Embracing Change

It’s 6:15pm and tomorrow is my last day at my job. I finished all the work I needed to get done. I tied up every loose end. I could have left 15 minutes ago but I feel tied to my desk.

It’s not because I have to get work done. It’s not because I feel pressured to stay late. It’s because I don’t want to leave.

Every time I think about getting up and going home the reality that I’m leaving my job sinks in. Everyone assures me that I made the right move. I was offered a great job at a growing company with a very high salary and the ability to work remotely. I even get to travel to the UK. I couldn’t ask for anything more. But when I think about leaving my current company, the only one I’ve ever loved, I can’t help but be filled with sadness, anxiety, and a twinge of regret.

I’ve never worked at a company I loved before this job. I’ve never had coworkers that felt like family. People tell me that that won’t change and that my new job could be just as great if not better, but I find it hard to believe.

I took the new job because, in the long term, it was the best decision. I know that deep in my heart but right now it hurts like hell. And I know it’s because of one reason: change is fucking terrifying.

I’m giving up the known for the unknown. I’ll go from knowing everyone’s name to knowing no ones and it’s scary. It’s scary to change your environment, embark on new journeys, and start new chapters. It’s hard to walk away from people you care about and join a community of strangers. It’s hard not to know if it’s ok to curse in meetings, drink at your desk, or show up at 10am. It’s even harder to know that you’re leaving all that behind.

Change is difficult because it’s uncertain. What if the new job sucks? What if I made a huge mistake? But…what if it’s not? What if the new job is even better? Changing jobs isn’t the only change that’s scary. Moving, graduating, breaking up, getting married are all changes that scare us. But they’re all things that are part of life.

Most of us will not live in the same town, stay at the same job, or even stay with the same person for our entire lives. Change is inevitable. Change is necessary. Change helps us grow. As scary and uncomfortable as it is, change is part of life. We can stay in the same comfortable situation or we can pursue new opportunities that make our lives better. Sometimes we choose change and other times it’s thrust upon us, like when we lose our jobs, our homes, or our loved ones.

Maybe if we embrace change instead of run from it, it would be easier to accept. Maybe if we stopped focusing on all the things we’re losing and focused on what we’re gaining, we could enjoy it. It’s not easy, but change happens whether we want it to or not.

If we have faith in our abilities, ourselves, and the universe, change doesn’t seem so bad. We need to remember that even though things can seem rocky and uncertain, there will always be a way for them to work out. We need to trust ourselves to make decisions for change and embrace the changes we don’t ask for.

Even though it feels safe, if you stay in the same place physically or metaphorically, you never grow. Maybe change isn’t bad after all.

How to Suck at Relationships

I’m going to be honest here for a minute – I have not always been the best at relationships.  I know, it’s mind-blowing.  Unless you knew me in college, then you’re probably nodding to yourself right now.  Regardless, I’ve made my fair share of mistakes when it comes to love.  Now that I’ve found the most amazing partner and am happily settled in a healthy relationship, I feel I now have the right to judge other people’s relationship flaws…

I’m totally kidding!! That was a joke…sort of.  I’m not here to judge, no one is perfect and neither is any relationship.  However, I am here to tell you that there are ways to suck at being in one.  I know from experience, either as the perpetrator or as the unfortunate witness, so I’m here to help.  If you do these things, you probably suck at relationships but don’t worry – there’s hope!  Just keep reading.

You micro-analyze

At 3:30pm (s)he took 3 minutes to respond to your text so that means they must be cheating, right? No!  That means they were at work!!  He came home from work and barely said hello, that means he’s mad at me, right?  No!  That means he probably had a shitty day!  Don’t read into every little thing your partner does or you’ll drive yourself (and them) insane.  If you think something is up then ask them.  Don’t become a psycho detective to get to the bottom of it.  Trust me, if you’re dating a guy and he says nothing is wrong, then nothing is wrong.  They’re not like women where “fine” actually means “I’m going to stab you”.  Relax.

You never stop talking about your relationship

Whether it’s positive or negative, it’s still annoying.  You should certainly talk about your relationship to your friends and family, but if you start every sentence with “OMG guess what she/he did”, your friends and family are going to learn to instantly tune out the second you utter that phrase.  If you’re upset about something your partner is doing, try journaling about it or even try a relationship counselor (solo or together).  If you’re really happy with your partner, then tell them.  A lot of people don’t tell each other they love enough so give your friends a break and share the love with your partner.  Besides, you have other important things to talk about with your friends, like last night’s Game of Thrones and Drag Race.

You blowup everyone’s social media feed with your relationship

THIS IS THE WORST. If you have posted more than one picture of you two kissing I guarantee I (and many of your friends) have unfollowed you.  This is also a red flag that your relationship is not all it’s cracked up to be.  A #mcm is certainly cute once in a while, but if you find yourself constantly posting about everything your partner does for you and everything you do together, ask yourself this – who are you trying to convince?  The internet or yourself?

You fight in public

This is just mean to your friends and people commuting on the subway.  It’s awkward for everyone involved and a really quick way to ruin brunch or someone’s birthday party.  If you’re having an issue, either table it for later or leave.  Either way, do it in private or you will become to couple no one invites anywhere.  Then you’ll have no one else to each brunch with and that would just be the worst.

You get too serious too quick

You moved in after three months.  You got engaged after six months.  Slow down crazy!  Sure your relationship seems fine now…but what about in the future?  Have you ever gone through a crisis together?  Or airport security?  These are the moments that determine if a relationship will last.  Enjoy dating each other without trying to achieve milestones because your friends did or you reach a certain age.  Life is a marathon, not a sprint.  Like day drinking.

 
I’m telling you these things because I love you and because they’re preventable.  A relationship should not define who you are as a person, so don’t let it.  I see people disappear into their relationships and I know I’ve done it too.  But instead of letting your crazy get the best of you, try to be awesome at relationships instead!  How do you do that?  You take care of your needs first (more to come on this), you treat your partner with respect, and you put down the Instagram and enjoy your time together.  It’s a simple as that.

The 10 Relationship Commandments

Thou Shalt Share the Remote

When the hour of HBO’s Girls strikes 10pm, thou shalt hand over the remote and play on thy tablet or phone.  When the era of March Madness dawns, thou shall hand over the remote and go on Pinterest.  Or thou shalt journey to ye ole sports bar or thy friend’s quarters.

Thou Shalt Keep it Spicy

Should winter descend upon thy bed, thou shalt get creative with games, costumes, and toys.  Heed this advice – all ye new interests must be consulted and agreed upon before thou doth get it on. And the lovers shall establish a safe word.

Thou Shalt Apologize for What Thou said while Drunk/Hungry/PMSing

While anger and rage make take over body and mind, thou shalt ask forgiveness for calling thy loved one “incompetent” while looking for parking, and for eating all of the cookies.

Remember thy anniversary to prevent the silent treatment.

Should this day (or birthday) be forgotten, thou art in for it.

Thou Shalt Not Lie

Unless questioned “Does this make me look fat?”

Honor Thy Partner

When accompanying thy partner to work events, family parties, and friend’s dinner parties, thou shalt not consume too many tequila shots or tell the tale about when thy partner got arrested for urinating in public.

Thou Shalt “Return the Favor”

Thou knows what I mean, ladies and gents.

Thou Shalt Communicate Effectively

Should one partner piss off another, thou shalt express these feelings of disdain in a respectful, mature manner and not ye bar parking lot one month later at 2am.

Thou Shalt Not Depend On Thy Partner For Everything

Thou must maintain personal relationships outside of the relationship with thy partner.  Should thou not do so, thou risks becoming overly dependent and irritating thy partner which could lead to squabbles (and unnecessary drama which annoys thy friends).

Thou Shalt Love Thyself Before Thou Loves Another

Thou must resolve personal issues as not to destroy thy relationship with baggage. As it is written in the great text of Ru Paul’s Drag Race, “If you can’t love yourself, how the hell you gonna love somebody else? Can I get an amen?”

Amen

15 REAL Phrases That Would Immediately Turn Women On

I stumbled across an article titled “50 Phrases That Would Immediately Turn Women On If Men Would Would Actually Say Them”.  Intrigued, I clicked the link and was presented with a list of overly sexual, sappy, and definitely not safe for work content.  Repulsed and slightly concerned my IT department was going to check my browser history, I closed the article and thought, “those wouldn’t even peak my interest let alone turn me on, I would judge that man.”  One of them involved the words “I don’t want to ruin your manicure” (I’ll let you imagine the rest), which is considerate but not arousing.  So, I decided to make my own list – things that would make women/fellow bro chicks (if we could) go from six to midnight.

“Go relax on the couch, I already started dinner.”

“I passed by the liquor store and picked up a bottle of your favorite wine.  Just kidding, I picked up three.”

“Would you mind getting me a drink? The baby is sound asleep in my arms and I don’t want to wake him.”

“You look so sexy when you yell at the TV.”

“I have 3rd row season tickets to the Giants.”

“You like that beer?  I brewed it myself, I actually make a few different varieties.”

“Miss, would you like this seat (on a crowded subway)?”

“Allow me -” ::opens door:: , ::pulls out chair:: , ::helps put on jacket::

“I have excellent credit, a 401K, and a savings account.”

“You have the cutest scream when a pigeon gets too close to you.”

“I love your friends and family.”

“Why are you putting on makeup?  You always look so pretty when you don’t wear it.”

“Your butt is the perfect balance of toned and squishy.”

“Go on and order the cheeseburger, you don’t need to watch your weight.”

“You don’t need to wear heels, your legs already look amazing.”

See guys – we’re really not that hard to please.

Party Girl vs. Old Lady: The Weekend Internal Debate

The other week I wrote about the internal debate I have every morning about getting out of bed on time.  The debate wages between the two sides of me in the morning: the side that wants to be productive and go to the gym, and the side that wants to sleep for another hour.  While the productive side usually wins (self high-five), the debate still occurs every single morning.

Over the weekend I realized there is another internal debate that wages in my mind between two opposing sides: the side that wants to go out and be 21 (well, more like 25 – I have money and (slightly more) pride now), and the side that wants to stay in and be 90.  As I make my way towards turning the big 3-0, I struggle between wanting to suck every last glorious moment out of my twenties and wanting to slip slowly into ‘old lady status’.

This is the debate between the two sides that occurred this past Friday night.

It’s Friday night.  You should go out.

No way.  Boyfriend is out which means three words; Drag Race marathon.

You didn’t do anything this week besides go to work and go to the gym.  You should text someone and go out for drinks.

But I’m already home. And I’ve taken my pants off.  There’s no way I’m leaving this couch.

You sound like a old man.  Come on, it will be fun!  You can wear those pleather leggings you’ve worn once.  We spent $50 on those, we should get some use out of them.

But I’m tiiiiiiiired.

You’re always tired!  Make a cup of coffee.  Let’s grab a few drinks.

We can’t do that anymore.  You remember the hangover after the work party a few ago?  Do you want that to happen again??

You are 27 years old.  You can survive a mild hangover.

A, that was not a ‘mild hangover’, that was a ‘this is it, this is how i die’ hangover.  And B, I have spin at 9:30 tomorrow and I want to get to the gym early to stretch.

Listen to you.  Remember when you didn’t even used to leave to go out until 11pm?

Yeah, I do.  Remember when I couldn’t get up in a pile of a snow because I had too many vodka and grape soda’s?  Not a proud moment.

There’s no snow on the ground, it will be fine.

No.  I’m staying here.  I have my drag queens, my coloring book, and my tasty leftovers.  I am not moving.

Fine.  Be old and lame.  When you’re a mom you’re going to look back on these days and think ‘I should have gone out when I had the chance!’

Perhaps.  Until then, I’m quite content with my old lady status*.

Ughhhhhh. Fine.  You win this time.  But we’re watching Season 5.

Deal.
*I redeemed myself that Sunday with a SundayFunday and getting home at midnight on a worknight.  I regretted everything on Monday.

Life Happiness = Work Happiness (Not the Other Way Around)

Today, a very cherished employee left my company.  Not only was she phenomenal at her job (god help her replacement), she was a genuinely great person to have around.  No matter what was going on, she always did her best and kept everyone motivated with a smile on her face.

As she made her rounds saying her good-byes, I thought about how strange it will feel without her warm, positive presence around the office.  Whenever I felt down or self-conscious at work, anytime I had a meeting with her or even saw her in the hallway, her smile always made me feel better.  I’ve worked in eight offices, each with a completely different vibe and energy, and I’ve realized it’s VERY rare to find people who make you smile.

It’s very easy, almost too easy, to let life’s bullshit bring you down, especially at work.  At one of the offices I worked in, it seemed like there were only two people (out of sixty) who didn’t look completely miserable.  For over a year, I was one of them.  I didn’t have the most exciting job, but it caused me zero stress, I made friends in the office, and my paycheck (barely) allowed me to live in my own (tiny) apartment and have fun with my friends.  But somewhere along the way that stopped being enough.  I got this idea in my head that my job defined who I was.  I mean “what do you do?” is usually one of the first things you ask someone when you meet them for the first time.  Suddenly I wasn’t fulfilled by my job and before I knew it, I was miserable at work.  I decided I needed to make a change, so I found a new job in a new city and set out to start a new life.  You know what happened?  I was still miserable.  Even more than I was before.  Thus began, the year of job hopping.  In one year, I had five different jobs at five different jobs.  To my credit, only two of them were full-time, but three of them had the potential to become full-time (the other was freelance because I needed the money).  Every time I switched jobs it was a huge blow to my self-esteem.  If my self-esteem had been a log at that first job, it had been whittled down to a toothpick by the time I got to my current job.

It’s been almost two years since I made the decision to leave that first job, and I finally learned what my problem was – as corny as it sounds, I was putting all my eggs in one basket.  I was looking at my job as not only my identity, but as an indicator of my self-worth.  As I mentioned, my jobs didn’t work out which I internalized as me not working out.  I believed everything that went wrong must have been some reflection of myself.  When you feel that way inside, it’s almost impossible not to show it on the outside.  Even if you don’t realize you’re doing it; if you feel miserable, you probably look miserable.

You know what else I learned?  Happy people avoid miserable people.  Not in the sense that they don’t want to help someone who’s upset.  Think of it this way – if you’re walking down the street and you see someone stomping down the sidewalk looking pissed or upset, you’re probably not going to smile at them and say “good morning!”  I know this is New York so saying “good morning” would be weird even if the person looked happy, but you get what I’m saying.  Frowns and scowls are not inviting.

But what if your job is making you miserable?  Then what do you do?  I never advocate pretending to be happy or forcing a smile.  Forced smiles usually make people look insane.  If you’re stuck at your job until you find a new one or get through a rough patch, do this instead – put it in perspective.  Easier said than I done, I know.  I have to actively do this a lot because I take every single thing WAY too personally, but I swear it helps.

Think about this:

  • Does your job allow you to pay for rent and/or groceries?
  • Does your job give you health insurance or other benefits?
  • Does your job allow you to do fun things with your friends (like going out to dinner) or for yourself (like buying a new shirt)?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then that’s a reason to be happy; you have something that gives you something you want.  Try to look at the things in your life that make you happy and feel good about yourself.  Like I feel really good when I’m out with my friends.  My job allows me the time, since I don’t work 90 hours a week, and the salary to be able to go out for dinner or drinks.  I don’t make enough to do it every night, but then again I wouldn’t want to go out every night.  My job also allows me to pay rent for my apartment which is where I get to spend time doing other things that make me feel happy and important, like writing or cooking dinner for my boyfriend.

It’s taken me two years to realize this and is still something I have to remind myself, but there are lots of things in life to be happy and grateful for, even if one big thing makes you unhappy.  When work makes me feel inadequate and useful, I try to remember that my job title is not my whole identity.  I may be a technical writer, but I’m also a blogger, a whiskey enthusiast, a dancer, a CrossFitter, an animal lover, a cook, and a lot of other things.  I’m lucky to have a job, even when it makes me stressed or upset, because it lets me be some of those things (especially a whiskey enthusiast) and have the freedom and ability to become other things.

If your job is bringing you down, try to focus on what it allows you to do, no matter how small.  That way you’ll feel better about yourself and create a positive environment around you.  Who knows, maybe you’ll be the smiling person that helps other people who are feeling down feel better.

Growing Older…and Loving It

My late twenties are aggressively different from my early twenties.  I’ve said goodbye to the days of waiting on line to get into a bar or wearing heels without having flip flops in my purse, and hello to early morning spin classes and farmer’s markets.  And you know what?  I’m not ashamed of it.  I still enjoy the occasional late night out but I legitimately prefer going to bed before 11:30 (10:30 on weeknights) and replacing my white wine night cap with peach sleepy-time tea. There are certain things I did in years past that just don’t fly now…and I’m ok with that.

Not wearing a coat out to a bar

If it’s cold I’m wearing a goddamn coat. I will hold it and complain that I refuse to pay to check my coat, like an adult.

Dressing provocatively

Although I’m in a serious relationship, I feel fairly confident that my opinion on this would not change – seeing my boobs in a privilege. Not everyone on the street gets that privilege.

Getting too drunk to get myself home

The days of being luggage are long gone. Not only are they inconvenient and dangerous (plus really not appreciated by friends/ S.Os), but the next day hangover is just out of control.*

*Ok so at my company summer party I couldn’t do it…but that was one time. I’m not perfect.

Sleeping past 9:30am on the weekends

The day might as well be over. Plus all the good produce at the farmer’s market is gone by 10:30am.

Staying up past 1:30am ever

The next day is shot. Plus I’ve noticed I physically start to feel like crap and will be super cranky the next day if I stay up past 1:30am. Especially if I eat drunk pizza….I’m like a gremlin.

Buying cheap clothes

A real paycheck means I should buy real boots that don’t have cardboard soles.

Going out Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night

It’s just too much.  One hangover is bad enough, but two or even three in a row?  I can’t even.  I have no shame in staying in on a weekend night.

Dating inappropriate people

Again, I’m in a serious relationship, but he is an incredible partner. He’s smart, funny, caring and he even has a 401k and a Life Insurance policy. Were I single, I would aim for someone with a job, less that 2-3 roommates, and a hobby that was not drinking or video games.

Eating/drinking crap

This isn’t even a vanity thing, I seriously feel like garbage if I don’t eat well.  Weekend binges of beer, wings, and pizza leave me filled with agita and regret.

Even though I’ve said goodbye to my early twenties and am creeping ever closer to my thirties, I feel pretty good.  I’m still in that sweet spot where my disposable income can go to shopping and good whiskey instead of diapers and a mortgage. Not too shabby.