Tuesday, November 5, 2013

What's done is done -- William Shakespeare

No matter what you do or how hard you try, it seems impossible to avoid regret. Even if just for a moment and despite your best intentions, it's impossible to avoid even the slightest tinge of regret. And to be frank, I hate that.

The picture says it all, which I think is why regret is the worst. What you have is exactly what you wanted at one point, so why are you wanting to take it back? I brought this upon myself, so I feel guilty when I'm upset at the outcome.

Of course, we only regret the difficult decisions. The ones that didn't have a clear result or outcome, the ones that left the future up to chance. The ones that don't live up to your expectations. Which leads to another thing I hate: expectations. There is no way to avoid disappointment when you have set any kind of expectation.  The definition itself sets the word up for disappointment and regret. Expectation: a strong belief that something will happen or be the case in the future; a belief that someone will or should achieve something. I think society has gotten bad at expecting too much, then wallowing when reality lets them down, instead of being proactive and doing something about it. We all need to make a point to nix our expectations if we're not going to do something about making sure they come to fruition.

All this is to say, I'm trying to make a point to expect nothing so I won't regret anything. Regret is a useless emotion; it gets nothing accomplished and leaves me with negative feelings that I'd rather avoid altogether.  Happiness truly is reality sans expectations, and I'm all about doing what I can to be happy. I know I can't avoid regret or completely remove it from my vocabulary, but my goal is to get past that twinge in record time and move on. It's in the past and can't change, so there's no point in wasting any more time on it.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Reputations. We all have them and we all have to deal with them; my question is, to what extent? Where do you draw the line between caring what people could say about you and living your life how you want?

There's no way to get around or out of having a reputation. It's human nature for people to talk about others and make judgements and assumptions. It sucks, but it happens. It's impossible to control what people say about you, so why is so much weight put on it? Why do we care so much about what people say about us, especially when we know it's not true?

It seems like we only care what people think when it’s wrong, and even then, there’s nothing to be done about it. The lie has already been said, the rumor already spread, so why spend any more time pondering over what has passed? And if it is in fact a lie, why not let it roll of your shoulders as you move on to bigger and better things? You know the truth, the people who matter know the truth, and anyone else clearly isn't a great friend anyways.

There’s a fine line with reputations; not caring at all could turn around and bite you, but caring too much could make you miss out on things that could have been amazing. I’m not one to alter my behavior because someone thinks I’m too much of a partier or a hermit or a boozer. I know who I am and I know where to draw the line. I can’t stop people from thinking I go crazy on the weekends, or conversely never go out, so what’s the point in trying to change their minds? I'm by no means going to go out and make stupid decisions that could get back to my employers and sacrifice my job, or my friends and sacrifice relationships, but maybe that's because of how I was raised. Don't do something you wouldn't want everyone to know about. Ultimately, I have two people in my life to please and he knows what is and isn't truth.

The quote above says it all. Reputations are hearsay; character is what you actually are. If you’re happy with your choices and who you are, who cares what your reputation is? If that’s what prevents you from getting a promotion or building a better friendship, then you shouldn’t be trying for that anyways. An avid reader, I'm not one to judge a book by its cover, or reviews, and I do my best to incorporate that into life as well. 

So the next time you believe what someone says about anyone but themselves, take it with a grain of salt. Actually, don't take it at all. Throw that salt back at them and let people show you who they really are. You never know who could surprise you. 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Cohabitation Effect: Fact or Fiction?

Living together before marriage: do or do not?
I'm a Southern girl who was born and raised a Lutheran, and according to some co-workers, this is why I am against living with your significant other before marriage. According to an article written by Meg Jay for the NY Times, cohabitation in the US has increased by 1,500% with more than 7.5 million unmarried couples living together. And subsequently couples who live together are more likely to divorce than couples who do not. So, why do it?

The resounding response among those I asked was that you have to live with a person to truly know them. That everyone is on their best behavior until, apparently, you live together, at which point the real person you're dating comes out. I would hope you're not moving in with someone that you've only just started dating, that you move in together after at least a year, because in my mind living together is pretty serious. And if you've been together that long and they're still on their best behavior? Let me know where you met them, because I want to find someone like that.

I think that's where I fall on the other side of the fence on this debate. Serious. I understand some people live together because it's easier than having 2 rents or mortgages to pay, and if you are at each others house all the time...but that just sounds like a recipe for disaster. You're not living together for commitment purposes, mainly for convenience, so what's to stop one of you from calling things off and moving out the second the other leaves clothes on the floor or moves your spices?

I think nowadays, too many people take what used to be serious steps in a relationship with the mindset of, well, if it doesn't work out, I'll just move or we'll get divorced. There's an easy out that prevents people from working through things, and what once was sacred is now just, meh. Yes, I completely understand and see that that statement makes me the most traditional person, I am who I am. That being said, I can understand where my debaters are coming from, in a sense. You say you want to make sure you mesh with this person 24/7. Fair enough, but what I'm hearing is, you want to take the uncertainty out of a relationship. You want to see how they deal with conflict when one arises between you two? I'm sure there will plenty of opportunities to experience that when you're married. And ultimately, how long do you live together before you finally tie the knot? Do you set a deadline and, if you're still together when it comes, you get married? Or do you wait for a reason to end things?

Yes, I'm a traditionalist and I understand that I might be a dying breed. But I don't see the point of living with someone before marriage. Why buy the cow if you get the milk for free?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A Captain's Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALS, and Dangerous Days at Sea

I am an avid reader, if you haven't gathered that from the umpteen number of times I've mentioned finishing a book. Recently, my best friend Rose recommended I read "A Captain's Duty" written by Captain Richard Phillips and thank goodness she did. It's an incredible story and reading his first hand account of being held captive by Somali Pirates is riveting.

A 30 year vet, Captain Phillips was a merchant mariner who had completed multiple trips through the Gulf of Aden, but it wasn't until 2009 that he experienced his first, and last, run in with pirates. I'll be the first to say that I'm very rarely a non-fiction reader. I can do biographies when I know the person or have a fondness for the subject matter, but I had never heard of Captain Phillips or had a love for the sea. But, Rose told me it was amazing and I listened to her, so now I'm telling you to do the same.

The biggest thing I took from this book was that you truly don't know who you are or what you're capable of. Phillips mentions over and over again how he wanted his whole ordeal to be over, even if it meant death. To give up and give in, but at the lowest of those moments, he thought of his family and knew he had to push through it. Not that he could push through it, but that he would regardless.

Throughout the book, the reader is shown how incredibly selfless this man is. He became a merchant mariner to see the world, then through his years and experience, earned the position of Captain. He understood what the title and the pay meant, and did all he could to protect his crew and keep them safe, including sacrificing himself.

Ultimately, A Captain's Duty is a book I couldn't put down. I loved the suspense, wondering how he was going to handle the different situations, and being able to completely visualize what Richard Phillips was experiencing as each hour passed, even though I've never been on a cargo ship like his. I loved that he included what was happening to his family and his wife while he was held captive, what they were experiencing and feeling. But, in my opinion, the best part about this book is how it can resonate with anyone (and I say this as a 25 year old female who has been on one cruise) and leave an impression. Here I am, a week later, still thinking about this book and his experiences and how, though I will most likely never be in a situation that demands me to offer myself to Somali pirates, I hope should I ever have to, I could exhibit half the composure and bravery that this man was forced to exude.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

After revisiting the wonders of Happy Endings: Season One (seriously check it out, even though the show has been cancelled), I was inspired to analyze the two break up styles utilized by everyone, including yours truly and even the writers of that phenomenal show.

If you're reading this, odds are you've been in a relationship or dated someone. And if that's the case, you've experienced what I refer to as The Conversation, or the infamous Petering Out. When it comes to dating, or the end of dating someone, there are only two ways to end things (see above). Obviously The Conversation forces the person to fess up and be honest with the other person, which for some people is great. Petering Out is the road more often traveled when things were kept pretty light and casual, the eventual fading out of the other person's life. The span between calls, hang outs, and texts grows until they finally stop. No potentially awkward conversation or confrontation, just easing out of it.

The question is, which is better?

Obviously, certain situations demand specifics. You say you've been in a relationship for a year? I swear, if you try to Peter Out I will find you and slap you. You better be writing that speech and be prepared to sit down and converse. You've only been on a few dates? Absolutely let that slide; the other will get over it.

But what about that murky in between? It never got that serious but lasted for a bit, you got pretty close. Or what if you run in the same circle of friends? You know you'll see the other person again, so which route do you take? Do you chance petering out even though you're inevitably going to talk again or do you give them the speech and hope it negates any future awkwardness?

In the span of writing this, I've gone back and forth on which I prefer more times than I've used question marks (go back and count them, it's a lot). I'm a fan of The Conversation because, even though it could be uncomfortable (is there ever a situation like this in which it's not?), both parties know that nothing more is going to happen. It's done, kaput, finito. You could also make it quick and rip that band-aid off; "I don't think we should see each other anymore" or the classic "This just isn't going to happen, but you're great!" click. Perhaps the best way to approach the conversation is looking at it from a timeline - avoid awkward face to face rejection and do it on the phone if you've gone out on a handful of dates. Otherwise, it's probably progressed enough that you should do it face to face.

As more time has elapsed, I think Petering Out is what you reserve for the casual encounters that could have amounted to something but one of you, or both of you, aren't wanting to take it there. Or maybe you realize the other person is not your cuppa tea and since it was never that serious, you decide to just let it slowly fall through the cracks. I think I'd save this card for the interactions in the I-met-you-randomly-and-will-never-see-you-after-this category and move on.

Note: I have recently been informed of Ghosting, in which one person simply vanishes from the radar. A few dates in and boom, silence. I think I almost like the idea of Ghosting more than Petering Out, only because, unless a rock is smarter than you, you realize the silence from the person who once responded is due to them not being interested. But if you're going to do that, you might as well have The Conversation and get it over with. Otherwise, it's guaranteed to be awkward the next time you run into each other post-Ghost.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Top 10 Worst Feelings

Today, instead of delving into ten things that stink (or rock) for a certain sex, I'm going to expand upon the ten worst feelings known to mankind. Of course, as this is my blog, this list reflects my attempt at humorous opinions.

1.) Swollen lymph nodes. There are few things worse than the pain felt when you wake up in the morning and in attempt to get rid of that morning breath in your mouth, swallow only to feel discomfort in your throat. You would think after all these years, our bodies would find a painless way to produce white blood cells...

2.) Losing a bet. Maybe this is just me and the fact that I hate to lose, but having to concede to a friend when you were positive you would win is just the worst. Especially when the winner rubs your face in it, or even  when they don't.

3.) Paper cuts. Those little snitches hurt! And then you can't find them to put a band-aid on (and why would you? It's just a paper cut, man!) so should soap, hand sanitizer or anything at all get on it, shooting pain rears its ugly head.

4.) When your drink goes down the wrong tube. I do this all the time and those 20 seconds of trying to clear your throat is awful. Plus, spending the next hour clearing the phlegm out of your throat is plain annoying.

5.) Waking up from an absolutely terrifying nightmare and not being able to fall back asleep. Or worse, falling back asleep and going right back into the nightmare. Me and my five year old imagination cannot handle this.

6.) Hangnails. Another one of those little things that cause a stupid amount of pain, especially when they go Black Swan style and rip halfway up your finger.

7.) Making a pot of coffee on a beautiful Saturday morning to find you have no creamer. Note: I don't keep milk or sugar in my house because I rarely use it, so this would render my coffee pot, and subsequent plans to read on my front porch, meaningless.

8.) When your morning alarm goes off on a holiday. If only you had remembered to turn that bad boy off, you would be sleeping soundly and waking up leisurely. Instead, you lay there cursing your phone for not taking into consideration the fact that Arbor Day just might warrant taking the morning off.

9.) Realizing you're out of toilet paper a second too late.
Then, any amount of time is too much as you figure out your next course of action.

10.) The moment you discover that email or text you just sent was to the wrong person. There's nothing quite like professing your love of someone to a girlfriend and realizing you sent it to him. Or better yet, venting about someone and seeing their name fell into the 'To' box as well.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Childlike Excitement

I know we all have had those moments of longing for our youth. The innocence and the carefree nature of being a kid. Not having bills to pay and getting to play on a playground for thirty minutes a day. Now, it sounds like the life. Back then, all we wanted was to be adults. I was scrolling through a fantastic post on Buzzfeed, 25 Things That Will Make You Smile , and was confronted with this wonderful video of Madeline. I had seen it before, as I'm sure you have, but couldn't keep from clicking 'play'.

I cannot keep a smile on my face when I see this video, partly because I was her as a child and partly because I love her excitement. I was obsessed with trains as a kid and can remember taking my first train ride with my family. Staring out the window in pure bliss while the wheels rolled beneath me. It was incredible. I love that the arrival of a train made this little girl so happy. I miss that; the childlike excitement over something adults wouldn't bat an eye over. That wonder when everything is new you just want to experience it again and again.

Sure, I still have moments like these, most recently when a friend told me she's tight with Hanson (straight up child excitement right there) and I freaked out. In a bar. My point is, I wish I took more time out of my day to look at the simple, everyday things through the eyes of a child. Appreciating a beautiful sunrise or thunderstorm, getting so invested in a movie or book that at the end, you just sit there, still enthralled in that world. So here's my challenge to you, much loved readers. Take a moment everyday to let one thing bring as much happiness into your life as little Madeline at the train station. That's your Try This Thursday.

"The end of childhood is when things cease to astonish us.  When the world seems familiar, when one has got used to existence, one has become an adult" 
--Eugene Ionesco

Friday, March 1, 2013

30 for 30: Day 1

This past Monday, I splurged for one of the first times in my adult life. And by splurged I mean splurged. I bought myself a treadmill, off Craigslist of course, and got it set-up in the third bedroom of my house. Getting it in the room was a feat in itself, so now that it's ready to go, I'm ready to roll.

One thing to know about me, I'm frugal. So frugal that it took me over a year to convince myself to buy the damn machine, and because of that frugality, I've created a new challenge for myself to validate the purchase.

30 for 30 (shout out, ESPN!)

For the next 30 days, I will use the treadmill for at least 30 minutes a day. It can be walking, running, hills, walk/runs, whatever. I just have to be on it for at least 30 minutes for 30 days. Seems easy enough, right? Let's see.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

10 Things

I had an idea this morning, upon experience #1, to make lists documenting the good, the bad and the ugly for each sex. We'll see how long this post series will last...That being said, I give you:

10 Things that Stink for Girls

1.) Going to bed with amazing looking hair and waking up to find it looking awful. Like a bird decided to co-habitat with a squirrel in your hair.

2.) Getting all the way to work in a skirt and realizing that your leg hair grew at an alarming rate. When in doubt, shave. Or be that girl who carries pantyhose in her purse (do they even exist?).

3.) Doing your hair, then stepping outside to find humidity has taken over and you just wasted ten minutes of your morning. Weather 1, Females 0.

4.) Painting your nails and then immediately having to go to the bathroom.

5.) Having a ten minute talk with your crush and then finding out you had lipstick on your teeth the whole time. Revlon 1, Females -1.

6.) Taking off eye makeup. This is probably one of the things I hate the most about going to bed. Sure, I don't have to do it, but when I get lazy, I lay in bed thinking of my eyelashes caking together to form a giant glob on each eye and eventually get out of bed to do this abhorred task.  

7.) Wearing a new pair of shoes and getting a blister within the first thirty minutes. Nothing says you're going to be the whiniest person in an hour more than crummy shoes and no band aids. (Sidenote: I think men are genetically programmed to have incredibly thick skin on their feet. Do they ever get blisters?!)

8.) Tweezing your eyebrows; it's like sticking yourself with a safety pin over and over.  Very similar to number 6 in that, I don't have have to do it but frankly, I don't like the look of waxed eyebrows when those little nugget hairs start growing back in and are too small to tweeze. It just looks weird.

9.) Dressing up to go out. Yes, women love getting all dolled up but when I am going out, I don't want to have to spend an hour contemplating what I'm going to wear, after which point I will inevitably exclaim that I have nothing to wear. Sure, I could pick something at random, but even guys don't do that.

10.) Wearing heels. Ever. Yes, we inflict this upon ourselves and yes, we feel sexier when we wear them but regardless, heels bite. We will tell you we have a pair that are "so comfortable" that we could "wear for hours" but that's complete BS. Sure, I have a pair of heels I can wear to work, but you make me stand at a bar for extended periods of time and I'm out. Enjoy those sneakers, boys.

Please note: I did everything I could to exclude anything applicable to both sexes (pimples, sweating, etc) as well as things that are completely out of our control (hello mother nature).

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Things I don't know

I'm almost two months into my 25th year of life and am 100% not where I thought I would be. I'm okay with that, I'm rolling with the punches and riding that rollercoaster of life, but looking back, I got to thinking about happiness and satisfaction. I think it's great that we as human beings are always pushing the limits, trying to be better and do better, but it makes me wonder, are we ever truly satisfied? 

This past year, I said multiple times how incredibly happy I was with where my life had taken me. I had great friends, a job at a company I loved going to work for 40+ hours a week and a dog that I loved more than all of that. That being said, I got to a point where I was ready for the next step in my career and subsequently took it. I now work for one of 30 NBA teams and I absolutely love it, but reflecting on 2012, I know I'll get to a point where this stepping stone needs to be left behind. Why is it our satisfaction is only fleeting? I know we change constantly, so our goals must change, but I hate the idea that lasting satisfaction isn't really lasting. Can we ever be completely satisfied while still wanting more? Or are we constantly working to attain another level of satisfaction, like rescuing the elusive Princess Peach after those stupid Goomba's constantly evaded Mario's grasp?

Maybe I need to make a point to think of satisfaction as a brief result, something concrete. A medal or cookie that you enjoy as you bask in your awesomeness of a job well done. It's the reward you get for finally accomplishing something, which should be good enough for me. So if you think of satisfaction as a tangible noun, it's great. You can attain it and keep it up on the shelf for as long as you want. If you think of it as a feeling, well, good luck trying to maintain it and major kudos if you do. Am I alone in these thoughts or have you been one of the lucky few who have actually had lasting satisfaction?

Sunday, January 13, 2013

I shouldn't have...

I'm really quite good at starting something on this ol' blog and not continuing it, or continuing it with a lack of frequency (try this thursday, things I don't know, etc). So, to encourage that streak, I have come up with another series of posts entitled "I shouldn't have..." in which I will share things that I shouldn't have done (or did you reach that conclusion already?).

I shouldn't have ever started drinking beer. Before you get huffy and tell me that almost everyone has said that at some point in their life, let me explain. When I was a fresh faced twenty one year old, I found out pretty quickly that I didn't like beer. I was a Texan going to school in Oklahoma and didn't drink beer. My roommates, my friends, everyone in college drank beer and believe you me, I tried, it just wasn't happening. The first time I had beer, we were playing quarters, that terrible game where you bounce a quarter into a bowl (who thinks of these things?). Well, I lost. And had to chug a cereal bowl of Michelob Ultra. Let me interrupt by saying even now, in my very bias mind there is no worse beer than Michelob Ultra. So, I try to chug this bowl of light beer and immediately have to stop to catch my breath and hold back heaves. Everyone cheers me on, telling me it's "just beer" and "it's so light, it's like water" while I just roll my eyes and hold my breath, attempting once more to drink. I never finished that bowl of beer.

Fast forward to my time spent studying abroad in gay old Paris. Everything is more expensive in Paris, and couple that with the exchange rate for the dollar, everything is even more expensive in Paris. As a young woman living abroad, I went out. I encouraged friends to venture to The Hideout, as they had 4 euro mojitos and I would actually enjoy sipping those concoctions, but I couldn't always win. Then one, life changing night, we ventured to bar where Stella Artois on tap was 2 euros. 2 EUROS. I couldn't believe my eyes - an alcoholic beverage so cheap in the heart of Paris? I would make myself like it, gosh darn it. So I drank. And I drank. I was surprised to find it tasted so light, so watery. Could it be? Was I finally a beer drinker?

No, I was not. There must have been something special in that keg of Stella that night because, for the remaining 5 months I spent in Paris, I never found a Stella I liked. Then, I returned to the United States and to my college for my senior year. I was determined to take my experiences with beer from abroad and put them to use, and boy did I ever. I found that Bud Light was even lighter than Stella and now, it tasted like water. Like a sweet, heavenly water. So I drank. And drank. And let's be honest, I haven't stopped since. I love beer and I hate that I love it so much. I wish I had stuck to vodka and girly drinks, because then I'd never have to worry about beer calories or beer drinking the guys under the table. I shouldn't have ever been so eager to drink beer.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Try This Thursday

First off, let me say this blog post was never intended to be written. It was never even an idea until today, approximately two hours ago. Moving on. Today I want to share the best stain remover. Ever.

I do laundry like all males in that I don't separate my whites from my colors because hey, I'm washing everything on cold anyways so why does it matter? Well, now I know to never wash anything light with a red blazer. That practically brand new white button up shirt that goes with just about everything emerged from the washer with splotches of red, matching the color of my face as my blood began to boil. I have literally worn this shirt twice and now it was donezo? Absolutely not.

Immediately, I threw some bleach into a bowl with some water and let that shirt soak. Three minutes later, submerged it in a bowl of water and smushed it around a bit to get the bleach off. Then I threw that bad boy into a bowl of water + hydrogen peroxide to help get all the bleach off. Ten minutes and another rinse later, I was fully expecting to see a perfectly white shirt. No dice.

Dish soap, just like these!
Then I remembered my mother sharing her infinite wisdom last year when oil spilled on my white jeans after their first outing (I'm seeing a pattern here...). She told me to rub dish soap on the spot and it would come out. So I opted to try this method once again, and much to my chagrin, it worked. I was then left to scrub the crud out of my shirt for a good 60 minutes before I finally gave in. Everything came out, or lightened up, but leaning over a sink for an hour resulted in me dying to sit and leave a few spots still slightly visible.

So the next time you have a pesky stain that won't come out, or you're freaking out because you just bought that dress, use some liquid dish soap and your hand to scrub that sucker out. And the next time you see me in a white button up, tell me it looks great and shockingly white.