are completely different when it comes to being insane in the membrane. But what if it wasn’t that hard to figure out? What if we tried to understand each other a little more and gave up on the “Oh, it’s just cause he’s a guy” or “Women always say that.”

So here I am: Putting my big girl panties on, as my lovely best friend, and highly talented performer, Dana always says. I’m going to try to get into the opposite sex’s brain. Not literally, but like, in a sneaky panther way. I’m going to ask the questions that all the girls are just itching to know the answer to. Or wonder “Why the shit does he do that?” when their boyfriend does not text them back for a half of a day. I’m going to know why.

So I was all like on every single form of social media possible to gather all the primary information I could:

“HEY DUDES I NEED YOUR HELP WITH SOMETHING! Like legit dudes, not as the figure of speech. Males.”

And three guys answered back. (BEE TEE DUBS: 3 is like, the perfect number when you’re blogging stuff.)

Three very different, charming, all-around good guys answered my plea for dude-knowledge. I am so grateful that they did, because without them, I would have nothing to pull from. I’d probably have to ask my landlord, who I’m guessing from talking with him, is not well-versed in bro ideologies.

Anyway, I had to come up with a pool of questions to send the guys. With the help of my lady roommates, and many other of my wonderful gal friends, I came up with these Q’s to throw in their direction:

  • What initially makes you attracted to a girl?
  • What would you wish a girl would do to show you she likes you?
  • What do you wish she wouldn’t do to show that she likes you?
  • What is your least favorite thing about trying to get to know a girl?
  • What is your favorite thing a girl does when you are trying to get to know her?
  • Do you like when a girl texts you first? (Elaborate on this)
  • Are you ever scared to text a girl when you like her?
  • Are you into getting to know a girl through Facebook?
  • What is your view about Facebook? (Like, is it useful, does it ruin relationships, etc.)

They totally sent back some HELLA sweet answers that are not only useful in my bloggervention, but also totally genuine. Each week, I’m going to post the answers to these questions from my three little bro-nuggets to help us women realize what we’re doing wrong, what we’re doing right, and what they appreciate. Plus, it will be a little helpful for both parties to understand where the other one is coming from, you know?

All I really want out of this blog series is for the girls (and guys), in their mid-twenties, who are frustrated with dating all the wrong people, to get answers to their questions. To really see and think outside of our “BOYS SUCK” or “GIRLS ARE DUMB” mindset. Maybe we’re just not thinking of things the way they are. I just want all the girls and guys like me (who are also known as crazy, hopeless, silly romantics) that there is a lid to every pot. You just have to keep looking. Promise.

Forgiving the unforgivable: Why it’s harder than you realize

Sorry my little blog-nuggets. I’ve really been slacking in the creative writing department lately. I’ve tried to channel every girly emotion that has so gracefully caused some intense mood-swings, but nothing has seemed to work. Answer: I’m suffering from writer’s block.

I’ve got in touch with my inner-Buddha lately and making peace with my surroundings, which is surprisingly unusual for my realist demeanor. I’ve reflected on the past year and how much I’ve changed. I’ve also done some growing up, which you know, is necessary for someone who is 22. I’ve thought a lot about forgiveness and what it takes to do so. That shit is not easy.

You know that moment you see someone from your past and it makes you really anxious? So you hide your face, pretend like you’re invisible, and don’t make eye contact. You casually hide behind really tall people (unless you are really tall, but in my case this works), compulsively check Twitter, and make it known you have absolutely no idea they are in the room?

^I absolutely hate this feeling. I would rather go through life with greeting each other, smiling, and saying nice things. However, I know this isn’t possible in most cases. 

Take my case for instance: I have this ex-boyfriend that I’ve written about before (refer to some of my more angsty posts right after our break up and it will give you a great image of how it ended). I see him constantly around campus and he ignores me like I’m just another Northface-wearing, legging-sporting Ugg-booter. Contrary to popular belief, I have no bitter feelings towards him. The door is always open for him to come talk to me.

It wasn’t that easy, though. Sure I had nights where I wanted to burn every picture of him I had and listen to all of our favorite songs with a bottle of Vino, but I think I’m past the “piss off, you asshat” phase. I’m actually really happy that I had the time I did with him because he taught me some great things. Such as :

  • How to check the oil in my car
  • How many tastes of music there are in the world
  • How my nose isn’t as bad as I make it seem and my hair is pretty when it’s curly

So hats off to him to bringing these things to my attention.
It’s weird. I always thought I’d be sad and bitter, skeptical of every guy that walks into my life. But it’s actually quite the opposite: I’m really happy that I got to experience being in love. Many people don’t get the chance to do it. Plus, your life is too short to think anything else of it. You’re missing all the good stuff that happened in between. And shit, we all know that you learn way more about yourself than you ever wanted to. I guess this also makes forgiving myself and him a lot easier. Remembering everything good.

Make everything as easy as you can and just forgive. You will feel lighter. Promise.

Moral of the story: Somethings are meant to be broken. Learn from it, forgive who you need to and move on.


On being mature: the kind of stuff they don’t teach you in school

Hi all. Sorry I haven’t talked in a while. I’ve been kind of busy maturing and such. Hence, this post.

This post was inspired by a recent string of events that have happened to me in the past month. These events have made me realize that I’m not a freshman.

I’m a senior. A senior in college. That means I’m 22. Twenty plus years on this planet. I’m in graduate school. I’m with people that are older than me. 

So when do I grow up again?

Yeah sure. The parties are great, it’s fun to be young, and staying out late is cool. But when is it time to retire the red Solo cup and turn it in for a book about investing?

I think right now is a great time to get my ass into gear. I’m really going to be on my own in less than 6 months. Why not get a head start and stop laughing about things that make farting noises? I think it’s in my best interest.

I guess I’m still learning about a lot of things. I mean, everyone has to learn, right? I guess I’m just learning slower than I expected to. Or maybe it’s the fact that I have yet to face reality. Well, I suppose it’s time to man-up…er “woman-up”. Take the bull by the horns. Start balancing my checkbook and cleaning out the lint trap in the dryer.

It’s a super grounding moment when you realize that you’re not a kid anymore. You have bills to pay, people to please, and duties to fulfill. No more laying around until one in the afternoon because you were out until 4 a.m. No more bar hopping in heels. And I’m not saying that part of my life is over. There are just other things that are now more important. And that’s really, really scary.

So from this day forward, I’m going to start acting my age. No more procrastination. Only positive attitudes. Allow myself to be human. No more Spongebob in my bed for half of the day…or maybe just on Sundays.

Moral of the story: Stay true to who you are, but don’t be afraid to change for the better.

Relationships: Why it’s what you make it and not exactly fate

“Everything happens for a reason.”-Everyone that has ever tried to give me relationship advice.

If I had a bottle of wine for every time I heard that phrase, I would have a wine cellar.

Okay maybe that wasn’t the best analogy, but I think you can relate. When you’re distraught, confused, and unsure of where things are going in your relationship, some asshat tells offers you that advice. It’s probably the most vague thing you could say to someone in a time of need. And the last thing you want to hear? Most definitely.

Go ahead. Tell me I’m cynical. I hear it a lot.
But really? Let’s be real. Everything happens for a reason..? If that’s true, then hangovers would technically be blessings. You drink, and you receive a hangover: which happened for a reason. We all know this does not happen in real life. You can take such as everyone in a Friday morning class.

Your fairy God mother is not about to get some mice to make you a prom dress, they send you off with some glass shoes (which by the way is kind of dangerous, yes?) and throw Prince Charming into your lap. The truth is, not everything happens because somewhere in an alternative universe the gods, or God mothers, are silently plotting your fate. Yes, I do believe in a higher power and everything, but I truly believe those kind of things are in your hands. It is the effort you put in and not the ways of the world.

Of course I’m referring to romantic relationships. But I also mean the other ones that are meaningful to you. The one’s with your parents, coworkers, friends, acquaintances: whoever. It’s only up to you and how you treat the other person. Of course, how they treat you is just as important, but you need to remember to give a little once in a while. You know, put some effort into the things that really, truly matter. Once you stop trying, that’s when you turn into a pumpkin. I think I’m mixing up my fairy tales. Maybe.

Most things in life are material. The things you can buy, acquire, or find. That shit doesn’t count, ok? What really counts is the people around you. Make them smile. Ask them how their day is. Really. Truly. Care. Because when you leave this world, your BMW and your $5,000 mini-bar aren’t going to be standing and weeping. 

What I’m really trying to say is yeah, shit happens. It’s going to happen when you’re in a relationship with someone else, whether it’s romantic or platonic. It happens fast, it’s not always fair, and it can turn around and bite you in the ass.  There’s not always a rhyme or reason, but it happens. There’s nothing you can do. It’s not always their fault. It could be that you stopped giving a damn and didn’t put in your end of the deal.

Moral of the story: Relationships are never one-sided. For a good one to work out, it takes two. So start putting in your work.

Traveling for Dummies: The fast-track way to a better year

Sorry, party people. It has been way too long since I posted a darn-tootin’ thing. You know what happens, that life thing. It can get kind of busy.

So the other day I realized that it was October.
I was like, WHOA. ARE YOU SHITTING ME? It’s October.
(Go ahead, mock me. I have other important shit on my agenda besides keeping track of the months.)

Unless your birthday is in this month or some sort of anniversary, October is probably just another month for you. It’s the one where everything gets cold, miserable, and pretty all at the same time. October has always been a strange month for me. Settling into school, dating around, scoping out new hobbies, going out. However, last October was a terrible one.

All in one week, my life went to complete shit. And I mean shit. If you refer to my post here, you will understand some of which my week was bad. I also lost a really great friend that week to cancer, along with my wonderful dog of 11 years, Luke.

So come on down to the pity party, right?
Wrong. I can’t even say that I wasn’t feeling sorry for myself for that week, but honestly, who was? It’s okay to indulge in that self-pity once in a blue moon. And plus, I spent a good year and a half worrying about someone else’s well-being more than my own. So I think my time was deserved.

But after that week was over, I did work. Total work. I rearranged my room, I adjusted posters on my walls, I hung out with new and exciting people. And guess what? I didn’t parish. I didn’t cease to live. I’m alive.

A year changes a lot of things. I have released all the bad I had cooped up for so long, but I also learned how to give a little too. I learned that bad things are going to happen. You’re just going to have to saddle up,  put your riding boots on, and come at things full force. Because if you don’t, you’re constantly stuck in one spot, right?

So many wonderful, joyous, beautiful people have come into my life in that time period. Some were already there but made their presence known, some came out of the woodwork at the right time, and others just happened to find me along the way.

I say this is traveling because it really is. I went ever-y-where, man (said in a Johnny Cash voice). I saw my lowest of lows, my highest of highs, and learned that there could be an in between. I stopped being scared of everything and realized that if I don’t do the things I want to, someone else will.

Moral of the story: Keep going. 

Dear diary: You’re stronger than you think

Photo credit: Brent Pennington Photography

This isn’t an actual entry from my diary. If you were reading my diary, you wouldn’t be able to follow because I doodle a lot, practice my bubble letters, and work on drawing hand turkeys. Obviously, true brilliance.

I absolutely hated riding the bus in elementary/middle school. Specifically, 3rd-7th grades.
It was the worst. I was teased, made fun of, had things thrown at me, and humiliated by the big kids. You know, those kids who sit in the very last two seats and are obnoxiously loud? Those kids. Of course, I probably brought a little of it on myself by calling one of the bigger bullies an “asshat“, some lovely word I had crafted to shut down the big kids, but it never worked. Much of bullying isn’t deserved. I also, however, have also been the bully in some situations. Never a good feeling.

I spent most of my adult life thinking this was normal. Normal to make others the butt of a joke, or normal to take the offhand comments some would sling my way. It’s perceived as normal because bullying is everywhere. I’ve watched parents do it to their own children, along with teachers do it to students who are soft-spoken by nature.

Bottom line: It’s extremely hurtful and wrong.
Not to mention, it leaves scars that some may see and may not see.

If someone tells you that you’re fat, yeah, that’s going to hurt. You’re going to sit and think about it, starve yourself, make yourself throw up, or ration what you eat.
If someone tells you that you’re ugly, yeah, that’s going to hurt, too. You’re going to sit and think about it, convince yourself that just because one person thinks you’re ugly, the rest of the world does too. You’re going to layer on countless cosmetic products and style your hair the right way because that’s pretty. You can get up and put your pretty on.
If someone tells you that you’re stupid, that hurts too. You’re going to sit and think about it, convince yourself you’re dumb, and stop trying. You’ll think that you just can’t do anything right, so why try? You’re just going to fail.

Newsflash: None of those things are true. 

The one thing I’ve learned from bullies and from being a bully is that they always feed off the satisfaction of ruining someone’s day. Which is so shitty. In so many awful, terrible ways.

But, I’ve also learned that no matter how many times you feel like absolute shit by letting that bully ruin your day, you know that deep down, absolutely none of those things are true. You know that you’re smart, beautiful, and just the right weight. And that’s all you really need to stand up to a bully, because really, who are they anyway?  And who are you? Awesome.

Moral of the story: Never let anyone tell you who you are.