Friday, September 23, 2016

'that sucks.'

There's an episode of Parks and Rec where a pregnant Ann is hiding from Chris because she wants to complain and vent, but every time she does, he immediately jumps into problem-solving mode. She ends up finding temporary refuge in some of the office gang who get together semi-regularly to vent, and she says: "You know what my biggest complaint is? I have a million things I need to complain about, and I can't take them home because Chris is the most considerate person in the world, and he just wants to help me, and then I feel bad about that, and then I get annoyed that he wants to help me, and I feel even worse about that!"

It's selfish, arguably, but I think we've all been there: sometimes, when life dumps a pile of lemons on you, you want to just roll around and cry for an hour before jumping into action mode. You want someone to agree with you that, yes, the situation sucks, but it's OK that you're acting like a 5-year-old right now. Because you know it's not a moment of pride to be a ranting, raving puddle, but damnit, you want someone to tell you it's fine for that one moment.

Because, chances are, once the anger, hurt, and frustration subsides, rationality will kick in and you'll calm down or you'll be ready to hear a voice of reason. Nobody wants to be told in the first 30 seconds of a rant that they're being dramatic (even if they are). 

The other night I was feeling particularly low about something and sent a string of text message rants to my best friend. Her response was a sad face emoji and an agreement that the situation sucks and that me feeling like crap was justified. Instantly, I felt better. Like I wasn't crazy or dumb for being mad about something that could've been seen as "small" or "insignificant," because she understood that my frustration was tied to a larger problem I had been struggling to voice for some time. Now, 48 hours removed from that moment, I can look back and say, "You know what, it'll be OK." 

And it will be. It might suck, but it'll be OK.

Monday, September 19, 2016

5 things I learned from watching (and re-watching) Gilmore Girls.

We're two months away from Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, and I've been binge-watching all seven seasons to prepare. (OK, let's be honest: I'd be binge-watching whether Netflix was doing a revival or not!)

Gilmore Girls has always been my "comfort show," the show I've turned to when I'm feeling sad or overwhelmed. It's also been a show I've watched with family and with friends, and laughed over and repeated the lines and shared inside jokes for years and years and years.

It's also a show that's given me a lot of life lessons, and on every re-watch of a season, I feel like I'm learning something new depending on where I am in life and what character I'm identifying with. Here are a couple of those lessons (just five for now, because if I don't limit it, I'll go on for paragraphs and paragraphs and paragraphs...) – mainly seen through the eyes of Rory, who I always identified with because we were closer in age while I was growing up and watching in real time (I also may or may not have majored in journalism because of the character...*cough*...):

1. Don't let relationships consume you. In Season 1, Episode 8 ("Love and War and Snow"), a newly coupled Rory and Dean are so focused on each other, that Rory doesn't realize she's been blowing Lane off. And if you've ever felt like a third wheel (I think we all have), you'll know it pretty much sucks. Later in the episode, Lane awkwardly runs her fingers through her high school crush's hair and when she tries to talk to Rory about it, they end up fighting. "I don't need you to be sorry," Lane says to her at one point. "I just need you to be there."

I've been the person before who's been ditched when her friend starts dating someone new, and I've also been the person who's done the ditching because of a new relationship. Both positions are crappy ones to be in. It's all just a matter of balance, right? Be happy and in love! But don't forget about your friends – especially when they need you the most.

Friday, September 16, 2016

normal things I am bad at that other people seem not-so-bad at.

While comparing yourself to other people is obviously unhealthy and (let's face it) downright silly, I think it's fair to do a bit of ranting on one's own personal blog – and also, it's 3 a.m. and I can't sleep.

Normal Things I'm Bad At That Other People Seem Not-So-Bad At:

1. Sleeping. Obviously. It's 3 a.m. and I'm sitting here typing this. If you know me, you know that my top struggle is sleeping well. Even when I try to go to bed early, I'm up. This seems to be a recent phenomenon in my life, as I always slept "when I was supposed to" back when I had to catch the 5:45 a.m. bus, but I think the combination of stress and my brain being broken is causing me to be up when the rest of the world is enjoying their REM cycles.

2. Putting on mascara. I've never really had eyelashes to deal with, but now I do and I don't know what I'm supposed to do with them. I bought this eyelash primer last weekend, recommended by a colleague, and it's given me these nice extended lashes to sweep mascara over, but I normally end up jabbing myself in the eye at least twice before I am even slightly successful. I think I've always liked the idea of mascara more than the actual act of using/wearing it.

3. "Boy talk." If you ever want to talk about your boy problems at me, I'm all ears. But I've learned I'm terrible at giving practical advice (or, at least, the advice you probably want to hear). Once, a friend was ranting to me about how dating was exhausting, but she was also dating three separate men, so I told her to just...stop dating all of them. And then she got mad and we had a fight and didn't talk for a month. So now when people want my advice about boys, I usually just ask them questions about what they want to do or how they feel, and wait for them to come to their own conclusions which, honestly, I feel is a better way for me to be a friend sometimes anyways.

4. Watching TV shows through. I stopped watching House of Cards a couple episodes into season 3. I never picked How To Get Away With Murder back up after a hiatus, even though I still maintain it's an excellent show (sigh). I never watched the last episode of last season's Top Chef. Now that I think about it, I never watched the last two episodes of Mad Men. I just read about it. This is your invitation to judge me.

5. Remembering the day of the week. I have to ask my team multiple times a day what day of the week it is. I genuinely just don't remember. Maybe I should get more sleep.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

starting a bullet journal (and what I've learned from it).

I've always loved paper planners, but I've always been horrible at maintaining one. Often times I would buy a planner (or be given one) and only use it for a month or two before losing it or falling out-of-date with it – usually because my Google Calendar served as a better alternative, and I keep my phone on me at all times and spend my life sitting in front of computers; or, because, I am an absurdly stubborn perfectionist and one mistake or missed day in my planner throws me off.

So when everyone and their third cousin started talking about bullet journaling, I was immediately both interested and skeptical: interested because it seemed to combine my two favorite things (to-do lists and neat schedules), but skeptical because blank pages were too big of a canvas for me to screw up and give up.

But a couple of months ago, I decided to take the plunge and see what all this chatter was about – and now I'm the one preaching to everybody about the magic of bullet journaling. Bear with me.