Generally, honesty is a good policy, but sometimes life calls for you to fake it. Not to the point of self-delusion or denial, just long enough to get through or get by. Occasional faking doesn’t make you a liar, an impostor, or a fraud, it makes you smart. Strutting in to the interview for your dream job exuding confidence when you really feel like a quivering pile of insecurity, for example, is not just smart, but necessary. From feigning surprise when you learn the big secret you already knew about to pretending to love your mother-in-law’s beef stroganoff, here are a few things that are completely and totally OK to fake. Keep reading »
It’s completely normal and natural to complain about your job, even to hate it at times. When you spend 40+ hours a week doing anything, it doesn’t matter what, you’re going to have your own special brand of grievances — from the fact that your boss wants you to fax every email she receives while she’s on vacation to the baby opossum infestation in your classroom. Yep, I have experienced both. It’s normal to be filled with murderous rage about these things. (If those feelings are persistent and pervasive,I suggest you look for a new job.)
The key to being content at your job, I’ve found, is to constantly remind yourself of all the much worse things you can be doing to earn your living. Whenever I feel myself about to go off the rails over something stupid, I simply remind myself that it’s BTCDD, short for Better Than Changing Dog Diapers. This is something I’ve done for pay. And seriously, it was the most awful/degrading/depressing/disgusting way to earn $12 an hour. I’ve had a million odd jobs and changed careers three time, so that’s saying A LOT. As far as I’m concerned, there is no worse fate than taking a velcro nappy off a pug, and replacing its poopy sanitary napkin insert with a fresh one. To put all of our job annoyances in perspective, here are some more of the the most awful things I’ve done for money… Keep reading »
We’ve been thinking a lot about second chances lately: when to give them, who to give them to, and how they’re earned. Second chances are complicated, because we all want to be one of those magnanimous, forgiving souls who write inspiring essays for O magazine, but at the same time, no one wants to be a gullible doormat. There’s a balance between forgiveness and foolishness; the trick is learning to walk the tight rope. Sometimes second chances are in order, and sometimes, in the cases of hipster bars or douche-y exes, it’s best to just cut your losses and move on. Here are 15 things that (almost) always deserve a second chance, and 10 things that strike out after one. Keep reading »
According to a new survey published in the Daily Mail, women are spending an awful lot of time planning their weddings…before they even have a groom lined up. Out of 600 single women polled, 60 percent admit that they already have their wedding planned — sometimes down to the details of the dress, the vows, the bridesmaids and the exact wedding date. In addition, the survey found that instead of worrying about first kisses, most girls are 100 steps ahead, thinking about various elements of her big day by the age of 13. Even more disturbing: 34 percent of pre-emptive wedding planners say they spending HOURS each day on Pinterest et al looking for inspiration for floral arrangements, the perfect updo, and a venue appropriate for group dances to “Jump On It.” Keep reading »
Taylor Swift and Lorde have been spending quite a bit of time together — shopping, frolicking barefoot on the beach, wearing matching outfits — prompting many onlookers (including us) to refer to them as BFFs. But let’s be honest: as any BFF-havin’ lady knows, wearing matching outfits is only, like, level 3 out of 300 when it comes to a true best friendship. As a female friendship blossoms, the milestones come flying in fast. Some are fun and some are gut-wrenching — the first time you make a joke that makes your friend laugh so hard she farts; the first time you get crushes on the same guy; the first time you come up with dorky nicknames for each other; the first time you get in a fight that’s not instantly fixable. Should T-Swift and Lorde to make a real go of it, here are some BFF firsts they have to look forward to. Keep reading »
In the months leading up to my move from Portland to Nashville, my life wasn’t exactly going smoothly. My family situation was growing more stressful by the day. Some of my closest friendships had turned toxic. I felt extremely out of place in the hipster culture that dominated the city. My boyfriend wasn’t happy in his job and was getting increasingly depressed. I suffered from terrible anxiety that had started around the time my neighbor’s house had been broken into, and kept me awake most nights, convinced that every creak of our old apartment was a robber prying open the downstairs window.
Those long nights gave me lots of time to think about how unhappy I was, and what I could do to fix it. Therapy, new friends, better self-care, meditation, and sleeping pills all came to mind (and in fact, I’d tried many of them already), but all these potential solutions were always eclipsed by one word: leave.
When I started telling friends and family members how miserable I was, I noticed a common thread in their responses. I’d reveal my plans to move away and start fresh, and they’d gently touch my shoulder and say, in hushed and concerned tones, “You can’t run away from your problems, you know.” Keep reading »
Even if you’re generally a very “together” person, that doesn’t mean you’re not entitled to the occasional freak out, because LIFE. Maybe your hot water broke again right before work and you haven’t washed your hair for a few too many days. Maybe a friend had the bad sense to point out that really cute picture of your ex and his new lady on Instagram. Of course, it’s important to figure your major triggers so you can avoid any unnecessary emotional meltdowns, but sometimes things are out of your control. That’s why it’s just as important to figure out some ways to calm yourself down when life doesn’t go your way, because lord knows, there will be times when you need to curl into a ball with your hot water bottle and cry until you feel silly. Here are our approved self-soothing techniques that have helped us through panic attacks, meltdowns, and freak outs of all kinds.
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You’ve probably heard the term “follow your heart” way too many times, especially in reference to your love life, especially during Valentine’s Day season. By now you’re probably like, Thanks, but following my heart led me to dump my really, really (too) nice boyfriend for the guy who turned out to be gay. So, no thanks. Deep down, though, you know that neither of them were right for you, so don’t punish your heart for being as honest as it knew how to be. Trust us: things wouldn’t have turned out any better if you’d left your head in charge, made a list of pros and cons, and weighed the consequences for weeks. In fact, even science says you’re probably better off making intuitive, snap decisions in many areas of your life.
According to new research done at the University of Otago, New Zealand, decisions made with the heart tend to be higher quality than those made with your head. Because, as many of us know, overthinking things leads to complete and utter confusion. ”Analyzing reasons can impair judgement by obscuring how [you] actually feel,” explained Dr. Jamin Halberstad, the director of the study. This doesn’t mean you should let your heart decide whether or not to you should pay your rent this month, but when it comes to the harder-to-pin-down life decisions, go with your gut. Here are a few decisions you shouldn’t bother overanalyzing. Just listen to your heart. Keep reading »
In the past few weeks, Facebook and Twitter have been overflowing with “inspiring” articles focusing on regrets. We’ve seen “The Top 10 Things Elderly People Regret,” “20 Most Common Regrets People Have On Their Deathbed,” and more. We found all of these articles interesting, if a bit morbid, but there was something we thought was missing from this conversation: the things you don’t regret. Because yes, we’ll probably all regret working too much or not having a totally zen relationship with our moms, but what about taking a spontaneous trip to Paris? Or pushing your way to the front of that once-in-a-lifetime concert? Or asking that cute guy out for coffee? There are some things in life that, no matter what happens, you’re going to look back on and say, “I’m really fucking glad I did that.” Here are 50 of them: Keep reading »
One of my best talents is reading buzzed-about books 5-10 years after they come out. If you’re ever browsing at a bookstore and a woman nudges you in the arm to whisper conspiratorially about a great new author she just discovered named David Foster Wallace, well, that’s probably me. In keeping with my late-to-the-literary-party theme, a couple weeks ago I read Julia Child’s memoir, My Life In France. Yes, the book that came out in 2006 and was turned into a movie 5 years ago. Have you read it? It’s so, so good.
The whole time I was reading My Life In France, I had a goofy grin plastered on my face. It’s such a lovely, joyful book. The amazing food descriptions, her playful relationship with her husband, the gorgeous imagery of Paris, her dogged determination to become the best chef she could be — everything about it inspired me and soothed my soul. By the time I finished, I was such a Julia fangirl that I printed out an 8×10 photo of her and hung it in a blue glitter frame over my desk. Here are some specific quotes from the book that are going to stay with me at least as long as the weight I gained from eating cheese while reading it: Keep reading »