Life

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.

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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!

Let’s Talk About Political Correctness

Political Correctness (PC) has been quite the buzzword this past year in the U.S. We’ve become too PC. We are sensitive babies. PC culture is ruining the country.

Considering that my views on social issues lean towards the left, this may come as a shock to you, but I partially agree with the critiques regarding this country and political correctness. I do think that we have become a little too sensitive at times. There is some Internet outrage every hour. And this outrage is usually directed towards something so insignificant.

I think a common misconception with PC culture is that it’s just the people on the left crying foul. Sorry but the overreacting plagues the entire country and all its inhabitants. (Finally something we are all on the same page with: being sensitive babies!)

The design of a Starbucks cup. A football player kneeling. The phrase “Happy Holidays.” In a time when our country is facing some really big issues, these are some of the things that people tend to cry out about.

So yes, in general, our country has become too sensitive. It shouldn’t matter whether a mall decides to put up a Christmas tree or not. A comedian shouldn’t be required to go on an apology tour because they made an off-color joke.

If when you refer to PC culture getting out of control, you’re referring to Apple replacing the gun emoji with a water gun, then I agree with you. I’m a girl who doesn’t think rape jokes should be banned. Do I think they’re funny? No. I also don’t find Aids jokes funny. What do I do if someone makes a joke about one of those subjects? Not laugh. I don’t research the person’s job so I can have them fired.

But let’s talk about what many people mean when they talk about PC culture, particurlay the walking Cheeto in the above gif.

Being tolerant of ALL religions and  nationalities is not ruining this country. Allowing two consenting adults to marry the person they love is not ruining this country. Letting people explore their sexual orientation and gender because it literally doesn’t affect you in any way is not ruining the country.

Don’t cry and hide behind “political correctness” when you’re really just angry that PC Culture doesn’t allow you to be racist, homophobic, or sexist.

It’s the Little Things in Life

Last year, 2015, was one of the most difficult and stressful years of my life.

I had to move in with my dad and share a room with my younger sister. I was working a part-time job that required about 3 hours of travel a day to get to and from. This job barely paid me enough to afford the dollar menu at McDonald’s. And I was also finishing up grad school which included writing a 60-page thesis.

It was really hard for me to focus on anything other than the bad times. I felt like I had hit rock bottom. I felt like I was unhappy and stressed out all the time. If someone had asked me about some of the good times from 2015, it would be really hard for me to think of a single instance.

But there were good times. There were a lot of good times.

New Year’s Day of 2015, the first day of my incredibly shitty year, my sisters and I created a happiness jar. We decorated a mason jar. The mason jar would hold all my happiest memories for the year. Any moment or event of 2015 that made us exceptionally happy would be written about on a piece of paper and then placed in the jar. The idea was to read all the happy memories on New Year’s Day of 2016 to remind ourselves of all the good times throughout the year.

Before opening that jar on January 1st, 2016, if anyone had asked me how my 2015 was, I would have responded quickly with, “It was really stressful and not so great.”

However, all those memories I placed in my happiness jar throughout the year told a different story. They didn’t focus on the late nights spent writing papers or the depressed early mornings spent riding on a train to a job that paid next to nothing.

The jar was a nice reminder that 2015 wasn’t nearly as bad as I imagined. I had a lot of great moments in 2015. From my trip to California to random lunches with my sister to celebrating my nephew’s birthday, numerous things brought me incredible joy during the year. I was so busy between jobs and schoolwork that I didn’t have time to think about all the little moments that made life great.

And that’s how life always is. It’s the big moments, whether good or bad, that get all the credit. Getting married, births, deaths, graduations, lay offs, new jobs, etc. These BIG moments are the ones that get all the focus.

However, it’s all the little moments in between that make the big moments so significant.

People often describe their wedding day as one of the greatest days of their lives. And while that might be true, there were so many wonderful random days or moments that let up to that one big day. The first date. First kiss. First time you realized you were in love. The day he came over with soup and your favorite movie cause you were sick.

All those little moments that you don’t give much thought to are what really make life worthwhile. The moments that are easily forgotten when life becomes too busy (AKA when life is life).

When the majority of life is spent waking up, getting ready for work, going to work, coming home, and then getting ready to do it all over again the next day, it’s only natural that the big moments are the ones that stand out. The nights you spent staying up much later than you should have with your favorite people can easily be forgotten. But those moments are the real ones to cherish.

With New Year’s Eve just around the corner (Don’t make a face. It’s already the end of September. 2017 is going to be here before we know it), I challenge you to start your own happiness jar. Or shoebox. Or kitchen drawer. Wherever you want to store those memories. Just do it!

It’ll be a nice reminder of the moments that truly matter. And also remind you that life is a lot more amazing than we give it credit.

Rejection Doesn’t Mean You Failed

Some of you may feel as though the title of this page is incorrect. How could rejection not equate to failure? Well, not to be rude but some of you people are completely wrong.

Rejection does not mean that you failed. Rejection means that you tried. Rejection means that you took a chance. Rejection means that you stepped out of your comfort zone. Rejection means that you went for something that you wanted. Even if you didn’t get it, the rejection doesn’t negate all the risks you took going for it.

Failure is never taking a chance. Failure is living a life of comfort because you’re afraid of trying anything new. Failure is never allowing yourself to love for fear that you may get your heartbroken. Failure is thinking of everything that could go wrong when an opportunity presents itself so you talk yourself out of it.

But most importantly, failure is allowing rejection to cause you to never take another chance again. To stop it from pursuing your goals and what you really want in life. That’s what real failure looks like.

Rejection and failure are what make life worth living. If you go through life never facing rejection and failure then you probably don’t live life to the fullest. Life is all about making the most of it. Taking chances. Living on the edge. Avoiding all that life has to offer because you want the comfortable route or don’t want to fail is no way to live.

Some of the most successful people in the world have faced rejection. Kerry Washington, Emmy-nominated actress of Scandal, was fired from two previous pilots before things clicked. Oprah Winfrey, yes THAT Oprah Winfrey, was fired from her first TV Job as an anchor. Walt Disney himself was fired from a newspaper because “he lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” Stephen King’s classic Carrie was rejected by 30 different publishers causing him to almost throw in the towel.

Rejection is a part of life. The thing that turns rejection into failure is how you react to it. Here are a few quotes that remind us all that rejection could potentially be the best thing to ever happen to us.

  1. “I think it’s important to have a good hard failure when you’re young. I learned a lot out of that. Because it makes you kind of aware of what can happen to you. Once you’ve lived through the worst, you’re never quite as vulnerable afterward….You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.” – Walt Disney
  2. “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” – Robert F. Kennedy
  3. “Giving up is the only sure way to fail.” – Gena Showalter
  4. “When you take risks you learn that there will be times when you succeed and there will be times when you fail, and both are equally important.” – Ellen DeGeneres
  5. “There is no failure except in no longer trying.” – Chris Bradford
  6. “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas A. Edison
  7. “Winners are not afraid of losing. But losers are. Failure is part of the process of success. People who avoid failure also avoid success.” – Robert T. Kiyosaki
  8. “Failure is so important. We speak about success all the time. It is the ability to resist failure or use failure that often leads to greater success. I’ve met people who don’t want to try for fear of failing.” – J.K. Rowling
  9. “I think you have to try and fail, because failure gets you closer to what you’re good at.” – Louis C.K.
  10. “I don’t understand a way to work other than bold-facedly running towards failure.” – Cate Blanchett

I wrote this post with a special person in mind. A person who took a huge chance and while it didn’t work out needs to be reminded that great things are sill to come!

Things I Won’t Be Saying Goodbye to in My Thirties

So I already went over this a bit when I discussed the things I hope I’m never too old for. As I am about to enter a new decade in life, plenty of people would like to tell me all the things I need to give up. Just look here  and here to see some of the asinine things I’m supposed to say goodbye to once I enter my thirties.

Fun. Fun seems to be one of the number one things I need to give up when I’m 30. Well, let me tell you. I refuse. I’m not going to turn into a boring human being once I say goodbye to my twenties. Here’s all the things I won’t be giving up.

  1. Wearing mini skirts. My legs are my best feature and I will be showing them off until that’s no longer the case.
  2. Shopping at Forever 21. I can get leggings that fit nicely for less than five dollars!
  3. Staying up way past my bedtime and drinking more than I should with my friends. Sure the hangovers are a million times worse and it’s not a good look to get wasted every weekend, but I’m not going to give up occasional nights with my friends where we all act like we’re 21 again.
  4. Spending an entire day in my PJs. Sometimes I work 6 days a week. If I want to spend all day Sunday in bed watching TV, I’m going to do just that.
  5. Reading YA novels. Sure I can pretend I’m doing it cause of my job but really it’s because I like the books.
  6. Eating copious amounts of junk food. You can pull the cupcakes and chips from my cold, dead hands.
  7. Playing drinking games (or games in general). This is particularly talking to the ridiculous list that told all thirtysomethings to give up beer pong forever. Bitch please!
  8. Buying furniture from Ikea. I think unless the day comes when I actually buy myself a house, I will be getting all my furnishings from Ikea.
  9. Wearing mismatched underwear. Once. Once in my life can I remember my bra and panties actually matching. (And yes this was a time when I knew someone else would be taking my clothes off at the end of the night.) Matching underwear is the type of life-together nonsense that I will never achieve.
  10. Eating cold pizza and/or lo mein in the morning. I have been blessed with a stomach of steel. I can eat whatever I want in the morning for breakfast. And this will always include leftover pizza and lo mein.

 

Thirty Things I Learned in My Twenties

So it’s February. This is my birthday month! The big 3-0 is exactly 16 days away (not that I’m counting or anything). I am not as stressed out as I thought I’d be. I do get a little twitch every time I realize that I’ll no longer be in my twenties but overall I think I’m handling it pretty well. I’ve even decided to actually celebrate my birthday which I don’t always like doing. I’ll be doing a dinner with a bunch of my friends.

Being almost thirty has mostly made me feel very reflective, which I guess is natural. The next series of posts will probably be a lot of me reminiscing and thinking about things that have occurred in my twenties. Today I want to talk about all the things I’ve learned in my twenties. Sure I’m not done and there are some things I’ll probably never learn. (Like folding a fitted sheet. Does anyone actually know how to do this?!?) But there are a lot of things my twenties have taught me.

  1. Always bring something when you go to someone’s house for dinner. You can never go wrong with a bottle of wine.
  2. Do not max out your credit cards. Splurging on certain things is fine but do not abuse your credit cards. You will regret it.
  3. Thirty is not that old. Don’t spend your twenties stressing over turning the big 3-0.
  4. Bad times will always get better. Humans are pretty resilient. Your twenties will be filled with a lot: rejection, heartbreak, loss of loved ones. But even if it feels like your entire life is in shambles, things will eventually get better.
  5. Your body is at least ten times better looking than you think it is. Odds are that ten years from now you will look back and wish you had the body you do now.
  6. You will never have it all figured out. Life is amazingly confusing. Things can change in an instant. Anyone who claims to have it all figured out is a big fat liar!
  7. You don’t always need to give a reason why you’re no longer talking to someone. This could be friends or someone that you’re dating. Sometimes it’s nice to give people an explanation but if it’s better for your mental health to just walk away, then do it.
  8. Eating a cupcake is not going to kill you. That one cupcake is not the reason for your muffin top. A cupcake everyday and not exercising may be the reason for that muffin top but not just one.
  9. You will never be rich so go to that fancy restaurant or go on that vacation. Don’t completely live outside your means but don’t spend your life waiting until you have enough money to start doing things.
  10. Your love for Nsync will never, ever go away. In fact, it will just get deeper as you get older and your 13-year-old Nsync-loving-self is further and further in the past.
  11. Accept that student loans will be a way of life for at least the next ten years. You have to get over bitching about it eventually because they are never going away.
  12. Store brands can be great but there are some things you don’t want to go generic on. Toilet paper is a big one. Splurge a little. It’s an essential item.
  13. Learning how to cook a few staples is crucial. You don’t need to be the next Gordon Ramsay but you should be able to feed yourself without using Seamless all the time.
  14. You can get the things you want but it’s going to take time and patience. That dream job is not going to just fall into your lap.
  15. Social media is the devil if you’re going to use it as a way to compare how unaccomplished you are in your life. Never compare your real life to someone else’s highlight reel.
  16. You will never comfortably walk in heels but sometimes they are just so worth it.
  17. Being tan is not worth it. You may look better sun-kissed but it’s not worth the risk of skin cancer and wrinkly skin.
  18. Turkey bacon will never be good and there is a special place in hell for people who think it’s better than REAL bacon.
  19. A $10 bottle of wine will do the job just fine.
  20. Staying home Saturday night is glorious! No shame in Netflix and Chilling all by yourself.
  21. There are a lot of people in this world who have a worse life than you. It’s important to recognize just how lucky you are. However, this does not completely negate your problems, no matter how trivial they may seem. You’re allowed to be upset about things in your life even though others have it worse.
  22. Hanging out with girls is not all annoying and drama-filled. If you still believe this myth, you may be the drama Queen, mean girl.
  23. Getting hand-me-downs for your apartment is great. Nothing wrong with asking friends and browsing yard sales for a good deal but always go new with a mattress.
  24. If you don’t want to do something, say no. And you don’t automatically owe the person an explanation why.
  25. Start a savings. Even if you’re only putting away $10 a month. It’s better than nothing and it has to start somewhere.
  26. Your friends are amazing, make time for them. If they are still around by now, they are worth at least a phone call once a week to talk.
  27. Stop getting bangs. You hate them and always think you look bad.
  28. The definition of success is not a universal thing. For some it’s getting married and having babies, for some it’s having an office with an amazing view, for some it’s waking up before 10am. Be happy with the things you have accomplished.
  29. It really doesn’t matter what other people think of you. And spoiler alert: 99.9% of the time they aren’t thinking about you anyway.
  30. Turning 30 is not the end of the world. There is still plenty of time to go back to school, get married, have babies, buy a house, land that dream job. Your twenties are just the beginning.