Breaking-Up 101: How to cope and move on!

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There isn’t a handbook to tell us how to get through this stuff. Sadly, nothing can prepare us for heartbreak. It is a certainty in life and unfortunately we all have to go through it. I had a lot of it before I got married and oddly enough I’m grateful for the things I went through because those experiences allowed me to grow, to change, and to thankfully find my person. I do, however wish I had listened to the advice given to me while I was in the throes of it because maybe, it would have been a bit easier to deal with and maybe there would have been less tears and more hope. So, I’m passing the well-meaning advice I received back then on in the hopes that those searching for solace, for love, dealing with heartbreak, or those ready to move forward can use it in some way that is positive and helpful to them. You may read this and forget it, or some of it might stick and hopefully you’ll have an easier time avoiding or dealing with what comes your way. Just know that no matter how bad things are in the moment, they ALWAYS get better and there is light at the end of the tunnel. Your heart will heal and you will find love again.  Here are my “words of wisdom”:

There are always signs, don’t ignore them!

When you meet someone new it’s always exciting. You have hope and believe in the possibility that they could be “the one”. What you miss when you’re smitten with this new, intoxicating human is the thing that may be right in front of your face. People will always tell you exactly what you need to know about them within the first few dates or hang-outs (Whatever time you’re spending with them). LISTEN TO THEM!!!!! If someone says, I’m not looking for a relationship…they AREN’T! If someone says, I don’t want to get married or I don’t want kids, they don’t! It’s really quite simple. PAY ATTENTION to what is being stated clearly and if those things don’t jive with your plan, don’t stick around hoping to “change them” because you will NOT!

Once a cheater, always a cheater!

Sorry I’m not sorry for this one. If a guy or girl cheats they will always cheat. This is a sad fact and one that people often try to overlook, justify the behavior, ignore, or worse leave and go back to the ones who hurt them. People who cheat do so because they aren’t happy with themselves. They need constant validation and they are insecure with who they are. They need to feel wanted all the time and they need to be the center of attention in the relationship. Even people who are treated like queens and kings will cheat because THEY aren’t happy with themselves. It’s not you. To ignore, overlook, pretend it isn’t happening or delude yourself into thinking they will change is asking for heartbreak. There is only one exception to this rule. If a person cheats and ends the relationship they’re currently in quickly and doesn’t stay and continue to lie and cheat then you have a case of the cheater looking for a way out of a bad thing and being too afraid to break-up with the person they’re unhappy with so they create a catalyst to give them a way out. THAT is the ONLY time a person may not be a cheater, but then you’ll be dealing with a coward. (A post for another time).

Dumpers and the Dumped!

If you are the person doing the dumping odds are you’re over the relationship and you will readily move on to greener pastures. If you are the one being dumped, well, things aren’t going to be as easy for you. I hate to say it, but it’s the truth. You will romanticize a shitty relationship because it’s easier than dealing with the reality which is that the person ending things wanted out. That is a tough pill to swallow, but swallow you must! Here’s the thing, if it ended, there are probably a lot of reasons that it ended that you are ignoring because nursing your broken heart to a healthy shatter is easier than admitting fault or seeing the truth about someone you once loved. Sometimes people are assholes, sometimes you’re the asshole. Sometimes people are incompatible, but lie to themselves and settle for things just because they’re easy and available. No matter why you ended up in a relationship, the reasons it ended are probably crystal clear, but as human beings we love to search for reason and meaning and look into things more deeply than they really should be looked into. Your answers are right there in front of you and in order to move on, you have to be honest with yourself. It was going to end regardless and there isn’t anything you could have done differently to change it because you weren’t meant to be together in the first place. We all do it. It sucks if you’re the one who gets dumped, but here’s the silver lining. Your heart will mend (in-time), you will see the light, and you WILL find someone else. It’s never the end of the world.

They all come back around SAY. NO. EVERY. TIME!

This is a truth that has proven itself over and over again and for every single person I know who gets dumped (in a relatively normal fashion that is). If the relationship ends organically and you are the one being dumped, you can rest assured that at some point when you’re feeling better, you’ve got your groove back, and you’re moving on you will send off some kind of bat signal to the person who broke your heart and they will be there with lightning speed to tell you they “made a mistake”,” they want you back”, “let’s meet for coffee”, whatever nonsense they’re spewing to get your attention. While this may sound great and give those of you who were dumped hope, also rest assured that this person is still the dirt bag who broke your heart and they did NOT change, they are no different than when they left you high and dry in the first place and the relationship will end again if you take them back leaving you worse than before. SAY. NO. EVERY. TIME! It is not to your benefit to go backwards and if they couldn’t give you what you wanted or needed before they won’t be able to now. Give NEW LOVE an opportunity to grow and leave the past in the past. I promise you, it’s not a mistake and you can do better!

Cut Ties!

This can be facilitated even in the worst of circumstances to some degree that is beneficial. If you are without attachments of any kind i.e. a marriage or kids then you can and should do this and with ease. I’m not saying it won’t be hard, but it is the best thing you can do for yourself and it is necessary. You don’t need to keep your old hangouts, don’t go to that party or wedding you got invited to before you split just because you think you “should”. Let me save you the embarrassment and heartache, you shouldn’t. You WILL feel like dirt after you see them, you won’t get their attention in the way you have imagined, and they will always disappoint you. Cut your ties. If you DO have a child and/or a divorce situation to contend with, limit your contact to child related or relationship ending discussions or interactions only. i.e. drop offs, pick-ups, medical information, childcare coordination, divorce hearings, custody hearings, moving out, whatever. But, DO NOT interact more than you need to. Treat the other person with respect if you have a child with them, but you do not need to be cozy and warm if the ending was particularly gut-wrenching or is difficult for you to deal with. The less contact, the better, because it will allow you to move on and get over them. If you think keeping in contact or telling them how you feel will help…it won’t! You deserve some peace and you definitely deserve to be happy so, be glad it happened, learn something, and move forward. You heart will mend more easily with less contact.

Believe what you’re hearing!

If the person you are missing is telling you they don’t miss you. Believe it! If they say it’s over, it’s over! If they tell you they don’t want a relationship, they 100% mean they don’t. It’s not a queue to keep pursuing them. It’s a big STOP sign and you should absolutely stop. It’s hard, it hurts, and it isn’t the easiest thing to understand, but you need to hear what is being directly said to you, not what you want to hear.

Figure out what YOU want!

When you reach the bottom the only way to go is up. However, you can’t move forward if you don’t have a plan or some idea of what it is that YOU want. This doesn’t just apply to break-ups. This is just a basic life thing. Sit and think about what you like, what you want in life, what you want out of a partner, what you want for your career, your home (or eventual home). Ask yourself what things you enjoy doing and go do them. Find who YOU are and then, when you have figured that out, your heart will be able to accept the love of someone else who is meant for you. You can’t love anyone else if you don’t love yourself first. TRUTH!

Keep Yourself Busy!

It’s really simple; occupy your time with whatever you can. Work as much as possible, socialize, and get out of the house. Get up every day and make your bed, clean the house, go grocery shopping, make a list of chores that need to be done and complete them. Do any activity you enjoy. If you don’t have hobbies, find some. If you are lacking in the friends department, go join a group, fitness club, or church, whatever you have interest in and eventually you’ll meet new people with similar interests and those things can carry you through. Who knows, you might even meet someone worthwhile.

Give yourself time!

The old cliché “Time heals all wounds” is truer than you know. Give yourself time to heal, time to grieve the relationship lost. I don’t mean dwell on it or live in the despair you feel. I mean, accept what currently is, take a moment to catch your breath, and then pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and move forward. Time is fleeting and your life will pass you by if you don’t grab hold and keep going with it. Give yourself time means not jumping into another relationship to try to replace what you lost. It means find out who you are, what you really want in life, and then moving forward to create the life you want and deserve. It doesn’t mean live in the past relationship because it wasn’t meant for you and there are truly better things out there if you’re willing to eventually open your heart to them.

Set goals!

If you want something different, you have to change your plan. Just because something didn’t work out it doesn’t mean that everything won’t. So, make a list of some things that you’d like to see change or that you’d like to accomplish in the next year and start working toward those goals or ideas. It will give you something to take your mind off of what is currently happening and move you in a better direction. I promise it works.

It’s not what you thought it was!

When you go through a break-up and especially if you’re the one who is broken up with, it’s easy to romanticize the failed relationship because all you see is what once was good. It’s a sad thing really because it isn’t until we are a bit removed from it that you see that it was most likely doomed to fail regardless.  A bad relationship is like a train running at full speed. Nothing will stop it from eventually running off of the track. Be more honest with yourself than you feel comfortable with even, because it’s the honesty and truth that will help you move past it. If you lie to yourself about what your situation actually was then you will be stuck and who knows for how long and you’ll miss out on all of the wonderful things life has in store for you. Don’t waste your heart where it’s not wanted. It wasn’t what you thought it was meaning the relationship and as hard as it may be to face reality, you eventually have to whether it’s because you figure that out on your own or you’re forced into it. Either way, it’s better to rip off the band aid and accept it for what it was, know that it wasn’t meant for you, and push past it. If you can be honest with yourself you will see that your heart will heal much faster. It’s the lie you love, not the reality.

Find your tribe and love them hard!

I actually hateeee this saying, but in this case, it makes sense. Find a support system. Find people who are loyal to you, who have your best interests at heart, and who will be there for you when you need a helping hand, a reality check, a kick in the ass, whatever.  They’re your people and they will help you through it. Show them love by making positive steps forward. Show them that you appreciate them. Your support systems are people who believe in you, who are your friends and not shared friends. They build you up, they tell you the truth even when you don’t want to hear it, they listen, they want you to be happy and they want to help you achieve your dreams and move on. They aren’t the people who offer drama, who stir the pot, who try to put you in awkward situations, and they are NOT your ex. Make sure you have this group established because you’ll need them, but treat them with respect because they’re there to help you.

Practice gratitude!

Despite how awful it feels to get our hearts stepped on, there is so much to be grateful for in that darkness. Find the light and goodness in every day. Even if it’s something as simple as a good cup of coffee, a beautiful sunset or sunrise, a moment where your mind is quiet, a smile from your child, an encouraging word, or a hot meal. Take stock of what you DO have and not what you’ve lost. Be grateful because you aren’t guaranteed anything in life and the fact that your heart is broken doesn’t mean YOU are broken. It means you are being given something to overcome and your goal should be to come through the struggle a better person.

 

If you can do any of these things you’ll come through the suck that is a broken heart and you will have a shot at finding the person you were actually meant for. It’s a terrible thing to go through, but know this…if you are lucky enough to get through it something beautiful is waiting for you on the other side. I found my happy and the love of my life and I KNOW you can find yours too.

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Perfectly Imperfect Parenting

 

I’ve said this before, I am a lazy writer.  By lazy, I mean laze fair. I do it when I have time and I feel compelled to write. Otherwise I’m busy being a human functioning in the world and wearing the many hats that all of us wear.  I enjoy writing. It’s a great way to express yourself, to workout ideas you have, to put into words what is rolling around in our minds. That said, there’s been something that keep cropping up in my life and since I have opinions about everything, I’ll give you my views on this thing.

 

I’ve noticed lately a surge of articles sucking up my news feed about various parenting issues. Ways we can all do things better, what to look out for to be sure your child survives through the day without dying (sorry to be blunt) from the latest awful thing that happened to one parent who felt the need to share “their story”, or the latest list of ways to identify things that “could” be issues with your parenting or your kid. I, like everyone else in the world LOVE scrolling through my various social media apps and usually get caught up in whatever click bait I find that’s semi interesting and mind numbing, but those particular articles or blips on the radar get my blood boiling! I can appreciate why this stuff is out there. Someone (the person writing/publishing) this stuff believes that it will benefit the greater good. They believe that we, as a society need this stuff to become better people, better parents, to be aware of what’s out there and what could be! I get it! What I DO NOT, nor will I EVER understand is why everyone takes those articles and runs with them like they are 2 slabs of concrete written on by God himself and spread it like wild fire and pretend it’s Gospel! Does anyone have any common sense anymore or do we solely rely on what the internet has to say?

I find that more and more parents older who’ve raised their kids and younger who are just starting out on the parenting adventure are now dissecting every move they’ve ever made because some article made them question how they raised or are raising their children. Here is what I think. I believe that while those articles serve a purpose and while it’s great to gather all of the information you can on whatever topic interests you….you are still reading SOMEONE ELSE’S view of a thing. If you can’t think for yourself and decide what the best course of action is in your parenting, then you are doomed regardless of what you have read or what pitfall you’re trying to avoid.  It breaks my heart that there are people out there who have done the best they could by their children, given them their all, and made a good life for them that are questioning whether or not they were good parents because they gave their kids juice, let them eat junk food, let them swim in a pool and God forbid accidently suck-in some water while swimming or worse, didn’t give them ear plugs and they got…..wait for it……swimmers ear! WORST. PARENTS. EVER!  ARE YOU KIDDING ME!???? That makes me incredibly sad. What really gets me is that those same parents who let their kid eat ice-cream for dinner with an Apple Juice aren’t the ones shooting-up, getting high and forgetting their kids when they leave the house, leaving their kids in hot cars, not paying attention while their kids play in the pool and they’re having a beer on the deck with their friends and their kid can’t swim, taking selfies while driving, screaming at their children because they never learned how to communicate or listen. Oh no, they’re not the least bit concerned with their parenting. They think the sun is shining out of their asses and the ones who really do care about their children, but maybe made a few wrong turns along the way are the ones feeling like shit and begging forgiveness, feeling like they need to explain themselves.

I am sick of what I’m seeing out there. So let’s change it. Let’s start with this….If you are perfect, you do everything the “right way” and you can say with 100% certainty that you have never done anything incorrectly in your life or in your child’s life, then please give ME your advice and your opinion on how I “should” be doing things. Anyone?…….I’m pretty sure none of us are perfect. We are human and just in that we are imperfect. We have flaws, we make mistakes, we sometimes fuck-up the largest of ways, but we are here. We are all doing our best with what we have. I will speak for myself and only myself in saying that I am not perfect.  I judge, I speculate, I offer my unsolicited advice, I make mistakes, (I’ve made many of them in my life), I may not always make the best choices for myself, and I am a first time Mom so I will guarantee you that I have screwed up my kid in some irreversible way already that I’m probably not aware of yet and won’t be until she throws it in my face when she’s a teenager and she hates me. But let me say this, I’m trying. I will go to the ends of the earth for my child. Every day I do my best to be patient, to try to do everything I can to be a good Mom. I also give my kid juice once in a while, let her have ice-cream as a meal, I let her watch T.V., I let her boss me around on occasion, I let her yell and scream when she’s playing and having fun (which I know for a fact pisses people off), but I also cuddle her and kiss her and tell her how amazing she is every day. I tell her she’s smart, and kind, and sweet, and bright, and lovely. I tell her that she does a good job, I give her opportunities to think for herself, I listen to her silly stories and laugh when she giggles, I soak up every single moment I’m given and I LIVE for this child’s smile. So, by MY standards, I’m doing alright.

I’m giving myself and ALL of the other parents out there (with the exception of-and I’m getting very real here…the ones who give a shit more about themselves and not so much about the well-being of their children) a pass. Stop reading this toxic shit that’s floating around out there and making us all feel like we are less-than! It’s good to be educated and to know what dangers exist. It’s important to read and explore and research. However, I urge you all to take a moment and realize that we are all here because our parents raised us. They didn’t do it perfectly, they didn’t have a fraction of the access to information that we have at our finger tips today. This stuff wasn’t out there for them the way it is for us and they survived, and most importantly WE survived. So anything that you think you’re doing wrong, any mistakes you made along the way….know this….your child will love you. They will become adults and make their way in the world regardless of whether you let them play with a fidget spinner or if you let them have a lollypop. They won’t die from having a juice box and they sure as shit aren’t going to die from enjoying the pool in the summer time. If you are attentive, caring, loving, and most important observant you will notice if there’s a problem with your children. You will take them to the ER if they’re hurt or the pediatrician for their check-ups and when they’re sick. You will know if they are sad, if they need a hug, if they just need to be heard.

You’re all doing a good job and no article or amount of information can replace experience, can show you HOW to be a parent. You learn as you go. You should educate yourself, but not to the point that you are afraid to try anything. Trust that you’re doing right by your child. Put them first, make them feel loved and cared for, help them to grow into good people, and I’d say you’ve done alright. You are perfectly imperfect and that what it means to be human. No one should be living their lives by the words of others. Remember to look in your own yard at your own grass and don’t worry about what your neighbor’s yard looks like. Don’t allow others to impose their thoughts and views onto you. And don’t point your fingers at other people for how they do things because it isn’t your way. Do your best, strive to raise good citizens, and trust that you’re doing OK! Enjoy the ride and stop clicking!

13 Reasons Why…Start Talking and Stop Placing Blame!

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Back in 2007 “13 Reasons Why” was published and in 2011 it finally ended up on the NY Times Best Seller List. I stumbled across this book in 2014 when a dear friend from across the pond recommended it to me. I love to read and I was looking for book recommendations. She warned me of the content, but said it was an excellent read and she was right.  Despite the darkness and absolute sadness this story carried, it was hard to put down. I read it in 3 days! I was deeply affected by this book, not because I have ever felt like Hannah Baker, I didn’t connect with it on that level. The sadness of it washed over me in waves and really broke my heart. I imagined having a child and what it would do to me to know that she felt like that and no-one heard her. It made me take notice that there are SO many young women (and men) being bullied in this country and feeling like they have no escape, no help, and no worth. It was gut wrenching to read this story and it stayed with me for a long time.

Fast forward to present. “13 Reasons Why” is now a Netflix show and is being consumed in the format viewers enjoy most, binge watching. People are seeing this live, in action, and guess what….it’s just as devastating to watch as it is to read the book (or so I’m told). I haven’t watched it yet and I can’t truthfully say that I will and with good reason. Since I read this book I became a mother to a beautiful, spirited, precious little girl and anytime I watch, read, or hear a story about anything awful happening to a child (of any age) I can’t stomach it. I know without a doubt that I probably wouldn’t have read this book had I had my daughter beforehand. That said, I DID read it and I am fully aware of what it’s about. Suicide isn’t something to joke about or take lightly.  It isn’t something that is even discussed without hushed tones and often barely audible whispers.  It’s STILL in this day and age Taboo to discuss in groups, but here we are! It’s now out there on a very popular streaming service and parents and educators, counselors, and the like are furious! They’re up-in-arms because they don’t like that the rape scene was depicted in such a violent and horrific way, they don’t like that the suicide scene is graphic and shows Hannah cutting into her skin and taking her last breath. They don’t want teenagers to watch it because they might “get ideas” and they are claiming that the series is glorifying suicide in some way! To all of this I say WHAT IN THE ACTUAL FUCK is happening to people!

Have we all lost our common sense? I’m going to break this down quick and dirty! Suicide is ugly! It is sad, lonely, perplexing, earth shattering, and can break those affected by it. The families of suicide victims are never the same. It can ruin relationships, tear families apart, but it can also bring families together, hold one another a bit tighter, and be more thankful and absolutely spark openness in a way that may not have existed before. I have had friends who have taken their lives, I have had friends family members commit suicide and I have witness the aftermath. It obviously isn’t pretty nor something I wish for anyone to be touched by in any way. But what I have also seen are parents talking more openly with their children and each other. Discussing things that might otherwise be silent and tucked away. This book and this series are important because this is a very real thing that happens.

Bullying is an even bigger issue in this country. It isn’t handled properly by authorities or school systems, it is extremely damaging to young children and young adults and it often goes unchecked by those who can put an end to it. More often than not the victims are blamed and that makes it even more of a daunting issue to tackle. But it NEEDS TO BE DEALT WITH! “13 Reasons Why” is addressing it all. It’s addressing bullying, slut shaming, rape, abuse of power, neglect, and suicide. It is pointing the finger directly at those who play a part in the despair of others and it makes people uncomfortable! And here’s something fun….people don’t like finger pointing. They don’t like feeling uncomfortable and this forces them to place blame. To try to shut things down. To say, “This series shouldn’t be viewed by young adults.” “It isn’t appropriate” or “It’s too dark”. Our teens (especially) are seeing this stuff first hand and sometimes are doing the bullying and you don’t think it’s “appropriate”. This is LIFE! This shit is real life!

Here’s what I know, my mother and father made it a point to talk to me about everything that parents do not want to discuss with their teenagers. I could recite the sex talk verbatim at 10 years old (because a girl that age became pregnant and it made headlines so it got talked about), I knew what suicide was thanks to Beverly Hills 90210, I learned about rape from that show as well as Melrose Place! (Thanks Aaron Spelling and Darren Star) So we talked about those things. I knew about drug use thanks to 21 Jump Street and Saved by the Bell (Jessie Spanno’s Speed scene anyone?) and guess what, my parents didn’t shy away. They bit the bullet and talked to me. They knew my day to day, they asked questions, they were interested in my life. They weren’t overly protective either, they gave me room to spread my wings so to speak, but they were there. I knew that I could talk to them and I did. It wasn’t always comfortable, but they tackled those things that parents think kids can’t handle talking about. We are ultimately raising a bunch of pansies! TALK TO YOUR KIDS PEOPLE!

Educators and School Counselors I’ll give a small pass to because I do understand that what they are legally allowed to say to children these days is limited and they aren’t here to raise our kids for us or to deal with these types of issues. However, they DO have our youth for 90% of their day. It is spent in school with the influence of other children and these fine people who are responsible to provide an education so TALK! You have the floor, bring up tough subjects, address them in a professional way, but talk! Don’t shy away from things because of fear, or because you “shouldn’t say certain things”, you are ethically responsible to report if you witness and I am aware of several instances where teachers knew of situations they could have prevented by reporting it up the chain and they sat back and did nothing because they didn’t want to get involved! I call BULLSHIT! Get involved, talk to these kids about their lives, about what is happening with them. Take an active interest! I am not saying that ALL teachers do nothing, I’m not even saying that they don’t do their jobs or that they are awful as sweeping statement. I AM saying there are far too many who turn a blind eye or blame T.V., Video Games, or Movies for behaviors that are preventable by communicating.

I am over tip toeing around issues like this and hearing reports tearing this series and book to shreds! It is important subject matter if for no other reason than to shed light on a very dark and often disregarded issue with our children. There are many who, if they had been heard and given some help, may not have taken their lives. Depression, bullying, rape, abuse, neglect….they are all present and thriving in young adults and watching a T.V. Show on Netflix isn’t going to make them grab a tape recorder and a razor blade! If a person is going to attempt suicide they will. That is something I have learned in life. Sometimes you can’t prevent it, but sometimes you can. Watching someone else isn’t going to change intent. It isn’t going to change a kid’s mind whose already decided. It isn’t going to push them over the edge, odds are they are already there. Adults have the power and the authority to help. We have life experience. We have resources, money, and most important and free to all is time! Take the time to watch this show, take the time to watch it and DISCUSS it with your child. Listen to them, ask them questions. Be there because it’s your JOB! You brought them into this world and it is YOUR job to protect and care for them. Don’t blame a piece of literature or a producer for what may be happening under your nose. Pay attention and take action! If you do all that you can do and your child still chooses to end their lives, it’s not because you failed. It’s because there was something broken in them and it isn’t your fault. We are all human and we can’t fix everything. We CAN try. It’s our duty as parents and as people!

I understand that the subject matter may be triggering for some. If you have been touched by something like this and anything related upsets you, then I urge you to use the sense you were born with and don’t watch it. No one is twisting your arm. You don’t have to see it and I don’t recommend it. It’s extremely disturbing and it does stay with you after you read/watch it so it’s probably not the best idea. But that’s a choice and it should be made with an understanding of what you’d be setting yourself up to see.

I hope that all those in-need of help find it. I hope we stop finding books, television, movies, and celebrities to blame for issues that aren’t their doing. I hope that art continues to be created in all forms and that we stop trying to tear it apart to find the fault in it. Anything that makes us uncomfortable, facilitates discussion, which brings about change! I highly recommend reading and/or watching “13 Reasons Why” with an open mind. See it for the story telling that it is and the subject matter that it presents and communicate! Don’t write it off before you give it a chance.

Think before you Speak


So, to begin Hi! I’ve been on a writing hiatus for a while due to life, work, our toddler, etc. and truthfully I find that my best writing comes from inspiration and writing when the mood strikes. I also do better when I have idle time and lately there has been very little of that so, if my blog posts seem few and far between, that is why.

 

I’ve have been doing a lot of reading (before bed because that’s the only time I have peace and quiet long enough to focus) and listening to podcasts and some of my favorite radio shows and recently there was an interview with Charlamagne (if you don’t know how is he, google works wonders). Anyway, he was discussing his new book “Black Privilege” and he brought up a very interesting topic that I decided to write about because it’s something my husband practices often and that I have recently taken to practicing myself and it’s really changed my thought process and how I respond and speak to controversial topics. Charlamagne said (and I will not quote him because I don’t have the exact verbiage he used handy) that he doesn’t talk about things that he doesn’t know anything about. That he will take your word for it if he doesn’t know anything about a specific topic.  There was a lot more to this interview and I am truly excited to read his book, but this specific thing interested me because it’s something that my husband follows religiously and has always told me. He said, “The worst thing you can do is to pretend you know something when you don’t!” He often tells me that admitting when you don’t know something is so much better than pretending you do know and getting caught in a lie, or being called out on the fact that you don’t actually know anything about what you’ve claimed you do.

 

So, here’s a little more background to my interest in this specific topic. Often, I find myself, especially in situations that I feel uncomfortable in, pretending to know things that I don’t. Even if the only thing I’m doing is saying “Oh yeah” or “I agree” when a topic comes up, I’m still pretending to know what I don’t actually know. I also do a thing where I might know half of a story, but I don’t know the whole thing and when caught in an awkward conversation I’ll pretend I know what I’m speaking to when I truly don’t know the whole story. For me (and I’m only speaking for myself), it’s a nervous reaction to an uncomfortable situation or discussion. I get really nervous that I’ll look like a fool if I can’t discuss something that is being discussed. But, what I wasn’t realizing is that by doing this I am actually causing the very thing I am afraid of. I DO look like a fool because I DO NOT have all my facts straight and I am discussing something that I am not well versed about. SO, I decided……wait for it…….to take my husband’s advice!!!! (SHOCKING, RIGHT!!!!???? I know he often is when this happens) and stop and think before I speak. Honestly, it’s really something strange to me because I have always been extremely vocal and I always have something to say about even the smallest thing. And while what I said above is 100% true about awkward situations, I am also guilty of being a chatty gal (my nickname is Mouthpiece and has been for years) and I like to hear myself talk. There, I said it!

 

Taking the time to think before I speak is never something I’ve been good at. I’m quick on my feet and am able to hold a pretty steady conversation with most people on just about any topic, if I’m comfortable around them. If I’m not, I’ll still talk, but then it becomes diarrhea of the mouth and I sort of black-out! It’s odd, I know. Now that I’m older and am more open to self-improvement I am finding things about myself that I want to work on and this is a BIG one that has been glaring me in the face for a longgggg time. In my 20’s I didn’t care as much because well, I was young and blissfully ignorant of reality. In my 30’s it mattered, but it wasn’t until I had my daughter that I really realized how important thinking and speaking are. There is nothing more humbling than a 2 year old repeating back to you something awful or ridiculous that you said, let alone a swear word (so far we’ve dodged that bullet), but it’s definitely an eye opening experience. So, I now think before I respond (most of the time-I’m still a work in progress) and I am trying hard to only discuss things that I am knowledgeable about. If I don’t know, I am not going on a social media rampage with a view point that is not well constructed or thought out and I am trying really hard to be more cognizant of social issues that I speak about because not all of them affect me and there are two sides to everything. And here’s another revelation of late….not all of my opinions are gems and most of them aren’t well researched enough to open my mouth about. So, here’s to being more thoughtful, more aware, and trying to improve myself. For the sake of others eyes and ears and also for myself because I am really tired of sounding like an asshole. It WILL happen, of that I’m sure, but at least now I am aware and trying to do better.

 

I hope to write more in the coming year and hopefully these posts won’t be so few and far between! Thanks for reading!

No apologies and I Love You!

     Before I had my daughter I felt like I was hitting my stride in life. I was becoming fiscally responsible, I was handling my business, I was finally figuring it out, and I had my shit (mostly) together. Then this amazing little person came into the picture and showed me just how wrong I was. She’s my greatest blessing and in every way possible has improved our lives, but she’s also taught me some things about myself that I didn’t necessarily know before she came. Some of those things I’m okay with and others aren’t so pretty. So here are 5 things that I’ve learned since becoming a mother: 

1. I never really knew myself-

    Fact is, I didn’t. While I liked to think I did, I was living on fantasy island, sipping margs with Tattoo waving at the planes flying overhead, blissfully unaware of who I actually was. The truth is I’ve discovered that becoming a Mom really shines some light on who you are deep down. I’ve learned a lot about myself as a woman, what I’m capable of, what I fear, what I like and dislike, what I will and will not put up with, and that I didn’t know shit before! I am basically insane, but I believe it’s in the best of ways, it’s insanity over my kid. I’ll do anything and everything to give her the best life I can. So despite being ridiculously inept at this job, I’ve at least figured out that I’ll go down swinging learning to be the best mother I can be and that is something I didn’t know I had in me. Complete, unconditional love.

2. I’m a shitty friend and I’ve learned to live with it-

 Don’t misunderstand me, I LOVE and ADORE my friends. But my priorities have shifted dramatically. I had 32 years of unadulterated, selfishness. I was able to have what I consider to be the MOST fun of my life with some of the greatest friends and I regret none of my younger, partying, carefree days. But things began to shift when I got married and moved away with my husband. I’m not that far from family and friends, but sometimes it feels like I’m worlds away. 

I am settled and happy in my marriage. I love being a wife and I absolutely love being a mother. So while there are times I miss my once nearest and dearest and I sometimes daydream about long days on the beach, carefree day drinking, or shopping without a screaming toddler, I don’t truly miss that life. I love my friends. I always will, but my priority is my kid and my focus is on making her life amazing and sharing my life with my husband and child. So, I don’t stay in touch the way I “should” and I can’t go out and live it up like I used to and bar hop and do the things I used to do. It doesn’t mean I don’t care about my friends. It doesn’t mean I don’t miss them and want them in my life. It just means that I’m not as available as I once was. 

 So admittedly I’m a shitty friend. The reason, however that I won’t apologize for it is this, I would expect no less from any one of them. I want all of my loves to be happy and live their lives and know that I’m always only a phone call or text away. I’m not an asshole, I’m just living my life and I respect them for living theirs and occasionally we will meet in the middle somewhere. And I’ll soak up every moment I can get, but my family will always come first. So, truly no apologies. I still love my dearest friends, but life moves forward and I don’t want to miss a second watching my little girl grow or having time with the man I love. I hope you understand and forgive me for being honest. 

3. I DO NOT have my shit together! Ever!-

 And here’s another revelation that I’ve come to recently….I probably won’t for a long time. The best part about realizing this is that I’ve come to terms with it, and I’m ok with it. I don’t love that I’m a disorganized, chaotic, tornado of a human these days, but this is me. This is life being a working mom, a wife, a daughter, daughter in-law, sister, friend, coworker, boo boo kisser, toy picker-upper, Hide and Go Seeker, and every other thing that I am on a daily basis. I’m a total mess of life and guess what? I’m fine with that (for now anyway). 

4. My OCD tendencies have to take a backseat for me to enjoy my life-

 Admittedly I’m super OCD and a control freak so being a mess and having a now very messy (not dirty, but messy) home is what I have come to accept as part of my new role as a Mom. I had to let go, and let flow to enjoy my life. I was missing out on my baby learning and playing and living because I couldn’t stop cleaning up after her, and my husband, and myself. So finally, I’m learning that I have to stop, put down the 409 and live in the messy moments that are my life. And despite the mess and absolute and total choas I’m the happiest I’ve ever been (as long as I don’t stare at my pile of dishes for too long). 

5. Being a Parent is Hard (but totally worth it)-

 At the end of the day when my husband and I finally sit down on the couch, and there is complete silence and a sense of sheer exhaustion sweeps over us (and sometimes defeat depending on the tantrum level before bedtime), it’s safe to say we are clearly first time parents and we are always and often wiped the eff out!  Being a parent is tough. It’s hard work and anyone that says otherwise is either batshit crazy or has a nanny and a full house staff of 25! 

 There have been so many times we have laid in our daughters playroom floor and contemplated staying there for the evening because we were too tired to move. It’s work, everyday, all day and while it can be draining, and frustrating, and terrifying, and insane, it is without a doubt the MOST incredible, rewarding, fun, and simply amazing job we’ve ever had! Watching our baby grow from a helpless newborn into a functional toddler who talks, and walks, and tells us exactly what she wants, and has a laugh that is contagious and so joyous and innocent, and who looks at the world with such intense wonder and excitement and simplicity that you can’t help but be grateful for every single second you get with her. No matter the tantrums, tears, biting, pinching, hitting, running, or jumping off of things….you know that she’s the greatest blessing you’ll ever receive and that no matter how tired you think you are, you’ll be more tired tomorrow so you just need to suck it up because despite that it is absolutely the best decision you’ve ever made. 

Becoming a parent is challenging and rewarding. It forces you to look at yourself in a whole new way and it really changes your perspective on life. I’ve learned so much about myself, my marriage, my family, and motherhood in the last year and a half and I can honestly say that being a Mom is my greatest accomplishment. And I make no apologies for who I am today, because having my daughter changed me for the better. It forced me to grow up, to see the world in a new way, and to put someone else’s needs ahead of my own. And so, no apologies…to her, I owe everything.
I love you my sweet girl! 

      

Does Your Opinion Matter in the Workplace?

I am an extremely opinionated person and in general it is very difficult for me to suppress my outspoken nature. However, I have learned (often the hard way) in life that my opinions (and the opinions of others) are not always welcome and are often flat out rejected in many situations, specifically in the workplace. There are times in life when speaking your mind and standing up for what’s right are completely warranted and imperative to influencing change and if your opinion is given in such a way that it is helpful and constructive rather than combative and whiney then it may be welcome and may possibly facilitate the  change you’re striving to achieve. 

However, more often than not, you will find in the “real world” and especially in the workplace that no one actually gives a shit about your opinion and that what you are trying to convey as important and valid may come across as complaining and challenging to the authoritative powers that be. There is a very fine line about what you can say and to whom and what you cannot say and the things that will ultimately land you in hot water with your boss. So, this begs the question does your opinion matter?

Here is the long and short of it in regard to issues at work! This is what I have found to be true (and I am not referring to a specific event or place of business), if you see an area where something could be greatly improved such as the way a process is performed or a more efficient way to complete a task then usually you can make a suggestion in a respectful way to your superiors and it will typically be met with approval and in some cases praise because the fact is that businesses are always looking for more efficient, cost effective ways to do things. They will most certainly approve of your ideas if they can save the company money or better yet, make your supervisors or directors look good. THOSE are the times when your voice and opinions should be heard and can be most useful. 

If, on the other hand, you are having an inter-office squabble with your coworker(s) and it can’t be resolved amongst yourselves (which IS the expectation) and you take your personal grievance to your supervisor or in a true act of defiance and need to be heard you overstep your boss and go directly to Human Resources you will most definitely be met with disapproval, anger, resentment, and ultimately you will carve out a name for yourself in your department or field as a complainer, whiner, fire starter, and/or trouble maker and your voice will not be heard. In a worst case scenario you may be on the chopping block for pissing off the wrong people. And if you think I’m kidding let me give you some insight. Your bosses do NOT, under any cirrcumstances want to hear you bitch, moan, and complain about anything YOU should be able to resolve yourself within your immediate peer group. It’s the truth and as much as it sucks, this is a fact. You will be ostracized within your immediate circle for being the squeaky wheel and often times your bosses will take your issues to mean that you are unhappy and eventually you will be viewed as expendable. This is the ugly truth.

There is always an exception to the rule and if you are among the rare and lucky ones that have a boss who is available and willing to assist in resolving inter-office issues or one who welcomes resolving conflict or listening to your “ideas” about “how things should be” then you have found a unicorn and you may want to consider becoming a lifer for that company because you will NOT find that anywhere these days. Here’s the other ugly truth, most organizations these days view ALL employees as expendable (unless you have a specific skill set that very few people posess). There is always someone out there who is hungry, who is willing to work for less, and who will be “grateful” for their job. 

None of this is to say that you are not skilled, valuable, or even an asset to any organization, No. In fact what it really is is that right now with the economy the way that it is, the extreme lack of available jobs in any given field or industry, and the excessive number of college students looking for jobs as well as the currently unemployed, there isn’t a reason that you are special anymore because ultimately there will always be someone else ready to fill your spot should it not work out. So these days the old adage “the squeaky wheel gets the grease” is not true. The squeaky wheel gets the boot and a freshly greased, cheaper version of a wheel will be brought in to replace it. Lovely right?

So, while our opinions are valid and I personally feel that they should be heard, there is a time and place for whatever our brains deem necessary to say and if you know how to craft your words in order to manipulate the outcome of a potentially disastrous situation then you have a fighting chance of being heard and coming out on top. So, in summation choose your words wisely and remember that not every idea or thought you have is a gem and sometimes those thoughts need to be kept to yourself. Pick your battles (and wars) and realize that there is always a way to get what you want, but you have to know the correct way to go about it. 

Tips for New Mommies and Daddies Compliments of My Darling Husband!

It never dawned on me that while I was going through the circus that is becoming a new mother my dear, sweet husband would be taking notes throughout the first few weeks and that they would be so insightful and helpful! I saved these because I thought that someday I would share them (they are after-all brilliant). If you are pregnant, or your wife is pregnant (or partner) I hope this makes you laugh, eases your fears, and makes you consider your outlook on becoming a new parent. If you’re an old hand at the parenting gig, then I hope this gives you a chuckle and a reminder of the time you went through this. I loved seeing my husbands’ take on the birth/new parent process and I hope you enjoy his notes and outlook as much as I did:

When pushing they say as hard as you can like your pooping. That’s not right. Push like you’re trying to push over a concrete wall

 

Daddy becomes a 100 percent Support person. Mommy has one job, feed the baby. Keep them warm and close. Establish that the first day home. Mommy shouldn’t have to do anything but feed and rest.

 

Baby cries because they want to be close to mommy. They were just there for nine months. That’s home for them and all they know.

 

Force mommy to sleep when baby does. It’s natural for them to want to stay awake with them but mommy needs sleep. She just traumatized her body like never before. Get rest.

 

Cluster feeding is hard. It seems relentless. It’s only for a day. It will be frustrating but mommy and daddy stay fed yourselves and you’ll make it. 

 

Mommy’s don’t patronize daddy. Just strait up ask for what you need, none of the ” when you get a minute stuff” dad is there to get you anything you need.

 

Daddy’s pretend mommy was just in a car accident. Very careful attentive care is needed. If she’s up trying to do things make her sit and rest. You are doing everything but wiping her butt.

 

Change your first couple diapers together. It’s bonding for you all. You also establish a dynamic of how you both like to do it. Mommy’s are usually better than daddy’s at first.

 

Mommy must know that everyone gets a look at your junk when you’re in the hospital. If you are the type who likes it private, only have your significant other in the room. There will be 3-6 docs, nurses, midwife, anesthesiologist and possible students who come in and get a full show.

 

They give you mesh underwear. Its weird. Just go with it.

 

You will leak, use the pads.

 

If you’re not great with pain, prepare for contractions. They will hurt. Your pelvic region is rapidly expanding. Get the epidural if possible. It could be that you’re not able to. Prepare with each other on the breathing. Concentrate on breaths and not the pain. If you let it the pain will overtake the breathing and you kind of need breathing to live so…

 

At least three different people will stick their hands in your junk on delivery day.

 

They pour mineral oil in your vag. Don’t be alarmed it helps a ton.

 

If you throw up or poop don’t worry about it, like everyone does and the doctors see it every day. If you’re in good enough spirits the farts will make you giggle. The giggle will help move baby down. Double bonus.

 

Cheap stretchy Walmart bras work better than expensive department store ones. The wire in them is uncomfortable, and its like 30 bucks cheaper.

 

 Get way extra newborn clothes. They will puke pee and poop on everything. Sometimes before you can get them out of the first one.

 

If you feel like crying then cry. Its a part of your transition into motherhood. Say a right of passage. Your hormones are all over the place and you just fired a watermelon sized human out of you. I would cry too.

 

Baby’s skin peels off. Dont freak out.

 

10 foot phone charge cords are great for hospitals.   Also for when you get home and mommy can stay put to rest and still communicate with all.

 

Babys get hiccups. Sometimes for a while at a time. Its them trying to get air bubbles out. If it’s happening a lot they make drops. Ask for them at the hospital or get some at the store. In the vitamin section called d-vi-sol.

 

Dads get guest plates in some hospitals. Take it, its nice. You don’t have to leave the room. If the guest plate isn’t  available have mommy ask for extra “snacks”. They will hook it up.

 

a lot of crying goes on. the baby cries. its because they are a baby. if they are hungry or need changed thats usually the reason. it can be frustrating. don’t get discouraged. it will slow down. keep them fed and changed, and hold them. they like to be held. mommy cries too. her hormones are all over the place. they have to adjust back to normal. if she is crying, give her a hug. it may be for no reason at all, or for something not even baby related. either way, she needs daddy’s love and attention.

 

mommy’s, sorry to say if you are breast feeding you will feel like a feed bag for the first couple of weeks. you are, get used to it. its a bonding thing, nutrition thing, and your baby will be better for it. if you get tired and frustrated just think of the baby and how good it is for them. if you are bottle feeding right away, daddy help out.

 

mommy, take that 20 min shower, you need it. your job is the hardest the first couple of months. that 20 min in the shower, the heat, the silence, will be bliss.

 

daddy, babies poop and pee all over the place. sometimes you will change a diaper, and in the middle they will go again, then change that one and they will pee again, then change that one and they will poop again. it happens dont freak out, just keep changing until it stops. note for this is if you hear them poop give them a few minutes, they will probably go again.

 

when you all first get home, both daddy and mommy go into the nursery, mark out where the diapers are, the wipes, the changing pad (have like 5 available they get it all over sometimes) and the butt cream as well. vaseline works great for butt rash. once you know where all this stuff is, make sure its within arms reach of the changing table. if the supply is running low, say you change a diaper and there is only a couple wipes left, put a reserve box there. its not great when you are having an explosion going on and run out of wipes. it gets messy quick.

 

babies get butt rash. its from the diaper, and the ridiculous amount the poop. slap some A&D Ointment on there every time and let it do its magic. the heavy white creams work but they are hard to wipe off, therefore further agitating the butt. Use the stuff with vitamins.

 

Things get messy. The house gets messy. Let it be messy. You have a baby, don’t worry about the messy house.

 

If you drop the pacifier with the baby in your arms, let it drop. Don’t try to catch it. The baby may go too. 

 

 

 

Picture Perfect Motherhood and Other Nonsense 


Getting pregnant in a nutshell was amazing (or so I thought). Before I was actually “with child” I had this notion that I would be one of those glowing, radiant pregnant women with a perfect little belly and no morning sickness while still maintaining my lanky form and being “all belly” as they say.  That I would be the perfect mother, have the perfect nursery, be the perfect wife, and maybe even finagle being a stay-at-home mom! (Insert diabalacle laugh here). Well, color me shocked when I immediately got the worst all-day nausea and sickness I’ve ever had for the first trimester and let’s not forget the immediate expanding waistline which to my complete dismay happened (inwhat felt like at the time) overnight, and wham I was in the throes of full-on pregnancy! And all I can say to this day is that I was fucking INSANELY batshit crazy to think that any of what I imagined would become my reality. 

Some other fun things I believed that were debunked by the harsh light of reality….well, where do I begin? I legit thought that I looked smaller than I actually was! That came to a crashing halt when a co-worker (who bless his heart) decided to ask me at 5 months pregnant if I was having twins. And not only that but when I assured him I was NOT, he asked me again and asked if I was absolutely certain! Like seriously? And he was one of MANY!? It’s not like I went Jessica Simpson off-the-rails with my eating or weight gain. I kept myself in check, but my stomach was enormous! So naturally people assumed that I couldn’t be carrying just one child. In other warped pregnancy brained reality, I thought that I would enjoy blissful sleep my entire pregnancy because preggos are sleepy so of course I’d get plenty of rest! 

Bahahaha, that was the biggest joke of my life. I was so ungodly uncomfortable and my bladder was about the size of a peanut so I would never stay asleep because I was either moving all over the bed and readjusting my ridiculously large snoogle (google it) trying to get comfy, borderline pissing my pants every hour, or snoring so loudly I would wake myself up several times a night! It’s a sick joke and it’s your body’s way of preparing for the little sleep you get once the baby comes. Thanks to “What to Expect’s” app for that info. Would have been nice to know that upfront. 

I also imagined how perfect a wife and mother I’d be. How my child would always be clean, along with my pristine house, always done dishes and laundry, and hot meals on the table for my lovely husband! Well, let me save you the suspense….NONE of that shit happened either. My house is constantly a wreck, dishes pile up in the sink daily, my poor husband ate eggo waffles and cereal every night (well almost) for dinner, and my kid was the ONLY thing that stayed clean and pristine, and now that she’s in daycare well, most days she comes home smelling like cookies and dirt. (Not a bad smell either once you get used to it) but truly, THAT is reality. 

I have realized that these things and the various other warped ideas I had about pregnancy and motherhood were literally insane and that I don’t know anything! I am literally flying blind every day and I am ever so slowly (after 16 months of parenting) feeling a little bit steadier and able to have my act together. I don’t have time for much, life is crazy hectic and my friendships have suffered, my house is still messy (not dirty….there IS a difference), I don’t always have the laundry done; but my kid is happy, I can feed my husband most evenings with something fairly nutritious. I am finally getting my body back, my closet is organized (random fun fact) and my boobs are about two sizes smaller than I remember, but hey….I’m getting my routine down and my husband still thinks I’m hot so life is ok. My friends still occasionally talk to me and my closest put up with my obsessive discussions about my daughter. I am working too many hours and my weeks are basically filled with repetition and couch time for about five minutes before I fall asleep, but I’m learning how to juggle it all. I don’t have any preconceived notions anymore because what I’ve realized about all of this motherhood stuff is that no one knows what the fuck they’re doing or how it’s going to go and we are all doing our best. I have learned to shelve my expectations a bit, and be a little kinder to myself. I have found little pockets of time for me, working on time for my marriage, loving our weekends together as a family, and praying to God to guide me through all of it. 

I’ll say this, motherhood is an absolute insane adventure, but the BEST adventure of my entire life. And as crazy and unexpected as every day is, my life is so much richer and I feel so much more fulfilled as a human being when I see my daughter staring up at me with her big brown eyes and no matter how wrong I may do everything, she still wants my hugs and kisses and in those moments I feel like all of my mistakes, fumbles, misconceptions, and always imperfect attempts to mother her mean absolutely nothing and her complete and total happiness means EVERYTHING. This is a wild ride folks and one that I thought I had figured out, and now I realize that I’m just here trying my best and learning as I go and that’s ok! There is no such thing as perfect mothering. But there is perfection in the imperfect nonsense that is my day to day and it’s the greatest blessing of my life. I am so honored to be part of raising this little girl and I can’t imagine a better thing to be than her mother. 

I hope every mother or potential mother reading this looks back on all of your hopes and dreams about motherhood and what it would be for you and knows that it is a million times better than what you imagined and nothing at all like you pictured, but it’s the greatest gift you’ll ever be given. 💜

Is Social Media Causing Depression? 


Personally, I love social media! It’s a sick addiction and one that I’ve tried and (mostly unsuccesfully) ditched a few different times, but I love it all the same! And I always come back for more!  I love it for the community, for the ability to stay in touch (or maintain some form of contact) with my friends and family that I don’t get to see as often as I’d like, for the fun recipes, interesting pictures, but mostly because it’s just fun! 

However, during my scrolling sessions I came upon an article that discussed the possibility that social media is to blame for a new form of depression called “Social Media Depression.” I was intrigued so I read the article and this is (in essence) what it said: It said that this new form of depression is caused by the viewing of the posts of others who appear to be happier, healthier, richer, or just plain better than you! Feelings of envy, jealousy, anger, anxiety, or loneliness can surface by simply looking at what other people post. So, after reading about this I started thinking about it and I think there is something to that. I think it’s extremely easy to take a gander at Facebook or Instagram and notice all of the fit, healthy-eating, world traveling, celebrity, entrepreneurs, perfect new parents, pretty homes, picturesque vacations and think, “Well that must be nice.” or “they have it made!”

So I then thought about what I am putting out into the world and how it could be perceived by others. I thought about every photo I’ve posted on Instagram, every Facebook update or share, and everything I’ve ever tweeted and I thought, “Hmmm, if I were a stranger viewing this I would think that this girl is moderately whiney, a complainer, a tad aggressive, fitness obsessed, and maybe extremely vain (because of the selfies that are often posted), spoiled, overly motivated, sanctimonious, etc.!” I also contemplated how I felt when I posted my own photos and what I felt when I viewed the posts of others! 

Here’s the conclusion I came to….do I believe that Social Media Depression exists? The answer is Yes! However, I have a very simple solution to remedy this and it isn’t to prescribe an antidepressant or seek an expensive psychiatrist (to each their own, but not necessary….just sayin). I think the answer is simple, REMEMBER that you are viewing the highlight reel of people’s lives! No one (of sound mind) is going to post about the job they didn’t get, the money they don’t have, how they got dumped because they cheated, how their kid took a shit on the floor in Walmart and then rolled in it, how their boss is a pain in the ass, how they smoke crack, how they just got diagnosed with HIV (unless they’re an activist or something), or that their house is in foreclosure! People don’t put that negativity out there for all to see because it’s fucked up, way too real, and no one wants to like a post about that! 

Truth is, It’s way more fun receiving a “thumbs-up” or a “heart” and a cute comment saying how awesome you are or how fun your trip looks. Even if the people commenting are secretly hating on you, your social media says otherwise and that is all the validation we need right? Wrong! That can also be extremely false and fake and just plain unhealthy for all of us to hang our hats on! Social Media isn’t a forum to post all of your problems (although there are some wingnuts who air their dirty laundry for all to see or who over share, or better yet troll or vague book). It’s a place to toot your horn and let everyone know how great you’re doing! Right? I guess! The point is that the solution to this so-called “depression” is that you need to keep in mind that everything you’re seeing is deliberately presented in a pretty, filtered package for everyone to ogle and give their approval! It’s not the day-to-day crap that is really going on. It’s the bright spot in their day and they are sharing it with the world! 

Don’t let the false sense of reality make you jealous, jaded, unhappy, envious, or lonely. It’s not the whole picture. Just a piece in a very large puzzle! And here’s an example, here’s my projection based on my posts and here’s my reality: 

Based on my most recent posts I would appear to be motivated, working out often, a healthy eater, a would be blogger, a woman who has her shit together, my husband buys me nice things, I am a great mother, I am a doting friend, I have a social life, I love where I live, I am living the “dream” of the perfect life! Here’s the truth, YES, I have a giving and very loving husband, but he isn’t perfect (and neither am I), I have to obsessively scroll through Pinterest workouts to muster up any kind of motivation to workout. I am down on myself and criticize myself more than I can bear sometimes and frankly it’s super unhealthy. I do try really hard to eat healthy meals, however I still drink wine here and there, I don’t always cook the conventional way (I microwave a lot of frozen stuff), I dislike my body, my dark hair, my imperfect eyebrows, I spend a lot of time feeling jealous of others skinny, stick figures and wishing for my 20 year old body to return (even though I know it won’t). I am a fairly decent mom, but I don’t know shit about parenting and raising a child and I consistently wish I could apologize for all of the insensitive things my formerly childless self said about parents and their seemingly unruly children! I am a bad friend. I try to stay in touch, but I am the worst one for initiating get-togethers. I try to make an effort, but my life right now is crammed full with responsibilities to everyone else but me and sometimes it gets overwhelming and so my friendships suffer. It doesn’t mean I love them any less, it just means I can’t get my shit together….unlike my posts would suggest! 

I am a mess of life. But I am also lucky in many ways. My marriage isn’t perfect, but we love each other and our daughter and family more than anything and we always try to do right by one another. I am learning how to be a mom and find balance and I am trying desperately to change my lifestyle and eating choices and it’s a struggle and I hateeeeee working out. I love running, but the rest of it sucks. I would love a society where being slightly overweight wasn’t looked down upon and where downing a bag of Doritos was publicly acceptable. I don’t have it all together, but I am grateful for everything I do have and when I post good things it’s to recognize the great moments in life, even if it’s something as silly as a pretty photo or a quote that resonates with me. 

Enjoy your social media for what it is….a montage of mostly happiness (I hope). And enjoy the happenings of those around you. Don’t let their good fortune or beautiful vacation photos bring you misery. If you want those things, work for them. If you want to be happy, find the things that make you smile and enjoy them! Life is too short and there are too many other, more important things happening in the world to add a new reason to have a standing script for Zoloft  in your wallet. Notice the happiness of others, but focus on yourselves. It’s a choice and one that isn’t difficult to make. NO ONE IS PERFECT, we are all human beings and we all have our struggles. 

Thank you Steve Harvey

I was raised by two parents who love one another beyond comprehension and who set the bar a tad high for me! So, from the time I was 6 years old (and I’m not remotely joking) I wanted to be in love and I wanted a “boyfriend” I remember the little boy named Sterling who lived on my street that all the girls had a crush on and we would play tag (which was really a bunch of girls and maybe two boys…one of which was Sterling) and chase this poor boy around, catch him and kiss him. Of course! How else do you play tag?

I desperately wanted him to be my boyfriend. At this tender age, I experienced my first heartbreak. We kissed a few times at recess, ole Sterling and I! Then one day Sterling decided he like a girl named Maria and I was crushed! That is until I met Justin! (Not a lie, I was a serial monogamist from a very early age). I wanted a boyfriend. I didn’t even understand what that actually meant, but I loved the idea and knew I wanted to be in love (I was a dramatic child).

So, in a nutshell, it began! I was the girl who always had a boyfriend! (Excluding my awkward stages…of which there were many) I often had some form of a boyfriend. It took effort! Boys were (as my mom and dad explained) afraid of me and intimidated by me! (Lies) they just weren’t that into me. I was prudish and only liked to kiss. I was shy, I didn’t develop my sparkling personality and outgoing nature until I was in 9th grade and even then it was forced. I am an extrovert/introvert! I behave as an extrovert and enjoy social interaction, but it drains me. I thrive on my alone time (ya get me?) anyway, I digress…any boyfriend I ever had was because I pursued them!

Mind you, my mother and father explicitly warned me not to chase boys! “Let them come to you”, “don’t call them first”, “don’t run after them, let them chase you!” Ha! I was not about to sit back and wait for anything! I was not that kind of girl! I like to think I was a go-getter! I was relationship/goal oriented! It wasn’t until I was in my senior year of high school that I became the one being chased and by that point I didn’t know how to deal with it. It was bizarre and foreign and I didn’t get it.

I was also coming out of an awkward phase, new girl in school phase, dork phase! So, no one wanted to date me during this particular moment in my adolescence and it was brutal! Then wham, interest sparked, boobs grew, boys noticed! I was BACK in the game, but I was now the objective, not the one doing the chasing! (It didn’t last long) I settled down with a younger guy and became the monogamist I was happy to be once more. I stayed with my high school boyfriend for 3 years! Then I turned 21 and that ended really fast! He couldn’t go out, I could! End of days. (Plus to be honest he was no good.) I had a particular talent for choosing guys who were trouble and I can say this now and laugh, but  was little miss “fix-it”! If a guy had a problem, issue, was needy, was a head case…I was the go-to-gal! I was the worst kind of monogamist. I was the problem solving monogamist. I hung by my “guy” through it all and went down with several sinking ships!

I didn’t throw up the white flag! I would swim up from the sunken carcas of those relationships gasping for air and at a complete loss! So, when I was 21 I managed to snag a real winner! I unknowingly (and I am ashamed to admit it, but I really didn’t know) found myself dating someone else’s boyfriend for 3 months before I found out what the eff was happening! I got a lovely surprise when his “actual girlfriend” of 4 years mind you, sashayed into the restaurant we were working at to see him and spend the weekend with him! Yeah, I know!

Awesome! I had the best taste! (Insert majorly sarcastic laugh) so, that relationship didn’t end! Oh no, I hung in there for 4 years myself, one of which I was the “mistress” for, although again, it was a back and forth year filled with lies, turmoil, and absolute and utter stupidity! (Me, not him) he was a fucking genius! I was a stupid, immature, unwitting partiticpant in a ridiculously fucked ip situation and I don’t have many regrets in my life, but I regret that! It wasn’t my best moment!

Moving on, after that debacle I found myself eventually dating one of my roommates! (And I do not suggest that) this guy was nice and not a bad dude! He just couldn’t commit! And as I stated before I am a monogamist to the core! I wanted a soulmate. Someone who wanted to be with me forever and he was a “free spirit” so to speak! So naturally I thought I could change him! I ignored every red flag he threw up and again, it wasn’t his fault that I chose to overlook what was right in front of me! It wasn’t even the other guys faults that I was with them! I made poor choices!

Anyway, so after the last BF and I split, I stumbled upon two books and spent my summer lying by the pool searching for answers from Greg Behrandt (who I will say also wrote an excellent book) and Steve Harvey who wrote what I eventually , privately deemed “The Bible”! It was called “Act like a lady, think like a man!” And let me tell you, it struck every nerve! It hit home in a way I can’t explain! I had many laughs and held onto many lines from that book! My absolute favorite quote from that book is this “All I’m telling you to do is to be smart about it. Know that if this man isn’t looking for a serious relationship, you’re not going to change his mind just because you two are going on dates and being intimate. You could be the most perfect woman on the Lord’s green earth-you’re capable of interesting conversation, you cook a mean breakfast, you hand out backrubs like sandwiches, you’re independent (which means, to him, that you’re not going to be in his pockets)-but if he’s not ready for a serious relationship, he going to treat you like sports fish.”-Steve Harvey summed it up! This quote says it all!

I was a sports fish for a long time! I was held up on occasion for a nice photo, shown-off as a lovely fish, but then was thrown back ( or sometimes wiggled off the hook depending on the situation) however I wasn’t being kept! And I wanted to be someone’s woman! I wanted to have a guy who was proud to call me his and who wanted a commitment! So, again, I dipped my toe back into the dating pool after some reflections on my life choices!

I have it this time right? Wrong!!!!! I stayed single for a long while, but when I dipped my toe, I really mean I did a fucking cannonball off the high dive and into another “relationship” with a younger guy! Nice dude also, but young. Too young for me! I was nearing 30 (at an aggressively fast pace if you had asked me back then) and I was apparently playing the “I’ve still got it game” with a child! Clearly that fireball fizzled out quickly (thank you Jesus) and I realized that I had ignored the book, I had discarded Steve’s words and become another sports fish! So, I stopped! I went on dates, but started paying attention! I noticed things, like the guy who had never said I love you to anyone but his mother, the dude who wanted to be a haberdasher (and that’s a true fucking story for another time), the guy who couldn’t settle down, the dude who jumped in too quickly, and many others. I went out to dinner like a lady, I had my fun, but kept my distance and THAT, eventually led me to meet the LOVE of my LIFE!

My husband who is the best man I’ve ever known reeled me in and hung on for dear life. I didn’t make it easy for him. I was awkward when I first decided I liked him, I suddenly forgot how to act, I had to get super drunk to even speak to him, and I almost missed my chance to be with him because I almost backed out of our first hang out, which my dear friend set up. But eventually I got it together and we became inseparable. There were no red flags! He was what Steve Harvey called “A man”! He was my guy! He treated me like a queen, loved me hard, was proud to be with me, and made me believe it! He was sincere, honest, he didn’t take my shit, he didn’t run scared when I laid out my expectations, and he kept me! And then (and I still don’t understand why) married me! So, I wanted to take a moment to say, Thank you to Steve Harvey for me and for every girl out there who got her crazy hands on your very sane book that gave a different perspective on the dating scene! Your words gave me a new outlook and they allowed me to recognize that I had a keeper! I lucked out big time! I found my partner in life! And I have my dear friend C.S. To thank and Steve Harvey! So hey, thanks! My life is forever changed and I couldn’t be happier!!!!