It’s Okay to Not Feel Okay

The past few weeks I have been in a bit of a funk. I haven’t spoken to too many people about it because I really don’t know how to put into words what I’m feeling. There isn’t a specific event or occurrence that I can attribute to my depressed state.  I am not sure why I’ve been feeling the way that I have. I have just been feeling down.

When I get into a funk that has no real explanation, it always makes me feel worse. I have a roof over my head. I am relatively healthy. I don’t go to bed hungry. I have a job I enjoy. There is no real reason to feel the way that I do.

The lack of reasoning results in feelings of guilt. So on top of feeling down, I also feel incredibly guilty. Clearly I am overreacting and being ungrateful. I’ll often invalidate my own feelings. Instead of accepting the things I’m feeling, I fight them. This action has a tendency to simply make me feel worse.

There’s a major flaw in this way of thinking: All feelings are valid. And sometimes feeling shitty is just a part of being alive. In fact, I may question your humanness if you are ALWAYS happy. There is no way that is healthy.

So I’ve been feeling a little down. It could be the long winter. It could be my upcoming birthday which always fills me with doom and existential thoughts. It could be a chemical imbalance. Or, and the likely culprit, it could just be life.

Sometimes life is really awesome and sometimes it’s really shitty. It is okay for your mind to react accordingly. If you ran a mile or worked a 13 hour shift, no one would fault you for being exhausted. The same thing applies to your mind. Life can become exhausting and overwhelming. Allow your mind to take a break without feeling guilty.

If you find yourself going through a funk, don’t fight it. Recognize all the things in your life to be grateful for. Don’t brush them off. However, don’t use them as an excuse to invalidate your feelings. Healthy people can get depressed. People with a roof over their head and a job can feel anxious.

Remember: All feelings are real, even the crappy ones.

Alternative Facts I Will Now Be Living By

I have been living my life wrong this whole time. For so long, I was led to believe that facts are the truth. There are 24 hours in a day. George Washington was the first president of the United States. There are seven continents. I have a BA in Journalism. I worked as the editorial assistant for a magazine. I have an MA in Library Science. I lived by facts.

I learned something AMAZING yesterday. I discovered the existence of alternative facts. This changes everything!

Boss trying to fire me? Alternative Fact: I’m promoted. Boyfriend trying to dump me? Alternative Fact: We’re engaged. Landlord looking for rent? Alternative Fact: I own my apartment.

You know how they say ignorance is bliss? That saying is so true. When you start learning about all the truths in this world, it becomes harder and harder to live a carefree life. Well now you can just go ahead and ignore those facts and come up with your own alternative ones. That is how I plan on living my life from now on. If I don’t like something, I’ll just go ahead and come up with my own alternative truth.

Alternative Fact: Cupcakes are healthy. I can eat as many as I want and never get fat.

Alternative Fact: I don’t have to worry about money anymore. I have an endless supply of funds and should never believe what my bank account says.

Alternative Fact: You don’t need to exercise if you want a nice body. If I just constantly yell to whoever listens that I have the best body of all the bodies, then it will become truth.

Alternative Fact: My life is exactly where I imagined it would be at almost 31.

Alternative Fact: The Yankees won the World Series last year and the Giants are headed to the Super Bowl.

Alternative Fact: Eating pizza every night is the same thing as having a salad.

Alternative Fact: People on FB don’t actually believe the things they blindly share.

Alternative Fact: Half the people of America didn’t vote for a walking Cheeto as president.

Alternative Fact: I’ll definitely be able to buy a house on my own in the near future.

Alternative Fact: There’s nothing wrong with drinking wine every night before you go to bed.

Alternative Fact: I can have a negative opinion about certain things happening in my country without having to “shut up or move away.”

Alternative Fact: The scale, any scale that I ever step on, is broken.

Alternative Fact: Nsync has gotten back together and they are going on a reunion tour this summer.

I don’t know about you guys but my life is already becoming great again thanks to this new alternative reality we live in.

All the Diets I’ve Tried This Year

Like anyone living in a world with the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show and Photoshop, I am not happy with my body. Yes, I recognize that there are a lot of unrealistic images out there. However, I also see very real people walking the streets rocking jeans and a crop top without a muffin top. (Muffin Tops: great to put in your body but not to have on your body.)

Every year the scale creeps up just a little higher than it was the previous year. And every year I come up with new ways to prevent those numbers from going up. Because I am incapable of doing anything in moderation, I normally concoct the most outlandish diets.

Spoiler Alert: They never work! Here are some of the diets I’ve tried this year to get rid my ever-increasing muffin top.

The “Eat as much as I can on Sunday” Diet – This is my favorite diet because it’s just a precursor to every other diet. Sometime during the week I’ll come up with a whole new plan on how I’m going to get skinny. This time it will be different and I’ll really stick to the diet. But before I start the diet of boring, unfulfilling green shit, I have to treat myself, right? That’s where this diet comes in. The weekend rolls around and I will divulge in all the fattening food I won’t be able to eat once my diet starts.

The “1200 calories a day” Diet – I’ll download the MyFitnessPal app and start recording every single bite I take. This works great for all of breakfast and part of lunch until I realize that every single thing has calories. Why do I have to include the butter I put on my bread? Why the hell does mayonnaise have so many calories? It’s only purpose is to make sure my God damn sandwich isn’t dry!

The “Clean eating” Diet – I can eat unlimited amounts of chicken, veggies, fruit, and sweet potatoes? I love all those things. This should be a piece of cake! And it was. Until I realized that cake was NOT on the clean eating menu.

The “Eat just half of everything” Diet – This diet actually worked for me once. Four years ago. When I was younger and had a much faster metabolism. I also had a lot more self control. I lost about 7 pounds in this diet once. Not this year when I tried it. It turns out that eating half a slice of pizza is impossible.

The “I’m too poor to be this fat” Diet – This diet usually comes not from looking at the scale but from looking at my bank account. When I notice that 95% of my money goes to food, it’s time to go on a money diet.

The “Life is too short to be on a diet” Diet – I have to say, this diet really worked for me this year. It was the only diet I was able to stick to for more than a day. I think I may continue this diet in 2017 because life is too short not to eat the cupcake.

Getting in a New Relationship After Being Single Forever

This post has been in the back of mind for awhile now. I’ve wanted to write it several times but then thought against it. I finally realized that this is a blog about my life. It’s my journey through my late twenties and now my thirties. I’ve written so much about my shitty dating experiences that I should also include when things are going well, right?

I wrote once about a new man in my life and that ended shitty. I think that was part of the reluctance I had when it came to writing about a new relationship. But me and my man have been together for a little over 6 months now. He’s a big part of my life and this is a lifestyle blog. It makes sense that he’s going to come into conversation one of these days. He just met my parents for the first time two weeks ago so now it’s time my lovely readers meet him.

I may love broadcasting my entire life on a public blog but I recognize that not everyone may feel this way. That’s why I’m going to refer to the lovely man I’m dating as JR. (It’s part of his initials so it works.)

When people ask how we met, I usually say, “We went to High School together and recently reconnected.” All of this is true. But I am just leaving out certain aspects. By recently reconnected, what I really mean is found each other on a dating site. That’s right! Sometimes OK Cupid can work.

I was on OK Cupid for a very short time when JR messaged me. I immediately recognized him from High School. Before he even messaged me, I was on the brink of deleting my account. I had had enough of online dating. So after only exchanging a couple of messages with JR, I told him I was deleting my account and asked if he’d like to exchange numbers. I normally don’t do this. I like to talk for a little before exchanging numbers. I also usually just wait until the guy asks for the number. But in this case I knew that I would be deleting my account and I knew I didn’t want this to be the end of my interaction with JR.

So we exchanged numbers and I waited for him to contact me. He did; the next day. We spoke for a few weeks, met up on May 12th, and have been dating ever since.

It’s been really nice. And a lot of fun. But it’s also been a lot of adjusting. These past few years, even when I had someone, I still wouldn’t call myself taken. I was always single-ish. This is the first time in forever that I’m 100% not single. It’s been a little weird. Mostly awesome, but a little weird.

When you’ve been the single girl for so long, being in a relationship definitely takes some getting used to.

I’ve been lying to myself in the past. When I was dating, I would give myself a 2-date rule. I figured that it would take more than one date to determine if I actually liked someone. Two dates should let me know for sure. Well, after my first date with JR, I knew 100% that I liked him and wanted to go on another date. I also lied to myself with some past dudes and made excuses for them. I convinced myself numerous times that the guy really did like me. He just needs time. He’s really busy. And so many more excuses. I was lying to myself. If a guy likes you, you’ll know it. If a guy wants to be with you, he’ll make time. It’s really very simple. I just made it way more complicated than it needed to be.

The word boyfriend feels weird. It took me 6+ months to share JR with you guys. When I’m dating someone, I tend to keep them to myself for the most part. It takes a lot for me to share the guy with other people and talk about him. If he does come up in conversation, he is usually referred to as “this guy I’m dating.” The first time I spoke about JR and called him my boyfriend, it sounded weird. It still feels a little weird. It’s just a much easier term to use than “guy I’m dating.”

But girlfriend is a nice one to hear. Not gonna lie, it’s nice being introduced as “my girlfriend.”

Holy Batman! There is not enough time. Work and friends and family and alone time was already a lot to juggle. Adding a relationship has made maintaining everything overwhelming. It’s something I am still working on. There is never enough time to do everything I want.

Alone time is so much more satisfying. I love alone time. I loved my alone time when I was single. However, when you’re single, alone time isn’t always a choice. Alone time comes cause you have nothing else to do. Since being in a relationship, my alone time has become significantly more satisfying. I adore the nights spent in my apartment alone laying on the couch and watching TV for hours.

Doubt doesn’t magically go away. After so many dating mishaps, it’s easy to be skeptical. Too many times I have grown tired of the person I was dating or slowly realized that they were growing tired of me. I am pretty secure in my relationship with JR and don’t usually question where I stand. But this does not mean that doubt hasn’t gone away completely.

Sometimes clichés are right. When you’ve been single for awhile, you’re going to hear a lot of the same things. “It’ll happen when you least expect it” is one of those sayings I heard the most. I always thought it was ridiculous. I am single but would like to find someone. In some way, I’m always looking. But now I kind of know what they mean. The first time I met up with JR, I did not want to go. I had just had a huge dinner for my nephew’s birthday. All I wanted to do was go home and sleep. I remember throwing some mascara on in my car right before I walked into the bar. Before the date even started, I was already thinking about how and when I could leave. I did not expect anything to come of it.

Fear is one of the biggest enemies. Being single is easy. Being single is safe. You only have yourself to worry about yourself. You’re not giving someone else the capability to seriously hurt you or let you down.

Relationships involve a lot of talking and compromise. As a 30-year-old single person, I was very set in my ways. I was used to being on my own and not having to rely on anyone. I never had to think about anyone else, ever. Those views don’t always make for the healthiest of relationships. I had to become reacquainted with having a new person in my life.

All those disasters, make this relationship a lot sweeter. Man was I fed up with dating. You guys read all about it. I wasn’t kidding when I said that dating shouldn’t be so exhausting. I was tired of it! I was done with dating sites, first dates, unanswered texts, etc. Knowing how horrible things could be out there in the dating world and knowing how difficult it is to find someone you really connect with makes my relationship with JR that much sweeter.

Things I Cannot Do Smoothly Because of Anxiety

Most of the times my anxiety is not funny. When I am in the middle of a full blown panic attack, the last thing on my mind is laughing. But there are times when I am able to recognize just how ridiculous I am being.

There’s a constant struggle between two parts of my brain. One part won’t calm the fuck down cause it’s convinced that the world is about to end. The other part wishes it’s neighbor would stop freaking out because it just wants to go to sleep.

There are times when I worry about the most ridiculous shit. Shit that really does not need to be worried about. At times it prevents me from doing basic every day things. I still manage to do these things but it would go a whole lot smoother if I could just shut my brain off.

Here are just a few things that I am unable to do smoothly because of my anxiety.

Small talk with a stranger. Am I being annoying? I’m asking too many questions. Stop asking questions. Wait, what if I’m not asking enough questions. Find something to talk about. Except for the weather. Anything but the weather. “So, can you believe how cold it’s been?”

Have a go-with-the-flow relationship. There’s no “let’s just see how things go” with me. Either we’re doing this or not. I can’t spend time questioning where I stand. Even if you make it obvious, I need to hear you say the words, “We’re together.”

Have any kind of relationship for that matter. Haha, I was totally faking it before. If you do say we’re together, I’m still going to spend hours questioning where I stand.

Straighten my hair. Anytime I straighten my hair, I have this overwhelming fear that I will burn down my apartment. Numerous times I had to call my dad to go to my apartment and check my straightener. Then I started texting myself a photo of my unplugged straightener right before I left so I could reassure myself throughout the day. All of these tactics just weren’t enough. Now whenever I straighten my hair, I bring my straightener with me so I know for sure I didn’t leave it on and potentially burn down everything I own.

Go to sleep at a reasonable hour. You know what happens when I’m trying to go to sleep? I think of every little thing that has ever worried me in my entire life.

Watch any TV show that takes place in a hospital. Since I was little, I’ve had to avoid any TV show that takes place in a hospital. ER, House, Grey’s Anatomy. Can’t watch any of them. I’m a paranoid person on a regular day. If I watch a hospital show, I’ll spend the next 72 hours convinced that I have the Plague.

Read or watch the news. I know keeping up with current events is important. And I do it from time to time so I’m aware of what’s going on and so I don’t look like a complete idiot. But I do not enjoy it at all! The news has always been scary and depressing but right now, it’s almost unbearable.

Ten Books to Lose Yourself In

Last week was a bitch! I have so much to say about the outcome of the election but then nothing to say as well. I almost wrote several different posts since last Wednesday. I was never able to really find the right words to express how I’m feeling.

The hatred I’ve seen on display by so many Americans has been disheartening. I’m scared for the future. And I’m saddened by the division. We all need a lesson on kindness. And we need to realize that you don’t fight intolerance with intolerance.

There’s so much more I can say about my feelings from last week but I won’t. I can imagine that everyone has heard enough already. But I also couldn’t bring myself to go back to writing unimportant posts as if nothing has happened. So I’m going to do something a little different this post.

I promise that I’ll go back to posting rants about adulting being really hard but for now I wanna leave you with this:

When life starts to get overwhelming and scary, you can find solace in books. Here are ten books that I recommend to lose yourself in when your FB newsfeed becomes terrifying.

Harry Potter series by J.K Rowling – If you’ve never read it, read it! If you’ve read it already, read it again!

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood – This book is terrifying. What makes it so terrifying is how believable it actually is.

Youth in Revolt by C.D. Payne – This is the most ridiculous book I’ve ever read and I mean that in the best way possible.

Matilda by Roald Dahl – The ultimate book for people who love books.

Daughter of Smoke & Bone series by Laini Taylor – I read this book when I was tired of the typical YA trilogies. You should read this book if you’re also tired of the typical YA trilogies.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline – I have tried, unsuccessfully, to get friends to read this book. Maybe my lovely readers will listen to me.

Geek Love by Katherine Dunn – This book is a mind fuck and I love it.

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – Want a crash course on race in America? Read this book.

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon – This book is long but don’t let that stop you; it’s AMAZING! It’s one of those books that you never want to end.

Persuasion by Jane Austen – Everyone is all about Pride and Prejudice but this is my favorite book by Ms. Austen.

My Obligatory Election Post

I wasn’t going to post this. I think by now we’ve all had enough election talk for at least the next 20 years. But before we find out who the new president is, there are a few things I need to say. (And what better platform than my blog? No one can stop me here or tell me to shut up.)

This has been the longest election ever and it’s FINALLY over. But not really.

Both candidates running for president are incredibly flawed. There’s no right choice here. I’m not going to spend this time talking up one candidate over the other. By this point, you’ve either already cast your vote or know who will be getting it.

My biggest issue with this entire election has been the division it’s caused. On one side, you’re an uneducated, ignorant racist. On the other side, you’re stupid and lazy.

A while back I made a post where I called all the people on my FB newsfeed posting about politics stupid and annoying. A family member called me out and said he took offense to being called stupid. He had a point. There was a hidden message there that anyone whose political views did not align with mine, is stupid and annoying. Shitty mentality to have.

Within the last month or so, the same family member has posted numerous memes about Democrats being stupid and unemployed, and suggesting that men voting for Hillary aren’t “real men.” Again, a shitty mentality to have.

It becomes a problem when we decide to group people into categories. Conservative or Liberal. Democrat or Republican. That’s not how the world works. That’s not how people work.

People. Human beings. Throughout this entire election, we’ve forgotten that “redneck Trump supporters,” “idiotic millenials,” “illegal aliens,” etc. are all human beings.

I’m about to get real hippie on you guys but hear me out. No matter who wins the election tonight, (or tomorrow morning depending when this thing is finally all said and done) we all need to live together in one country. We could have the greatest president these next four years (spoiler alert: we’re not going to have the greatest president) but none of it will matter if we’re so divided.

We need to learn to listen to one another better. We need to recognize that every single person has their own ideas and thoughts. There isn’t a perfect Conservative/Republican mold or Liberal/Democratic mold.

I know people who are conservative. I know people who are liberal. I know people who are Republican. I know people who are Democrat. I am friends with all of these people because these labels don’t define them. They are just a sliver of what makes them them.

So how about starting tomorrow we all start being a little kinder to one another. We all start listening to one another and trying to see the other side of an issue.

But as for tonight, you all have my permission to down a bottle of wine and fall asleep in a puddle of your own tears! God Bless!