All in Relationships

Say What You Need

Now maybe it wasn’t your family or your upbringing that made you neglect voicing your needs. Maybe it was a toxic relationship or a difficult work environment. Maybe it was someone who told you that your needs were selfish or that the desires of your heart didn’t matter.

Whatever it was, I urge you to identify those people or experiences or situations and start using that knowledge to change.

New Things, Better Things (A Reprise): Words for When You're Stuck in the Past

But while I’ve tried to convince myself that I am looking forward, staring straight at the wide open interstate ahead, I spent so many months still sneaking peeks into the rearview mirror every few seconds, not quite accepting that the road behind me is, in fact, behind me.

But this story isn’t the whole of my story, only a minor plotline amongst the greater. Even so, ignoring it won’t erase it like the stroke of the delete key. It may be a minor plotline, but it is a plotline woven tight around the greater story of my life for several years now.

I can’t ignore it.

A Beginner's Guide to the Enneagram

Maybe you, like me, have become curious about the Enneagram because it is popping up everywhere in conversations and on your social media timeline. Maybe you know everything there is to know and have become quite fluent in Ennea-lingo (you even know that there are sub-types!). 

Maybe this is the first time you’re ever hearing about this weird test and you’ve spent the last four paragraphs trying to figure out how to even pronounce the word “Enneagram” (In-ee-a-gram, for the record).

No matter where you’re at, we can all use some guidelines when it comes to personality tests, because none of us are immune to over-identifying, self-shaming, and becoming a walking personality-test-fulfilling prophesy. So, without further ado, here are my dos and don’ts of Enneagram-ing. 

The Battle to Overcome Your Rejection

Rejection is an issue I’ve had to wrestle hard with over the last three years. Every time Rejection and I had to face off in the boxing arena, I would always end up slammed and pinned down. In boxing, you have ten seconds to get yourself up before the game is over. For me, it took months before I could even peel my head off the floor.

How to Respond to Someone Else's Grief

But this post isn't about my own grief. It's not about the tears I've cried, or the questions I've asked. It’s not about my own days where getting out of bed felt too hard.

It's about a different side of the fight. It's about your mom's grief when she loses her college roommate. And your best friend after she has a miscarriage. It’s about all the people you encounter, telling you about their grief.

So Lonely I Could Die: What I Have Learned About Loneliness

The night it happens I’m alone. Afternoon slides into darkness, a day gone without notice. I put on a rom-com. I paint my nails. I wait.

I’m jonesing for junk food, so I walk up over the hill and get fries and a shake at the Park Street McDonald’s. On my way home through the Common, it starts to pour. My sandals take on water like a sponge. I squelch up to the third floor and towel off. The fries are cold and the milkshake is cloyingly sweet. I regret ever wanting them. I am still alone.

Modernity Has Failed Us

Don’t paint me as a “let’s just go live off the grid among the wolves and chipmunks” advocate just yet. Systems are important for order; this isn’t a rally cry to take up pitchforks and torches and proclaim anarchy. We should still get our “I Voted” stickers; we should still call our senators; we should still work actively within our institutions to demand justice. These are good, important, necessary things that we are called to do. But if we seek absolute safety in our systems, we will be disappointed. 

Systems are not strong enough to hold our hope.

Cultivating Community in Post-Grad Life

I work about an hour away from where I live, so finding those same connections has been discouraging at times. I cannot tell you how many Google searches I have done for “young professional groups near me,” “young adult singles ministries,” and every variation you can think of only to find myself hours later with no better answer than when I first unlocked my phone.

The easy route that seems so appealing because it requires no effort is to simply wait it out—wait for the “right” people to fall into your lap. But not making a decision is a decision in and of itself. I have found that looking for brand new, unfamiliar territories right off the bat can be daunting and intimidating, especially for an introvert like myself.

FROM THE ARCHIVES: Making Time for Yourself

I’ve allowed myself to fall into this routine that is toxic to my personal productivity. And I’m the type of person who cannot be fully satisfied from just work, I need to see advancements in my personal life to feel a real sense of accomplishment. But lately, I’ve spent every free moment thinking of all the things I need to do and dreaming up all the things I want to do that I don’t leave myself enough time to actually do them.

On Loneliness

Making the most of loneliness means not nursing the discomfort of emptiness but creatively discovering new ways to fill it. Singleness may not always naturally fill our time or our hearts, but there is plenty of fullness to be experienced if we only choose to fill the space with, well, whatever the heck we want.

10 Tips for Online Dating

The world of swipes and texting and endless first dates can be pretty bleak when you’re one of the few souls looking for a "real connection." Hookup culture could be blamed for some of this, but I find so many people, myself included, want an instant connection, because putting in the work of actually getting to know someone (in real life, not on a phone) is arduous and requires sacrifice and vulnerability that we aren’t ready to give.

FROM THE ARCHIVES: Finding the Happiest Hour

Between stressing for Walter White’s father-of-the-year-campaign and my ambiguous job future, the happy hours continued. I have the utmost appreciation for these friends that took me out of my own darkness and enjoyed a beer or two. We treasured our three dollar drinks, our pita and chips, our half off cocktails, our half off wines, our chances to escape the pressures of “do you have a job yet?” and the looming student loan emails. The bitter hops of a summer ale washed away our problems, reminding us that if Emily Blunt and John Krasinksi found each other, we too can find jobs and futures that welcome us wholeheartedly.

FROM THE ARCHIVES: It's Okay That People Leave

It’s okay that people leave—I think that’s something we rarely hear anymore. Our emphasis so often heads toward the dramatic. Big fights, long-distance forgetfulness, regrets and bitterness over something that used to fill you with so much sweetness. But then there are the people who just left, or maybe you left them. Your lives took you in two different directions and you drifted.