For every Justin Bieber, there’s a Kendrick Lamar who released his breakout album in his mid-20s (which, news alert, is still young!). For every Jennifer Lawrence being stopped on vacation in New York as a teen, there’s a Kerry Washington who didn’t nail her career-making role on Scandal until age 35. And for every prodigy you stumble across on the internet, there are thousands of later-bloomers whose big breaks just haven’t come yet.
The trouble is, giving up now means your big break can’t come. So your acoustic cover of “Drunk in Love” only got 200 views…so what? Don’t get discouraged simply because something you loved doing didn’t score you a record deal on the first shot. When your quirky Tumblr isn’t featured on BuzzFeed within the week, remember that fires that burn too quickly have a way of flaming out. Let yourself breathe and slowly but surely build something great. The real key to success is time.
3:16 pm • 6 February 2014 • 346 notes
on dating and on love
I have had the unique pleasure to work with CollegeCandy answering questions about love, jobs, boys, girls, texting, cheating, loving and lying every week for over a year now, but the time has come to wrap up this chapter and start answering some lingering questions for myself. Below is my final Dear DBN for CollegeCandy, a compilation of the best advice I’d ever given… or received. I hope you enjoy!
The first few months should be easy. How many romantic stories ever started with, “He dumped me three times before proposing! I cried to my girlfriends all the time!” Please note that this is different from, “I ignored him for the first three months.” It should be easy when you are dating.
Everybody is somebody’s ex. We’ve all dated other people. We don’t need to talk about it.
Do not spend all day texting/G-chatting. My best friend and I g-chat every day, and when she goes on vacation, I just about lose my mind wanting to talk to her. Let your lover feel that way, too. Let them fantasize about having you in their arms, about wrapping you up and kissing you when they see you, instead of listening to you complain all day about how the girl next to you won’t stop smacking on her gum. I spend all day IMing with my best friends because I spend all night not talking to them. People either get day or they get evening because everyone gets tired of each other. Everyone.
The more you need to ask for advice about someone, the more likely it is you shouldn’t be dating them. When I met my best friend, I didn’t constantly ask other people if the things she was doing were indicative of a good best friend, or if I should call her that, or if the text she sent meant she actually wanted to hang out on Saturday. We both started calling each other “best friend” because it was obvious and good and natural. I know this is solid advice solely based on how many times I have cavalierly opted to ignore it and ended up in heartache.
Love and sex do not always pair when we want them to. Great sex does not mean you’re in love. Being in love doesn’t mean the sex will be good. Because life’s unfair.
Don’t “social media” your relationship to death. If you saw someone sexy at a party, would you follow them around and listen to every conversation and try to glean information from every inside joke and immediately follow around anyone they spoke to trying to determine their relationship status and checking who that person spoke to and how frequently and if they talked to that person again, following all of these people around like a poorly trained dog begging for scraps? Because that’s what social media stalking is and it’s tacky and weird. Stop it. People are not meant to be open books for dissection, they’re meant to be fascinating creatures of discovery.
Men typically go after what they want. No one ever said this meant women shouldn’t.
And in Love:
Love isn’t an elaborate YouTube video. Love is doing the dishes and the laundry when you’re stuck at the office and leaving a plate of dinner in the microwave for you. Having three million strangers comment on your proposal won’t mean shit when he doesn’t answer your texts and stumbles in drunk the next morning. Big displays of love are just that: displays. And they can feel good and they can turn things around, but love is a river and it will stagnate in a pool of one off gestures.
Do not try to have serious conversations via text. How many times do we need to go over this before it becomes clear that you cannot convey tone in a text message? That taking a phone call in the middle of a text conversation can leave a three minute gap after “do you love me?” and ruin everything? You can’t even use bold or italics in texting! Stop trying to have life altering conversations on this medium.
Your boyfriend and your best friend should be two separate people. For your sanity and his. This person is your lover. They are not your best friend. Your best friend is a different category.
Ain’t nothing wrong with loving someone who loves you more. Imagine this scenario: you need to pull a cart of rocks to the top of a mountain and you can choose one of two people to do it. The first choice won’t complain when you get a little lazy and he’ll stop and help you up when you scrape your knee. The second choice will occasionally tell you that you need to pull it yourself because he’s had a hard life and my god does he appreciate you for doing that for him. He will also tell you that you are strong enough to pick yourself up when you fall, and baby you’ll appreciate me later for making you dust yourself off, because you’re a strong woman. That second man is a manipulative piece of shit and it’s better to learn that now. Being tough is great. Being tough and having someone who’s like, “I don’t care how tough you are, you can’t push a cart of rocks up a mountain with a broken ankle” is better. Learn this now and save yourself years and years of bullshit.
Fights are not multi-media or multi-topic. Talk about the problem at hand and not anything else. Wanting to hear him say you’re beautiful more often is not the right time to mention that your wealthy, charming and single male boss tells you that you look great all the time. The problem is how often your boyfriend says it, not how often anyone else does. Fight fair. And if he’s the one not fighting fair, just yell, “Objection! Leading the witness into a different issue that can be addressed at a later date but not right now!”
Hug and kiss your person the moment they walk in the door. It helps differentiate them from, you know, roommates. It’s the equivalent of washing a garment the moment you spill something on it – it’s much easier to remove that stain after it happens than a week later at the dry cleaner’s. Now kiss and makeup.
Other men and other women are not your enemy. Your partner has control and ownership of their actions. I don’t care if you find another woman in your bed literally wearing a shirt that says “homewrecker”, she is not the problem – the problem is the person who betrayed you. And if the “homewrecker” tank top is your best friend, then the problem is you because you’ve got shitty taste in people.
Being happy is better than being right. You’re probably right about the year KFC was founded, who played Churchill in The King’s Speech, and how many National Championships your university has won. Look it up later, pat yourself on the back, and let it go. Actually, maybe correct him on that National Championships one because your team is technically family.
Comfortable is not the same as boring and passionate is not the same as good. Think about your job, your family members, your friends… you don’t worship them every day. Some days they’re difficult and selfish and pointlessly difficult, but you don’t quit them. You don’t quit your job because your boss didn’t praise your latest PowerPoint deck. You don’t abandon your sister because she got shitfaced at your birthday and you had to give up your night to drive her home. You don’t delete your friend’s number because she didn’t respond to a text. Relationships and occupations ebb and flow and between highs and lows there are plateaus of living your life, of day in and day out, sunrise to sunset of paying bills and buying groceries, good outfits and bad hair days, and the quiet lull of being an animal living its life. And sometimes, when for the seemingly umpteenth time you come home and watch TV with your honey and think, “our relationship is so boring,” consider that they might be thinking the same thing and maybe it’s on you to say, “want to go for a walk and grab a beer?”
The best piece of advice I ever got, concerning anything, was from my father. I was in the dregs of hating my “pointless job” and wondering if I was meant to seriously create digital banner ads under this much duress for all of eternity and what was I even adding to the world and not understanding why men were such complete gas lighting idiots and how could the world be so pointless and cruel to rip away the one thing I loved the most and why was it so hard to figure out how to cook rice and how was our government ever going to fix anything and what was the point of any of this and why couldn’t I find one single god damned outfit to wear that night.
My father told me to have a glass of water, go for a walk, and calm the fuck down.
Therein lay the solution to everything: we get so worked up, so twisted into our own thoughts and misconceptions and assumptions that we forget today is just another day on top of another day and only in the calm can we see the horizon clearly. Everyone gets worried, suspicious, panicky, and confused, and everyone says things that get misunderstood, misconstrued, misattributed, and missed all together. When we’re doubling over backwards to understand life, it’s worth remembering we’re not supposed to understand it, we’re supposed to enjoy it. Seek the calm so you may see the joy more clearly.
1:16 pm • 6 February 2014 • 249 notes
Um, thank you CravingChanges for turning me onto this artist.
This sound is like some Blondie/Janet Jackson stuff.
And it’s exactly what I needed today.
4:15 pm • 4 February 2014 • 11 notes
Photograph from Toilet Paper magazine masterminded by Maurizio Cattelan with photographer Pierpaolo Ferrari. And then the painting, you know, by me. Thanks to stopdiggingandstartliving for helping me to attribute the photograph!
(Doesn’t the painting look a bit as if the Sea Witch in her human form is seducing Ariel? I have had A LOT of wine.)
12:13 am • 4 February 2014 • 22 notes
There should be gif booths at every party.
7:00 pm • 3 February 2014 • 22 notes
Anonymous asked: Awhile back my friend and I decided to do "This Book Will Change Your Life." Day 2 is to look at people to find out if they're the love of your life, and act on it. We went to a concert and my friend suggested I look at the singer. I was too shy at first, but then I thought of you, and figured why not. I did it, and he did look at me a bit, but I didn't think of it. Today he somehow found my Twitter w/o meeting me. Might mean nothing, but I totally did a hair toss. I guess I left an impression.
I endorse this message.
1:35 am • 2 February 2014 • 25 notes
A few cool things this week, like dream-come-true things actually:
- Rapha has asked me to be one of their Women’s Brand Ambassadors. This is a huge deal to me. I picked up cycling 18 months ago. I could barely ride four miles, and now, I ride around 100 miles per week. Cycling basically eradicated my anxiety, it made me proud of my thick thighs, it gave me a release and a safe place, and I could not be more excited to encourage other women to pick up the sport. So much more on this later.
- I’m doing my first freelance gig for part of the Condé Nast family. (Bless you drewblahblah.) More on that when it actually happens.
- The book is going to be out this spring! Holy crap!
- And then just for good measure, I picked up a new hobby: painting. Because I apparently hate free time.
Have a great weekend everyone! If you need me, I’ll be covered in acrylics trying to convince my landlord to change the pet policy while avoiding any interaction with the national holiday that is the Super Bowl because Sunday is for cycling. BYE.
4:21 pm • 31 January 2014 • 44 notes
Anonymous asked: You are a person who gives others strength... when you yourself are in the lows of life, remember that you lift people out of their own lows.
Painting this, framing this, hanging this on my wall.
7:18 pm • 29 January 2014 • 35 notes
Anonymous asked: first, I just want to bravo you on your latest post about rape culture and on all of your writing. You are FANTASTIC imo. That said, as my internet big sister, can you make me feel better about not having lost my virginity yet with my 18th birthday approaching? Love from New York City
I didn’t lose mine ‘til I was 19.
Excuse me. I didn’t have sex with someone until I was 19. I didn’t lose anything.
Have sex when it’s right for you. Whether that’s 16, 20, 35, whatever. Your body, your timeline. It’s not a race with your friends, it’s not something you owe whoever you’re dating, and it’s not something to vex over if you want to lose it and the opportunity hasn’t come up. It will.
You would not believe the bags of drama that come with having sex, so pardon me for sounding like an old fogey, but just enjoy this time before you need to worry about missing periods, broken condoms, size, premature ejaculation, not being into it, bargaining, emotions that feel like love and aren’t, whiskey dick, sheet stains, sober sex, period sex, drunk sex, make-up sex, hate sex, ugh-I-don’t-feel-like-doing-this-anymore sex, and my personal least favorite: “society told me boys always want to have sex at all times so why don’t you want to have sex with me?” non-sex.
So, what I’m trying to say is, have a wonderful birthday not worrying about any of that.
11:51 am • 29 January 2014 • 82 notes
even on the sunniest days
“You don’t like to be touched, do you?”
The question made me recoil in suspicion, like when a street psychic knows something too personal to have guessed it.
“No, I don’t. How could you tell?”
She had sat across from my desk for five months, but I assumed most people in the office paid attention to the job, not each other. I had assumed they were like me.
“When Emily went to touch your necklace, you held it out for her, as far away from your body as you could get it so she wouldn’t come any closer.”
“Ha, yeah. Good observation.”
I averted my eyes, feeling naked and vulnerable.
This past week, two attempted kidnappings of young women were reported in Santa Monica, both in broad daylight, both on my walk to work. I haven’t had a car since I was a senior in high school. My parents sold it because it would never make the drive to my university, some 600 miles away. Ten years later, I am the only living girl in Los Angeles without a car. I walk two-point-nothing miles to work. It’s not a long walk to a New Yorker. It’s unfathomable to the people who live along that walk. And of all the lovely places to walk in LA, Santa Monica is maybe one of the loveliest. But I have a vagina. Walking is dangerous.
Feeling robbed of the time I used for amble and thought, I stopped walking and started riding my bike to work, knowing speed would favor my safety. I own a bike that is made to go fast. I wear a helmet because I was made to go fast and I have felt the impact of the ground. Biking in LA is dangerous. But I would rather be hit by a car than raped. And yet, in all black, helmet and sunglasses on, face obscured, blonde hair tucked away, I am in danger. A car purposefully swerves in and out of my path, a man leans out the window and yells something lewd at me. Two blocks further, several men yell from the corner. Do not turn your head, do not slow down, do not check to see if they are following you, show no fear, show no fear, show no fear.
But fear is built in when you have to decide if you would rather be thrown to the ground by a car or a man.
My faith in the common person comes across as arrogance when I opt to walk home alone. I’ll be fine. People are good. Nothing will happen. I have already been sexually assaulted by a stranger on the ground in the night. I think it won’t hit me again. Or that if it did, I would survive it, again. It’s not arrogance, or ignorance, it’s pride. I am not the one who should have to change. I am not the one who should have to tuck myself away, wrapped in things to hide me, to protect me. And when I do, when I’ve clenched my fists tight, when I don’t make eye contact or smile, when my face is frozen in anger, I am not the one who should be told to open up, to be vulnerable, to let down her walls because you made me build them. I will not tear them down on your command. Vulnerable is something people have asked me to feel. They have asked me to, as the saying goes, open up. Like women do. Open up your heart, open up your arms, open up your legs. But I am not open. I am not a shop you can idle through and steal from. I am not goods and I am not space for taking. I am not open.
The next time you’re tempted to ask a girl to put her walls down, instead, consider what wasn’t asked that made her put those walls up. Give pause when she flinches and consider from where pride is grown. They raised us soft and delicate, slender and clean, un-calloused and shiny, small and sucked in. We were raised to be eaten alive, and fear is something we feel even in the waking hours of the sunniest days. But if we are prey, mind you we are clever. And if you are Goliath, mind you we are David.
Check out my other pieces for Thought Catalog here.
6:37 pm • 28 January 2014 • 222 notes