Monthly Archives

March 2018

8 Ways to Relieve Stress

Posted in Lifestyle, Work by

Relieve Stress

You’re at that point again. That same one that always creeps up on you and hits like a ton of bricks. It leaves you close to tears out of frustration: you’ve approached the deadline for a paper, your boss asked you about something you forgot to do two days ago and now you’re scrambling to get it done and dog s*** on the carpet again. Life gets overwhelming and we’ve all hit those breaking points where we just want to give up and bury our heads in a hole.

Instead of that, consider these 8 ways to relieve stress:

 

1. Exercise

Yeah, we all complain about it, but frustration and anger are the best motivators to work out! When I get to the gym, I’m pumped because I’m there to move. When I’m on that bicycle, I think about all the insults I’ve ever gotten, even if they’re ones I’ve said to myself: “Why is there so much cellulite on your legs?”, “Why aren’t you wearing make up, it’s like you’ve stopped trying”, “If you weren’t so dramatic, maybe you’d find someone to actually be in a relationship with”, “It only happened twice”, “You never showed me you cared about me”. Yeah well f*** all you guys, because I’m cycling up this giant mountain on this stationary bike while flipping you all off. Use the frustration to your advantage, that’s all I’m saying.

 

Related Reading: 5 Things You Need To Start Doing, 6 Mantras to Live by in 2018, 5 Ways to Stay Focused

 

2. Break Something

I’m completely serious. The majority of the time you’re stressed, you’re frustrated. I had a professor tell me once to take all the glass bottles from my recycling and a bucket or bin and take it to a remote spot. From there, make sure the bin is empty and you throw those bottles as hard as you can into it. It’s an easy clean up and it’s gets your aggression out. Just be sure the bin is far enough away so that there’s no tiny shards of glass coming back at you.

 

3. Meditate

Photo by Kalen Emsley on Unsplash

This may should cliche, but there are a lot of ways to meditate: yoga, sitting in silence, praying, reading, walking etc. Take time to yourself in silence or with calming music and close your eyes. Imagine your happy place and take a few deep breaths to clear your mind.

 

4. Scream

Get it out of your system. Go somewhere desolate and yell all sorts of profanities: how much you hate your calculus professor because they humiliated you in front of a 200 person lecture, how unfair your job is because you’re paid less than coworkers even when you have more relevant experience, how upset you are at your partner because they gave you logical reasons to why you shouldn’t impulsively adopt that dog from the pound. Just get it all out.

 

5. Organize

Get out your planner and figure out what you’re doing the rest of the day, week and month. When you can see what you’re life looks like in front of you, it’s easier to manage. Write out everything you need to get done and fit those tasks into time slots. Check lists are the best because we have so much satisfaction crossing something off! One simple accomplishment is better than none.

 

6. Clean

Photo by Catt Liu on Unsplash

Cleaning is so refreshing. It feels so good when you’re done getting all the crap off the surface and having the room smell nice and look like it came out of an IKEA magazine. I find doing dishes is very therapeutic, since it requires no real thought, your mind can just wander. If you have a really greasy dish, scrub the crap out of it to release some of that frustration! The only thing you’re doing is making it cleaner, it’s a win-win.

 

7. Get Intimate

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: sex is good for you. Get that dopamine flowing, whether it’s with someone else or alone… I’m not just talking about sex either. Even a touch from someone else can make a difference. This is why hugging, snuggling up under a blanket with someone on the couch or suffocating your cat while whispering “I love you” as they try to escape your grip is good for you! Having that closeness with someone else creates the sense that you aren’t alone.

 

Related Reading: 7 Reasons Being in a Relationship is the Best, 5 Things You Need to Stop Doing, Creating a Bullet Journal

 

8. Watch a Documentary

Preferably on Outer Space. Do you realize how big our universe is? HELLO! You are one tiny being in this entire world of billions of people and creatures and microbes. Your issues are smaller than that. Yes, they are still there and you need to do something about them, but don’t make them bigger than they actually are. You’re capable of anything you set your mind too, you just need a different perception on your issues to see just how small they are.

 

The next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a deep breath and realize that there are ways to get past the frustration. What are the things that help you get back on track?

March 19, 2018
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5 Things You Need to Start Doing

Posted in Lifestyle by

Pink and red flowers--roses and peonies--are laid out on a concrete floor. Overlaid is the title "5 Things You Need To Start Doing"

Last week was all about 5 Things You Need to Stop Doing. If I left it at that, it would feel like doing bicep curls on just my left arm, or throwing out the trash without putting a new bag in the trash can. Things, big and small, need to be balanced: so if you stop doing some things, you should also start doing other things.

Just like last week, these are lifestyle areas to draw out your inner happiness and confidence, as well as spread some positivity around for others. You will have to work at it and it won’t happen over night, but one day you’ll catch yourself doing one of these things naturally and that little lightbulb in your head will go off, likely accompanied with the realization that you’ve achieved some growth.

 

#1 Start Speaking Up

We live in a time and age when people are being encouraged to find their voice. Some are doing this well, like Emma Watson and Halsey, and others are…well, not so great. There is still a time and place to shut your trap and nod your head while blending in with the wall paper, but those instances are falling into the majority. It’s time to start taking small and big steps towards having your voice heard.

Let’s start little. The next time you’re with a group of friends or coworkers and everyone is asking “where do you want to go for lunch?” but no one is coming up with an answer, speak up! Even if you truly don’t care if your get salads or pizza or just raid the vending machines, you’ll be the hero for giving a definite answer, rather than just keeping the question game alive. It’s so simple, but it will give you a bit of a confidence boost and people will start to pay attention to your existence.

How about a medium step? The next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, say so. Tell your BFF “I’m having a rough week and need a girl’s night”. Go to your boss and say “this project is bigger than I anticipated and I could use more resources to make sure it’s done on time and done well”. Feeling underwhelmed? It’s okay to say “no hard feelings, but this date isn’t going very well. Why don’t we just get the check now, shake hands, and call it a night?” rather than suffering through another hour and then pretending like you had a good time and should do it again sometime.

Now we’re ready for a big step, and it’s going to be uncomfortable. But necessary. And worth it. This is the step where you start speaking up when things are uncomfortable, rather than gritting your teeth and bearing with it because for some terrible reason, you think that’s how it should be. This is where you start challenging voices of authority that aren’t keeping up with the times, that are delivering false information, that can’t defend or rationalize their actions. It’s time to start calling out instances of mansplaining and hepeating and sexism and racism. I won’t lie, it will be hella awkward in the moment. But later, when you’re driving home and reviewing your day, you’ll feel a lot better knowing that you stood up and made a stand.

 

#2 Start Thinking with Confidence and Love

The saying “beauty comes from within” refers to kindness and a good personality. Wanna know where those things come from? Confidence and self love. I’ll wait for you to pick of the pieces of your blown mind at this realization.

But seriously, we’ve got to start learning to love ourselves, and that starts with the way we talk to and about ourselves. Every morning when you wake up and every night before you go to sleep (or as often as you can), tell yourself that you are great, you are worthy, everything if fine. It’s cheesy and you’ll feel silly, but it will make such a difference in how you present and carry yourself.

The best part? You can totally fake it, and it still counts. In the beginning, you might not believe yourself when you think “I am beautiful” or “I am worthy of love”, but you need to say it anyway, and with as much conviction as you can muster. The saying is “fake it until you make it”. And there’s science behind it to prove it works. 

I’ll leave on this note: how you treat yourself sets the standard for how other people can treat you.

Related Reading: 6 Mantras To Live By In 2018

A bike basket is filled with bright pink flowers to symbolize the love of self. Give yourself a gift of happiness and flowers.

 

#3 Start Challenging Your Conditioning 

It’s like Ms. Norbury said, “You’ve got to stop calling each other sluts and whores. It just makes it okay for guys to call you sluts and whores.” We need to start examining our behavior, language, reactions, ideas, roles, and everything and figure out if it’s something we do because we like it and it feel right, or if it’s something we’ve been secretly trained to do. Our words and actions reinforce other words and actions, like the idea that sexual activity it okay for guys but not for girls, because that’s just wrong.

There’s this idea that the first thought through your head is what you’ve been conditioned to think. Things like “ew, that girl is so fat” or “I have a flat tire so I should call my boyfriend to fix it”. But it’s your second thought that defines you: “that girl is rocking her skin; good for her” or “I should call my boyfriend to teach me to fix my flat tire so I can do it myself next time.” It’s time to start rethinking and going with that second thought. That also means thinking about yourself differently (see #2 above!).

 

#4 Start Half-Assing Things

In the wise words of Amy Phoeler, “The doing is the thing.” It’s not going to be perfect the first time you do it, so you have to start somewhere. So it’s just about the doing, not the result.

I am not a fitness person. I do not love the gym or have a clue about what to do when I’m there. But it’s important to be active and healthy, so I go. In the beginning, I went for the minimum twenty minutes, did a little of this, barely touched that, and then went home. And I celebrated! It was an absolutely terrible workout, but it was more of a workout than I had done before. I congratulate myself on going, on just showing up and doing the bare minimum, because I was focusing on building the habit, of just getting out of my shell and doing it. Bit by bit, my workouts started to increase in length and purpose and I’ve improved. If I had tried to be perfect on day one, it would have been too much pressure and I wouldn’t have even started.

So really, this is about “starting to start”.

A woman sits on a stump by the beach, the wind blowing her blonde hair.

 

#5 Start Going For What you Want

Sitting around wishing for something isn’t going to get you anywhere except Sadville. Want a better job? Start applying. Want love? Stop wondering why you can’t meet anyone when all you do is sit in the dark watching Netflix; go out and make the first move! Or adopt a puppy. Either works.

You can start small (see #4), but you have to start. Saying “maybe next year” is just another way of saying “I want it, but not badly enough to do anything about it, so it will never happen.” Get out of that cycle, grab life for the reigns, and start taking control! Because you can do it, you do deserve it, and it is worth it.

 

When you’re ready to start, I’d love to hear from you! Let’s help each other stay on course towards growth, so don’t be afraid to reach out.

March 15, 2018
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7 Reasons Why Being in a Relationship is the Best

Posted in Lifestyle, Relationships by

Photo by Almos Bechtold on Unsplash

A few weeks ago I had a post saying why being single is the worst. By popular request, I was encouraged to write about why being in a relationship is the best! For those of you who have your doubts about relationships or are hesitant of what they have in store for you, let me help put your mind at ease with 7 reasons why being in a relationship is the best. It’s also a list to help you understand why I missing being in a relationship as opposed to being single.

1. Be yourself

When you’re dating, you’re constantly seeing new people while on your best behavior. But in a relationship, you’ve been with this person for a while, so you can start to open up more and be yourself. You can now take your bra off and throw on a baggy hoodie with your favorite pajama pants and forget about putting on make-up! They already know you snort when you laugh hard and always get the lyrics wrong regardless of how many times you’ve heard the song. This is (arguably) the best part about a relationship because your partner loves you for who you are as a person and that’s beautiful enough.

2. Plus-One

You’ll always have friends that can be this as well, but now you always have a go-to for your plus-one for work events, weddings, or any other social events. The best part about having this person be your partner is that everyone is already expecting it! Now your friends won’t get butt-hurt if you choose one over the other, you have a default.

Related Reading: How to Handle Getting Hit on at a Bar

3. Feeling the love

Photo by Becca Tapert on Unsplash

One of the greatest perks of a relationship is the physical aspect, and you all know what I mean… Not only is sex fun, it’s good for you! All that dopamine in your brain is the ultimate high, but it’s even better when you’re sleeping with someone who appreciates you for more than your physical appearance. The entire mindset is altered, making the experience that much better. Not to sound like a love guru or preachy, but it is an experience where you’re selfless; you become a team in wanting to make each other feel good! It’s probably the best team bonding experience you can have.

4. Feeling appreciated

Dates are great, I will always be a fan of free food and movies, but being in a relationship is more than that. Once you’ve opened up and let someone in, they know your biggest dreams, fears and stresses. All those things become priorities to them too; they want to see you succeed, be happy and pick you up when you’re feeling down. I’ve bought flowers for guys before just because I wanted to, and they loved it! The little things can add up, even if it’s just a compliment on how you look that day or someone telling you they love you.

5. You always have someone to talk to

From my perspective, your partner should be one of your best friends. If there’s something on your mind, you have someone you can talk to about it and they’ll give you their honest opinion. They’re comforting or give you a reality check when you need one. But mostly, they’re there to listen. And that in itself is extremely important.

6. There’s someone to fill your time

Remember all that time you had to swipe left and right on those dating apps? Now you have time to spend with someone instead of doing that. Someone who will do whatever you want to; hike, go to dinner, a movie, a museum, or Netflix…and chill… You now have options to fill your time with more entertaining things with someone who values you and your time.

7. You learn

Photo by Kate on Unsplash

Something in you also changes. When you have someone you’re crazy about, and they’re crazy about you too, it bumps your self esteem, making you happier overall. When you’re happier, you also want the people around you to be happy, so you give more and it makes you feel good! Being in a relationship teaches you a lot about yourself: your interests, priorities, what makes you happy, mad, sad. But it also teaches you that about other people; and with that comes empathy which enforces honesty, trust and dedication.

 

There are so many things I miss about being in a relationship. I realize a lot of these things can also be fulfilled by friends, but it’s not the same. There’s that intimacy aspect to being in a relationship that is so special and makes you feel and think differently from others around you. I’m a fan of being in a relationship, but only when it’s with the right person. If you’re hesitant to enter into a relationship, you should think about all the benefits it has to offer before you dismiss the thought.

 

What are some of your favorite things about being in a relationship? Did I miss anything?

March 12, 2018
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5 Things You Need To Stop Doing

Posted in Lifestyle by

The title "5 Things You Need to Stop Doing" is written over a person climbing a flight of stairs.

The last two years have not been great: I quit the career I studied for, I quit the next career I went into, my depression resurfaced and brought his buddy Anxiety to the party, and I’m in the worst financial situation of my (admittedly short) life. Every day is a new discovery of short-fallings and failures and black holes, but every day is also an opportunity to dust myself off and get back up to try again. The wonderful thing about rock bottom is being able to do anything: I can take risks because there’s nothing left to lose. But most importantly, I get a second chance at building a strong foundation. And I’m determined to do it right.

I’ve found myself doing a lot of self examination over the past few years, especially in recent months. I’ve been trying to figure out what are the little things that are holding me back, that are making me unhappy, that are getting in the way of things. I have these great dreams and big plans, but I don’t seem to go for them as strongly as I could. There’s a whole slew of psychological reasons behind that to keep a therapist employed for years, I’m sure, but there are a number of tiny things I can work on right now. And that you should work on, too.

Whether you’ve already achieved success, are almost there, or can’t even figure out where success is because your compass is broken, there are five things in your life that you should stop doing. I’ve found that these are areas that make me unconsciously unhappy, and that also poison the people around me. So this isn’t about me, this isn’t even about you: this is about everyone.

 

#1 Stop Apologizing

This has some parameters to follow: if you hit someone’s car, apologize; if you hurt someone’s feelings, apologize; if you accidentally feed your roommate peanut butter cookie dough that triggers his peanut allergy, apologize (I swear it wasn’t me. It was the other roommate). But there are other situations when you should rephrase your “sorry” as a “thank you.”

Let’s say you’re running late because reasons. The reasons don’t matter. But you show up to happy hour where your friend has already been waiting for twenty minutes and you’re a bit out of breath because you were trying to be there on time, even though you knew you wouldn’t be. So what do you say? “I’m sorry I’m late”, right? Wrong. Don’t say that. Instead, say “Thank you waiting for me.” It’s a simple change of words, but it will do so much for you and for your relationships.

When you say “I’m sorry” you’re putting the focus on you, and you’re doing it in a negative way. You’re essentially saying “I messed up. I’m a failure.” Yes, you did oversleep or whatever it was that caused you to be late, but beating yourself up about it further is only going to make you feel negatively about yourself, and it’s inviting the other person to view you negatively as well. Reverse it to say “thank you” and you’re expressing gratitude, something positive, towards the other person. You feel good, they feel good, everyone is a winner. Positive vibes = positive life.

Other ways to say “thank you” instead of “sorry”:

  • I’m sorry I’m such a mess
    • Thank you for understanding that things are crazy right now and for still loving me.
  • I’m sorry I’m so emotional
    • Thank you for being patient with me
  • I’m sorry that I need so much attention
    • Thank you for reassuring me and spending time with me

Need some help getting started? Try filling out a few of these “Thank You” sticky notes.

Three women are pictured from behind with their arms around each other's low backs. They are wearing denim and holding baby's breath flower shoots. Photo by Becca Tapert on Unsplash

#2 Stop Trying to Fit into Molds

Somewhere in the course of history, humans created this idea that certain titles come with certain identities. Things like “construction workers can’t be pretty” and “women should be stay-at-home moms” and “manly men can’t wear glitter.” All of those are lies.

If you haven’t yet, you need to go read Amy Poehler’s Yes Please. In it, she talks about “good for her, not for me” and how terrible it is for people of different walks of life to criticize each other. You should not feel bad about wanting to wear a floral sundress right after shaving your head. You should not have to think about what others might think about you if you quit your job as a rough-and-tough business woman to pursue a career as a hair dresser. You should not been made fun of for having a full beard and perfectly threaded eyebrows.

Likewise, you can fully wrap yourself up in an identity if it’s what you like. You’re an accountant and like wearing black suits every day? Good for you! Just maybe not for me. So let me dye my hair pink and go slam a whiskey shot at lunch.

This is about being true to you. It’s the same lesson that you’ve been hearing time and time again since you were a little kid, but I’m here to tell it to you again just in case you haven’t started living it. Be what you want to be, who you want to be. And if people aren’t supportive, then you don’t need them: this is your life, so live it!

Related Reading: 6 Mantras to Live by in 2018, The Two Step: A Bilateral Move

#3 Stop Going Back to the Same Sh*t

You ex is an ex for a reason. That restaurant always gives you food poisoning. You say that you can write a blog post while watching Netflix even though you know you can’t. So stop going there!

We’re creatures of habit, I get it, but sometimes we have to slap ourselves out of it and move on. Because if we don’t, one of two things will happen: either it will continue to suck you down until it’s too late and the damage is irreversible, or your friends will start throwing spoons at you every time you try to talk about getting back with your ex. True story.

If you hear the little whisper in your head of “don’t do it”, then DON’T. DO. IT! If you’re sitting down at happy hour and your conversation starts with “I know you told me not to, but…” be prepared for a harsh dose of reality, either from your friend or from the world. Stop poisoning your own well, stop the self-sabotage. If you can’t do it alone, enlist help: get your friend to delete all of his social media and change his number in your phone; cancel your Netflix subscription (drastic, I know, but it might be necessary. Speaking from experience here); hire a shrink. Take care of yourself.

A woman is pictured walking on a sandy pier between two bodies of water, her back to the camera. It has a light and positive feel. Photo by Mariona Campmany on Unsplash

#4 Stop Letting Things Slide

There are little things every day that irritate you and you know it, but you don’t do anything about it. Or at least not enough. Maybe it’s your roommates never emptying the dishwasher or the dog always tracking in mud or your boss never fully giving you the details of your assignment. Maybe it’s bigger, like constantly being overlooked for a promotion or your landlord not sending a plumber over for the garbage disposal that broke two weeks ago. Either way, those things make you sad and mad and that’s what leads to stress acne and not being able to sleep and feeling sick and throwing things. Not good.

So do something. Either truly fully suck it up and become okay with it on a spiritual level where you are the new Buddha, or speak up. Enlist a friend or coworker or your hairdresser to practice your speech: you want to be confident but not mean, firm but not overbearing. Make it happen.

And be firm with yourself. If you want to be healthier, don’t let yourself skip a gym session just because you don’t feel like going. If you want to learn a new skill, make it a requirement to practice it every day and hold yourself to that. You’re an adult now: it’s time to get off the kiddie slide.

Related Reading: When It’s Been A Long Week and It’s Only Monday, W(h)ine About It: The Little Things

#5 Stop Blaming Others for Your Unhappiness

It’s time to lay down some cold hard truth: take charge of your own happiness. That means either having some hard conversations with people (see #4 up above), or cutting some people out of your life.

If you’re a big dreamer but everyone around you is content to be mediocre and makes you feel bad for wanting more in life, the first thing you should want is a new circle of friends. If your partner belittles you or puts you down, it’s time to pack up and GTFO. If your friend is constantly bringing you down with all her drama and foolish decisions, see #3 of this guide and tell her buh-bye. Hard, I know, but worth it.

But here’s the thing: this item on the list isn’t telling you to stop being friends with those people. It’s saying that you need to stop blaming them for your unhappiness, because the real reason they make you unhappy is because you let them. By agreeing to a dinner date with that friend, knowing you’re going to need to order at least two glasses of wine and that you’re going to walk away feeling down about the world, you’re signing yourself up for a world of hurt. You, not her. If you’re dreading going to the family reunion where your aunt is going to criticize your haircut just because she never has anything positive to say and you go and let her, that’s on you. It’s time to either start standing up for yourself, cutting people out, or not letting it get to you. It’s your life, and you have a say in how you live it, and you have a say of how people get to affect it.

Because here’s the thing: you are worthy of happiness. But sometimes you have to work for it, and you always have to insist on it.

Related Reading: Cherish: A Story of Silver Linings 

Stop Doing These 5 Things
A man buttoning up his suit.
March 8, 2018
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When It’s Been a Long Week, and It’s Only Monday…

Posted in Lifestyle by

Monday

It’s really hard for me to get motivated sometimes. I start thinking about things I should do, like clean my bathroom, dust my room and write “thank you” cards from Christmas, but I don’t do them. I have a lot of doubts about myself and my decisions, even if I don’t show or say anything. This weekend got me on a pretty low level. Let me reiterate this first weekend in March for you and tell you how I was built up, torn down, but still standing.

Thursday

I recently joined a company that is essentially a Costco for travelling. If you know what I’m talking about, you already know what it is, and for those of you who don’t, I’m sorry but I can’t explain it here. It’s kind of like me explaining how I liked a movie, but you have to see it to know what I’m talking about. So I joined  a few weeks ago and had invited my friends to check it out. I took one friend who is incredibly smart in business. He owns his own business and has built it all pretty much by himself. He asked a lot of questions, and by the time we were heading back home, he had me thinking a lot about my life; especially my financial decisions. Yes, this group has potential to make residual income, but you have to work hard at it and I think it’s easier to explain to strangers than people who know me well. It really took its toll on me when NONE of my friends were as excited about it as I was.

victoria-palacios-355597-unsplash

So I found myself freaking out, trying to figure out what the hell I was doing. I have been a temp employee at my 9-5 job for 7 months with an hourly rate that isn’t enough to pay my necessary bills each month. I work some weekends with high school kids for hours and make less money in two days than I make in one day at my weekly job. I’ll take babysitting, house-sitting and pet-sitting jobs for extra income. I’ve been looking at different jobs, but with all the debt I have, I don’t have a lot of flexibility to relocate. I have four credit cards I need to pay off on top of my other debt and my car is barely halfway through the lease period. It seems like I have more than I can financially handle. As the saying goes, “I’ve bit off more than I can chew”.

Related Reading: 7 Ways to Maximize Your Budget, The Two Step: A Bilateral Move

Friday

I decided to do some work for the blog during my lunch period at work (posting on social media (if Belle hadn’t already) and trying to figure out IFTTT (IF This Than That), an app that I was recommended but am still figuring out the ins and outs of). I was also trying to budget because I knew my payment dates were coming up soon, because February is really the worst month. First it’s too short, then it makes you realize how single and lonely you are. I’m not a fan of February.

After I got off work, Belle and I headed down to Highlands Ranch to judge a high school speech and debate tournament. We’re paid by round, and each round has 5-6 kids and lasts about an hour usually. I enjoy doing this, but it is exhausting and my hand cramps up after a couple of rounds from writing critiques, but the kids make it worth it.

Instead of driving all the way back home, we stayed with my parents, who live twenty minutes away from the school. It was 8:30 p.m. when we left and I had made $27.

 

Saturday

Belle and I got up at 6:00 a.m. to arrive at the high school at 7:30. From there, we stayed until about 2 p.m (which is a SHORT day, usually we are there to well after 8 p.m.). By the time we were done with that I had earned $54 in total (almost enough to cover my utility bill for the month).

Since we had an early day, I decided to message my ex that lives in Denver (let’s call him Peter). Okay, I know what you’re thinking- but we had barely dated, then were Friends with Benefits, then decided to hang out and grab a drink casually. It’s fine. As much as Belle would disagree… Anyways, Peter wanted to go to REI and get new hiking boots and wanted me to come with. I told him when I could be there, and then he told me he had plans in an hour to meet up with a friend of his that I didn’t like. And Peter knew I didn’t like him and I avoid seeing him because he’s an a**hole. So I texted back saying I’d changed my mind and would just go home.

The reason why Peter and I never dated was because he was so hot and cold. He’d want me to hang out with his friends, but tell me he didn’t want to when I invited him to hang out with mine. He’d spent the night at my house ONCE during the 2 years we’d been doing whatever it is we’re doing, and has given me one compliment to which I cried because it was so unexpected.

aricka-lewis-208108-unsplash

The way he reacted to me backing out was incredibly frustrating. He told me that it was f***ed up I made him wait on me and that I was being dramatic- “typical Elena”. I couldn’t understand why he would still want to be friends with me after saying all these horrible things that I’d done to him. He had bailed on my birthday because he had “s*** going on” that I wouldn’t understand, he told me he liked having sex with me and he missed me, but not like that- as a friend hanging out, and claimed that I always thought people (meaning him) are screwing me over, when it’s probably me that’s to blame… So I told him it’d be better if we weren’t friends. He took that well by telling me to “stop being so dramatic and you may find someone who you can have a relationship with” and unfriending me from Facebook. Really regretting my decision on breaking ties with this guy…

Related Reading: My Toxic Relationship, The Things He Said, Dating 101: 7 Red Flags You Shouldn’t Ignore 

Sunday

I made plans to meet up with one of my closest friends. I expected it to have the same kind of conversation we usually have: how the guy she’d been off and on for for years was still treating her like s***, how we wished we could vacation and had loads of money to spend, etc. But this time was different. I told her about what had happened the day before with Peter. She then proceeded to tell me how Peter had reached out to her begging her to go on a date with him and he would talk to me about it to make sure it was okay… So not only had he EVER asked me if he could date one of my best friends, he was just going for it, meanwhile texting me to come over at 10 p.m. on a Saturday night and calling me a “dramatic” person. “I’ll buy your Uber, just come over.” Sweet bro.

 

By the time Monday rolled around…

So here I was completely humiliated and disappointed in myself and my poor decisions. I was struggling financially and felt like I was back to square one. I had gone back to the same guy who treated me like garbage, and my friend had to awkwardly tell me how he had been pushy with her and that she had felt awkward and never replied. I felt like a complete failure. A part of me thought Peter was right, that maybe I was a s*** friend and that’s why so many of my “friends” had run away when I told them about an idea I was really excited about. I felt inconsiderate, not good enough, not successful and not pretty.

So I sat on my floor and cried.

Then I got a message from my friend with a motivational video saying how I was good enough. Peter had unfriended me on social media, so I wouldn’t be able to see what he was up to anymore, which was good for me. I went to a wedding shower and won a contest matching Disney songs to the movies (obviously with 100%). I went to dinner with my friend, who I hadn’t seen in years, and his fiance and had a really good time. My parents called me to see how I was doing and my sister had bought the K-Cups I liked for the Kureg for the morning. There were good things happening, I just needed to acknowledge the worst, react to it and get past it.

adam-jang-260876-unsplash

No matter how low you may feel in this life, there will always be more good than bad. Don’t let the turkeys get ya down, because you are beautiful and good enough, no matter what anybody says.

 

Related Reading: Cherish: A Story of Silver Linings, Share the Love, 6 Mantras to Live by in 2018

March 5, 2018
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Elena’s Bookshelf: recommendations

Posted in Books, Lifestyle by

When I finish a book, I immediately start on another. I drive an hour to and from work 5 days a week, and it helps me feel productive. Some books have been good and some I didn’t even finish. If you’re wondering what you should read next, here are some brief synopsis of the one’s I have read recently that I would recommend:

 

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. That means that if you click through and make a purchase, we will earn a commission, at no additional cost to you. Photo credit to Goodreads. 

 

All the Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doerr

booksThis book received a lot of hype when it was first released back in 2014. It’s been on my list for years and I finally got around listening to the audio version a couple of months ago. This is historical fiction taking place during WWII from two different perspectives of a blind French girl and a Nazi German boy.

Werner Pfenning is an orphan who has experience with radios and how they operate. He is recruited by the Nazi’s to track down the resistance in France during the occupation. Marie-Laure is 12 years old when the Nazi’s occupy Paris and force her and her father out to the country-side to reside with her great uncle. Her father carries with him a precious stone worth a fortune the Nazi’s seek.

Werner and Marie-Laure’s stories come together with help from radios and the Nazi occupation. Be cautious when reading, this book is long, has different parts and chapters jump to different time periods. You will need to pay attention while reading, but overall I thought it was a  decent read.

Themes: Historical Fiction, Family, WWII, Adolescence

 

Related Reading: Reading List for 2018What Should I Read Next?

 

Turtles All the Way Down – John Green

John GreenYou will have read this or have this on your list if you’ve read any other John Green books, because his fan base is huge. This novel wasn’t my favorite of his, but still worth the read as it relates to the author on a personal level.

Aza is persuaded by her best friend, Daisy, to look into a missing person’s case, whose reward is $100,000. This missing person is the father of Aza’s long lost childhood friend, Davis. To solve the case, she must get close to him once again, for Daisy’s sake. But Aza finds herself discovering more than where the wealthy, irresponsible father has disappeared to as she discovers how to reveal her true self with the help of Davis.

It’s a teen love story, but Aza has a lot of depth to her character that create her to be intriguing until the end. If you haven’t read this yet, be sure to add it to your list. You can get the audible version here.

Themes: Adolescence, Illness, Mystery, Love, Family

 

Yes Please – Amy Poehler

Amy Poehler

I was recommended this book and decided that it would be a nice change of pace for me. I had been reading a lot of fiction and figured I needed the switch to something more realistic.

This book is about Amy Poehler’s life, including parts before and after her careers primarily on Saturday Night Live and Parks and Recreation. She delves into her struggles and passions and it is all very engaging! I loved this because it was inspirational and funny. If you read this I would highly recommend the audio version because she reads it and has guest speakers who read different parts like her parents and Seth Meyers.

 

 Themes: Non-Fiction, Inspirational, Self-Love

 

 

 

Bossypants – Tina Fey

Tina Fey

 

Tina’s book came out first, but I read it second. Her book is just as inspirational and funny as Amy’s!

Both of their stories are different and unique, but they have a lot of the same struggles they overcame. And yes, of course it’s funny and Tina Fey reads the audio! If you’re looking for some motivation or inspiration, read this.

 

Themes: Non-Fiction, Inspirational, Self-Love

 

 

 

 

 

Related Reading: Elena’s 5 Favorite Books, Belle’s 5 Favorite Books

 

Not a Sound –  Heather Gudenkauf

Heather Gudenkauf

I chose this book randomly from my app. I needed a new read and this sounded interesting so I gave it a go and I LOVED it!

Amelia Winn is a recovering alcoholic who has burned nearly all bridges with her family and friends. An accident years before caused her to go deaf and learn sign language. She lives in the middle of nowhere practically by the river where she kayaks, paddle-boards and hikes with her service dog, Stitch. One day while she’s out, she stumbles across a body of a friend. She decides to look into the case by herself and discovers more than she bargained for.

I highly recommend this book, it was engaging until the end! Ironically I did read the audio version

Themes: Murder Mystery, Deaf Culture, Love, Medical Controversy

 

 

Small Great Things  Jodi Picoult

Jodi Picoult

Jodi Picoult is one of my favorite authors, I will always lover her books. She focuses on a lot of sensitive topics like gay rights. This book in particular hones in on racism, which may be a bit extreme, but is based off a true story and worth the read.

Ruth Jefferson is a delivery nurse at a small hospital in Connecticut. She has lost her husband to the Iraq war and now lives alone with her only son. Ruth is the ideal nurse, having years of experience and not even one hiccup. That all changes when a couple gives strict instructions that all African American personnel may not be near their newborn son. Ruth is in a predicament when she is the only one on call in the nursery and the baby starts to cardiac distress and she must make a split decision to help the infant and ignore the request or stand back and do nothing. Ruth takes action, which leads her into a huge legal mess with a white supremacy family. Now she must trust in her public attorney and her peers to get her through this situation.

You can get the audio version here.

Themes: Racism, Love, Family, Legal

 

 

Murder on the Orient Express – Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie

I recently discovered that there are two movie adaptations for this book, the most recent one starring Johnny Depp, Daisy Ridley, Michelle Pfieffer, Josh Gad, Judy Dench and Penelope Cruz.

A murder takes place on a train departing from Instanbul to Paris. The train is only on the second day when the train is stopped in a snow drift. Hercule Poirot is recruited by the owner of the express to solve the case.

I read this in a little under a week I think! It was wonderfully done and if you read the audio, the narrator talks in different accents and it’s fabulous. There’s also a Hercules Poirot series, which I will be looking into.

 

Themes: Murder Mystery, Family, 1930s, Suspense

 

 

Add me on Goodreads so we can talk books 🙂

 

 

 

 

March 1, 2018
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