All in Relationships

Make An Effort: 5 Things I Learned About Keeping Friendships After College

About a year ago, halfway through my senior year, one of my friends who had just graduated said, “Maintaining friendships in post grad life is hard, but it’s all about making an effort.”

I believed this at the time but I was still in denial that I wouldn’t be as close to my best friends as I was in college. How could everything change so quickly? Would all of the effort we had put into these friendships these past four years just go to waste?

What A Thrifted Table Taught Me About Waiting

But I was tired of waiting. Tired of being single. Done with the questions at family gatherings about why I’m not dating. So I settled on a relationship I knew wasn’t right for me.

And you know what? I was miserable. The relationship drained the life right out of me, and I felt empty, anxious, and confused. As much as I’d love to channel T Swift right now and insert a chorus about all the shitty things he did, I’ll save that for another time.

The Year of No Bullshit

A dozen times, so far. That’s how many times I’ve been there in 2018 as I write this—so, on average, once a week. And with margaritas between us, I’ve listened to friends put words to heartbeats: fears of being disposable, fears of falling behind in careers, fears of making mistakes, fears of commitment, fears of vulnerability. All broken, fearful hearts shared over reasonably-priced Mexican fare.

What I've Learned About Dating By Going On Less Than One Date

Less than a week ago I turned 25. I had a very excited boy text me multiple times, wishing me happy birthday and triple checking to make sure I was having a good day. This is truly the most commitment I have gotten out of the opposite sex in my quarter of a century. In part, this is because I have become very good at maintaining my singleness. Even without my deeply rooted fears of commitment and affection from men, I am still incredibly independent, stubborn and an always-fun split between a damn lady who needs to be courted by a gentleman and a damn feminist who will not tolerate inequality of any kind, so don’t you dare try to hold open my car door. My Bumble profile basically writes itself.

Why It's Okay to Take A Break from Dating in Your Twenties

If you’ve also been considering taking a break from the dating scene, here is your sign to go for it! During this time away, I’ve discovered that there are so many other areas of our lives in which love can also be found. Making healthy changes in these areas will positively impact our lives so much, that they will undoubtedly prepare us to become better partners when we do finally decide to get back out there and venture into the world of dating once again. We can use this time to do the following.

FROM THE ARCHIVES: What You Should Know About Waiting

Over coffee one weekend, my friend poured out her thoughts in the vein of frustration with her first full-time gig after college. Her angst was stemming from the general discontent of routine and the initial feeling—3 weeks in—that her job was meaningless and seemingly dead-end.

As I listened, I felt the ping of familiarity with these sentiments—feeling discontent with the present and frustration of waiting for the future.

She asked me, “How long does it take for this to go away?”

23 Love Lessons

In the midst of this season, there is something I’m learning about. I’m discovering what it is to be loved, even in the face of my failures and weaknesses. I’ve spent the last 8 months with a man who is far more than I deserve, who holds me together on the bad days, and who is my daily reminder that I am not empty of life, or of growth.

I don’t want to tell you that being in a relationship is better than being single, or add to the lies that you are not fulfilled, loved, or good enough without a partner. But I want to share the things I’m learning from this mysterious love thing; 23 things that have shaped me before my 23rd birthday.  

FROM THE ARCHIVES: The Worst & Best Year of My Life: A Comeback Story

After college, everyone is going to tell you that life is hard. The real world can be tough. To just have faith. That you’re worth more than your mindless desk job or your asshole ex-boyfriend or your student debt. And all of that is true. So, so true. Listen to those people.

But what they won't tell you is that when the joy of graduation has worn away, when you're loosed upon this crazy world, you might gaze into the rest of eternity and wonder what the hell you're supposed to do now. You might be scared to death. And you might have to wait a while to really feel worth a damn again. It may take a month, six months, two years, five.

Weight Loss and Worthiness, Part II

I was in fifth grade the first time I denied myself food to lose weight. It started because a boy I really liked asked me to dance at a school event one Friday night. I found out the next day that he had been paid to do so and him and his friends had an array of inside jokes involving how many fat rolls they could count on my stomach. I vowed to never eat a thing containing sugar ever again.

On Public Words of Lessons Learned and Private Lose Your Shit Moments

A couple of weeks ago—two days after sitting on cactus-covered mountains in Phoenix and journaling words of life and growth in the desert—I lost my shit. You know these type of lose-your-shit moments: the one where Truth and Reason go on an overnight trip without you, leaving you alone at home with all these crazy, irrational thoughts—thoughts that you KNOW aren’t true, but thoughts that you decide to throw a rager with anyways.

Returning to the Desert: When Life Feels Dry and Despairing

I have friends who are in the desert right now. Life feels dry; hope feels impossible. Every day is the same, wandering through an endless stretch of sand and rocks without a clear sense of direction, the sun beating down without reprieve. As the infinitely-wise sociologist and author Brené Brown writes, “Despair is a spiritual condition. It’s the belief that tomorrow will be just like today.” The desert feels so much like a place of despair, a place of death.

What You Can Learn from Chance Encounters

Despite my desire to be productive and quiet, I allowed myself a moment to listen. Several minutes later, and I was able to gain a few nuggets of wisdom from this man. His genuine need to be heard was warranted, as I walked away with new insights. Though nothing was entirely new, hearing simple reminders from an older person made them somewhat fresh. I was reminded that life flies by, that stressing out about things out of your control only lengthens the misery, and that being there for other people is a mutually beneficial practice.

FROM THE ARCHIVES: When It's the New Year and Everything Is Different

I couldn’t bind up other people’s problems and make everything okay. I just couldn’t. I learned that I am not superman; I can’t save people. I learned that sometimes people choose to be unhealthy, that they choose to be in dangerous situations, but that I don’t have to support bad choices. I learned that I can walk away. Sometimes walking away means that you lose a friend, but it often means that you gain some clarity and peace. I learned that I can’t please everyone because in the words of Brené Brown I’m not “the jackass whisperer.”

You Knelt Beside My Hope Torn Apart

“It’s called real life, and it’s cracked and fragile.”

Real life seems to be awfully cracked and fragile lately.

I have friends who are hurting—friends mourning the unexpected death of family, friends grieving the loss of friendships, friends fearing potential layoffs, friends aching from loneliness or a feeling of not measuring up to their peers. So many people in my life seem to be carrying with them their own fanny pack of hurts these days.