What not to do after a breakup (but most of us do)

So cute it hurts.  Source: lestark1.wordpress.com

So cute it hurts.
Source: lestark1.wordpress.com

Relationships are like snowflakes: Every single one is unique.

With that in mind, everyone can agree that break ups suck. Whether you’ve been dumped by the guy you thought you were going to marry or you broke up with your clingy boyfriend, neither situation is ideal.

Since every relationship and the people in them are unique, people cope with break ups differently. However, there are popular breakup behaviors many of us develop that are unhealthy. The following is a list of what NOT to do while going through a break up, but many of have been guilty of (myself included).

1. Throwing yourself into the dating scene too soon.
*Because the guy you’re on a date with doesn’t want to hear you say, “My boyfriend, I mean, ex boyfriend, and I used to come here all the time.” And you know you’re just going to be wishing this guy was your ex boyfriend anyway if you haven’t had time to heal.

2. Blasting a breakup playlist 24/7 and crying as you sing along.
*After you’ve had that initial meltdown post-breakup, it’s time to say goodbye to the Adele and Taylor Swift breakup songs and find something more upbeat. Like this:

You love it. Even if you hate it, you still love it.

Or this:

The entire soundtrack from The Fault in Our Stars is a good choice, actually.

3. Changing your Facebook profile picture to a photo of you, looking fabulous, with a handsome stud next to you. Or any guy, for that matter.
*This is a surefire way to make your ex insanely jealous, right? It could work, but it may also just cause some drama. If you don’t have your ex on Facebook and a mutual friend sees it, and then passes the word on to your ex, you may not be cast in a positive light.

4. Blocking him on Facebook. Then unblocking him and sending him a friend request. Blocking him again.
*If it hurts too much to see your ex’s updates on Facebook, just hide him from your timeline for a while. But if you do decide you need to block him, stick to it.

5. Repeating cycle with your ex’s phone number.
*If you feel tempted to contact him, just delete his number and delete the saved texted messages.

6. Going out every single weekend, or every night, and crying at the end of the night because you miss your ex. And doing some of the following:


*Yes, keeping busy can be a good way to cope with the breakup. But going out to bars or clubs isn’t a constructive way to stay busy. While it may help you feel numb or less lonely, that is only temporary. Try going to dinner with friends, out to movies, or calling up family members to talk. This way you’re staying busy and connected to those who will lift your spirits.

7. Reaching out to your ex.
*Bad idea. You need time to be single, and your ex may not want to hear from you for a while. If a few months have gone by and you can’t shake that nagging feeling that you need to talk to him, then you can make a move.

8. Posting dramatic Facebook statuses and tweets.
*It may help you blow off steam, but it doesn’t get you anywhere. Keep your feelings to those closest to you.

9. Asking mutual friends if your ex wants you back. Hint (or tell them bluntly) that you want to be together again, and hope word gets back to your ex.
*This puts your mutual friends in an awkward spot. No one wants hurt feelings, and they don’t want to be the bearers of bad news.

10. Ignoring your feelings altogether.
*We all need time to cry and feel those negative feels. Moving on from a break up takes time, and it’s crucial to take that time for yourself. Just make sure it’s constructive.

I’ve definitely been guilting of committing one, two, okay maybe all ten of these things. But hey, life is just a mess, right? We learn from our screw ups, dust the dirt off, and keep on walking.

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Why failing is better than settling for less

Source: shuttershock.com

Source: shuttershock.com

“Never settle for less than you deserve.”

This phrase is thrown around to everyone crying into their ice cream (or alcohol) over a break up. I agree wholeheartedly with it, especially since I have decided that I want to be more selfish in 2015.

I believe that focusing on myself will help me avoid settling for crappy situations.

If we shouldn’t settle for a crappy relationship, why are so many of us giving up our dreams to settle for a crappy life?

Fear.

I have dreams for myself, just like everyone else. But why haven’t I been a ball buster, a chick who goes after what she wants, no matter who’s standing in my way?

Because of the unknown. That dark, scary monster under my bed.

In the middle of the night, when those deep thoughts about life creep into my head, the monster is in my thoughts.

Failure. I could go after my dreams, fall on my hopeful little face, and fail miserably.

So what?

I should be asking myself, “Who cares if I fail?” If we’ve suffered failed relationships, at least we learned something. Shouldn’t the same be true of our dreams?

For many of us, we neglect our dreams not on purpose, but because our brains are too busy. Our attention is spread out to a million different things in our daily lives, and we get wrapped up in the day-to-day monotony. I’ve been guilty of those for longer than I’d care to admit.

In the blogging world, there are many writers who inspire me. The ones who stand out the most are the ones going after their dreams and overcoming those fears of failing.

Case in point: Vanessa at her blog Wander Onwards. She travels the world, which is something I’ve forever dreamed of doing. She is clever and hilarious writer, and she’s clearly following her passions.

Sure, some aspirations we have might be far out of reach. Wistful, but not realistic. But if we don’t try, we’ll never know.

The people living their dreams stand out. They are confident, self aware, and discovering themselves on a deeper level. They go above and beyond, taking life by the balls instead of taking whatever bone is thrown their way.

Why not me? Why not you? If not traveling, but whatever your dreams are in that pretty little head of yours.

Instead of just dreaming and settling for ordinary, why not make something of those dreams? I want to make my dreams a reality, and if I fail, if you fail…

Who cares? At least we tried.

Source: iliketoquote.com

Source: iliketoquote.com

 

My Resolution is to be selfish

Source: netizenbuzz.blogspot.com

Source: netizenbuzz.blogspot.com

Selfish. It’s a word that packs a punch of negativity. But I thinks it gets a bad rap. It’s all about moderation and balance. This year, my New Years resolution is to be much more selfish. I have been neglecting my own wants and needs for too long. I need to improve my relationship…with myself.

Many of us have been taught to think of others more than ourselves. While this is a cute idea in theory, I think we have to draw the line somewhere. For example, I should be making sure I have my life together before I bend over backwards for everyone else in my life.

When did I forget this important piece of crucial life advice? Somewhere, somehow, I slowly shifted in who I cared about. I forgot myself. I became too comfortable. Too safe. Unhappy.

As teenagers, many of us went through that cliche stage of life in which we had to “fit in” and cared too much what ours peers thought. I never realized how easily this can continue throughout life. Like, forever. Ew.

Even when I’m unhappy, it’s less risky and less scary to stay unhappy. If I’m making others happy, at least something positive comes of the situation. At least that’s my thought process that keeps me stuck.

My dreams are vibrant and numerous. Yet keeping them in my head and refusing to strive for them keeps me safe from the unknown. Where’s the fun in that?

Looking after myself first and being selfish isn’t something I should be ashamed of. If I’m not complete or happy with myself, that’s is who I need to focus on.

Making others happy is a way to enhance your life, but if you’re miserable, you aren’t doing anyone any favors.

This year I need to take some serious time to think about myself. And only myself. During the daily grind, it’s easy to lose focus on my own happiness and pay too much attention to what others think. If I don’t have myself in check first, how can I help anyone else? My thoughts exactly.

Sure, being TOO selfish isn’t any way to live. But I believe that everyone should spend some time being selfish, as long as you’re not hurting anyone. If you’re focusing on yourself and improving your life, how could that be a bad thing?

This year, I give props to you if you’re doing your own thing and paying no mind to the haters. Be selfish.

 

Source: wefirstbranding.com

Source: wefirstbranding.com

Sunday Snark: Shaming Skinny Girls Gets Us Nowhere

This is okay. Source: sodahead.com

This is okay.
Source: sodahead.com

 

So is this. Sophia Bush boycotted Urban Outfitters for selling t-shirts that said "Eat Less."  Source: fanpop.com

So is this. Sophia Bush boycotted Urban Outfitters for selling t-shirts that said “Eat Less.”
Source: fanpop.com

Being a skinny girl in an obese country is not a cake walk. It’s just a walk, because skinny girls don’t eat cake. Or anything, according to the women who shame any skinny girl who exists.

It is my belief that women should be encouraging each other, and that includes EVERY woman. While our country is accepting that women don’t have to be stick skinny to be beautiful, this has started a war against ALL skinny women. This isn’t a step in the right direction. It’s just proving that women have to look a certain way.

I made this realization that women are attacked for being skinny in the mainstream media when I was 14 or 15. I read a repulsive article in Teen Vogue, and since then I refuse to read that publication. Maybe it was only the author of the article who felt that skinny women suck, but I was disgusted that Teen Vogue printed something so aggressive.

The article in question focused on how it’s cool for women to have curves and looking skinny is OUT. The author wrote that some stores had begun stocking size 00 for “extra twig like” women. Included was a picture of Alicia Keys, the example of what all women should look like, and a picture of Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, the example of “too skinny.”

When the article was published, it was only mere months after Mary Kate Olsen entered rehab for anorexia. The photo Teen Vogue included involved Ashley linking arms and assisting her sister in walking. It was clearly a low point in Mary Kate’s illness. She appeared weak and frail.

I was disgusted that Teen Vogue would attack a young woman who was battling anorexia at that moment, including a picture of her at her weakest. The magazine took it a step further, posting this photo next to a photo of Alicia Keys, who has never battled an eating disorder. To me, it was completely insensitive of the publication.

Our society is a swinging pendulum. First, skinny was what magazines and the media claimed to be “beautiful.” Marilyn Monroe was labeled “plus size,” for God’s sake. For decades, curvy women were called “fat.” Runway shows only featured stick skinny women, and many were dangerously thin.

Then, positive changes occurred in the modeling world. In 2006, we saw the first bans on too-thin models at Madrid’s fashion week. This is a change in which I’m obviously in favor. Of course it’s a beautiful thing when the modeling industry promotes healthier lifestyles.

What I’m not in favor of, however, is women who openly attack skinny girls. To their faces. If it’s rude to attack a fat girl, it’s also rude to attack a skinny girl. This SHOULD be the natural rule of thumb, but it’s not.

Skinny girls are guilty of being skinny in a fat country. Since the dawn of time, a woman’s value is based on her appearance, and sadly this hasn’t changed. But it has shifted. Women are supposed to look curvy now. And the skinny women are just shit out of luck.

I have been shamed for being skinny for most of my life. It’s honestly shocking how rude people are, and yet who is the guilty one? Me. Because I’m skinny, duh!

Women can attack me as much as they want, because I shouldn’t be skinny. I don’t look like Beyoncé or Rihanna, and so society tells me that I don’t have the right look.

Throughout the years, I hear the same lines over and over. They’re like pickup lines: overused, unwanted, and annoying. Yet what’s a skinny girl to do? Surely put them in their place?

No! How dare I call someone out for their rudeness? I’m supposed to feel guilty and apologize for being skinny, damnit!

The following is a list of The Classics. The One-Liners that I can only roll my eyes and nervously laugh at. But I’ll also list what’s going on my head and what I would LOVE to say out loud.

Classic #1: “How much do you weigh?!?”
*Gee, I wasn’t aware that it’s polite to ask a woman’s weight! How much do YOU weigh?!? Will you give me a donut if my guess is within 15 pounds?

Classic #2: “Do you even weigh 100 pounds?”
*Do you even have a brain?

Classic #3: “Are you anorexic?”
*No, but I am pissed off.

Classic #4: (Always from a creepy guy) “I bet you’re easy to pick up.”
*I bet I’d “accidentally” kick you in the balls if you tried.

Classic #5: “You should gain weight.”
*You should stop talking to me.

Classic #6: (While eating something sugary or fatty) “I’m going to gain ten pounds after eating this! You have nothing to worry about!”
*Jealous?

Classic #7: “I wish I was skinny like you.”
*Okay. And I should feel bad because…?

The Winners: These are the lines that shocked me when I didn’t think anything could shock me anymore. And the winners are…

“I bet she hasn’t even gotten her period yet.”
*There are no words.

And…

“If you were to get pregnant, where are you gonna put it?”
*I can’t even. I mean, I just…I can’t.

In our society, the media is fighting against women being who they want. Not only are women supposed to be skinny– never mind–now be curvy, and be perfectly fit at the same time, but they are also expected to smile, work full time jobs, be married at a reasonable age, and have babies. That’s exhausting! I broke a sweat just re-reading that sentence.

Society wants women to attack other women. For women to put each other in their places. Women attack each other not only for being skinny, but for everything else they’re doing wrong as well. For the new year, I think women should strive to be friends, not enemies.

So ladies, here is the lesson I want you to take from my snarky little rant: If you see a skinny girl walking down the street, smile and keep walking. If you see a curvy girl walking down the street, smile and keep walking. Every woman is fighting a battle to accept her body.

What every woman needs is a smile, not an attack. Her body is none of your business, just like your body is none of hers. Keep your mind focused on your own self acceptance, and you will find more allies on your side.

Self acceptance is a journey.

Self acceptance is a journey.

 

 

 

The Heart Versus the Mind: Who Wins?

Source: economydecoded.com

Source: economydecoded.com

The battle between the heart and mind is complicated. I’ve been through it a million times.

The problem is that while I let them duke it out, I sit back and watch. Frozen and indecisive. I don’t pick a side, for fear of making the wrong choice.

On one hand, the heart is the emotional, sometimes ridiculous side. It day dreams. The heart is hopeful and even unrealistic. Dramatic.

On the other hand, the mind is logical. Analytical. It’s detailed and organized. The brain is the voice of reason that causes the heart to sink in my chest.

I stand on the sidelines during the war between my mind and my heart. Even though my brain is currently telling me that the heart does not “feel,” and that the brain is responsible for that as well, my emotional side just doesn’t care.

The logical side wishes I were decisive. Reasonable. But the emotional side knows that it’s not easy. If I knew which side would make me stronger in the end, that is the side I’d stand on.

A Collection of Unpublished Blog Posts

Me--Probably procrastinating on a blog post...

Me–Probably procrastinating on a blog post…

My attention span lately is roughly a half hour. I am unmotivated when my computer crashes before I can click “Save.” On occasion, I have sparks of inspiration that punch me in the chest. I run with the ideas, until my time is up. I then abandon ship, retreat, abandoning my brief attempts at clever blog posts. They sit waiting in my jump drive, unpublished and ignored.

Somehow, this post was shinier, smoother, and wittier the first time I wrote it. Technology isn’t usually on my side. And while blogging, it mostly isn’t. Time and my laptop have been my enemies as of late. If my brain is struck with an electric idea, it’s a race against the clock to creatively weave through the bits and pieces to sew together paragraphs worth publishing.

Usually I lose. My pace slows as I watch other runners breeze past me. I inhale and gasp for air, and jog away from the track. “Maybe tomorrow I’ll finish it.”

But when I return to the original ideas, the spark has already disappeared. It was short-lived inspiration, and no matter how far I reach, I could never find it again. My time is up, and I move onto the next great idea. And the cycle repeats itself.

My newest spark of brilliance may be the brightest idea yet. Why not post those unpublished blog posts? Why not give them a home? They are rough around the edges, they have not been fixed, but they deserve a place somewhere.

The following is a collection of my unpublished, unfinished blog posts, stretching back several months. Some end in the middle of a sentence, some began with good intentions, but they all had potential. Maybe I’ll finish them someday. But for now, here they are.

Unpublished Blog Post #1:

Copenhagen Zoo: The Reason I’m Losing Faith in the Human Race (almost published March 2014)

First it was the giraffe. Killing a giant, majestic, beautiful creature viciously in front of zoo-goers because the zookeepers were afraid of inbreeding. And now, when the zoo’s reputation has already been called into question, it has been reported that they killed four lions for similar reasons. Shooting giraffes and lions in the head because they claim they cannot transport the animals to other zoos? An unlikely story.

For me, I imagine a zoo to be like an orphanage. All animals come from different homes, countries, cultures, and childhoods. If they were humans, we wouldn’t be killing them because of our fears of inbreeding or space issues. We would move the people to other orphanages. “Our orphanage can’t accommodate little Billy, so we took him out back and shot him in the head.” If this is NOT humane for humans, why is it humane for us to treat animals this way? Oh, that’s right: our evolutionary gigantic heads give us the delusion that just because we are humans, we are somehow more significant and deserve respect, while animals don’t. To be humane means to treat humans respectfully, but I think this term should include animals, too.

*This post was my fury when I learned of animals at Copenhagen Zoo viciously shot in front of zoo goers in March. Apparently the zoo cited space issues, potential for inbreeding, and a lack of resources to ship the animals to other zoos as their reasons for killing the animals.

Unpublished Blog Post #2:

Like the Universe, Love is Infinite (almost published March 2014)

One of my favorite films is A Beautiful Mind. John Nash, a mathematician, uses logic and reason in all his decision-making. In a scene when John asks his girlfriend Alicia of proof that she loves him, she asks him how big the universe is. John says, “Infinite.” She asks how he knows and he says that all the data points to the universe being infinite. Alicia asks, “But it hasn’t been proven?” John says it hasn’t. She again asks, “How do you know for sure?”, to which John replies, “I don’t, I just believe it.” Alicia then responds, “It’s the same with love, I guess.” This quote speaks to me because when we find love that is strong, real, and brave, it is endless. There is no scientific proof of that love, but we continue to believe it.

*Quotes, quotes everywhere. I ran out of steam early on in this post and I started to hear myself thinking, “Hooow cheeeeesy” in my head. I stopped when I felt like I was going to hurl. This post was too mushy for my taste, and I was the one writing it.

Unpublished Blog Post #3:

Miley Cyrus: Attention Whoring Continues (almost published August 2014)

Last year, the lovely Miley Cyrus reintroduced millions of innocent people around the world to the art of twerking. She swung butt naked from a wrecking ball for a music video because, duh! Her song was called “Wrecking Ball”! Why WOULDN’T she swing naked from a wrecking ball? Pure genius! Also, professional attention whoring.

I wrote a blog post last year about Miss Miley’s antics, and I believe that, a year later, my theory is still correct. Miley Cyrus is not a little girl lost. She is not having meltdown after meltdown in front of our eyes. No matter what opinion you have about the girl, no one can argue the fact that she’s smart. Her controversial moves are calculated and played out perfectly, achieving record breaking amounts of attention (record sales, magazine sales, Twitter conversations).

This year, Miley did something different. When she won an award for Video of the Year (for her naked wrecking ball swinging), she sent a man up to the podium to accept the award on her behalf. She watched, crying as he accepted her award. It turns out that the man was Jesse Helt, who was homeless on the streets of Los Angeles. He discussed homelessness in America during his speech, which was a positive and intelligent way to raise awareness to millions of viewers. At the same time, it gave her some attention, too. Positive? Yes. Does it make her a saint? Eh, not really.

Miley also knows how to cause some controversy.

*This started out as the Miley Cyrus Attention Whore Sequel. The first post (Miley Cyrus: Professional Attention Whore?) was so much fun to write that I thought, why not revisit the situation? I didn’t quite make it to the publishing stage, but it was fun while it lasted.

Unpublished Blog Post #4:

Why Quitting Doesn’t Mean You’re a Failure (almost published October 2014)

Why are we afraid to quit a job that makes us miserable? End a relationship that’s going nowhere? Forget a one-sided friendship? I’ve been in all of these situations: frozen, stagnant, reluctant. What was I so afraid of?

I’ve always been terrified of change, of the unknown. Even though a job, relationship, or friendship isn’t working, I remain unhappy for too long. The red flags are in front of my face, waving all day long, but I sit down instead of walking away.

In life, we all want to be happy. That is a given. Yet when we are in miserable situations and know what would make us happier, (quitting, breaking up) some of us are cautious to take that step. Instead of running in the other direction, towards probable happiness, we chain ourselves to misery, in hopes that things will “get better.”

I have been guilty of this numerous times. For some reason, change is more difficult than doing nothing. My fear of the unknown eats away my chances of saying goodbye. My fear of being “alone” keeps me unhappy for longer than it should. My insecurity tells me to sit down and ignore the logic running through my head.

Three different situations stand out in my memory, and I’ll share them with you now:

1.The Frenemy: Several years ago, I had a friend who turned into a “frenemy.” Of course since we were in high school, drama was a natural part of friendship. But I’ve always avoided confrontation. In high school I was terribly shy and avoided confronting people who disrespected me. This “friend,” who I’d known for many years, became jealous and went out of her way to turn other friends in our group against me. Typical high school behavior, I know. But instead of speaking up for myself like I should have done, I stood by, allowing it to happen. I was the doormat, too nice for my own good. But the problem solved itself with college, change of location, and new friends.

2.Case of the Ex: After college, my long term boyfriend ended our relationship because of differences in values and goals. It was rough. I wanted to remain friends, but friendship is a two-way street. Friendship is impossible with silence on the other end. He cut all ties.

*Looks like I never felt motivated enough to explain the third situation that inspired this post. But I’m guessing this gave me some material for writing a post that I did publish, called How to know when it’s time for a change. At least some good came of this potential post.

Unpublished Blog Post #5:

Holidays and the single girl (almost published December 2014)

It’s that time of year again. Holiday dinners, Christmas decorating, and Black Friday shopping trips often bring about questions from relatives about your singleness. Maybe it’s the romantic snowfall, the frigid temperatures, and the need to cuddle up with hot chocolate by a fire that makes everyone want to couple up. And when everyone is coupled up, they expect you to be coupled up, too.

Even the casual Facebook scroll can depress the average single girl during the holidays (or generally the months of November through February). Every other post seems to be engagements, baby announcements, and wedding photos.

While throughout the rest of the year, there is the occasional reminder that many other 20-somethings are tying the knot or having mini-versions of themselves, those fuzzy feelings of togetherness come alive during the winter. This makes the gap between the Singles and Not Singles even bigger.

I’m not trying to knock the Not Singles. If you’ve found love and/or had kids in your early to mid 20’s and it’s your bliss, then more power to you. But us Singles can’t help feeling

*Here is one of the perfect examples of a post that stops in the middle of a sentence. Did I care enough to finish that lingering thought? Of course not! I do have to wonder about that sentence that will never be. Anyone care to finish it for me? I’ll give five dollars to the best idea. “But us Singles can’t help feeling…” Ready, go!

Unpublished Blog #6:

No matter what your race, you should be enraged at the cop who killed Eric Garner (almost published December 2014)

Watching the footage of Eric Garner being put in a chokehold by Staten Island police officer Daniel Pantaleo and taken to the ground like a grizzly bear by the group of cops is horrific.

Despite the entire incident being captured on camera (including the EMT showing up and not administering CPR to Garner while he was obviously unconscious on the pavement), Officer Pantaleo was not indicted by the grand jury.

This is shocking because not only did Pantaleo use a chokehold, which is prohibited by the NYPD, but the entire incident was recorded and shown to the grand jury, and the autopsy ruled Garner’s death a homicide. Yet Pantaleo walks free.

In the footage of the incident, the crime that the cops stopped Garner for was selling untaxed cigarettes. While Garner had sold “loosey” cigarettes in the past, on this particular day, he wasn’t. He broke up a fight between two young people, and was walking away when the cops stopped him.

Garner was obviously frustrated, but he wasn’t aggressive at all. He asked the cops, “Please leave me alone.” After that, all hell broke loose. One cop reached up to grab Garner’s wrists (Garner was significantly taller), while Garner pleaded, “Please don’t touch me!” as he raised his hands.

Pantaleo snuck behind Garner and put him in a chokehold. This clearly surprised Garner because he didn’t see Pantaleo, and the rest of the cops immediately assisted in taking Garner to the ground.

*This story still enrages me. At the same time, I am proud to know Americans are marching in Chicago, New York, Boston, Miami, Washington, and other cities. Racism unfortunately still exists, and police brutality does as well. Maybe the country is finally starting to wake up and listen. Americans are taking to the streets. We cannot be silent anymore. I am so proud to see that people are standing up and speaking out for justice.

Disclaimer: My computer only crashed twice in the making of this blog post. But I didn’t give up this time. Even though my computer was being an asshole (it is several years old, so I guess it has a right to be), I didn’t let that stop me. Yes, I see this as quite an accomplishment. If you take a glance back at all the posts that went unpublished, you’ll see all the times my computer won against me. But not this time.