On tantrums, touchdowns and Odell Beckham Jr. being my brother from another mother.

What do me, and a 5’11 wide receiver for the New York Giants have in common?

No, it’s not incredibly confusing hair or the natural athletic talent bestowed upon us straight from Jesus himself. But I truly thank you for thinking of me and Odell Beckham Jr. in that light. It’s flattering, really.

We both just aren’t having fun anymore.

Let me take a step back here. Two years ago I would have given my unborn child and all of my future stock in Taco Bell to be paid to write. It was all I wanted. The insatiable and unquenchable dream that loomed over me as I sat monotonously day after day at my shitty receptionist job.

Then, one day, it happened. Just like Odell Beckham Jr. on draft day. I got the call. I dropped everything. I made it. I was going to be an all-star wide receiver for the NFL with confusing, yet intimidating hair that everyone loved to hate a writer for an ad agency.

Like my doppelgänger and brotha from anotha motha, I had trained for this. Hours and hours of cranking out things to publish that made me proud. Some that bared my soul, some that made me, and only me, laugh. Others that just made my mom happy that I was doing something besides sitting in bed moping with a glass of wine at 10am.

(Breakfast wine is a thing. It’s called fermented grape juice. Read about it.)

When OBJ got drafted, I can assure with as much certainty as someone who wasn’t with him, that he was ecstatic. And when I got that call, I was too.

But the moment I accepted that job, I stopped writing for myself because I was now going to write for someone else, and that was a far more superior venture in my naive mind.

Two years and a treasure trove of words later, I’m confused.  I sit at a computer and ask my brain to do something day in and day out that it used to do on its own. Except I don’t get angry and throw a tantrum on the sideline, I wait until I get home and cry in the bathtub like a goddamn adult.

Also I’m a Pats fan so this whole meltdown is kind of funny. Cue the 18-1 jokes.

I’d wake up with funny thoughts about being an interesting sponsor choice for Head and Shoulders life or weird observations and I couldn’t wait to rush to my computer and jot them down.

Unfortunately, that rush is going away.

It’s a hard thing to realize that when you started to do what you love and love what you do, eventually you’ll stop loving it. Because work is work no matter how pretty you dress it up.

What I’m saying is, I get how Odell Beckham Jr. is feeling.

What happens when you’re not passionate about your passion?  What if the one thing that kept you sane during a monotonous 9-5 job turns out to be the very thing that makes your 9-5 so monotonous?

Two years ago my life changed. And here I sit, two years later, wondering if it was for the better or not. And I don’t know how to figure that out. Maybe it’s a change of scenery or a different way to jumpstart my brain. Maybe it’s finding out how to reignite that spark that fueled me, drove me and motivated me to get up and write every day.

Whatever the answer is, and whoever has it. Let me know. I’m all ears.

Also, if you have OBJ’s number, please let me know so I can call him and tell him to stop being such a big baby. Anyone who makes that much money is not allowed to be sad. It’s science.

Or maybe I’ll just become a professional dog walker. No one in the history of earth has ever fallen out of love with a dog.

Stand by.

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Thoughts On Cankles, Dieting, and Finding My Voice.

The night before I started my first diet, I looked a package of Oreos square in the eyeball and said, “This isn’t goodbye forever, this is goodbye for now.”

Every. Single. Day.

Every. Single. Day.

Some background on the subject: I went on said diet because when I came back from studying abroad, my mother informed me that I had developed cankles during my four month stint overseas. I guess eating carbs all day, erry day, while simultaneously washing them down with all the beers in the world causes your ankles to swell in such away that you actually can’t tell they were ever ankles in the first place.

I knew that the diet wouldn’t last forever. Mostly because I’m an impulsive eater and can’t keep my hands off of anything that resembles a dessert treat. But it was something I needed to do in order to learn balance and appreciation of food, rather than just shoveling it into my face without breathing.

My struggles with food and dieting is a conversation topic for an entirely different time. What I’m trying to do with that poorly structured metaphor, is explain that some times you need to step away from things that make you happy, in order to better yourself in other ways.

I started this blog back in 2013.  At the time, it was a great way to avoid doing actual work.  I was able to find my voice, define my writing style, unload all my weird thoughts permanently on the internet, and ultimately, figure out that writing was and is my passion, and that I needed to work hard to pursue it.

In January 2015, I achieved my goal of becoming an advertising copywriter.

In short, this means that there has been increasingly less time that I have been able to dedicate towards writing for my personal benefit. Sure, it’s sad, but just like the Oreos, there are things in life you have to give up in order to improve upon yourself.

Only instead of decreasing the size of my ankles so I can wear regular shoes, it’s taking a step back from growing in my personal writing to finding my voice within the professional world.

So this is not goodbye forever. I’m sure there will be gems that I can think of that truly deserve to be written, and they will. But in terms of regular posts and consistent content, I can’t commit to that any further.  For those of you who have been loyal followers, I appreciate it more than you know.

You have given me the opportunity to share my ideas, thoughts, and weird stories. I’ve been afforded the chance to read some amazing posts, connect and network with awesome writers, and find people that I admire, adore, and am completely jealous of their minds.

So check back periodically for some rambles that will most likely involve snacks, wine, and how I’ll really never understand how to be socially acceptable during human interactions.

If you’re not my mom and aren’t already following me on everything, and for some reason want to keep up with me on other platforms, please feel free to follow me on INSTAGRAM and TWITTER, and I’ll return the favor.

I Just Realized, I’m Twenty-Five And My Life Is Over.

I think the best and worst moment of my life was when I realized I had turned into my parents.

Not the sixteen year old realization, though, that would be sad. Not that the twenty-five year old realization is that much more profound.

But there’s something about growing up; I mean, actually growing up that really just grows arms and slaps you in the face and lets you know that everything that happened before this moment was just a prelude to you being an internally old human being, destined to live in yoga pants, braless on your couch watching reruns of Friends thinking about all those “good days” without responsibility.

At sixteen, if I had realized I turned out to be my parents I would have done everything in my power to regain my youth and just mess shit up for the fun of it.  As a junior in high school, you never, under any circumstances, want to be your parents.

It’s like going to that party and realizing that the girl who was always “the mom” was there, and she was going to make sure you didn’t drink too much beer, fall asleep somewhere inappropriate, or raid too much of that host’s refrigerator, so when the actual parents came home, it just looked like the kid in charge got super hungry one night and binge ate all the deli meats.

The worst part about realizing that I’ve turned into my parents is the fact that I’ve followed the status quo – depending on what you believe in, of course – and have finally graduated from crazy, party, uncontrollable college girl into full blown quasi-housewife, happy and willing to anticipate the needs of my significant other far beyond my own.

And the stark contrast is that I’m borderline, if not over the fence okay about it.

It’s like I turned twenty-five and all the sudden my brain cells and neurons started triggering all this nonsense about me not being the most important person in the world, and that someone else’s needs matter far more than my own.  And holy shit, I haven’t even had a child yet so this post will change in about five years.

I digress.

The best part about turning into my parents is the fact that I am saving a boat load of money.  I mean, like, saving is totally the thing to do right now.  I am hoarding without intervention because no one seems to think I have a problem with the fact that money isn’t confetti and I don’t need to throw it around to prove that I have it.

And hormonally, at my age, some people know putting it in a bank is far more worthwhile than drinking four glasses of wine at some bar called “Taco” that doesn’t even serve mexican food.

Sidenote: Not that I don’t still drink wines at Taco and complain about the fact that they don’t serve Mexican food. I still do that. It’s god damn outrageous and the owners need to be quarantined and condemned to a lifetime of solely eating burritos.

The other great part is that I don’t think I’m hormonally imbalanced, although that is still up for debate, but there is something extremely and unfortunately true about the phases of life.

We all go through these stages, obviously at different paces considering the circumstances, but we all do.  Birth to teen being the nourishment, get what we need to survive stage.  Teen to young adult being the fake it ’til we make it stage. And then here, where I am, the holy shit I’ve made it, I’m an adult, paying my own way through life, figuring out who I am and what I’m going to do for the rest of it stage.

Whatever stage you’re in, you’re going to make it out alive. It might not be on your timeline, it might not be the way you want it, but you’ll make it.

Just look at your parents.  The entire time they were telling you what to do, where to be, what grades to get, and what goals to set, they knew that someday, down the line, whatever you were going through was a phase. Because they went through it too.

And when you take a step back and realize that, on a Friday night, you’d rather be home, pants off, braless on your couch watching reruns of Friends and remembering the “good old days,” then you’ll know that you’ve turned into your parents.

Life is funny that way.  Things always seem to come full circle.  The people you distrusted the most and hated being around now become the sole reason for your coming home.  At the end of the day, your parents are fucking awesome.

Because when they had you, they had to wait twenty-five years or more for that moment to come, and think of how goddamn grateful they are that you are just now realizing how much shit they had to put up with in order to get to this place.

And be thankful that you finally turned into your parents.


Have you turned into your parents? If not, are you scared?

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

10300960_3074092526409_78992519920864355_n

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?

The Life of A 25-Year-Old Girl (As Told By Pie Charts)

Because what else do I have to do except draw all my flaws in geometric form?

Don’t answer that.

I’m constantly trying to find a reason that math is relevant in today’s society, because in my opinion, calculators are the shit and I don’t know how to long divide double digits. Don’t repeat that. Therefore, by all my calculations (no pun intended, but totally intended) math is stupid.

But then I realized that I can express segments of my life with pie charts.  I love pie. I love charts. I guess I love math? Did I just become a math person?

What do math people look like? Do they wear glasses? I have some. Do I need to buy a pocket protector for all my pencils? I don’t even have shirts with pockets. This seems expensive.

WHAT’S GOING ON HERE, PEOPLE?

Whatever. Let’s get to the good stuff. Here is my life in pie charts.

25

free time

plans getting readydream jobs broke money marshalls***

What would your pie charts include? Don’t answer that, I don’t want to feel more inadequate than I already do.

 

I’m Not Going To Tell You How To Live Your Life, But I Will Tell You How To Make It Better.

Because I am extremely qualified to do so. Just look at my life, it’s marvelous!

And like most of my advice posts, this one is going to be heavily decorated in snacks. Because I don’t care what they say about emotional eating, it works, it helps, and it’s wonderful.

Calories you eat when you’re upset don’t count. Ask all the scientists I’ve paid off, they are forced to agree with me.

While my mother says the best way to relieve stress is to exercise, I beg to differ.  I think the best way to relieve stress is to take off your pants, get a nice, big bowl of something society would consider gluttonous, and go to town. I mean really, go to town on that bitch.

I don’t want you to think my life is great. I know that my perfectly filtered instagram photos and cleverly crafted tweets make it seem like I have it all together. In reality, I’m just waiting to go home, take my pants off, and dive nose deep into a jar of crunchy peanut butter using a reeses cup as a spoon.

Because no one really likes working. If you do, you’re lying. And if you’re not lying, you’re still in college. And if you’re still in college, you’re oblivious to the reality of obtaining your “dream job.”

And now, I present to you my list of snacks for all sorts of shitty occasions:

banana

frozen bananas smothered in peanut butter and chocolate

Fighting With Your Best Friend/Frenemy: There’s no way to evade getting into stupid fights with your friends. If it’s one of those really bad fights where you’re like, totally done with that betch, you’re going to want to serve yourself a big heaping plate of bananas smothered in peanut butter and chocolate sauce.  If you’re like every other female on the planet, you’ll spend your night spitefully wishing your ex-bestie is locked in her room wearing men’s sweats stuffing her face with Pringles and Pop-Tarts. But you’re going to come out on top, because while you’re not immune to eating your feelings, you’re going to make sure you don’t look like you got pregnant with Ben and Jerry’s baby over the weekend. It’s okay, because it’s fruit.

tequila

Break-Ups: You thought he was the one. But tragedy struck and now you’re left alone. What better way what to channel the horrors of a break up than by going shot for shot with the bartender man on East Ave. The night will parallel your relationship to the point where you’ll actually be happy you’re single. For instance, it will totally start out awkward, but after a few shots you’ll feel great and become more and more comfortable with each other.  Inevitably it will end in some bad decisions, and you’ll wake up in the morning swearing you never want to do it again so you can avoid feeling like this. You’ll learn some valuable lessons though, like never drink tequila ever in life and bartenders don’t make good boyfriends.

apples

apple sandwiches with chocolate chips, peanut butter, and caramel sauce

Going Back to School: Nothing says “I’m finding myself” like abruptly quitting your job and going back to school.  In the event that you may be entering this stage of life, there’s no better snack to help suppress those feelings of inadequacy than a good old fashioned sandwich. Relive your childhood memories wondering what you’ll be when you grow up and immediately come back down to earth when you hurt your jaw by chewing on a frozen chocolate chip. Life should be easy at this point, but it’s still pretty messy and that’s where the caramel comes in. Don’t forget a napkin, you’ll need it to clean up all those broken dreams littering your floor.

birthday cake oreos

birthday cake oreos

Getting Older: Every year there is one day in particular that forces you to remember you’re not as young as you once were. Whether it be a bad hip at twenty-five or your shocking inability to figure out simple social cues when you turn thirty, you’ll feel just fine when you plow through a sleeve of birthday cake flavored oreos. Because now that you’re getting older, people are going to expect you to start sagging in places that didn’t sag when you were eighteen, may as well give them something to work with. Am I right?

sangria

sangria

Quitting Your Job/Getting Fired: There’s not really a drink that says “I’m moving on with dignity” quite like Sangria. Whether you were involuntarily terminated from your job, or you chose to leave, pour yourself a big ol’ glass of wine with fruit inside and toast to some new beginnings. The wine will represent you, just totally getting better with age, but still trying to meander your way through those sour, fermented fruit chunks we call our inability to focus on the task at hand, clouding our vision of the future.

smores

smores with reeses peanut butter cups

Negative Bank Account Balance: All the times your mom begged you to save your allowance rather than spend it on the latest version of Dream Phone are all coming back to slap you in the face because you literally have no money. Without your parents’ support to pull you out of that financial black hole, take some time to indulge in a nice s’more. Because just like money, you’ll always want more, you’re just not really sure if you want to take the time, effort, and gather the supplies necessary to achieve your results. I mean credit card debt is totally in, right?

SIDE NOTE: Yes, these are, in fact, all things that I’ve eaten at one point or another because I suck at life a lot.

***

Are you an emotional eater? What do you eat when you’re having a bad day?

I’m Superior Because I Spent The First Year Of My Life Building A Chin Army

Scowls on my face, don't give a fuuuuuuuuuuhg. 

Scowls on my face, don’t give a fuuuuuuuuuuhg.

People are always telling me a lot of things can happen in a year.  And according to this picture, the better part of my first year on earth as a baby was cultivating an army of chins to protect my head from falling off.

But you take one look at that picture and you can sense the essence of pride my mother must have been feeling when her firstborn daughter turned the big bad numero uno.

And aside from being all things adorable and totally growing up to be an upstanding, completely serious and focused human being, you can’t help but want to celebrate the little milestones in life, even if those milestones solely consist your daughter’s ability to mass produce neck fat.

That’s why I’m here to celebrate, because today, my friends, is my blog’s FIRST BIRTHDAY.

Yup, October 2, 2013, I took the leap into complete and utter insanity and made a website where I complained about all of my life’s problems because I thought I was important enough to do so.

So if birthing and growing a blog for a year is anything like parenting, I’m going to be pretty good at it.  I mean how hard is it to pay attention to a kid for four or five days at a time and then do whatever the hell you want on the weekends?

Am I right, mom and dad?

In all seriousness, I am so happy and thankful for how far this little website has come from day one. Starting this thing as a place where I can write uncensored thoughts – that then became censored because my mother and grandmother starting reading – and having it turn into a chronicle of my life over the past year is amazing.

I’ve always had a penchant for journaling and writing everything down, and never knew that doing so would eventually open so many doors and opportunities to do this in my professional life.

This blog is my creative outlet; but more so a representation of who I am as a person, the way I think, and how I react to the ridiculousness of society and the world around us. I never could have imagined the reach that my posts would have, being featured on Freshly Pressed and eventually leading me to a Contributing Writer gig at Elite Daily and The Eighty8, and somehow making this thing still work to my advantage in convincing people I’m not certifiably insane when I say I want to be an onion ring connoisseur.

I want to thank each and every person who has read this blog over the past year.  Whether it be once, twice, or daily, I thank you.  Putting myself out there may not seem like a big deal, it’s hard when you take time to write something and not have it noticed.  I thank all the people who have commented, liked, shared, or reblogged my posts.  I sincerely thank all of the people who have let me guest blog, tagged me in a blog hop, and followed me on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

I’m thankful that my baby did not grow eighteen chins over the past year, but there’s always the future and I can’t be held accountable for what happens to my brain child over the next 365 days.

But regardless, I thank you. Cheers, here’s to year two, three, and beyond. Maybe one day I’ll get paid for this shit. 🙂

Oh, and if you haven’t already, let’s be friends.

No, You Can’t Bring Your Life Size LeBron James Poster Into The Apartment.

My boyfriend and I recently decided to take the step towards cohabitation.

You know, living together. Under the same roof. Sharing a bathroom. Letting him have access to my Netflix queue. And mostly, trying not to fight about whose turn it was to eat the leftover burrito from Chipotle.

So with great decisions, comes great responsibility: like figuring out what will and will not make the journey from our separate living quarters into the one we will share.

All the sudden, I’m having flashbacks to kindergarten, my teacher preaching from the pulpit sermons of compromise and open communication.  I’m begrudgingly trying to set aside my dreams of having my apartment look like a floor model from Home Goods, slowly realizing that this step is something that needs to be taken together, bringing in elements and pieces from our pasts in order to build our future.

But that doesn’t mean there is going to be putting a nine-foot tall cardboard cut-out of LeBron James in my entryway. Not on my watch.

And in an effort to not totally deter all men from moving in with women because they won’t allow sports trinkets to sneak into their boxes, I’ve realized there’s a list of things girls probably should avoid if they want to make this transition a happy, healthy, and lasting one.

When living with your significant other, keep these things in mind:

The bathroom is a sacred place and he’s going to be in there a lot.  While girls tend to get a bad reputation for taking too long to get ready, boys have a tendency to spend the better part of a year in the bathroom with no consequences attached.

Make sure your bathroom is neat, organized, and promotes healthy cleaning habits.  With that being said, it’s probably a good idea not to have the main bathroom decoration be a collection of tampons of varying shapes and sizes.

Along the same lines, having a calendar is a good way to keep track of when you and your significant other will be in and out of the city.  You can each have a color marker and a corresponding color-coded key.  You’ll have so much fun adding all the different appointments you both have throughout the month if you have OCD, like me, or are just a twenty-five year old who still appreciates coloring.

This calendar, however, would not be an ideal place to mark when your Time of the Month is taking place with big, red X’s along with a corresponding color-coded key that says they mean you probably won’t have sex that week.

Decorating is the shit. I mean, girls practically pee their pants at the thought of bringing in new patterns, textures and colors to their living rooms. Moving into a place with your boyfriend pretty much signifies you’ve almost entered adulthood, so you’ll want your new place to look sophisticated as hell.

Decorative pillows are a fun way to infuse color into a room without going overboard.  These decorative pillows should not be in the form of stuffed animals that were given to you by ex-boyfriends on past Valentine’s Days.

Chandeliers are classy.  But chandeliers solely consisting of old Beyonce cds and candles you used for that seance at a sleepover when you were seventeen are not a way to signify you’re a high class broad.

Physically living with your boyfriend means you don’t have to have pictures of you and him together littering your apartment.  This does not mean you should have pictures of your exes around your apartment in frames labeled “Memories” and “Good Times.”

Coffee tables are a great place to establish yourself as a cultured, well-read human being.  Avoid having Cosmopolitan be the only magazine allowed in the apartment.

Above all, respect each other. That’s like important, I think.


Do you have any tips for moving in with a significant other?

Here’s Some Helpful Advice: Suck It Up.

endurance

i love the dictionary.

They always say if you don’t go through bad things you won’t appreciate the good.

They say you need to go through trials and tribulations to appreciate where you are now compared to where you’ve been.

They say you need to push through, that it’s just a rough patch, and that if you keep going, they say you’ll make it out alive.

And whoever they are, they’re right.  We just tend to forget, or maybe ignore, all that advice when we’re going through those rough patches, when we’re in the midst of trials and tribulations, and when the bad is blocking out all the good in our lives.

We live in a world that feeds off of instant gratification.  Text messages don’t get prompt responses, relationships fail to be defined, and job offers don’t come.  But we texted first, we want to be with that person, and we applied to that job an hour ago.  Why haven’t we heard back?

Our parents, and their parents all struggled.  Yes, our generation has technology, and the ease and accessibility of it has made communication that much stronger, faster, and immediate.  But we, as millennials, fail to accept that regardless of that access, we all still must struggle and endure the worst parts of life, in order to come out stronger, to persevere, and appreciate what we’ve built, just like our parents.

The reality of the world is that things aren’t going to be handed to you, and if they are, you’re extremely lucky and shouldn’t take it for granted.

The internet has made overnight success a seemingly attainable and tangible idea, when in reality, most kids coming out of college will not be on the influential 25 under 25 lists, and they’ll have to work for money just like 98% of the population.

Hollywood has made romantic relationships and the idea of perfection achievable.  And while you should still never compromise on someone with whom you’re going to spend the rest of your life, the harsh truth is that things don’t work out like the movies, and you’re going to have one or multiple failed relationships in order to realize what you want, need, and deserve in a partner.

You’re going to have to start from scratch, try and create something out of your life with a multitude of wrong ingredients before you finally realize there isn’t a recipe to success, it’s all just trial and error until you get it right.

But that’s why it’s called endurance.

You need to have that shitty job when you’re first starting out to know that you’ll constantly strive for bigger and better. There are going to be horrible things that happen to you along the way, people are going to get promoted over you, you may get laid off, you may be stuck in a position for a long time with no room for growth.

But you have to endure it.

You need to have a series of imperfect connections for you to know when a good one comes along. Sparks will fly and fade multiple times until you find one that just keeps burning.  You’ll figure out what you thought you needed when you were sixteen may not translate to your desires for twenty-five.  Or maybe you’ll realize you shouldn’t have let that one get away when you decided you wanted to grow up separately rather than together.

But you’d never know these things if you didn’t endure them.

There’s a reason why life is considered a marathon rather than a sprint.  If we all rushed to where we were going, we’d be dead in nine minutes.  But the beauty of time is that we have it and the reality is we should not waste it.  We need to understand that life isn’t all rainbows and butterflies and there are going to be shitty times where you want to give up, run away, or break down.

But you should just endure it.

Because at the end of that seemingly endless, pitch-black tunnel, there will be a light. And everything you’ve worked for, gone through, and endured will be worth it.

You’ll find the person you want to spend the rest of your life with and cherish the connection you have from the start. You’ll nurture that relationship and use the lessons from your past to make yourself and your partner better.

You’ll get your dream job (eventually), and realize that all the skills you acquired through that crappy customer service gig or the connections you made through that string of temp jobs will ultimately help you in the long run, even if it seemed like remedial work at the time.

Because endurance is the reason people wait all winter for spring.  It’s the reason we lived in that horrible roommate situation to be able to save up enough money to move out and into a better place.  It’s the reason we hate our lives now, but will love and appreciate our future.

So just remember to endure it.

I Wanted A Pony, I Got A Lecture.

Watch out. Marlborough Man. There's a new chick in town.

Watch out. Marlborough Man. There’s a new chick in town.

Every year for my birthday I prayed that I would get a horse.  Instead, I got my cousin’s old sweaters and a lecture from my mother on being grateful for the things I already had.

A hand-me-down, by definition, is something that has been passed on from another person.  Most likely, you’ll refer to that old coat with holes in it that never kept you warm in the winter, or the pair of socks that went through three siblings before they made their way to your feet.

They are the sweaters your brother always wore that made him look so cool, or the high heels in your mother’s closet that your six-year-old feet prayed every night they would one day fit inside.

They are the items that the previous owner took care of enough to live a second or third life.  Like the house that’s been in your family for generations, or that weird glass duck your mom keeps on the mantle, and no one really knows where it came from.  But it has value.  So it’s passed down, kept, and maintained.

In an effort to avoid being completely literal, I want to talk about the hand-me-downs in our lives that are way less tangible, yet far more meaningful.

These are the attributes that have shaped you into the person you are today. It’s the ideals, beliefs, and quirks we learned from people in our lives that had an impact far greater than a birthday gift.  A hand-me-down isn’t just an object, it is something that makes you who you are.

It is your mannerisms; the ways you move, gestures you make.

It’s why you always twirl your hair because your older sister did it when she was talking to boys.  It’s the nervous ticks you inherited from your mother because she hates public speaking.  The way you always talk with your hands because your family always had to show rather than tell you what they were talking about.

It is your perception of color, and the way it can positively or negatively affect your life.

It’s the inheritance of racism, sexism, and the idea of inequality from previous generations.  Views that your parents, grandparents, and relatives had that were unfortunately passed down to you.  Or you might carry the legacy of acceptance, open mindness, and visions of equality.  Your mind is a sponge, and you know that skin color is no grounds for inferiority, and people are people, all of whom we can learn from.

It is your voice, and the way it carries you through life.

You’ll never be able to count how many times you’ve been asked why you don’t say your R’s, or how you got your lisp.  You’ll never be able to explain why you learned to say “draw” instead of “droor,” or “theeter” rather than “thee-a-ter.”  It’s because you were taught to hold your tongue and wait for others to speak, or why it’s your innate desire to blurt out your thoughts without thinking of the repercussions.

It is the lesson you learn from the past.

Whether it be a day, a week, a month, or years, there are people in our lives that have an impact.  It’s because of that time you fell in love too quickly, and from then on, refused to show all your cards from the start.  It’s the friends who made you laugh, realizing you need those more than ones who will bring you down.  It’s that man on the street who greets you every day, letting you know that the littlest bit goes the longest way.

It is your genetic make up.

Or the reason why you dealt with curly hair through puberty when all the pretty girls had straight. It’s why your thighs are thicker and your waist is smaller.  It’s why your face is longer and your nose is pointy, and the reason you can’t digest dairy or are prone to alcoholism.  It’s all the things that make up who you are, and remind you where you came from.

That weird glass duck will always be sitting on your mantle, and no one really knows where it came from.  But as human beings, we are all walking examples of what has been handed down to us.  We represent an amalgam of experiences, cultures, perceptions, and memories, all of which affect how we act on a day to day basis, for both the good and the bad.

And we will all eventually pass those things down.  Just remember that the next time you don’t say hi to that stranger on the street, or talk down to someone without thinking of the effect it will have, or go for the guy you think you can change when you’ve never been able to change one of them.


What hand me downs to you have?