My life three years ago is sometimes incomprehensible to me. Retrospectively, it’s so absurd that it’s hard to believe that the things that happened happened, or that I tolerated some of the things that happened, or that I actively participated in some of the things that happened.
Enough mystery. When Jessica’s article about the time her husband spent unemployed went live, I told her about my experiences on both sides of the unemployment-in-a-relationship fence. I spent three years with an unemployed (former) spouse, and then became unemployed myself last year, during the course of the relationship I’m in with my boyfriend now. Jessica recounted beautifully the anxiety of watching a partner she loves undergoing the stress of unemployment and job-searching. Keep reading »
My boyfriend Max and I don’t live together, but since it takes about two minutes to walk from my place to his, I sometimes feel like we do. When I first started thinking about moving to his neighborhood, the idea had been to move in with him (we’ve been together two years), but when an apartment nearby became available at a freakishly good deal for the area, it was too awesome to pass up. He’s lived in the same apartment for years, and I’ve grown to see it as a home away from home, so that’s where we spend most of our time, but now I also have a cozy little place to call my own as well. In the past, when our houses were a long subway ride apart, we’d spend longer stretches of time at one another’s place to avoid the commute, so these days, we actually tend to see each other less than before. Our little in-between setup gives us a lot of opportunity to see what kinds of hurdles we might come up against if we did share the same address. These past few months, we’ve learned more than ever about our own habits and about how to compromise to create a happier environment. Keep reading »
My mother is vindictive, controlling and outright mean. If I could list the ways she passive aggressively told me I was fat, told me my boyfriend was too stupid, too nerdy, too poor, to high maintenance, whatever—if I could count the times she’s implied I was stupid, that my only success would come with marrying a wealthy man or that what I was doing was just not good enough—I’d have a very long list. Read more on College Candy…
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.
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I like to consider myself a strong and independent woman. I live alone; I take care of myself and never waiver in my beliefs. I’ve managed to convince myself that I’m fearless; I look confrontation in the eye and am without regret in my behavior – even when it isn’t the most flattering or well thought-out way to handle certain situations. I am, admittedly, a hot head.
I do not allow others to define me, put me in a box labeled by how they see me and will scream at the top of my lungs before I’ll ever let someone try to silence me. I am all these things; I have been all these things, and years from now these expectations that I have for myself will still be true. I don’t give a fuck who might be angered or won’t agree along the way. In the words of the great sailor, Popeye, “I am what I am.”
However, there were a few years in there, the dark years, that I was not all these things. When it came to Christoffer, I was a shadow. Keep reading »