Tag Archives: friendship

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.

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Obama Calls Twenty-Something Singles A “Disgrace to America” and “Lepers!”

21 May

Gotcha!

Alright, so that’s not quite true, but it does get you guys to open this! (Don’t sue me, Obama!) Are you finding that everyone around you is practically married and you’re alone? Are your friends all in committed relationships and you can barely commit to what to make
for dinner tonight? Then my friends, I welcome you to “the club.” Our members are comprised of twenty-something’s who for whatever reason have been unable to find their special someone to share life’s joy and misery with.

Fact: We are alone
Fiction: We are lepers
What’s up with that? Why is it we can’t be single and fabulous, single and awesome, or
single and so amazing it’s frightening and people not look at us with pity and disgust?
Fact of the matter is, just because we’re single doesn’t mean we’re sad about it. It’s
less to do with the fact we CAN’T date someone, but rather that we choose not to. The
reality is everyone can date “someone” but maybe we’re single because we don’t just
want to date anyone. While it would appear we are desperate and alone to those “on
the inside (our friends in relationships),” we actually are quite content with hangin’ and
bangin’…chillin’ and killin’….hittin’ it and quittin’ it.

How are these puns doing?

Not to say we wouldn’t date people, but we’re selective.

Alright, so maybe the reality is we don’t meet the right people. We meet people who are afflicted (mainly mentally) in one way or another. Maybe, it has to do with the fact we listen to our married friends complain about their relationships so often that we’re so grateful that we have don’t have to answer to anyone at any time…for any reason.

If your married buddy is telling you his old lady sniffs his pants every time he comes home, wants him to give up poker to stay home and watch the Kardashian Circus on repeat and checks his phone to make sure his ex-girlfriend from 1995 isn’t texting…would you be listening on the other end like, “Man, when is this going to happen for me?”

When I have a girlfriend call me and say, “Listen…if Dan calls you, we were together last night watching Bridesmaids. Don’t tell him Tim came over though, because he hates him and he’ll go ballistic.”

Things change when you’re in a relationship and everything and everyone feels the effects. Your plans change, your hobbies change, your attitude changes.

“We love to rollerblade now. We go all the time to our favorite spot where the sushi is
just the best.”

What? What the hell just happened?

Now you “rollerblade?” I can barely get you take a three-minute walk to Walgreens, but you’ll rollerblade 30 minutes to the beach? And you said “WE” three times in two minutes…and I just threw up in my mouth.

When do your thoughts meld as one?

When do you start liking cats although you’re deathly allergic and are wishing for some virus to freakishly wipe out all domesticated cats.

You start doing things you never envisioned, sacrifice the things you once loved because you’re self-conscious your partner may not like it. Sometimes your plans change. Maybe you don’t move somewhere because you met this incredible person, or you move somewhere for some incredible person. Either way, shit changes.

Beyond that, friendships change. We, the single, have to stand there and smile and act happy. It’s not that we’re not happy for you…it’s that we would like the following things to happen when we’re with you and they’re not.

Do not spend the whole time talking about them. ONE minute for each month you two have been together. That’s enough.
Do not answer the phone when they call and talk baby talk and coo and carry on a twenty-minute convo with them while we’re in the car unless it’s an emergency. We, your friends, only get to see you a limited amount of time so pretend like you’re excited to hear about our cats new outfit, or how we got a new outfit, a new fling, or a new poker tournament going on for singles…only.

Lots of friends have significant others that live out-of-town. The hardest thing is when they come into town, because it’s like we suddenly don’t exist anymore. You know why it’s hard? We get used to not having to share you. Then your significant other comes into town and not only do we take a back seat (which is understandable), but it’s like we’re in a car….four cars back…in the trunk, perhaps. This is more our issue, but it
doesn’t feel good regardless!

When you dress alike, it makes me want to punch small animals. When you groom each other in public, it makes me want to punch babies ( who
are already on my shit list to start with).
Fact: Being in a relationship is awesome
Fiction: Being in a relationship is awesome

It goes both ways! This may sound like a rant from a “hater,” but guess what? It’s not. Each of us is guilty of this when we get into a new relationship and go ga-ga for the new significant other we can’t wait to explore. Everybody else matters less than them, because we KNOW everybody else already.

Why being single is awesome:
1. We do what we want

2. No one to answer to

3. Come home as late as we want and climb in bed with whomever we want

4. Getting drunk and naked, as well as crying publicly are more accepted

5.Life is exciting and unpredictable! You never know who you’ll meet, have a little
spontaneous fun with, etc.

What’s awesome about a relationship?
1. Using a 2 for 1 coupons without feeling weird
2. Operating a paddle boat correctly
3. Riding a two-seated bike
4. Can own walkie-talkies and always have someone to talk to
5. Comfortably ride a see-saw

Fact: As we get older, more and more of our friends are getting married
Fact: There is an ass-load of pressure to catch up to them
Fiction: It makes us less awesome that we’ve not “taken the plunge” down the
marriage or baby slide

Like I said above, there is a bit of pressure, right? And here we single people are, standing in front of our refrigerators before dinner thinking…chicken…or fish? Meat…? Then you realize, “I’m single! I can have it all!”

Lots of our twenty-something’s friends have already found their soul mate…or the person they have chosen to torture and make miserable for a certain amount of years before divorcing and taking half their stuff. What is the rush!? Why are people so ring hungry and baby hungry? Don’t they read statistics? If you rush into something, there’s a distinct possibility that you don’t know who these people are. Also, the more TIME
you take to know someone, the better foundation you build for a lasting, successful relationship (duh?).

On a scary note, look at some of these people who are married 25 years before they get murdered by their spouse! Just sayin’…you never fully know someone, but you have a better chance of knowing someone after multiple years rather than months.

“We met and we just knew. We fell in love six months ago and we’re engaged and if I could marry them tomorrow, well…dang-nabit…I would. They’re amazing, they emanate rainbows and ponies and all things sugary and wonderful!”

OF COURSE THEY DO!

It’s been six months! Wait another few months and they’ll gladly peel back their skull, slowly but surely, to start to reveal themselves. But by the time they start to reveal, you’re balls deep in that relationship and suddenly, single life starts to sound pretty, PRETTY appealing.

To my friends in relationships, don’t kid yourselves…enjoy your honeymoon phase for sure, but sooner or later…you’ll be on the phone with us single folk going, “Oh…you’re going to the movies? That’s cool; John and I haven’t been out in weeks. Well, with his mother in town and the cat having explosive diarrhea, we’re sort of stuck. Plus, he starts to hyperventilate when we leave the cat alone for more than an hour anyway, so a three hour movie is totally out of the question.”

America, listen up. We’re not lepers…we’re alone, but while you “couples” progressively
grow more boring, guess what we’re doing? Growing more awesome day by day!

Another Lesson in Common Sense: Respect!

17 May

 

“Re-spek it…befoe you re-gret-tit!”

 

About a month ago, I was in line at Starbucks and I overhear this lady turn to her friend and say… “And I told him…you better respek it…befoe you re-gret-tit.” Her enunciation, the emphasis of each phrase…I was both seriously amused and on her side from that moment on.

And why not? Clearly, she was right.

Whomever it was, should respect the proverbial “it” or they are bound to regret it. My friend and I were discussing our most recent situations, and what seems to happen to us as women when we enter into a new experience. Last night on the phone, I said, “You know…it’s not that we’re dumb girls. I actually like to pride myself on being relatively smart about most situations. Yet, as I relay the series of events to you…it dawns on me, that I am the champion of the ‘Bad Decision Olympics.’ Gold medal champion, to be specific…and you my friend are the runner-up.”

Our stories:

(Hers first, and let’s call her Jen)

Jen was a college roommate of mine, completely by accident. Someone whom I was introduced to and we just gelled. After college, I moved home, she moved to ATL and now to D.C. Our exteriors appear similarly rough, we come off impervious to pain that relationships with others may cause even though if you break through our façade of an exterior, you’d see our interior is really marshmallow goo. The past few relationships for Jen have been men who are between their 40’s and 50’s. She’s 27. Clearly, not ok and we’ve had a conversation about that.

For someone her age, the maximum without being creepy is around 35-37. No more than 10 years apart, or it’s seriously too large of a generational gap and just plain gross…to be honest. This new guy, he’s our age…which was a good start, until, she starts divulging the rest of the story…

1. He works with her.

2. He’s her superior (one of them).

3. He has a girlfriend.

4. His girlfriend WORKS at the restaurant.

5. He’s a known, arrogant douche.

6. Please see numbers 1-5 and repeat until the obvious question of, “WHAT is she doing?” washes over you.

As soon as she told me that, I became Homer Simpson, slapping my forehead with a resounding… “D’OH!”

One step forward, six steps back.

So the story continues, and I won’t lie…at points, this sounds kind of sexy. He’s a wine sommelier; they work at an important upscale Washington, D.C. restaurant. Each shift they work together, they give each other flirty stares, do things to entice the other…and then when everyone goes home for the day, they act on those passions in the back room while people could be around. Sounds like a fiction based romance novel a little, no?

I told her…just as Eleanor Roosevelt once said (Wu-Tang Clan maybe?) you have to “protect ya neck!”

Something happens to women when they start a new relationship, and maybe to be fair to men…the sensitive ones may feel this too. It’s like we put these huge blinders on and get all gaga, seeing nothing but rainbows and sunshine pouring out of these people’s rear ends! We regret to see that this is doomed from the get-go.

We can reform, we can remold…we can rebuild, we have the technology!

People…let me give you a piece of advice (I never follow, clearly or I wouldn’t be telling you my story). No one changes. They may modify themselves, tweak something here and there…but overall, people do not change. Find someone who likes/love you as you are and likewise, because everyone deserves to feel as loved as possible as often as possible! SO…one night, they’re having relations in the office and someone finds them. Shocking. Jen also recently broke her finger, and is unable to work, which means she has been home. Where has Mr. Romantic been? M.I.A. Why? Because…he has gotten what he wanted, they’ve fleshed out their physical attraction while he’s been able to keep his girlfriend, his life, and his job…barely.

I love talking to Jen about our situations, because we’re both so incredibly hypocritical. We KNOW that these situations aren’t going anywhere, know they are doomed and yet we forge on. Why is that?

My situation is less severe, and could seriously take its own post to describe what’s been going on. Basically, I met someone in a strange way, that I was not anticipating liking.

1. He’s older, near the borderline of too old, but nothing crazy.

2. He lives far from here, well…40 miles. Not that far.

3. I think he may live some sort of strange double life.

4. People who are mutual friends say terrible things about him.

5. He never follows through Ever.

Although anyone who knows me would think, “you wouldn’t stand for that!” Something about the aggravation of proving that “you should be loving me, following through and being awesome,” keeps me standing by. The whole point of this (it’s there, somewhere), is that respect isn’t something you should have to beg for. I think what happens, is that people forget that the people THEY are dealing with are also…people. Treat me kind, speak to me properly, and think about how you would feel if I treated you like a pig for having a girlfriend and trying to hit it with me. Or, how I SHOULD have treated you like a creepy old man who found me in a strange way, who hasn’t taken me on one respectable date, and who was so worried about my age and me being immature, yet it appears the other way around.

RESPECT the people in your life. RESPECT who they are and where they come from, or respect them enough to at least tell them the truth. Show a little honesty, be upfront and let them decide if they can handle it and be a part of it. Life can be a very lonely journey alone, and as the very wise woman said…if you don’t respect “it,” you may live to regret it.

Listening Is So Last Season!

17 May

Obviously!

 

 

Let’s discuss a pandemic effecting our friendships nationwide. Oftentimes our friends have to move all over the Country, so it’s only logical that we keep in contact with them through one of the thousands of ways made possible to us through technology. Whether it’s old school and you use the phone,  or prefer email, Facebook, Twitter, video chat and the like.

If you’re like me, you may have noticed that  several of your friends love the sound of their own voice a tremendous amount. These friends, who would marry their voice if it was legal and that statement made any sense, tend to get you on the phone and do several things:

1. The bait and switch:

Here, a friend may ask you how you’ve been, what you’re doing or what’s new? As soon as you get three words out of your mouth, they find ONE word and take on the conversation.

For example:

Them: “How’s your dog? Still in the hospital?”

Me: “Oh, he’s doing well. He was given some strong medication-” ”

Them: “OH I just got some medication too for this thing that’s been going on. I’m not sure what it is but blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.”

Expect this to go on for the next 30 to 40 minutes. I suggest speaker phone and a TV show on mute.

2. The “I feel for you” fake out:

This is where a friend may ask you a more in-depth question they know will get you talking.

Them: “Anything new with your live in paraplegic boyfriend Jim and his pet monkey?”

It would appear, said friend would LOVE for you to engage in a lengthy conversation regarding your poor, handicapped boyfriend Jim. No, NO I say! At this juncture in the conversation, your friend is anxious to jump in; like when you buy something from a candy machine and jump the gun, trying to open the bottom slot and wind up jamming and mushing the candy between the slot and your hand. It’s just no good. PATIENCE. Why ask me a question you care nothing about?

People should just get on the phone and say… “I know I called you to pretend I care about what you have to say…but really, I just want to bore YOU to death with all my stories and self-absorbed crap.” Because a conversation is like anything else….give and take. Plus, generally, you should CARE about who you’re talking to and what they have to say. Why fake it? Seems silly.

The jump in would look like this:

Them: “Anything new with your live in paraplegic boyfriend Jim and his pet monkey?”

You: “Well, Trevor is trying to potty train it because-”

Them: “AWW! I know when my boyfriend, Micah, tried to potty train HIS monkey…it was like, so hard. But just bribe him with bananas. That’s what works!”

You: “Trevor, sadly, has a banana allergy…so-”

Them: “NO WAY. He’s a monkey! That’s impossible! I’m telling you, it works!”

This can go on for some time..it’s best to cut it off ASAP. It’s like their word is gospel and should be treated as such. This can also tie in greatly with the competition factor…

3. The competitor

Number two essentially covered the basics. This is similar with one minor tweak. Anything you say, they have a reply for. They’ve done what you’ve done and THEN some and they have no issue letting you know what’s up.

Nothing you do will be impressive…ever. Mainly because whatever hardship you’ve gone through, theirs has been worse. Whatever pain, heartbreak, happiness, success…they will trump you every time.

For these types of friends, I suggest placating them. “Oh, yes! Poor you! Awesome you! GOOD FOR YOU!”

It is the only way to calm the beast.

These people get a big YIKES from me. Listening and communication skills are a fundamental foundation for relationships and friendships alike!  What has happened to our society, so dependent on social media and hell-bent on NOT communicating and building foundations that are so VITAL to forging lasting relationships ( whether it be school, work, relationship, friendship, etc).

Communication skills… “GET YOU SOME!”