Sometimes you just need crappy country to feel a little better about things.
This is a personal weblog. The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer. My opinions are subject to change. I reserve the right to argue with myself later on down the line when I've learned a lesson or two.
Sometimes you just need crappy country to feel a little better about things.
Shoulder shimmy music.
(Also, OctaHate by Ryn Weaver is now on Spotify. You’re welcome.)
Anonymous said: Is it crazy to move across the country without a job lined up? I have a car, a master's degree, $3500 in the bank, no student loans, and a friend who's maybe willing to let me sleep on his couch for a month or two when I get there, but that's it. Should I go for it, or just try to be happy where I am?
Let’s be serious. You’re only asking me because you know I’m going to tell you to go for it.
Anonymous said: I'm 17 and have never been in a relationship. I've been on a date with a guy, and it fizzled out. I've chatted with guys online and in person but nothing has ever come out of it. I used to think all I wanted was a boyfriend, but when I had the opportunity to have one, I ran away (figuratively). Is there something wrong with me? Or am I just destined to be a loner forever?
Only if you think there’s something wrong with me, too.
I wasn’t in a relationship until I was 19.
And come on babe, all you wanted was a boyfriend? That’s so boring. Want to learn guitar. Want to be a Photoshop expert. Want to dance the tango in Argentina. Want to write a better American history book. Want to taste every Baskin Robbins ice cream flavor. Want to be a sommelier as an excuse to eat more cheese. Want to graduate with a degree in molecular biology. Want to be fluent in Mandarin. Want to photograph the sunrise every day for a month straight. Want to write your grandmother’s life story. Want to be a volunteer firefighter. Want to join Cirque du Soleil. Want to make incredible guacamole. Want to design an app that tells you which of your friends are free to hang out. Even want to watch every action movie ever filmed. But for the love of science, want something cooler than a boyfriend.
leftthesouthside said: Do you mind if I asking you a question that is less about dating and more about relationships in general and self-love? My mother has been emotionally abusive off and on for 10+ years. Though it's off and on, it has been pretty intense and significant. I've finally decided to cut ties permanently in an effort to save my own life. It has been hard. Any words of advice? I could use some sisterly words.
Of course it will be hard. Your life, from day one, was built with space for her, for only her. And as you grew, you built more space for more people, learning how to manage one relationship on top of another. That she fell into a state of manipulating that space into something dark is so sad, but your awareness of it empowers you. You are not letting the foundation crumble beneath your home - you are jacking up the house you built and ripping out the foundation yourself. That’s hard work. That’s disconcerting. That comes at a cost. But if you can do, if you can rip out the grime and only keep what you truly need so you can rebuild, you will be living in a house that lasts, that can weather the wind, that can make space for someone else.
The space built for her and only her will feel weird to redecorate, but once you make that space yours, it gives you more control if you ever decide to invite her back in. Because it will be on your terms. Not hers.
Anonymous said: How does one stay positive when dating Is so discouraging? I haven't been in a long term relationship in 4 years and that time has been filled with overgrown man children and guys who claim fear of commitment and those who want to toy with my heart. Do you just accept that being alone may be a reality to get through this?
Sometimes when I’m on my bike, and my muscles hurt and I’m dripping in sweat and it feels like my heart is going to explode, I repeat to myself, “training is supposed to be hard.”
And it is, but it’s also supposed to be rewarding and exhilarating. When it’s no longer those things, that’s when you need to take a break. Put the sneakers away, lock up the bike, store the gym clothes, and go do something else. Take the mandatory recovery time, even when you think you should be training.
The idea is pretty analogous. If dating is making you this miserable, put it away. Finding the one person who you not only want to be best friends with but also have sex with should inherently be difficult, that’s a pretty rare category, but it’s also supposed to be pretty fun. Go for a walk in a new part of town, eat ice cream on your stoop, actually read Jurassic Park, learn how to paint palm trees on your nails, literally do anything other than dating, or you’re just going to get more and more tired and that’s not how you become a good athlete, errr potential girlfriend.
Plus, if you swapped out “overgrown man children and guys who claim fear of commitment” with “immature girls and women who just want a ring on it” would you want to date that guy?
Being alone isn’t a reality to accept. It’s an opportunity. Take it easy for awhile so when you get back out there, you have the attitude to help you win.
Anonymous said: "I want this, but my career comes first, always. You'd have to be willing to do what I want to do." My response was a stunned silence and whatever sound a heart makes as it deflates. He hasn't been in love before or had much relationship experience, but he is really sweet when we're together. That line though. I mean, really? How can you expect someone else to just agree to drop everything? What about my dreams? You know? If a guy you were into told you this, what would you do?
This man may be ignorantly short-sighted or just young, but at least he’s honest. A few years ago, I operated under the same pretense. I avoided true commitment because I wasn’t comfortable with the idea that at points, I would need to forsake my priorities for theirs. I wasn’t able to articulate that at 24, but that was the underlying sentiment. It’s been a curious journey to see how much that has changed since then, how much more fun it is to be there for someone else than just out for yourself.
Imagine if he’d rephrased it, “I am so excited to have a supportive woman like you in my life, and knowing you’re there at the end of the day will make pursuing my dreams so much easier.”
Semantics, and you’d be in his arms tonight.
Outside of all the checklists and nice-to-haves, what I’ve come to understand to be the most important thing to have in a relationship is the assurance that through thick and thin, they will be there. On your best day, on your worst day, on their best and worst days, you will be there. Because there will be promotions and opportunities and big moves and bigger checks, but there will also be sickness and death, depression and grief. And through every perfect wind and wicked storm, you need to have someone on deck who will be willing to weather it with you. You do it together. Not someone who goes below deck during the storm and reminds you that you’re second to his career. Because if he can’t take the time to battle the occasional storm with you, he’ll come above deck to find the doting girl he put second can no longer stand to put him first. You can weather a storm alone, but weathering it with a helping hand resting easy below deck results in the kind of bitter resentment that will sink the ship anyway.
I’d like to say that if a man said this to me, I would have the courage to leave. But circumstances are unique, the heart is a hopeful organ, and when you just want to be there for someone, could there be anything more difficult than walking away?
One of my favorite sentiments around serious relationships is that your only goal should be to just make the other person as happy as you can, to be there for them, to support them, and at the end of the day, because you’re there for them, they will be there for you, too.
But sometimes, people just don’t have the bandwidth to be there for other people. Maybe it’s timing, maybe it’s personalities, maybe it’s just life, but when someone isn’t able to love you the way you want to be loved, you can’t hate them for it. You can’t hate yourself for it either.
So perhaps the best response is one of equal honesty, “I want this, and I am looking forward to supporting a partner in all their dreams, but only if they are willing to make that same commitment to me.”
Be easy on yourself, love. People grow up. Circumstances change. And when we’re lucky, we learn from our fears and our mistakes. Don’t let this make you angry. Let it make you sad and disappointed and maybe a little leery, but don’t let it close you off. Life has a way of blooming if you’re receptive to the rain.
When I asked you guys what your Summer “Fuck That!” was, it was a pretty resounding, “I am going to look however I want and you all can just deal with it because I’m tired of this shit.”
Buy regular cream cheese! With all the fat! Show that belly at the beach! Join that class! Throw away that mascara! Wear shimmering purple lipstick at the beach because why not! Wear them short shorts with those cushy thighs, God knows I’m going to.
The sads have got me real good today, so in an effort to remember that life doesn’t need to be spent wallowing, here is my favorite song right now. And what would make me SO HAPPY is if you guys would suggest songs that would fit on a playlist that looks like this:
Send me your songs! We’re gonna make ourselves a weekend playlist and we’re going to dance around in our skivvies eating full sugar ice cream when we listen to it.
(Here’s the playlist so you can follow along.)