Ami had a friend in college who taught her the acronym PAFU, which stands for People Are Fucked Up. At the time, she thought it was funny. More than 15 years later, she’s adopted it as her life motto. It’s the truth, people can be major assholes. Sometimes they don’t mean to be — and sometimes they do — but it’s a cold, hard fact that there’s absolutely nothing you can do about other people’s fucked-up-ed-ness, except have a solid coping strategy for how to let their crap roll like water off a duck’s back. (Thank you, Jinx Monsoon). It ’tis what it ’tis. Encountering assholes is part of the human condition. Here’s how to deal…
As a jobless Master’s graduate swiftly approaching 30 years old, I’ve been seeking whatever sage advice I can get (Susan Miller of Astrology Zone is my most frequent source of guidance). When Amy Poehler’s “Ask Amy” video in response to the Boston Marathon bombing went viral, I decided to perk my ears to the knowledge bank that is every “Ask Amy” video ever.
“Ask Amy” is a series of short advice videos that are part of Poehler’s online network “Smart Girls at the Party”; each is a response to a question that any viewer can leave in the comments section of the Smart GirlsYouTube channel. In the most recent episode, Poehler ruminates on the bombing at the Boston Marathon in the context of the media barrage that is so intrinsic to everyday life.
“I kind of feel like my eyes need a break, don’t you? If you do, take it. It’s okay to not be looking at what everyone is looking at all the time. To know what you’re ready to see and not see, and to be okay with letting some things rest in peace.”
What struck me about the video was Ms. Poehler’s cadence. Not only is she sincere, but so calm and focused on what she’s talking about. Unlike the plastic-sounding replies to Seventeen’s “Why Me?” section, Amy responded to her inquirer with such genuine thought and care (not surprising as the entire Smart Girls enterprise is dedicated to “cultivating the authentic selves of young women”). In an effort to exercise some self-care of my own, I decided to watch the entire series of “Ask Amy” videos to uncover what other gems of advice my favorite TV role model had to offer. Here are some of my favorites. Keep reading »
I am biracial, borne of a Taiwanese mother and American father. My features are decidedly not Caucasian, but hard to pin down to one specific category, a tiny frustration that gets at the heart of humans, because subconsciously, we all live to categorize. I deal with a host of questions pertaining to my background from “What you mixed with, girl?” to the timid “What … background are you?” I will entertain these questions, my response varying on the scale from begrudging to enthusiastic. It’s a conversation that I have a lot, and I’ve come to just suck it up and deal because people do not deal well with ambiguity. To categorize, to separate, to push things into clearly labeled boxes soothes the mind. It sets expectations, dictates how to behave, and prevents you from making statements like the ones I’m about to discuss. Keep reading »
When I was in middle school, I was picked to become a peer mediator. At the time, I was just stoked to get out of classes for two days for program-mandated training, but it ended up being some of the most useful stuff I learned in school. The theory behind peer mediation is that kids benefit from resolving conflicts without the express involvement of authority figures, and without the threat of disciplinary action. I only actually mediated on a few cases when I was in school, but the basic tenets of mediation theory and conflict-resolution philosophy have always stuck with me.
The key to winning any fight is not to fight at all. But if that’s an impossibility, then try these five tips that will help you successfully navigate — and resolve! — any conflict.
Keep reading »
We all know the trope: a young college student leaves the country for the first time and then returns home acting the part of a world-weary jetsetting dilettante.
We all also know that that person is annoying.
While there’s nothing wrong with going on an awesome vacation and coming back feeling relaxed and happy, there’s a fine line between wanting to tell your friends how cool it was to deep sea dive in the Indian Ocean and being a humblebragger. Here are some tips to make sure you don’t cross that line. Keep reading »
So, huge news: my boyfriend Nick and I are moving from Portland to Nashville, Tennessee! Remember when we visited last year and were totally smitten with the city? Well, our lease is up at the end of this month, and we’ve decided it’s the right time to give southern living a try. Neither of us has ever done a major move like this. We are incredibly excited. We are totally terrified. And we are full of questions about everything from packing logistics to saying goodbye to our dear friends, which is why I enlisted my lovely and wise coworker Ami, who is something of a moving expert–to give us some guidance. Read on for our moving Q&A, and please feel free to add your own tips and suggestions in the comments (we’ll take any help we can get!).
Alright, take it away, Ami…
Keep reading »
A few things are inevitable in life: death, taxes … and dealing with difficult people. From work to friendships to romantic relationships, difficult interactions can hit us from all angles and can take a heavy toll on us.
A few days ago, I was doing some much needed reorganizing and I found this packet from a class I think I took many moons ago. I can’t remember who taught it, but the packet was filled with amazing and hilarious “rules” for dealing with difficult people. Within these humorous insights are perils of wisdom that can help you keep your cool during an argument or any other trying exchange.
I really wish I could give you the source, but no names were written on the sheet so all I have is the information. I couldn’t keep it all to myself though, so here are some amazing (and I’d even say life-changing) rules for dealing with difficult people: Read more…
Ladies, I’ve got some life tips. Cheat codes, even. I don’t know much about life, but what I’ve learned is that blah blah blah “Wonder Years” episode whatever. Let’s just get to it. Here’s what I have to offer… Keep reading »
The bloating of Thanksgiving and the bloodshed of Black Friday are behind us, and now Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Year’s celebrations are ahead of us. It’s the most joyous time of the year, right? You’re ridiculously happy and emotionally stable right now, aren’t you? Not so much? Yeah, me neither. For one thing, we’re down to about three hours of cold, gray daylight every day. Seriously, yesterday I thought I’d pop out for a walk at the reasonable time of 3:45, but it was already so dark I would have needed one of those spelunking headlamps to safely navigate my neighborhood streets. At the risk of sounding like an emo poem I wrote in 7th grade, constant darkness outside is enough to make me feel constantly dark inside.
Whether it’s family drama, bad weather, relationship problems, financial issues, cabin fever, or some crappy combination of all of the above, a lot of people I know are having a rough time right now. How can you navigate the hyper-joyful holiday seasons when you’re not feeling so merry yourself? Well, here are 8 things to try… Keep reading »
As a shy and insecure girl, I know that those traits have totally hindered me. Combined with an acute case of social anxiety, they made my adolescence and most of my college years a horrific blur of self doubt and thwarted potential – from missing out on friendships to not applying to the colleges I really wanted to go to for fear of rejection and/or starting my life from scratch. While being terrified to order in restaurants or raise my hand in class were definitely impediments, my social life suffered the most. I always sucked at making friends – I never thought I was worthy of the company of the girls I admired and that stopped me from pursuing or encouraging overtures. Even after finally forging platonic bonds, talking to guys always paralyzed me. It was such that the first guy who ever deigned to kiss me drunkenly admitted that he usually found me intimidating and unapproachable.
I didn’t realize that I was coming across this way, and it made me re-evaluate my thoughts and my behavior. Eventually, with time and concerted effort to change my thinking, I started to become more comfortable around dudes, thus increasing the frequency of sexy time occurrences. Gaining confidence can be such a struggle, but you can totally do it. Read more…