Watch Your Step, Mind The Gap, and Please, Just Don’t Look Down.

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Not that high up. But like… 2,000 feet high up.

If you do look down, just periodically look up. It sucks a lot when you accidentally walk into a mailbox, a tree, or fall off a sidewalk because you weren’t paying attention.

Unless you were trying to deliver the mail and missed.  But then I guess you’re just bad at your job and should probably think of a new career path.  Maybe bowling?

There are a lot of instances in life where you get to the top and look back at what you had to overcome to get there.  For me, looking at the thirteen stairs I had to surmount to make it to the second level of my house is a feat in itself and I do the Rocky jump every time I reach the top.

But aside from being overjoyed at accomplishing something elementary like walking up a flight of stairs, the initial shock after reaching a goal and realizing what it took to get you there is always humbling.  But it can also be terrifying.  Because there’s no where to go but down, right?

Is that cynical? I’m in a mood. It’s Thursday. WHERE ARE YOU, WEEKEND?

In the event that you’re unsure of what I’m talking about, here are some things in which you should never, under any circumstances, look down:

Heights: This is a no brainer, but anyone who says they love standing on top of really tall things and staring at their impending death upon falling is a certified jackass.  Aint nobody got time to stand up in the clouds without the proper harness contraption and feel safe, sane, and sturdy. I like the ground.  I like the ground a lot.

Other People: For real, you should never look down on other people.  You have no idea what kind of struggles they are going through, and making rash judgments about character or worth is not going to win you any sort of awards by stereotypically figuring them out.  Maybe you should take a cue from the book of humanity and actually get to know someone before you decide if they suck at life or not.

Other People: This is in more of a literal sense, because sometimes people are shorter than you.  And sometimes they get offended when you point that out.  Especially pay attention to this, ladies, if you’re out on a date with a short man, and you don’t think he knows he’s short, please refrain from making a comment. I can assure you he stares in the mirror every day praying to Height Jesus to bless him with some extra inches in the vertical department. I’m lucky to be short though, I’m always looking up.  I have seen my fair share of nostrils though,and those aren’t pretty. Clean it up, people!

The Ring Of Fire: Johnny Cash went down there and I don’t think he came back.  Mostly because he’s dead and stuff. So if you want to be daed and stuff with Johnny Cash, be my guest. Could be worse people to be dead with. ::cough, cough. Kristen Stewart::

Driving: Unless you want to add murder to your criminal record.  Keep your eyes on the road.  Especially you, person driving 45 in the fast lane, you’re definitely not paying attention. I can tell because I just drove up next to you to give you the middle finger and I saw your head staring down at your cell phone.

Cartons of Ice Cream: It’s never a good idea to look down at a carton of ice cream, because then you know just how much you’ve blindly eaten wile watching those eight episodes of 19 Kids and Counting.  Just keep the lid close and plop that sucker right on there so you don’t have to see the pit of despair you’ve created in that Cherry Garcia.

Wine: This should be a no brainer, because if you don’t look down, you don’t know how much you’ve drank. There’s always room for more wine, unless you run out. Actually, I take this one back. You should always monitor the wine. When the wine runs out, there’s chaos about. <– copyright that for me. PLEASE.

Shoes: This only applies if you have velcro straps or slip ons, because frankly it would be stupid of you to look down in that case.  What the hell do you plan on checking? If you still have feet?  If you have laces like normal humans above the age of six, please, check away.

Cell Phone While Walking: If you do this, you’re a jackass (aka I’m a jackass).  Not only are you saying that all other humans using the public walkways are completely and totally not important, you run the extreme risk of falling into a manhole, walking into a telephone pole, or bumping into another person that probably had a bad day and will throw a drink at you for making it worse.  Think about it. Pockets are your friends.

***

Do you look down at anything? Are you one of those people who walks and texts at the same time? Do you like sweet potato fries or regular fries better?

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Don’t You Have A Text Message To Answer Or Something?

It’s that person talking to you on the subway, the one asking about the weather in the elevator, that guy in the bar trying to make conversation with you while you’re waiting for your friend to show up.

Yeah, they’re alone too, but seriously, don’t they have a text message to answer or something?

The whole idea of spontaneous communication has been misconstrued.  If you talk to me without a reason, I assume you want something from me, you’re weird, you’re lost, or you’re just creepy.

You’re definitely not just friendly, right?  No, definitely not.  That would be… well, weird.

It may be because I hail from the northeast.  Things tend to move a little faster up here, we tend to be a little more ornery when it comes to personal space, and I guess, maybe we just think we’re a little more important.

Because we definitely have text messages to answer, and if you’re talking to me without a reason, it’s not going to be well received, because my mother needs to know that I ate three pork chops for dinner, and it’s imperative that I type it NOW.

When did it become uncomfortable to wait for someone without the security of a screen?  Why do people feel the need to answer text messages at dinner?  Or pick up phone calls on the subway?  Why are we so dependent on constant connection, yet we can’t seem to welcome a social interaction that isn’t primarily digital?

We are so concerned with friend counts, that we would request to be ‘friends’ with strangers, getting excited at how many people like what we’re doing, but we can’t sit at the same bar with a new face and speak to them directly without questioning intentions or why he or she cares about our lives.

In short, the world is fucked up.

Genuine conversation is depleting faster than the ozone layer. It is so hard to talk to someone you don’t know.  I mean, really, though… what are you supposed to say?  Hi? That’s dumb.

Standing in line waiting for lunch, some guy is talking about his favorite sandwich condiments.  He happens to love BBQ sauce almost as much as his unborn child, just like me.

But I have text messages to answer, no need to chime in with my two cents.

The older man at the bus stop has a war veteran patch on the jacket he wears every day.  He’s been through some serious shit, seen things people should never see, has perspectives that would shatter bigot minds and open eyes to what is really going on.

But no one notices his patches, no one hears his stories.  There are text messages to answer.

How about those love stories where the two people met on a bus and sparked up a conversation, the girl who dropped her keys only to have the guy of her dreams pick them up for her, the guy who moves into his new apartment and rides the elevator with the girl of his dreams?

Oh yeah, those things don’t happen.

Because there are text messages to answer.

 

Girl Scouts: The Most Notorious Gang In History

gang (noun): a group of people which shares an identity and a common purpose; often know to fight against other groups with similar interests. 

Pouty Meg, front and center.

Pouty Meg, front and center. #RuthlessTroop156

Have you ever tried to say “No,” to a gaggle of five-year-old girls, all of whom are dead set on winning first place in a bake sale competition?

If you were one of the few brave souls who stood up to the corrupt tactics of using seasonal treats to transform innocent girls into tyrannical, power hungry  preteens, you probably did not live to tell the tale.

So we salute you, brave, dead soul, for your attempts to stand up to the most notorious gang in history: The Girl Scouts of America.

To the naked eye, a Girl Scout is a poster of all that is good in the universe: a volunteer at retirement centers, one who spends time picking up trash around local parks, earning badges and patches for being active in their respective communities.

But a closer look into the organization reveals cut throat sales techniques, questionable initiation rituals, and heinously manufactured uniforms.  These girls are highly trained cookie assassins, and they will attack you when you are weakest.

You may think I’m exaggerating.  But I am not.  I am a survivor of the GSoA.  I’ve lived through it, and I’m here to explain why the Girl Scouts organization just a mirage for an undercover street gang of elementary school girls.

According to this article, here is what constitutes a gang:

1.  Organized in some way, often with clear leaders and a hierarchy, and that the members gather to socialize and carry out various activities on a regular basis.

Troops leaders are the head honchos of the Girl Scouts.  These women, usually mothers related to a girl in the respective troop, will coordinate, plan, and execute meetings on a weekly basis.  Discussion topics of relevance include but are not limited to: scheming various sales strategies for seasonal supplies, decorate clothing items with symbols of segmented troop for unique identifier and easy avoidance of “friend or foe” when in the streets.

2.  The shared identity of gang members can be based on ethnicity, culture, class, religion, or another common thread which allows people to find something of interest in each other.

Girls are usually grouped together based on initial elementary friend groups, and or community based neighborhoods, or ‘hoods.’  These girls generally have common interests based on blocks where they live, classes, and school bus routes.

3.  Members may choose to identify themselves with nicknames, tattoos, specific slang, distinctive graffiti tags, or specific styles of dress. 

Daisies, Brownies, Juniors, Cadets – you see where I’m going with this – just climbing the gang ranks. If you didn’t have patches on patches sewn to your vest, you knew you didn’t try and no one respected you.  You had to have a vest so patched out, it looked like a quilt on your back.  Nothing less than perfection was accepted.

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Collectively identified with distinctively unique clothing.

4.  Often, if not always require indicative hand gesture, slogan, identifying sign or graffiti during meetings and greetings.

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Self explanatory.

5.  Seeks to exercise control over a particular geographic location or region, or it may simply defend its perceived interests against rivals.

Girl Scouts are constantly defending coveted neighborhood territory against rival gangs like: other girl scout troops – specifically those within the same elementary school – the dreaded boy scouts, do good church-led youth groups, and/or any extracurricular activity dedicated to the betterment of society as a whole.

6.  Infamous for being involved in activities of questionable legality.

Bragging rights for most cookies sold was essential, prudent, and imperative.  Losing was not an option.  If you had to work twelve-hour sale days, you did it.  If you had to walk eight miles in your fifth grade shoes after soccer practice, you did it.  We learned one slogan, ABC: Always Be Closing.

There were no tears, only triumphs.

Always remember, if you see something, say something.  Girl Scouts are taking over our communities one box of cookies at a time.  Do your due diligence to stop your sisters, daughters, and friends from joining.

But if you have a hook-up to some Thin Mints, Tagalongs, Do-Si-Dos, hell any of those delicious seasonal treats, email me.  Let’s talk, I’m never above an under the table transaction. 

IMPORTANT UPDATE: I Am Officially Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman.

amen. preach. yup.

amen. preach. yup.

Well kids, it’s the beginning of the end; my twenty-fifth birthday is on Monday.

Yup, the big quarter-century label is coming for me faster than the cops who are hassling me to pay all my parking tickets.

I’m facing my last weekend as a twenty-four-year old and forcing myself to look back and reflect on how exactly I got here. You know, in life and stuff.

I don’t even remember anything that happened before third grade, so let’s start there.

I was six-years-old, sitting on a rock outside my grandparent’s barn holding a stray cat my uncles had taken in thinking I wanted to be a veterinarian.

It was that easy.  You just grew up, found something you loved, and did it. 

I loved animals; I owned a hamster, liked petting cats, and frequently wrestled with dogs; so I was going to be a vet.

When I was eight, I got pissed off at my parents and decided that I wanted to renounce my position in the family and live off the land like Pocahontas.  I gathered up all the belongings any eight-year-old would need, put them in a backpack, and left my house in a fury to make a statement.

My mother didn’t notice I was gone for over four hours, she just thought I was playing outside like a normal girl when I returned home for dinner because I had forgotten all about the food and shelter portion of survival outside a house. I did, however, bring an extensive collection of cds for my battery operated discman, and a slew of J-14 magazines.

At age ten, I remember falling so deeply in love with Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic to the point where I was determined to become an actress.  I joined the school play in fifth grade; I did anything I could to sabotage my family’s home videos and get experience in the spotlight.

The only issue was I had no acting talent, which was evident in my being cast as ‘stage crew,’ and my mother was not supportive in my newfound endeavor to become rich and famous before I could correctly spell the word ‘business’ on the first try.

this is how you look when you're 25. i think?

this is how you look when you’re 25. i think?

Which, in hindsight, my adolescent track record with drinking and recreational drug use would have landed me in the same position as Lindsay Lohan right now.  So thanks, Mom.  You did me a solid on crushing that fifth grade dream.

I actually blacked out all of middle school and don’t remember anything except for when Mrs. Townsend gave my friend Jocelyn and I a detention because we purposely put our left hands instead of our right hands over our hearts one too many times during the pledge of allegiance.  Apparently that was disrespectful.

All throughout high school I was almost certain that I wanted to go into marketing and advertising.  It was what my dad did.  He had season tickets to the New York Rangers and frequently used us kids as pilot testers for his agency’s commercials.  It seemed like a pretty badass career field.

I never listened when he told me how much he hated his job, never saw how overworked and overtired he was, and I conveniently never remembered how often he wasn’t there for the most formative years of my life.

It wasn’t until college that I realized I was extremely lazy and wanted summers off for the rest of my life.  The stark reality of the real life work force haunted my dreams and made me gain over thirty pounds.

That last statement was false, I gained thirty pounds because I was in college and drank handles of vodka after eating two-hour dinners at the all you can eat dining halls.  And I refused to exercise because the gym was too crowded and stretchy pants were in style.

I was twenty-one, fat, and going into my senior year at UConn when my mother pointed out how much I loved working with children.  I decided I was going to switch my major with four credits short of a Media Communications degree and pursue teaching; a field in which I had absolutely no idea what exactly was entailed.  But it had summers off.

At the end of my schooling, I had collected a Masters in Teaching, a Bachelors in Media Communications, and a Bachelors in English.  I wanted to be a middle school English teacher in Boston.  So I moved;  because finding teaching jobs in a city at a reputable school, with nice kids, and good pay is really easy to do.

It wasn’t.  I was twenty-three and unemployed.

I do have a job now, though.  And I like it.  But I didn’t use any of my degrees to get it, which is just both comical and completely depressing all at the same time.

Ultimately, I learned it was never going to be as easy as finding something you love and doing it.  

With three days left until twenty-five inevitably smacks me in the face like my hangover will on Sunday, I am humbled by all the failed dreams I’ve had, and cling to the ones I still have.  There is no way of knowing which will come true, and which, if not all, will be epic failures.

I can say wholeheartedly that I have not a goddamn clue in the world where I will be in five years.  None of my previous ambitions really panned out the way I wanted or wished, but I can only hope that with this birthday, I will magically be gifted the knowledge of what the fuck I am supposed to be doing with my life.

Until then, we can always thank the high heavens and my mother that I did not become Lindsay Lohan or Pocahontas.

Honestly, The “Now, That’s What I Call Disney” Compilation Is A Complete Travesty.

This compiler is a dunce.

This compiler is a dunce.

I can’t go into the weekend with this on my mind.  So, here we go.

I asked my mom the other day, “On a scale of 1-10, how dramatic am I?”

In unwritten dramatic scales, 10 presumably consists of daily temper tantrums in the street because you can’t get two toppings on your ice cream cone, and 1 consists of ignoring all problems in your day to day life because you’re just “so over the drama.”

My mother rated me at an 8.

Yes, an 8 on the drama scale. My mother just sentenced me to a semi-regular mental and physical breakdown in a public place over frozen treats.

Keeping that in mind, but at the same time, ignoring it completely and thinking of me in a more positive, attractive, calm and collected light, I want to tell you a story.

Recently, there was an attack on my childhood.

It started with an infomercial. An innocent advertisement for a compilation of songs that serenaded me through adolescence, Now That’s What I Call Disney!

At the start of it all, it seemed like a mix I could get behind. A little piece of plastic disc nostalgia that I could really see myself enjoying… Until I saw the track list.

Frankly, it was just atrocious. Flat out wrong, immoral, and a complete mockery of the cartoons that taught me the wind had colors, carpets can fly, and legs were required for dancing.

I don’t know who did it.  I don’t know what committee is involved with the song selection.  I’m assuming can only be a panel made up of this woman and her friends, to represent Disney in the first volume of hits.

But, God as my witness, it needs to be corrected.

At first glance you may think to yourself, hey Meg, your mom is totally right, you are dramatic, I actually think I saw you crying about missing toppings on your ice cream cone back in August.

And while I was having a tantrum, it was actually because my friend wouldn’t buy me a wine at 3pm on a Wednesday.

My thoughts on this CD are still valid.  If you’re going to have a Now That’s What I Call Disney, you’ll need a few Bare Necessities, if you will (umm…. yes, pun totally intended). Here are my expert feelings on most of the selections:

…THE GOOD

Can You Feel The Love TonightI’ll be honest, this is the first love scene I ever saw in a feature film. So, that alone needs to be a reason for it to be PRAISED. Lion love is like, so real.

Part Of Your WorldNever in my life have I found someone who had as many thingamabobs as me.  I also have never met anyone who didn’t know what a fire was and why it burned.  Still don’t. So… anyone?

Hakuna Matata: Zen Nation. I didn’t know what chill was until I heard this song.  Plus, teenage Simba was kinda hot, no? Just me? K.

Under the Sea: How did I know things existed under water? This song.  Figured the sea was just a big bathtub that covered the Earth’s floor before I found out there were talking crabs and singing corals down there. Just a big percussion party at the clam bake on the ocean floor.

Circle Of Life: NAHAHHHHHSSIIVVEEENNNYYAAA- NAMA-MEE-SCALABOOOOOW. Don’t know if that’s what it says, but I’m gonna sing it like that so loud, and so proud. Every time. Such a good song.

Colors of the Wind: I have asked four grinning bobcats, none have answered. I have no idea why the hell they keep smiling and someone needs to answer me. NOW.

I Just Can’t Wait To Be KingThis song taught me how to rule a household.  One time my mom told me to go clean my room before my grandparents came to visit. I was all like, “Kings don’t need advice from little horn bills for a start.” —  I don’t want to talk about what happened after that. (#Grounded)

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious: Ummdiddaliddiaummdillaaaiiiiiiii. I don’t think there are actual words to this song, so it gets credit by default for being a jumble of syllables with a boss melody.

…THE BAD

When You Wish Upon a Shooting Star: Could this be a more boring opener?  Do I want to fall asleep immediately after one song? No. I want to continue my journey down memory lane and go back to the time that I actually thought body parts would grow if I lied (aside: this would be so cool if you could pick the body parts that grew after lying, like my hair, I’d be Millenium Rapunzel with all my fib growth).

Someday My Prince Will Come: The only acceptable song from Snow White that should be included on this cd is Heigh Ho, and you didn’t do that.

Bella Notte: More like better not. Snore city.  Population: everyone listening.

A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes: To be honest, I didn’t even know there were songs in Cinderella, this is just dumb.

Once Upon A Dream, Go The Distance, Friend Like Me, I Won’t Say: Same thing, don’t even remember these songs. Like a bad football player, cut ’em.

Everybody Wants to Be A Cat: Newsflash: No one likes cats. Dogs are so in right now. Puppies are the new currency, and cats are straight up debt. No one wants debt; no one wants cats.

I See The Light, You’ve Got A Friend In Me, Life is A HighwayNew aged Pixar Disney movies shouldn’t even be considered for volume 1 (Post ’95). It’s just a sin. Get out of my face Tangled, Cars, and Toy Story. See you next year, suckaaaaas.

Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride: Does it sound like a good time? Yes. Do I even know what it means? No. I’ve never seen Lilo and Stitch because I like movies about real animals with real plots. I see you Lion King. Respect.

Reflection (NOT CHRISTINA AGUILERA): I don’t know why I would have to explain this, but not having Christina’s version of this song is nothing shy of eating a sandwich without condiments. Just deplorable.

… THE UGLY

Seeing as I just exiled ten songs from DisneyTown, there are some additions that need to be spoken for in order to make this whole ordeal right:

I’ll Make A Man Out of You: The fact that this song isn’t number 1 on the whole thing is blasphemous. This is the best song in Disney history. Coursing rivers, great typhoons, raging fires, moons with mysterious dark sides. Color me intrigued. Repeat. All day. Every day. Except when I get sick of it. I take one day off. Then start again.

Be Our GuestTalking candles? Pots and pans that have feelings? An ottoman that’s a dog? GIVE ME THIS HOUSE. I don’t need friends, I have decorations that will hang out with me. Life crisis averted.

Heigh-Ho: Give a kid a pick-axe and ask him to sing a song. What’s it gonna be?  This one. Unforgivable overlook.

Reflection (Christina Aguilera Version): Phenomenal acting by Mulan in this music video.  Very attentive, inquisitive stares into various mirrors of sizes and lengths.  Breathtaking.

The only way to make this right is to take my suggestions and reprint all the copies of the cd out there right now. I’m speaking for a generation of 85’s to 90’s babies. But really, I’m speaking for myself. Fix it. Fix it now. Make it right. Or make a man out of me. Either one would be greatly appreciated.

Although, under no circumstances, will I be doing this:

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GOOD DAY.

Your Cell Phone Is Turning You Into A Jackass

Have you ever had a tree magically appear in the middle of your walking path?   Bump into a mailbox that had the audacity to stick out just a little too far from its post?  Fall victim to a dip in the sidewalk that DEFINITELY wasn’t there yesterday?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may not know it, but your cell phone is turning you into a jackass.

A lot of people in today’s society would rather lose both arms and trade their first born instead of going a day without their cell phone.  We have this need to be connected at all times of the day; to know what is going on every minute of every hour.  Without our phones, we might miss what Angelina Jolie wore to the grocery store at 8:36am on a Tuesday.

But I’m not here to point fingers.  I have, at one or many points, answered yes to all three of the questions I posed above.  Which is why I have recognized and admitted that my cellphone has in fact, turned me into an asshole.

If you live in a city, or anywhere that generates substantial foot traffic, you recognize that something as simple as walking in a straight line may seem like a Herculean task for some people.  There are those people who take up the entire sidewalk, or those who think that suddenly stopping will somehow make the laws of inertia follow suit, preventing everyone who is following from a body to body collision.

If you put a cell phone in the hands of any and/or all of those people, the world might just self destruct.

When you have your cell phone in your hand, everyone around you becomes irrelevant.  It’s almost as if it emits a force field that envelops your entire body, blocking out all sound, sight, and common sense.  So naturally, that oak tree sprouted overnight, that mailbox is absolutely sticking out too far, and that dip in the sidewalk was definitely not there the day before.

On the off chance that you happen to be a human being who doesn’t use their phone for an application telling you how to put one foot in front of the other, yet you still can’t put it down for your ten minute walk to wherever it is you’re going, we would all like you to know that we understand how important your life is, and we will start making adjustments to our schedules to stay out of your way.

Your cellphone cloud of ignorance does not dissipate when you leave the sidewalk, it follows you into your home, your work, and your social life.

When you are out with friends and simple conversation isn’t enough to stimulate your brain, your cell phone might be turning you into a jackass.  Refusing to acknowledge anyone else’s conversational needs before your own is a tell tale sign of not giving a fuck about anyone but yourself.

I’m sure the person or people you are out with loves staring at your forehead while you answer text messages from friends who are not currently present.  Seeing you take a phone call at dinner and then listening in on half of your conversation with your cousin, John, may or may not be the highlight of their day.

There are several remedies that can help reverse being a jackass when it comes to using your phone.  All you need to do is simply take your cellphone, place it in your pocket, and go wherever you need to go.  I promise no one will think you have no friends if you are walking around completely aware of your surroundings.

You can also take a more extreme approach, and when out with friends, put your phone on vibrate, silent, or in some cases, even powered off.  This will ensure that you will have face-to-face, uninterrupted conversations with whomever you’re out.  Should the occasion arise where one or more parties need to use the restroom, feel free to take out your phone to check to see if anyone thinks you’ve skipped town.

But, maybe you could use the brief moment of solitude to reflect on your newfound freedom, know that you’re with a person or group of people who have chosen to hang out with you, and revel in the fact that you do indeed have friends even though you are not currently on your phone talking to someone.

Or you can always just be a jackass.

Treat Emotions Like Beer, Bottle Them up.

brothers.

brothers.

Although my parents would characterize my seemingly regular childhood temper tantrums as a pretty aggressive display of emotion, outside of demanding extra dessert and slapping my brothers for ripping the heads off my barbies, I’ve never been great at expressing my feelings.

Maybe it was because I grew up with three younger brothers.  As the oldest of four, and the only girl, I never really had a model for how to act.  My mother and I, although very close, are very different when it comes to personality.

Needless to say, if you’re going to survive eighteen years in the midst of a male dominated household, you have to learn how to protect yourself in emotional combat.  Aside from the regular physical battles, the way brothers really get to you is by finding your mental weaknesses, and attacking when you least expect it.

Growing up with brothers teaches you not to dwell on little things, to stand up for yourself, and how to be competitive.  But it also, unintentionally, leads you towards the masculine side of the emotional spectrum; so instead of saying how you feel in the moment, you retreat and don’t talk about it.

When you hang out with boys all the time, you learn that they would rather give you a beer than sit and listen to your problems.   

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friends.

Because nothing makes guys more uncomfortable than when a girl just unloads all her personal crap on them.  Especially if it’s during a football game or when you’re out at a bar. When you have a “girl day,” you learn to drink a beer and deal with it later.

This works well until you realize you are in college and have not sustained one real or lasting relationship during your lifetime.  If someone wanted to date me, I was either unaware or uninterested, because if it meant talking about feelings and being vulnerable, I didn’t want any part of it.

Everyone puts up walls for different reasons.  Personally, the initial thought of letting someone in that you barely know is daunting.  The act of sharing secrets, opening doors to your past, and exposing yourself, metaphorically, to another person for the sake of a connection is terrifying.

At the same time, while a little mystery is a good thing, there needs to be a dichotomy between the two people in a relationship to make it work.  Eventually you will have to let your guard down.

Recently, there have been an overwhelming amount of circumstances that formidably illustrate my inability to give up control over certain aspects of my life.  Whether it be attending a friend’s wedding, my parent’s thirtieth anniversary, or my most recent breakup, I have come to the brutal realization that I need to step outside my comfort zone in order to foster a meaningful connection with someone.

I’ve had my fair share of crazy experiences: skydiving, bungee jumping, one time I even ate cat food.  But the tangible part of being afraid is much more desirable than emotionally freefalling into unknown territory.  I mean at least after skydiving I got a sticker telling me I did a good job not dying.

Thinking about the craziest thing I’ve ever done, I immediately remember how terrified I was to actually commit to it.  Picking up and moving to a new city, alone, without a job or any financial support other than my own was the single most daunting event in my life.  But looking back on the past year and a half, knowing where I am now, the reward was totally worth the struggle.

At the end of the day, no one can make you take that leap other than yourself.  Outside influences, supportive or not, have no weight compared to what your gut tells you to do.  Knowing that personal reflection and a willingness to change are attributes I admire in someone, it only makes sense that I try and develop them.

My twenty-fifth birthday is only a few weeks away.  I’m not entirely positive if it is the looming “quarter-century” age label weighing on my conscious, or just the stark reality that I’m resisting a change I know I need to make, but either way, it’s scary as all hell knowing that being vulnerable is something that is not only expected, but appreciated in lasting relationships.

I guess I’ll just have to be twenty-five and terrified.

I just hope someone gives me a sticker on my thirtieth birthday.  I need to know I did a good job not dying.

Food Taught Me Everything I Ever Needed To Know About Life

You can learn a lot about a person by what they eat.  And no, I’m not saying you should stare at people while they’re eating, that’s rude.  Unless it’s a celebrity, then please report back because I NEED to know what Oprah eats for breakfast that makes her so powerful.

 

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This may come as a shock – or it won’t because you’ll realize that my brain works in strange ways, and this is just one of those things that makes me unique – but food has taught me everything I ever needed to know about life.

Real talk.

Sidenote: Let me start off by saying that if you looked in my cabinet where I store all my food, you’d probably think I had a child.  But alas, those are my groceries, I just eat like I’m seven.  So this is one of those times where I will make judgments about others, completely ignoring the fact that I have been all of these people at one time or another.

For starters, if you’re sitting on your couch in dirty sweatpants using a ladle to eat a pint of Ben and Jerry’s, I’m going to assume you’re going through a breakup. Or at the very least, a rough week.  When a spoon just isn’t big enough to satisfy your cravings for creamy delights to the point where you’re going to go straight for a ladle, among the Cherry Garcia remnants, you have heartbreak written all over your face.

And for you, I will pray.  Because no one can stop after one ladle scoop of B&Js.  It’s impossible.

When I see a twenty-something eating a steak with an older man or woman, it’s a safe bet that they are not paying for it.  You never eat the cheapest thing on the menu when your parents are footing the bill.  I’ll hit up Olive Garden and pay $9.99 for unlimited soup, salad, and breadsticks; but you best believe when I’m out with my parents I’m getting my fill of fine wine and filets.

If you can eat it in your pajamas, it’s not acceptable to feed a potential life partner.  Nothing says, “Hey baby, let’s get married!” like bagel bites with a side of Doritos.  You should learn to cook something substantial before you commit to someone for the rest of your life.

But when you’re drunk, it’s completely acceptable to throw all dietary restrictions and personal inhibitions out the window and go face deep into a pile of nachos and cinnastix.  A good rule of thumb is: if you don’t remember it, it never happened.

This is also a great indicator for how old someone is.  No one above thirty should be forgetting they ate forty-eight loaded tater tots and an entire Christmas ham the previous night due to alcohol.

I immediately know I need to tread lightly when I see someone eating a salad.  Especially men.  Woman have this extra chromosome where they can turn off their memories of delicious food and focus solely on bathing suit season.  It makes stomaching a salad almost mouth-watering.  Almost.

But the time a man voluntarily orders a cobb salad at a restaurant, don’t say anything mean to him within a five-foot-radius.  He is not choosing to eat that salad.  His doctor, his mother, or his girlfriend told him he needed to stop eating so many carbs and watch his cholesterol, and eating an entire head of iceberg lettuce is the only thing stopping him from shoveling a foot-long chicken parm sandwich down his throat.

When you’re around someone who is grumpy, they may need a snack.  That’s why I always like to keep a few granola bars in my purse.  You never know when a romantic stroll with your boyfriend will turn into the last moments of your life because you told him the restaurant was “like five minutes away” an hour ago.

Boys need to eat sixty-times more a day than women.  Granola bars save lives.

I also know you’re having a great time at your dinner date by the filter you’re using to instagram your food.  Anything less than a high contrast filter means your date sucks.  No one wants to see a poorly photographed, low resolution cheeseburger.  I want to see that thing oozing grease out of my phone.

If you don’t instagram a picture of your food, I assume you’ve either died, or are having a real, face-to-face conversation with the person who brought you out, and there may be hope for your love life after all.

 Also, if you like Taco Bell, KFC, and Pizza Hut, you may be my soul mate.  Inquire within. 

Cher Taught Me To Believe

Actually, no she didn’t.  But that song was straight fire flames good.  I bumped that jam in my room when I was in sixth grade for DAYS.

Whether or not she is a scholar in the same realm as Gandhi or Buddha, we will never know.  But her fashion sense was always on point.  Am I right?

I guess it’s different for everyone.  Whether it is a person, a dream, a faith, or a promise.  We all need a reason to believe.

I could sit here and talk about what I believe and how it has shaped me into the person I am today.  But I don’t want to preach about my life, but just about the importance of believing in something.

First and foremost, you should believe in yourself.  

If you don’t have a foundation of self-acceptance and the innate conviction that you can achieve anything you set your mind to, then life is going to be pretty difficult.  Let’s be realistic though, this is not to say that it won’t be tough even if you do believe in yourself.  Because life is funny that way, and it likes to knock you down a couple pegs and make sure you’re not overconfident.

Life is full of uphill battles.  And while some are given a compass and a map to ease the struggle, others have to navigate blind, fighting more battles for no reason at all.

Regardless of where you fall on the life circumstance spectrum, having confidence yourself and what you can achieve is the first step towards getting where you want to go.  The rest is motivation, commitment, and perseverance – all of which take time to develop.

We all should wake up in the morning committed to something. 

If you can’t find it in your heart to believe in yourself, for the sake of humanity, believe in someone else.  There is nothing more frightening than knowing you are fighting a battle alone.  The greatest thing you can offer another human being is support.

When the outlook is bleak, the odds are stacked up, and the morale is fading; believe.  People can triumph and overcome the biggest of hurdles when they have a support system behind them.  Having a team rally and cheer you on makes those mountains that once seemed miles high get reduced to inches.

Believing in one another makes any obstacle surmountable. 

Faith in a higher power gives us a foundation and a basis to strive to be the best people we can be.  It is fundamentally rooted in serving others before yourself, knowing that you can make a difference in someone’s life, and them in yours.

It is understanding the key principle that all people are equal, believing that it’s true, and using your actions as a way to show it.  Because let’s face it, living our lives for other people isn’t the easiest thing to do.  In fact, it’s pretty difficult.

But in times when you feel incapable of continuing, grasping for something outside of yourself can be just what you need to keep going. 

If faith isn’t your answer, it can be a dream.

An aspiration to be better than what you are and where you are now.  An endpoint that you strive to reach in your career, your relationships, and your life.  Something that, in the darkest places, hardest times, deepest holes, you cling to and reach for.  And it’s that dream that helps you power through the worst of it.

All because you believe that you deserve it.

Whatever it is, don’t let it go.  Depending on something or someone other than ourselves is imperative.  We were not meant to walk the earth alone, nor should be have to do it. Make that conscious decision each day to strive to be better for you, for someone else, or for something.

Don’t settle for what you have right now, there’s always room to improve.  Find something you want in the future and go for it.  Perseverance and determination are attributes that no one will ever fault you for having.  You can be, achieve, and complete anything you want.  You just have to figure out what it is.

And when you do find what it is, be like Cher and just believe.

 

The Common White Girl’s Guide to Risk Taking

I’m a common white girl, and this is my idea of risky behavior:

  • Ordering a double shot mocha latte with whole milk and giving them my porn star name to label my cup
  • Opening my sunroof when it’s below 50 degrees
  • Wearing white afterlabor day
  • Ordering a carb-filled meal at a restaurant when I’m on a diet
  • Not brushing my hair
  • Double dipping
  • Wearing glasses without a prescription
  • Photobombing
  • Eating more than the recommended serving size
  • Sneaking past security at a concert
  • Dating an older man
  • Wearing white to a wedding
  • Sharing a cup with someone else
  • Calling my dad to ask how he is with the real intention of asking for money
  • Only rinsing my hands with water and telling my mom I used soap
  • Sending the Netflix dvds back a week late
  • Letting my gas tank get below a quarter of a tank
  • Wearing mismatching patterns… on purpose
  • Drinking beer before liquor
  • Eating the entire footlong meatball sub and demanding to still be considered a lady
  • Pretending I know about politics
  • Smoking a cigarette, or eight
  • Lying about my age26660_10151252365162559_1982910512_n
  • Lying about my weight
  • Lying about my ethnicity
  • Lying about my accent
  • Lying about everything
  • Leaving my room a mess when I know I have company coming over later
  • Taking a shower and not moisturizing after
  • Day drinking on a Wednesday
  • Leaving a bar tab open
  • Making racially insensitive jokes under my breath
  • Drinking a bottle of wine and getting all active on social media
  • Posting more than one picture a day on Instagram
  • Calling my parents and telling them I’m pregnant
  • Calling my parents and telling them I’ve been arrested
  • Calling my parents and telling them I’m getting married
  • Calling my parents and then hanging up
  • Getting drunk and texting everyone in my phone I shouldn’t be texting
  • Taking an aggressive amount of no filter duckface selfies
  • Sending a hundred snapchats to everyone I have a crush on
  • Changing my email signature at work from Office Coordinator to Tupperware Patrol
  • Wearing glasses and no makeup to work
  • Spending my lunch hour googling pictures of male celebrities in suits
  • Daydreaming about all the times P Diddy has changed his name
  • Doubling down on servings during Bagel Friday
  • Not confessing to all my sins at church
  • Swimming directly after I eat lunch