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Change – You’re Awful, I Love You.

19 Nov

Things I hate more than change:

  • Spiders that like to play hide-and-go-seek to crash the car.
  • Banging my ankle on the corner of my bedpost.
  • Being told to “calm down,” or “take it easy,” or worst of all – “just relax.”
  • Raisin cookies because they’re just hanging out with the cookies to be like chocolate and that’s sad. Be your own, gross thing.
  • Microwave terrorists who heat up fish at the workplace.
  • People who downplay change.
  • Dealing with the actual change at hand.
  • Admitting that I hate change.
  • Coming to terms with hating change by watching a 10-hour Netflix binge-a-thon and drinking wine through a venti Starbucks cup.

 

One of those, is a lie.

(And it’s obviously the last one. Who hates that?)

Change…to put it bluntly – sucks.

Sure, it’s all about your “perspective” and how you choose to view change. For me, coping with change, adapting and Sudoku have all been challenging. I’m not what the layman would call, “easygoing when it comes to disruption.”

Change is always jarring even though you don’t just expect it, you outwardly ASK for it. Every day you could ask for the same thing, then when you get it, it’s like – “What? Oh, that? No, I was kidding. I’m not ready. There’s a million reasons why JUST NOT NOW, OKAY?”

When change is on the horizon, here are some “quick tips on how to cope and stop being such a f$%8ing baby, baby.”

Buck the f%^& up, buttercup

Change is typically pretty good, or happening for a reason. I mean, sometimes it’s the complete opposite and pretty horrifying but we’re not really dealing with that type of change right now, so can you just not? Especially if change is good, there seems like there wouldn’t be a lot of room to complain, right? WRONG. I think what “gets us” here is the fear of the unknown. Think of what keeps you at a crappy job, or in a less-than-amazing relationship.

Fear is real, but fear is also a liar. Fear is the guy still wearing socks with TEVAS and a Hawaiian shirt.  You can’t trust that guy. Look at what he’s wearing – he very obviously knows nothing about anything and you can’t trust him. Did he just answer his Nokia flip phone? Fear’s intentions are almost good because it reminds you that at any moment, things can happen. But you have to fight that anxious, negative, “at any moment, things can happen” with the positive side of that. How amazing is it that at any moment, anything can happen? Pretty. Damn. Amazing.

So take a note out of what could possibly be the best insult I’ve ever heard, courtesy of Scandal and don’t let this hit you in your soft spots:

Stop. Evaluate and LISTEN.

When change happens you start to see who is there with you, who is there for you and who never really was. THIS is the hardest part of change for me. To watch people who you believe you have true bonds with turn from best friends, to acquaintances and finally to strangers. It’s like, you think you’re part of this exclusive club, only to find out they let everyone in and the club’s closing next week.

Something happens to people when change is involved. It happens to me all the time. You’re happy for them, but you’re sad for you. It feels so selfish to say that, right?

Sometimes we don’t think about what happens to those who go through change with us. Sure, it’s hard for you to leave a job. But isn’t it hard for those you leave behind who are used to you and your antics? Who lean on you for certain things?

My biggest gripe is when change happens, it’s like people cease to exist. You tell yourself nothing will change, or people say “see you soon.”

Wrong.

It. All. Changes.

Your friendships become strained because you’re all busy. You make up reasons in your head, or you’re so involved in your own emotions that you reason with yourself as to why you don’t see each other anymore.

That’s the true test of your relevancy in each others lives. When you start to realize where your place is in their lives and theirs in yours, it doesn’t feel good. But sometimes, there’s just no place for your relationships once the glue that held you guys together is gone.

You have less in common, you’re stretching and growing and so are they (in their own ways). Change is inevitable, yes. But does it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t suck, or hurt, or make you feel like singing Billy Joel in your underwear in your living room after drinking a bottle of Malbec.

 

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I prefer my BJ old school.

 

Always dance in your living room in your underwear to Billy Joel after too much wine.

This one explains itself. You know what makes you feel good? Being drunk and pants-less in the comfort and security of your own home. You know where you feel sexier than Jennifer Lawrence and feel like you sing better than Rihanna? In the comfort and security of your own home. You know where you video yourself dancing and singing as the alter-ego of both called “J-Rawr?” In the COMFORT AND SECURITY OF YOUR OWN HOME.

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Be silly. Be weird. Embrace what you’re dealing with.

Change can’t take away your happiness. Most of the time, change actually the good guy. Change is like Channing Tatum in Step Up, Magic Mike, Magic Mike XXL, 21 Jump Street, 22 Jump Street, ok— you get it.  Change is EVERY CHANNING TATUM CHARACTER. Change wants you to see them as smart and sexy and as the right choice, for the right reason. Change wants you to “take it to the streets” and rub your fingers up and down it’s abs, but also respect it’s mind. Embrace it. That is definitely the point I’m trying to make. Definitely.

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Much like my odd Tatum tangent, there’s nothing you can do about it. So you may as well learn how to experience, embrace and even enjoy (if you can) what you’re working through. Find comfort in the things that bring you comfort. When that doesn’t work, remember there is always Billy Joel – and wine.

 

You’re not a tree. So don’t throw shade.

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If you’re like me (a changeaphobe), this actually can be the hardest part. When something crappy happens, like say you leave a troupe you’ve been in for over a year because you feel like, “why do I come here once a week AND pay you and yet you’re the rudest human-being I know?” you want those you know to come with you, or at the very least SEE the same thing you’re seeing. When you cease to be a part of something and your friendships stop, or you’re replaced or however you view it, frustration and upset can build. Suddenly, you have attitude mountain on the corner of “WTF just happened” and “Wait, why does this hurt?”

Just be kind. Be kind to those who love you. Who are there. Who aren’t there. Who don’t get it. Who get it 100%.

Change is a powerful creature that can make you feel abandoned, empowered, amazing, terrible, alone, part-of-something, over-the-moon happy and/or angry.

If there are people who are there for you, lean on them. If leaving your comfort zone is hard, but worth it, lean on that. If you know that Total Wine is having a sale on Friday and you’ve just purchased some fresh undies, you’ll always, always, have that.

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Everything I’ve Learned Is Wrong

6 Apr

One day I woke up thirty, hazy and terrified. Forget a quarter-life crisis. My real crisis came when I realized that everything I’ve learned thus far in life has been wrong. Sometimes the realizations are small – Playing piano IS cool and I wish I stuck with it. My hair IS different and makes me cool because it defines me. Learning another language IS cool, useful and would help my career. Dates aren’t (just) a gross, cockroach-looking fruit; they’re ACTUALLY delicious.

I’ve sweated everything from the smallest stuff to the largest stuff. I’ve buried my head in the sand when the small stuff became the extra-large stuff, and I nearly drowned in my own head while my heart stood on watching, laughing like a maniac. (The heart is an asshole. Really.)

In order to show you all the feels I’m feeling, I’d like to express myself via James Van Der Beek GIFs. It’s really the only way.

WHEN IT COMES TO JOBS

I work at an in-house Ad agency, where I get paid to write. Paid. To. Write. To some, that’s the dream. Creative services of any kind are tough, because everyone thinks they can do it. Everyone. Even the homeless population can put a sharpie to a piece of cardboard and garner some “brand presence” for themselves, right?

I fell in love with advertising when I was in 6th grade. It was a series of Snickers commercials that set me on that path.

Career-wise, I knew that I wanted to be funny. I wanted to be creative. I wanted to make people laugh and be in the limelight. Advertising was the marriage of all of those things.

People think the Ad world is like MadMen. It’s not. It’s the complete opposite these days, as the elegance of advertising and drinking whiskey in the office is pretty much long gone (well, as far as HR knows). Advertising is digital, competitive, and swarming with talent. So it’s important to set yourself apart.

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But in grad school, the end goal was always to leave and head to a BIG agency. Swim with the big dogs. That’s not right. Sit at the table with the dolphins. Change a lion into a bear?

Metaphors are hard.

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I’ve worked strictly in-house for the past four years, and here’s what I’ve learned when it comes to jobs (in general).

WHAT I THOUGHT:

Go bigger. Find better. You’re not happy. You’re not here to make friends. Work is work. You’re nothing if you’re not the big dog.

WHAT REALITY IS:

You’re enough. You’re where you’re supposed to be. You can still make a global impact on so many through your work, no matter where you are. Doing dope work is doing dope work. As long as you’re doing it, that’s all that matters. Also, having friends you get to work with everyday is everything. Positive work environments with amazing people is everything.

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WHEN IT COMES TO FAMILY:

You know when you’re younger and your parent just wants to give you everything, and hang out with you on a Sunday? And you, cool you, is like, “Staaaaahp, Mom. I’m just tryin’ to do 13-year-old things, like hang out on AOL chat rooms and just live my life!”

You’re annoyed because your siblings want to go everywhere with you, or dress like you, or hang out with you and your friends, or just want to be around you. AND YOU, COOL YOU, is like, “Yo, guys. Chill. I don’t need you coming to the arcade with my cool friends and me and taking my cool meter down. Because I’m soooo much older and wiseeeer and like, totally the most cool.”

Can you feel me mocking our younger selves?

 

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WHAT I THOUGHT:

Your family will always be there and things will never change. They will never abandon you and will always protect you. They’re like rolling with a constant gang, but a friendly gang that’s super into watching WWE on a Friday night or going on family trips. I am too cool to hang with my mom or my siblings. But, who cares, because they’ll just be there always and it’s no biggie.

WHAT REALITY IS:

Family is more complicated than Joey, Dawson and Pacey’s relationship.

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My mom is a Superhero mixed with a Goddess. She’s the most supportive, loving, caring, annoying, judgmental, loving, judgmental, hard-working human being there is (pictured below, for dramatic effect).That has never changed. And I’m betting will never change. Mom-O-Tron (still working on her Superhero Goddess name) never changes, unless it’s just getting more awesome.

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But sadly, things DO change. Just like when Pacey eventually left Joey and Dawson alone so he could go do Pacey things, such is life. People shift, grow, and stop wanting to hear what you have to say.

They develop their own method of thinking, feeling, and beliefs that can butt-heads with how you deal with them and how you feel about them. They don’t listen. They act like they maybe don’t care. Which is stupid, because they probably care more than anyone.

Then, much like when Joey refused to put the ladder out there for Dawson, your heart hurts. Then, you push the ladder over for good until your heart bursts into tiny flames, then into dust.

THEN (yes, there’s another step after heart combustion) you realize that family is a pretty blanket term. Your friends become your family. Your support system. Who you celebrate with, whom you cry with, whom you vent to and whom you share life moments with.

You create your own family. You build forts with them, you watch TV with them, you have Sunday night dinner with them.

And that’s ok.

WHEN IT COMES TO RELATIONSHIPS

You’re going to have a fairytale. Everything is a damned fairytale. Friendships are made of gumdrops that never stop falling from the sky, everyone is fair and kind, and relationships with another human being are more delicious and refreshing than a slice of apple pie and lemonade on a hot day.

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Nothing is hard, because it relationships are easy because friendship and love and junk.

WHAT I THOUGHT:

Perfection is out there. The right people will never let you down. Making lists of demands of what I require in a human being, friendship or relationship-wise is totally normal. Compromise is bullshit. Hurt me once and I’ll leave you stranded in the middle of the lake, standing on a boat, contemplating “things.”

Friendship is about being there for both parties and never fighting. Love is about things. Having things. Striving to have more things. Both relationships brought together under the common believe that I should be allowed to be me, without any complaints from the peanut gallery.

WHAT REALITY IS:

Perfection is a lie. It’s not real. It’s less real than reality shows, the illusion you can control anything, and Santa. We’re all flawed. We’re all just a little bit jaded, broken, or at the very least, cracked in a few places. It’s not about perfection; it’s about finding who is perfect for YOU.

Love is not about things. Love is taking care of your significant other when they’re sick. Love is in the details. LOVE isn’t the dinners, the flowers, the movies, jewelry, and expensive vacations. It’s literally everything else. It’s sacrificing a Friday night to hangout with your family. It’s how they kiss the dog. It’s how they remember to bring home something you’re out of. They listen. They love you. And there’s literally no ”thing” that can compare to that.

Friendship is amazing. It’s a group of people, who just decide to be there for others with no strings attached. True, unbreakable, supportive, loving friendship is something so special. You choose them, they choose you. They come to every comedy show even though they’ve seen the material 800 times. They rehearse with you. They think of you first to have a wine-inspired dance party. They want the absolute best for you, because even when there are days when you don’t think you deserve it, they know you 100% do.

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WHEN IT COMES TO LIFE

SPONSORED BY OUR GOOD FRIENDS, FEAR AND WORRY!

1966872_10105563458521373_6012836605650924483_nI always pictured my life a little differently. There are days I wake up going, “What the hell happened here!?” There are ALSO days where I wake up going, “What I’ve done in thirty years isn’t that bad.” And, finally, those great, amazing, far-and-few-between days where I wake up going, “AM I LUCKY, OR WHAT?”

What I’ve learned from my spirit animals, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Mindy Kaling are that fear and worry are thieves of time and productivity as well as happiness and success.

Life is meant to be lived. To be enjoyed. To be squeezed to the last drop, like the last season of Dawson’s Creek. (Let’s be serious, we didn’t need that final season, ya’ll.)

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WHAT I THOUGHT:

I’m not enough. None of this is enough. When will it be enough? When will I be content? Isn’t it bad to be content? When will these questions end and when will the fire in my brain be put out?

Am I happy now and I don’t even know it? Am I where I’m supposed to be? HOW WILL I KNOW?

WHAT THE REALITY IS:

I’m enough. You’re enough. We’re all where we’re supposed to be. We’re as happy as we’ll ever be, right now. So why the hell not enjoy it?

What Would Dawson Do?

giphy-4Keep your eyes, head and heart open. You never know what’s headed to you next.

Why You Should Send Your “Standards” On Vacation

22 Jan

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A while ago, my standards bought a sweet Groupon deal for several days in Playa Del Carmen. Unfortunately, it seems as though the longer my standards are “temporarily” on hiatus, it becomes tougher to reverse the consequences of their absence.

I’m not sure if I can blame my environment, my age, being single for three years, or the fact that it’s a rarity for me to meet someone I can connect with on any level (forget every level, I’d settle for one level).

I’m always quick to say that women are a more forgiving people than men (I know men, I can hear the groans and moans from here!). Hear me out. It’s not always the case, but more often than not it’s my friends (both single and in relationships) who are female that make excusations (my definition and coined phrase for excuses and accommodations) for their men-folk.

Take a second to think about this:

  1. How many of your male friends are super-fit and are dating less-than-fit women?
  2. How many of your male friends with a graduate degree date women with a high-school education?
  3. How many of your male friends can say, “Of course attraction is key and sure I’m attracted to her, but it’s really because she’s a good human and a human I want to hang around that makes me interested.”

Now, to be fair…how many of your lady friends say this:

  1. I wish he was a little bit taller…
  2. I wish he was a baller…
  3. I wish he had a girl who looked good, he should call …her.… ok, this one doesn’t work here…
  4. “OK, he’s like a super cool guy, but he’s a freakin’ …
    1. Para-legal
    2. Rap artist…and he’s white and Jewish!
    3. Aspiring dish washer
    4. Student at 35

 Girls are dicks too.  

 I’m not saying that one is worse than the other, necessarily;

 I’m just saying I hear more of my girlfriends saying things like:

“You know, I don’t love that he likes to call his mom directly after sex, but he’s such a good guy…and he makes me laugh so much…I’ve just taken to pretending I don’t hear it.”

“I know he just quit his high-paying job to become a comedian, despite not ever writing one word or ever being on stage, but he’s so funny in real life I think he has a real shot! Plus, I have a Master’s degree, so we know I’ll always have a job!”

“He’s bald. Like baby’s butt bald. I know usually I love a lofty head of hair, but I can deal with it. It’s kind of cute when the sun hits it just right.”

“Alright, I know… he has a bit of a “gut” and a “gambling” problem, but those we can adjust. Plus his family is so great and that’s such a rare find.”

While my guy friends say things like:

“Her boobs tilt at a 30 degree angle, which is creepy…right? Sure, she has an MBA and she’s running a Fortune 500 company but you know Bobby can’t get with no weird boobies!”

“I spend 7 days in the gym. She weighs like, 145lbs which is two times what she should weigh…unless it’s in her bra. BOOM!”

“I can’t date her because she’s funnier than I am, which calls attention to my insecurities as a man, since that is legit all I bring to the table.”

“All she does is run the Marketing Department for a huge Airline company. How hard is that? I mean honestly, work harder!”

These are all real things that either my friends or myself have experienced:

Your toes may be messed up or be so furry it looks like you belong on “The Shire.” You may have no hair anywhere else except on the back of your shoulders (that’s right, not even your back). You could have a stupid tattoo on your chest that doesn’t make sense. You may have a belly button ring from a stupid frat dare in 2002. You may have quit your job because you want to chase your dream. You may have one crooked finger that for some reason is always pointing left. You may have a huge, hooknose. You may have horrible parents who seem to want no woman to love you, ever. You may have a bi-polar sister you want to move in with us.  You may have no aspirations, no dreams, no goals, but you’re hilarious. You may laugh like a dolphin, slapping your knee when something is super funny.

Real life. I’m not a solid fiction writer, I assure you.

Either way, it comes back to something I talk about a lot (ok, a ton). The idea of perceived perfection, and why I think that notion is at the root of why there are so many single folk. For a while, people were saying the same things to me. “Your standards are way too high. You require too much from a person.”

At first I fought them. Told them they were ridiculous. Absurd! Then over the past three years of single-hood, I started to take a good look at everything. Taking a good look at your needs and wants and scrutinizing your own behavior can oftentimes be synonymous with each other.

I started to chip away at my “standards” and figure out what was negotiable v. non-negotiable.  I’m going to share my actual list of things with you, then show you how they’ve whittled themselves down to a solid (and rational) list, for better or for worse.

Six Months After Being Single:

Non-Negotiable

  1. Must not be a gambler
  2. Must not laugh like a dolphin
  3. Must not have a stupid name
  4. Must have an education (graduate would be nice!)
  5. Must have hair in all the right places (the head, you perverts!)
  6. Must not have hair in odd places
  7. Must be a good human
  8. Must think I’m funny
  9. Must want to be physically active on some level. Any level.
  10. Must be Jewish
  11. Must love his family, but they cannot run his life nor dictate his decisions.
  12. Must not be religious
  13. Must like comedy of all kinds and appreciate humor.
  14. Must have a dream
  15. Must love Disney
  16. Must know who Drake is      

Negotiable

  1. You live in a close proximity to me

After about a year and a half of being single and only dating people from the non-negotiable list of the naïve six-month single lady, my tune (and list) changed:

A Year and A Half After Being Single:

Non-Negotiable

  1. Must not be a gambler
  2. Must be tall (I like what I like!)
  3. Must have an education (graduate would be nice!)
  4. Must be a good human
  5. Must think I’m funny
  6. Must want to be physically active on some level. Any level.
  7. Must love his family, but they cannot run his life nor dictate his decisions.
  8. Must like comedy of all kinds and appreciate humor.
  9. Must have a dream
  10. Must know who Drake is

 Negotiable

  1. You live in a close proximity to me
  2. Must not laugh like a dolphin
  3. Must not have a stupid name
  4. Must be Jewish
  5. Must not be religious
  6. Must not have hair in odd places
  7. Must have hair in all the right places (the head, you perverts!)

It’s starting to look a little more even, no? As time progresses you still think you’re being reasonable. That your standards aren’t too high, because after all, you’ve been raised to believe you should have high standards (albeit ridiculous ones sometimes).  Also, hey, you’re the total package….right?

A little over two years into being single and meeting absolutely everyone who meets your list on paper, yet not in person, you start to dig a little deeper.

Sometimes it goes to a good place of self-discovery, where you figure out some deep shit about yourself that prevents you from being able to meet “the person,” should they even exist. You’d never know if they were staring you in the face because you’re so pre-occupied with a fakakta checklist you forget to enjoy everything else. Sometimes it goes to a bad place of self-loathing, or you-on-you bashing. You turn the fact you haven’t been able to meet someone inwards. What’s wrong with me? What did I do wrong? What did I not do enough of? Maybe my degrees aren’t from a prestigious enough place. Maybe my job isn’t impressive enough. Maybe my boobs are skewed at a 30 degree angle and JUST MAYBE THAT IS HORRIFYINGLY CREEPY.

Right before the three year mark, hundreds of failed dates and obscene pictures of dudes junk on my phone, tons of disgusting messages from men on Tinder who can’t wait to say things to a perfect stranger like, “Oh, the things I’d eat out of your ass,” coupled with several failed relationships and general disgust for dating… I started to realize a couple of things.

First I had to reaffirm what I already know is true. To someone, I am the total package But I am in no way perfect (unless you ask my dog. He can’t lie.).  My flaws are real, but there are things about me that should surpass those perceived flaws.

That reaffirmation lead me to throw away my ridiculous silly standard list and rethink things totally.

There were things about the people I’ve dated I could not change, no matter what.  The important stuff like wanting a family, wanting to be a part of my family, my life, being a good human, etc.  Then, there were plenty of things I could have changed about those same people that still wouldn’t have changed the non-negotiable things.

Following?

It’s the things about a person you can’t change that matter the most. Are they kind? Is their heart warm and is there an open spot for a significant other? Are they loving? Are they a good human, overall? Do they appreciate a sense of humor and value knowing that at the end of the day… looks fade, weight is lost and gained, but the power of attraction, wit and conversation linger on forever.

My old standards wrote me from Playa Del Carmen, noting they won’t be returning. They don’t feel valued anymore and are seeking some new naïve brain to roll-around in.

After Three Years of Being Single:

Non-Negotiable

  1. Be a good human being
  2. Have a sense of humor (or an appreciation for it)
  3. Have a dream
  4. Have room for me in your heart/life
  5. Obviously, still knowing who Drake is. Seriously.

Negotiable

Literally everything else.

 

See ya later, silly standards!

The First Date Dilemma

9 Jan

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Few things suck more than going on a first date, with the exception of running, movies that have Jennifer Lopez in them, and raisin cookies (because raisins LOOK like chocolate chip, but SIT ON A THROWN OF LIES!).

What I’ve found is first dates are kind of like Transformers. You start out as one person and adapt to your audience and surroundings. Your date starts out one way, and then morphs from a Chevy Camaro into Bumblebee. You know, the usual.

It took me a long time to figure some things out about first dates. For a while I just thought I was bad at them. I used to feel like I could never fully be myself because that’d be like releasing the kraken at Chili’s. No one wants that. Trust me.  My mentality shifted after being single for three years and starting to give zero fucks. What started out as, “Well, I have to come off slightly reserved and keep some of myself a mystery” turned into “I’m going to be myself completely. If you dig it, fabulous. Hate it? Cool. I’m not for you. No biggie.”

I tried to be the girly-girl. I tried to be the sporty-girl. I tried to be the guys-girl. The beer drinker. The whiskey enthusiast. The book nerd. The lover.  The easy-going girl. The righteous moral-girl.  The one-night-fun-time-girl. The fighter. The, the, the, the, the, the…

None of it worked. And holy crap, was I exhausted trying to be everything to everyone. Not to say that I’m not pieces of the perceived persona, but it was learning to tone down certain things I love and amplify the others, pending my dates interests, likes and dislikes.

Resolved that I would never go on a date that would be exceptionally pleasant or inspire me to go on a second date with anyone, possibly ever, I just resolved to be myself.   But who was I? Who had I become? And what part of the first date schtick was real?   Your friends are quick to give you all sorts of advice, without asking for it, that they feel is worth taking into consideration:

  • Men don’t want you to be funny. They have to be the funny one.
  • Men love funny women! Be you!
  • You’re intimidating because your life is together and they want a damsel-in-distress.
  • Men love confident women whose lives are SET. Be you!
  • If he doesn’t like you, it’s his loss!
  • Stop looking for it, it’ll come.
  • Keep putting yourself out there, it’ll happen.
  • No, really. Stop looking. Stop putting yourself out there. Maybe get a second dog. Dogs are cool.
  • WHAT DID YOU DO TO MAKE HIM NOT LIKE YOU AND WHY AREN’T YOU GIVING ME GRANDCHILDREN?

Whoops…that last one…was said…by a friend.

We’ve all been on enough dates to know the difference between a good date where you two vibe well and there’s a spark-of-electricity (AKA I-could- rip-your-clothes-off-and-mount-you-here-in-public!), versus a bad date where the conversation lulls, you wonder who’s texted you about plans you COULD be enjoying instead, or you find your eyes wandering to other tables where people who are on GOOD dates are ogling each other and falling into a deep hormone induced like.   This year I’ve gone on a couple excellent dates. Several “ok” dates. Multiple “DEAR-DOG-WHY-WOULD-YOU-DO-THIS-TO-ME!?” dates.

Unfortunately, we now go back to the Transformers and where things go wrong.

It took me a long time to figure out why I’m not good on a first date. Why I sweat it. Why I try so hard to be who I need to be based on the situation. For a long time now, I’ve let situations dictate who I am and who I should be. What kind of person and lady I am. It turns out my self-esteem or confidence isn’t the issue. It’s that both of them are just as confused as I am.

“Ok dude, I showed up, but now what version of me do you want me to ‘let free’ and show?”- Self-Esteem

“Fuck them. Let me free and let’s just see what happens!”- Confidence

If you act like a down-to-earth, cool chick, who is confident and has her life together, you’re “intimidating.”

If you just shake your head and say, “Oh, for sure!” all the time, you seem weak and like you have no opinions.

Be demure. Be strong. Be confident. Be funny. Be timid. Be human. Be, be, be, be…

Be so concerned with who you should be, you forget who you are. Be so concerned with who you should be, that the person you’re with can’t figure it out either. Be so concerned with who you should be, you forget to have a good time.

Forgetting who you are leaves your self-esteem and confidence staring at each other like, “Houston, we have a problem. Well, Allyson, it’s been a privilege flying with you.  Now, much like Apollo 13, we’re going to spontaneously blow this joint up.”

What I’ve found to be true of the men-folk on first dates:

When They’re Genuinely Interested In Getting to Know You

  1. They ask questions.
  2. They keep their eyes on you, not your boobs.
  3. They try as hard, if not harder than women to try to find the commonalities.
  4. They set a second date before the first date even ends.
  5. They don’t try to grope you, because they’re not in a hurry or concerned if they don’t try to bang you now, that you’ll wake up tomorrow suddenly not interested.
  6. They don’t try to bullshit you. They’re honest and open despite the topic (as much as they can be on a first date).
  7. They don’t check their phone at the table. (Seriously, the best way to give a woman the middle finger without doing it.)
  8. They want to let you into their world. What they like, what they’re interested in, what they nerd out over.

When They’re Genuinely Interested in Getting To Know Your Vageen

  1. It’s a race to the bedroom.
  2. They make HORRIBLE jokes that are ALWAYS sexual or passively sexual.
  3. They check their phone to let you know that someone more awesome, interesting or hot could be texting them right now…better hop on it before this stag heads to another racetrack.
  4. They forget you have eyes. Because, well, as a very funny movie once put it… “Eyes are the nipples of the face.” But boobs…are the face, of….of the face. I think I even just confused myself.
  5. They don’t make real plans. They make last minute plans (always after 11 PM) because of “hectic schedules,”  “conflicting plans,” or ya know, “general disinterest.”
  6. They send pictures of their junk, before you even meet. If you’re lucky, that doesn’t start until after the first date, but definitely before the second date is even in the works.
  7. They want you to know how important and busy their world currently is. How much porn they watch, what kind of weird porn they watch, how many times they whack it a day, and how incredibly horny they are all the time. Even right now.

What I’ve found to be true of women-folk on first dates:

When They’re Genuinely Interested In Getting to Know You

  1. We laugh at your jokes. All of them. Bad, good, otherwise.
  2. We ask you questions about your life. We want to know what makes you tick and how we become one of those things.
  3. We’re constantly worried that we didn’t wear the right thing, say the right thing, played with our hair too much, didn’t say enough, said too much. OH MY DOG, WE’RE PANICKING. WE RUINED IT. ALL OF IT. FOREVER.
  4. We let ourselves enjoy the date.
  5. We let our guard down, just enough to show we’re “cool.”
  6. We hope for a little bit of intimacy – a hand touch, a quick kiss at the end of the night.
  7. We like what they like. I don’t know why that happens. I swear, I don’t. Not into Star Wars? Now you’ve seen them all…if he asks. Hate whiskey? Nope. Now we love it! Can’t get enough of it. Drink it breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  8. Then, we explain no…we don’t have a problem. But thanks for the concern.

Us being nervous is a good thing. It means we’re anxious in the best way possible. For those of you who are like me, extremely chatty and outgoing, if you’re able to silence us …you’re winning.

When They’re Genuinely Interested In Getting Away From You

The thing is, you’ll notice there’s no “when they’re trying to get into YOUR pants.” Despite it being 2014, women are still discouraged from going out with a guy and getting her “ya-ya’s” on the first date. Men? Heroes. Women? Hussies.

If something happens with her on the first date, consider yourself lucky. Don’t condemn her for her actions but perhaps celebrate the fact she’s comfortable enough in her own skin to do what she pleases, when she pleases.

That being said, if we’re not into you, we’re trying to get away from you.

Here’s how we act when that is happening.

  1. We go to the bathroom…a lot. Sure, we had a few vodka sodas, but five times in 30 minutes is still extreme. But how else are we supposed to text everyone we know how lame you are?
  2. We stop making eye contact. Mainly because the conversation at the next able is more interesting and engaging than you showing us your new computer watch and showing us how it connects to your phone and delivers text messages and…SHUT IT.
  3. Body language is everything. Crossed legs away from you mean no, crossed legs towards you mean go.
  4. We start to sigh a lot. Mainly because we now have to explain to the same “friend” above why she can’t have grandchildren, due to the fact the available suitors make us want to learn to be ok with her slightly masculine lady friend who keeps wanting to sleep over.

The worst part about the Transformers first date is when you DO transform. When you take a perfectly fine and powerful Chevy Camaro and transform into the silent, struggling for words, Bumblebee.

You do what you think is right, you follow your rules, you do it all…

Because you’re tired of being alone. Because you’re hoping this time will be different. Because maybe, you’ll finally meet someone who doesn’t make you want to pop your eyes out with the butter knife at J. Alexander’s.

Then, after you transform yourself the worst thing happens – no phone call, no text, no second date. But you did everything you thought would work? YOU SAID YOU LOVED STAR WARS, FOR DOGSSAKE.

It’s here I had the true “ah-ha” moment.  That age old quote is seriously so powerfully accurate:

“Be who you are, everyone else is already taken.”-Oscar Wilde

If what’s in your head is a kraken of crazy, release it. If you’re a calm, quiet girl who doesn’t want to be asked how big her boobs are or her favorite position before you can get the cup of crappy coffee to her lips, be that girl.

bc455948_ReleaseTheKraken

There’s someone for everyone. Be the someone you would want to be with. Be the someone you’d be proud to date. Be the someone you can wake up every morning, look in the mirror and be thrilled to see her.

The rest will come.

The Single Girls Guide To Surviving The Holidays

10 Dec
10 steps to making it through weddings, engagements, holiday parties and NYE!

10 steps to making it through weddings, engagements, holiday parties and NYE!

  1. Wine
  2. Wine
  3. Wine
  4. Wine
  5. Wine
  6. WINE
  7. WINE
  8. W-I-N-E
  9. WINE
  10. DID I STUTTER? WINE!

There are other ways to cope with single-dom when the most magical time of year comes around…I’m sure.  I have absolutely nothing against the holidays. As a matter of a fact, Santa and I have a TON in common.  We love animals, presents, bringing joy to people and having a firm grip on a big ol’ sack…. of toys, ya big perverts. (Hanukkah Harry is more my speed. Anyone that can make it hot and last for eight nights, I want to meet!)

In any case, this is the best and worst time of year. For most of you, your ultra-creative boyfriend will shove a ring in a box, a tree decoration, a gingerbread cookie…a latke? A dreidel? You’ll take pictures beneath a huge tree, in the snow, just like you always dreamed and post it all over Facebook (because nothing is official until it’s ON Facebook…duh). The rest of you are amped to bring your new boyfriend to the office holiday party and show him off. Sure, he can’t spell harbinger, or tell you what it means…but damned if he’s not the most beautiful bastard at that party!

Then, there are the rest of us. There’s that moment of panic when you get an invite to a holiday party or to a couple-centric NYE party. “Ok, who can I invite? Who wouldn’t be awful to have there?” You go down the list of things you’re willing to accept:

-Who haven’t I slept with in a long time that I wouldn’t mind inside me this holiday season?

-Who’s the life of the party and makes me laugh, even though I don’t want to get caught under the mistletoe unless I’m three eggnog’s deep?

-Who is answering my text messages, Facebook messages, or phone calls? SMOKE SIGNALS? DEAR SANTA, SOMEONE ANSWER ME FOR THE LOVE OF CHRISTMAS!

-Who else doesn’t want to be alone at their obligatory parties that you can make a tribute to? “I put my holiday party up as tribute!”

I don’t know about you guys, but while I was going through this list I had an “Ah-ha” moment. Why the hell do I care about bringing someone to these things? Being single at these things isn’t all that bad, right? I like to RSVP for two, and then drink my portion and theirs. Who doesn’t love a drunken little elf on the holidays? Isn’t that how most elves make their money?

I started to realize that going alone is better than going with someone who you have to entertain, babysit, or do anything but have an awesome time with. With that being said, here are my ten tips for surviving parties when you plan to go-it-alone.

1. Go buy a new dress. Fuck it, get the shoes too!

Buy an outfit that makes you feel like Adriana-freakin’-Lima. Something that says, I’m here alone, and you’re welcome.  People say confidence comes from within, right? It does. Totally. But it doesn’t hurt to have an exterior you feel pretty amped about too. Make yourself look like the badass-boss you are.

2.  But for real, drink the wine.

Ain’t no shame in your drinkin’ game this holiday season. Everyone likes a jolly little helper, and that wine will get you there. It’ll help you stay loose, keep that smile on your face and rock some positive vibes (not that you need to drink to keep that positive outlook…HA! Almost got you there, right?).

3.  Being picky about what parties you go to is 100% ok.

Some of your friends…ok, 90% of your friends are coupled up. But of those 90%, 70% do NOT suck. They want you to come to their parties, solo or otherwise, because they want to hang. Don’t deprive those 70% who rock and who you love back.

But those other 20% who only want you to come to be a prop, to bring them a present, or to rub in your face their new home and family? Santa will leave them coal. If Santa doesn’t, remember you’re at a BUSY party, and pooping in the stockings they hung on their mantle is totally an option.

4.  Embrace. Accept. Drink.

Look, ‘tis the season for some serious romance. So, embrace that. Look at what you have. You’re awesome, right? You’ve got your shit together, right? You’ve got that subscription to Cats Daily, so that’s definitely something you’ve got going for you. KIDDING. Most people treat being single as a problem…it’s definitely not. If anything, it lets you keep your options open. Way open. Super open. Open like that gaping wound the last guy left on your heart, AMIRITE?

I don’t think the drinking section needs any further explanation. When in doubt, drink the nog, have some whiskey, sip on a vodka tonic or spiked apple cider…and have fun. YOLO, as the kids say.

5.  Remember what you do have.

An amazing disposition and shining personality. People fucking adore you. You are a rock star and you are not defined by what other people do. So stop acting like it.  The $%^&* end.

6. Always go to the after parties.

That’s where all the fun is, and where all the rest of the single folk come to hang out. Because we don’t have to run home to anyone, answer to anyone, or do anything we don’t want to do… (Or anyone, for that matter).  Hear that? That is the sound of all your taken friends sobbing.

7.  Don’t live your life via Facebook feed.

C’mon, kids. Common sense here. Lots of annoyingly love oriented romantic things are going to happen. Just be smart about what you absorb and what you sift through. Your ex may get engaged. Your bully from high school may have their third kid. Maybe your childhood friend bought a house and went on a two weeks vacation with the love of their life. Either way, you can’t live life through a newsfeed. I mean, you can…but…stock up on the original list if that’s the case (that would be the wine, in case you’ve forgotten).

8. Think of it from the flip side

A lot of people are single for the holidays. It’s not that bad. A lot worse could be wrong and is wrong in this world. Don’t harp on the one or two nights a year that people go:

-“You didn’t bring anyone to the party, sweetie?”

-“Aw, no one with you this year?”

-“Don’t worry, next year is your year!”

-“You’re better off, anyway!”

OMGPLEASESTOPSAYINGTHESETHINGSTOUSWEHATETHEM ANDITMAKESUSHATEYOUSOMUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCH.

Things. Could. Be. Worse. ::eye-twitching::

9.  New Years Eve…Let’s hug it out.

Really, this is one of the best and worst times to be single. The only reason you’re supposed to have a date for NYE is because you’ve been made to think you do.  Going stag is way more fun. Who doesn’t love throwing back some champagne like a champion, mingling, making new friends and having a great time with the ones you already have? The ONLY hang-up is midnight. Oh, midnight, you heartless bastard.

Scene: Everyone is huddled near the TV (or fake disco ball meant to resemble the one in NYC). Suddenly, everyone is getting closer to one another. People are screaming across the room, “WHERE IS TODD? TODD? IT’S ALMOST MIDNIGHT…. TODD! GET OVER HERE! YOU HAVE ONE JOB, TODD!” Here’s where things get a little hairy. As single people we have a few options:

-Act natural. Couples can SMELL FEAR.

-Hang out in the midst of the action because you’re above all that (and no one can see your tears amidst the glitter, cheers, and kissing).

-Head to the bathroom from 11:57-12:03 then pretend like you were there the whole time.

OR… you do the most badass move of all time:

Grab a stranger. Lock them lips, girl…and have a blast.

WHY?

BECAUSE WE’RE SINGLE, AND WE CAN.

10.  Don’t forget the things that matter. Spoiler alert, it’s not this.

At the end of the day, it’s a party or two. Remember that nothing is worth being upset about, particularly parties where the operative goal is to have a blast. Single, taken, or otherwise don’t forget what’s at the core of any holiday message. Celebrate the love you have, what will come and what you’ve come through. After all, it’s a New Year and who knows what’s headed your way!

Why The Movie Tommy Boy Is A Metaphor For My Dating Life

20 May

TommyBoy_138Pyxurz

While I do take a lot (and I do mean a lot) of my wisdom, advice, and general life knowledge from movies, my dating life is quickly turning into that scene from Tommy Boy when Chris Farley explains why he sucks at being a salesman…which makes me “want to drive off a cliff!” I work in advertising, so I’m used to selling things, but when it comes to selling the “Allyson experience,” let me tell you why I suck as a salesman…woman…sales woman.

1. Captain Weird Beard – Overall, the issue is that I don’t know how to date anymore. It’s been so long since I’ve been on a normal date (and in a normal relationship) that when I’m alone with a guy, I act like “JoJo the Indian circus boy!” Overall, I’m excited, but I’m not normal Allyson. I morph into a weirdly quiet, monotonous, robotic version of Allyson that can only say, “that’s cool,” or “how awesome.” No matter how I try to force normal Allyson out, my quiet excitement confuses my date who thought they were meeting with someone who wasn’t required to wear a helmet while eating soup. Combine that with the weird half-smile I start doing out of nowhere and my poor date is left wondering whether that face I’m making is because I’m into him…or I just have gas.

2. Be More Like This, Less Like That – Everyone that’s been in a relationship for a week or less has an opinion on what you should do and what you’re doing wrong.  Each one’s method is THE method that got them their one true love (I just threw up in my mouth).

Opinion 1:  “Don’t sleep with them right away.”

Opinion 2:  “Sleep with them right away, who cares.”

Opinion 3: “Make sure you act interested in what he has to say.”

Opinion 4: “Ignore him. Men love that. Make him think you absolutely hate him and would rather hang out in a cave full of rabid bats before you’d go home with him….ever.”

3. Rocky Road v. Vanilla, AKA The Weirder the Better–  Part of the problem is that my give a damn is totally busted. I’ve been doing this dating thing too long with too little of a ROI ( return on investment). Whatever I do, no matter how I change it up it doesn’t make a difference. If I act coy? No good. Act myself? No good. If I try to find a compromising middle ground…it’s just…not good.

I feel like if we’re going to work out, I should be able to completely and totally act like myself. I completely hope/expect/demand you do the same. Oh, you’re weird? Cool. BE WEIRD. I prefer rocky road to vanilla any day of the week. If it’s too much for you to handle, cool. It’s been real…awkward…probably, and I’ll see ya never.

Be uniquely, un-apologetically you. I freakin’ love that.

4. And You Know What Else? I Never Learned How to Read…Signs! – When I was younger, I could figure out if you liked me in 30 seconds. The men, well…boys…were a lot more straightforward, and we cut out a lot of the awkward back and forth and got straight to the dating and happiness and what not. NOW? Sweet lord, I just don’t know. When I think someone is clearly into me, I’m wrong. When I think they can’t wait to run away, screaming…they’re into me. What…is happening…here.

Oh, I’m sorry that I misunderstood that every time you passed me in the hallway and averted your eyes you were waiting for ME to take charge. Sometimes I miss big cues though. Sometimes it’s so obvious it feels like it CAN’T be that obvious. Then of course, there is the awkward middle ground. Clearly, if you’re asking me inside, but then running away from me when I nervously chuckle…I don’t know. I just don’t know. Is that you are into it, but because I wasn’t immediately into it you retract your previous interest? Or do you like me because I wasn’t nice to you and I didn’t show any interest in you? AND HOW DOES THAT MAKE SENSE? WHEN WILL THINGS MEAN WHAT THEY MEAN AGAIN? I FEEL LIKE I’M TAKING CRAZY PILLS!

5. Game of Thrones Meets the Bachelorette – I’m not a good game player. At all. I’m pretty straightforward about what I want,until recently when I figured out that the bigger problem is that I legit have no idea what I want anymore.  Is it so hard to ask for a good human being, who loves dogs and watching Saturday morning cartoons? Who also has his life together and make me laugh so hard I pee a little?

Ok, maybe that’s a lot, but things change when you get older. Being so picky changes.

Like when I was 18, if someone I was dating had some sort of addiction I’d be like, that is…so cool. You have a debilitating meth addiction? SO COOL when I had nothing to steal. But now I’m older and my stuff is way nicer so it’s like…HA…no…you can’t…come over.

At this point though I’m like …you have an STD? Well…is it curable?  “OH, you’re in a terrorist training program trying to weaponize plantains? Cool…I love a man who has hobbies.”

It’s affected how I fantasize and what I fantasize about. My fantasies as I get older have gotten SUPER DULL.  Most women are busy fantasizing about 50 shades of gray; I fantasize about a phone call the next day.

Finding someone has become so difficult I’m like, oh you’re an amputee? That’s fine. I’m not really a leg woman anyway.

Overall, I don’t think I have what it takes to conquer Kings Landing or sit on the throne of the seven kingdoms. I don’t. I just want one kingdom to rein. I swear. That’s it.

6.  (And Finally) I’m A Shitty Saleswoman – I just say what I want to say. It’s almost like a deranged test of, “Can you handle this?” If I give you just the tip and you’re overwhelmed, I’d hate to see what happens when I’m fully myself. I’m a handful. I get it. I appreciate it. Hopefully one day, someone else will too.

I try to sell myself according to my target market, exactly as I’d do in real life. You like sports? I love college football and I used to be an athlete. Love cultured events? Artistry? I can rattle off some artists and get into it. I love cars and things that go fast…I think that’s a HUGE USP (unique selling point). Eat healthy and cook a lot? Me too. Want to pig out? ME TOO. ALL THE TIME. Like beer? Me too! Hate beer and don’t drink at all because it makes you take your clothes off? ME TOO, ME TOO, ME TOO….

Reading signals has become harder than advanced chemistry, a group of elderly who accidentally pop the wrong white pill, trying to swim through a bowl of Jello (although that does sound awesome) and trying to figure out why they keep trying to breathe life into Greys Anatomy. Seriously. I don’t get it.

tommy-boy-1

In the meantime, I’m going back to basics. Do you like me? Check yes, no, or maybe but I don’t know yet myself because I am….

A. Possibly going to be celibate forever.

B. Bad at making decisions.

C. Terrified of you.

How to Not Sweat The Small Stuff

5 Feb

sweating

PSYCH!

Honestly? Do you guys read this thing AT ALL? In all seriousness, I wish I knew how to NOT sweat the small stuff, how to let things go (or how to “let go and let the spaghetti monster in the sky” deal with it) and how to move forward.

All three of those things are tall orders!

Even though the small stuff can feel “small,” sometimes the small stuff pushes its way up a hill. Then, some other “small” event happens that catapults that BIG ball of SMALL things down “Shitstorm Hill” and suddenly, you’re up to your heart in crap.

I truly believe that all anyone wants is to feel “okay.”  To not worry so much about what others are doing, what your exes are doing, or  how other people’s actions (although they shouldn’t) influence how we feel about ourselves and others alike.

I’m no expert, I’m just a girl who has gone through enough craptastic situations to learn a little somethin’ somethin.’  Have I learned that much? Meh. But here’s what advice I can offer for the BIG  three questions above.

How to Not Sweat The Small Stuff (For real this time)

1. No Worries, Mon – Stop occupying your brain with things you can’t control. If you don’t make space for the worry, the worry has nowhere to live. Take your brain power back by kicking those worries to the curb and evicting them from your “brain mansion”  (they’ll have to sleep on the streets with other people’s evicted worries).

Did we learn nothing from Van Wilder? “Worrying is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it gets you nowhere.”

2. Live happily…people hate that – Nothing pisses people off more than seeing you NOT sweat things. They want you to be so consumed with anger, hurt, despair (whatever the emotion may be) that you’re too busy trying to “maintain” life instead of showing life who’s boss. (For the record, it’s you.)

3. Seriously, stop being so damned serious – Life isn’t always going to be easy, fun, painless, or super-duper fabtastic. Take a minute to think about what you’re “sweating” right now. Job sucks? It’s just a job. Get a new one. Find what you want to do and live passionately.  Significant other probs? Guess what…life is too short to make bad casting decisions. Surround yourself with people who rock. Awesome begets awesome, suck begets suck. Family troubles? Forgive them. Family is family. One day you might need them to forgive you. Things just not going your way? Buck up. Karma might be a mean, mean, bitch but she’s pretty good about bringing good to those who work hard and are kind.

Be fair. Be open. Love hard. Live well. Stress less. Have more fun. Take time to appreciate the small things instead of sweating them.

How to Let Things Go (According to my therapist)

Just kidding about the therapist. She’d actually be pretty pissed to hear me say any of this. If she were real. She’s a doll I dress up and keep in the corner of my room to talk to on occasion. Creepy? Surely. Effective? You bet. Free? F’in right, doggy!

I wish I knew the secret to making this happen. Probably one of the worst qualities I possess is being unable to let things go. I hold onto things. Sure, I might “forgive you,” but I damn sure don’t forget it. Seriously, I spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to forget things, because I think that’s the secret to forgiving. Also, being stupid. That helps. KIDDING!*

*I’m not kidding.

Here’s what I’ve learned…joking aside.

1. Lose 10 lbs Instantly, Without Working Out – Really. It’s like taking one big life-size laxative.  The “Lap Band” of emotions, if you will. Should I keep going? I won’t. I promise.  Point is, letting things go only benefits you. Holding ON TO things benefits no one.  Do you think the person who you feel has angered, hurt you, begrudged you, is sitting there eating their insides out over what you perceive they’ve done to you?  They’re not.  Even if you’ve decided to “cut them from your life” they’re still very much there, monopolizing thoughts that could be better spent on something worthwhile. Like what is the mystery in mystery meat, and why has NOBODY figured it out already?!

2. Take Sorry at Face Value – When people apologize, believe them. Try your hardest to do that, at least. I’m not saying to believe they’re sorry for them. Believe them for you, so you can put the past to rest. Be thankful that they’re at least a good enough human to see value in apologizing.  Whether they believe it or not, whether you believe it or not, they said it. Thank them. Then breathe, stretch, shake and let it go.

3.  Appreciate the Past, Look Towards the Future, Live in the Present – Everyday something new will happen. Whether it’s good, bad, indifferent, etc…what are you going to do? If you don’t learn how to let things go, you’ll wind up pushing those “small things” up that hill until there’s an event that  sends the BIG list of SMALL things down “Shitstorm Hill,” remember? I’m a big proponent of “everything happens for a reason.” Just because you can’t see why it’s happening now, doesn’t mean it won’t eventually show itself for what it is or what it was (when the time is right).

How to Move Forward

SWEET MOSES, I wish I knew the answer to this. I really do. I wish I had some magical anecdote and I could help the world. Well, first I’d make millions of dollars, THEN I’d help the world. KIDDING!*

*Again, I’m not kidding.

I totally get why the chick from Titanic wanted to use that ray to erase her memory in the movie, “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.”  I do! Who wouldn’t like to instantaneously forget whatever thought, emotion, feeling is acting like a squatter in your mind? NO one told those thoughts they could stay there. BUT you were vulnerable…you left a door cracked slightly open and now…those bad or sad thoughts dwell there. Time to call the thought po-po on those mofo’s and EVICT them!

“My plan is to erase you completely, as if you never existed at all.”– Chick from Titanic in ‘ESOTSM’

1. Act More Like Chuck Norris – It’s your life and no one else’s. Take control of your thoughts that are telling you that you have NO control and teach them a thing or two about what happens when they step into your brain’s dojo. Seize your brain. Seize your thoughts. Break any thoughts into dusk that try to stop you from living happily, because they suck…and ain’t nobody got time for that.

2. Surround Yourself With People Who Don’t Suck – Not to be repetitive, but (again) awesome begets awesome and suck begets suck. There are some people who will walk, talk, and act like a friend…but are not your friend. Your goal is to figure out the good eggs from the rotten ones and only keep those who ROCK in your life. Take a look at the pack you run with. Are they mainly miserable? Or, do they radiate sunshine and happiness? You don’t have to go extreme, but finding a good middle balance is probs best.

3. Be Un-apologetically, Uniquely, YOU –   Nobody knows you better than you, so start listening to yourself. Follow your gut. Follow your heart. Follow the yellow brick road to see the wizard…

Wait a minute…wrong schpeal. Let’s try this again…

Respect yourself. Celebrate yourself. Empower yourself.

Now that’s more like it!

There are no right or wrong answers on how to get over things, how to leave things that deserve to be left behind, or how to keep the past where it belongs…in the past. All you can do is get out of bed every day and make the best of what you have. Do something small every day and soon you’ll find that all the small things you’ve been building on have led you to a mountain of happiness and strength and more importantly, led you to YOU.