101 pieces of advice

We started out this blog, 99 posts ago (a whole year and a half ago), because we are told we give good advice and are always asked for it. Self-proclaimed, self-help junkies—we love and absorb ideas, knowledge and advice. We both love to expand the mind, quest for happy living, and search for analysis and reasoning in human behavior. Here are our 101 favorites from our blog, and from a few of our favorite bloggers (note that if you want to read more, just click the link at the end of each quote!):

  1. “OWN being in transition.”  Transitions
  2. “Help yourself out. Sort through all the issues in a simple and effective way: Make a list.”  Regain Control of your life- Make a list!
  3. “Things, life, kisses, don’t always happen the way you dream or plan.” First Kisses
  4. “Change needs to happen. Not all of it is drastic. Sometimes little change is good. It keeps you on your toes.” Patterns vs Change
  5. “You already know the answers.”  Breaking up was RIGHT to Do
  6. “It’s completely OK to know what you want but not want it now.” Don’t want it now
  7. “You really don’t need to keep things. Really.”  5 things I have learned from Moving
  8. It doesn’t matter where you lay your head, as long as you have a place to lay it.5 things I have learned from Moving
  9.  Be vulnerable. Take a breath. Ask for what you need. “ 5 things I have learned from Moving
  10. “… remember to breathe through the painful moments and just keep moving forward. If nothing else, you’ll figure it out as you go.” 5 things I have learned from Moving
  11. “Like any good relationship, a good friendship brings out the best in ourselves.  If you’re not seeing your best, you’re not in the right relationship anymore.” Growing out of Friends
  12. “Its time we make connecting in real life a trend again!”  Eye to Eye
  13. “Cut out the excess chatter and find that peace within.” Text-a-Bitch
  14. “It’s tough out there but don’t try giving advice that 1) wasn’t asked for 2) puts your friend in a place that makes her second guess herself 3) that isn’t leading to a positive feeling towards oneself.” No more projections please
  15. “‘No’ is a full sentence.” The Olsen Twins said that.  Basically…life’s too short to do anything you don’t want to do, or anything that makes you uncomfortable. You always have a choice.–Honestly Libby’s Blog
  16. “A flirt is really just a compliment of you being alive and in this spot at this moment.” Flirting: A How To Guide 16332829367_ddb088af60_k
  17. As cliché as it sounds, love will happen when you least expect it… The most important thing to do is make sure you are living a full life. Fill your days and nights with the things you love, your passions, your family, your friends. Don’t wait for love to happen.–This That and The Other Thang’s Blog
  18. “…. do it with bells on—figuratively that is.” Duty Dating
  19. “Statistics are like a bikini – what they show is interesting but the important stuff is covered up! In a world where we rely heavily on data, it’s people who are at the heart of what really matters and numbers can paint a very different picture, whether good or bad.”– Aloada Bobbins’s Blog
  20. “We all have our lists of wants and needs in a mate. If you don’t experience it in the flesh how do you know its something that is a deal maker or breaker.” Duty Dating
  21. Treat dating as a hobby. If you’re too busy with life, or not having fun, stop. Don’t stop your life, just do it in your spare time. First, dating should never be your number one priority.”  Duty Dating
  22. “Whatever happens, we are responsible for our own happiness and success.”– Lessons From My Daughter’s Blog
  23. “Truth sometimes hurts, but lies are ultimately more painful. Let’s stop lying to each other and make this a more truthful world.” Lying: is it really worth it?1438336432_0904c3f0be_o
  24. “..not every date will be someone you want to date again. It’s nice to set boundaries until the date becomes the partner.” Whats in a Name? 
  25. “Maybe you want to be distracted by a 6 out of 7, but 7’s and 7 Plusses do exist, and are out there for the finding.” Move On From a “No”
  26. “If you want it and are willing to work for it, you can make it happen!  “It” can be anything.”–Lessons From My Daughter’s Blog
  27. “The thing about callings is that once you’re called you have to answer!” Leap of Faith
  28. “Chances of winning the lottery are increased significantly by actually buying a ticket.”–Suzie Speaks’ Blog
  29. “If you want to buy fancy undies, or fancy wine, or have a fancy shave: do.” Am I an Amy
  30. “It’s wonderful if they call, it’s great if they take you out, but if you’re not being introduced to friends or other people in their lives after a month or so, there is a reason.” Professing
  31. “…forgiveness isn’t letting down the protection walls. Its more of the mental version of just releasing unneeded tension and relaxing your shoulders.”  How to Apologize to Yourself
  32. “Only tell others things that you wouldn’t mind the rest of the world knowing unless they have consistently proven that they are trustworthy.”–Suzie Speaks’ Blog
  33. “…acting like a queen means watching and kicking lots of jester’s to the curb but one day your king—do not settle for a prince!—will show up.” RESPECT
  34. “You can change anything in your present.  You can take steps to cure your own unhappiness.” Stick Your Neck Out
  35. “Sex one time or multiple times does not a mate make. If you’re having sex to land a mate…” The Best Sex
  36. “My advice for you is dream big.  Work that dream backwards until you have something “small” to work with.” Climbing the Career LadderSONY DSC
  37. “…moving and doing creates options.”  Round Peg Square Hole
  38. “…the excuse “he/she is not my type” is out the window. If you’re single and alone, its obvious your type hasn’t exactly gotten you a home run. So, try on a different pair of ‘jeans’.” Because He ASKED
  39. “If something makes you want to scream, it’s the absolute wrong answer. Step back. Put the item down.”  Holiday Sanity
  40. “Desire: the sexy Live ClareLesley way to prepare you for a positive path for your future! It’s the Fuck Yes way to set your “goals”. If you don’t desire the outcome, it’s a Fuck No!” Desire
  41. “Happiness is ALWAYS just a perspective.” Happiness
  42. “Sudden change of who you are shouldn’t happen just because the calendar changed, but instead because you want to become a better, upgraded version of your current self.”  New Year, Same You: Upgraded
  43. “Once you start sneaking in the time to create, you’ll start making time for yourself to create.” Competitive Progress
  44. “Get off that “woe is me” train! Grab you happy side up ticket and drink a glass of Self Love.” In Your Social Face
  45. Make your own damn plans.”  Valentines Survival
  46. “Shed those red flag preventing glasses and see your own wants, desires, happiness.”  Red Flags
  47. “Don’t make yourself smaller for a mistake.” Stop Saying I’m Sorry
  48. “ANYONE that you kiss, sleep with does NOT a Relationship make.” Sex with Friends
  49. “Remember, the right one isn’t “out there” but instead is inside of you.”  How to be Single
  50. “You’re exactly where you need to be right now. Isn’t that Amazing?” Climbing the Career Ladder
  51. “We decide when we want something to be done, and we arbitrarily pick dates and times and abilities that we think we should be able to do.” New Year: Same You. Upgraded
  52. “Remember, breathing is the opposite of nerves—if there is plenty of good warm breath in your stomach, there aren’t room for butterflies!”  Nerves: Squish Those Butterflies
  53. “You rest, you rust! Seriously. When I think about rust I remember this old wheelbarrow out in the back yard where I grew up. Do you really want to become and old wheelbarrow?”  Love the Skin You’re In
  54. “…dating should be fun. It should be treated as a hobby. No one freaks out about or overthinks yarn, book club, or collecting stamps.” Dating:  Straightforward From the Beginning
  55. “Texting does not a relationship make.” No Waiting Dating
  56. “Get your face out of your phone. Actually talk to people, see what happens.” Crying wolf on social media
  57. “Sometimes we set goals and then we grow out of them. Luckily we write goals on paper, not in stone.” How To Stop Avoiding Your Goals
  58. “How do you fight the distortion?  Fight it with truth. Get down to the nitty gritty. Get naked.  Find a full length mirror you trust, and take it all off.” Love Your Skin Now
  59. “It’s nice that someone is contacting you. Wallpaper is nice my friends; your relationship should not be just nice.”  Texting is not a relationship
  60. “If you don’t eventually demand your worth, people will think you’re worthless, or worse, take advantage of you.” What Is Your Worth?
  61. “Sometimes the dream we have had in our head since childhood isn’t the one we really want to achieve.” 5 questions to help you focus your dreams
  62. “You are a beautiful snowflake, and you travel however you want to.” Age–Does It Really Matter? 11445631923_df52846c49_o
  63. “Be ok with changing your timeline.” Are you in a trough of sorrow?
  64. “It is great to be altruistic, but you have to take care of yourself if you are going to be any good to anyone else.” Rest IS good for you
  65. “Just like a stockbroker doesn’t put all his money in one companies stock. Don’t out all your stock in dating online. Keep yourself available to meet people multiple ways.” 5 ways to change up your dating game
  66. “I will survive my crisis. You will survive yours.” How to survive your own personal hell
  67. “Your life shouldn’t be supporting your business; your business should be supporting your life.” 5 steps for getting out of your own way
  68. “Even if you walked the same path, at the same speed as another person, you would have a completely different experience. If you open up your eyes and have no expectations, you’ll have enjoyed the journey much more; you see more, experience more, gain more.” Age–Does It Really Matter?
  69. “Slowly progress into the schedule you need to hit the goals you have.” Love the Skin You’re In
  70. “What do you really want? Re-tailor your life to that dream!” 5 questions to help you focus your dreams
  71. “Go, picture the life you want to live, ignore the negative voices, try something new and have fun while doing it.” I Said Yes
  72. “Understand you are not on a timeline/time crunch/expiration.” 8 tips to survive your friends wedding announcements
  73. “Be careful what you say: your brain is listening.” Be careful the things you say: Your brain is listening
  74. “Love the person, leave the label off, and let your expectations and demands on a relationship fall away.” Labels are for Soup, Not People
  75. “You will not die from rejection.  The odds are better than any other form of gambling.” Just Ask Already
  76. “Build your business around your lifestyle not the lifestyle around your business.” 5 Steps to get out of your own way
  77. “You are never “too” anything… so stop thinking that way!!” Why the word “Too” is just an excuse
  78. “That is the first thing you have to understand and realize is that all “single” means is that you’re not in a pair.  It doesn’t mean that you’ll always be–unless you choose it.” How To Be Single
  79. Wouldn’t you rather be your own original story? Knockoffs and remakes are rarely as exciting as the original.” How to deal with a barrage of green grass 2680294816_e710a43d3b_b
  80. “Partners take time. Just like friendships take time. They deserve to take time. Like a fine wine, tea or beer…fermentation is a good thing.” Sex with Friends
  81. “Focus on yourself. In this time that you’re waiting, think about things to do for yourself, or that you need to accomplish.” 6 Ways to Stop Your Waiting Anxiety
  82. “Stay Hydrated. Drink in lots of self love, big picture thinking and how this storm will prepare you for the future.”  5 tips to beat the heat of life
  83. “Don’t value the actual money more than you value time.” What is your WORTH
  84. “Don’t create realities that aren’t really happening.” Make like a Blondie Song and Call Me
  85. “Breathing may be difficult, but you’re the only one who can control that. So it is up to you to keep breathing and keep moving on.”  How to Survive Your Own Personal Hell
  86. “You are in control of your life and your thoughts. Remember you have choices.”  5 tips to beat the heat of life
  87. “Maybe you’ll succeed. Maybe you’ll fail. No matter what you’ll try something new and you’ll learn something.” How writing a novel made me a better person
  88. “The thing is, you’re never alone in your crap.”  What to do when Shit Happens
  89. “Forget about “you only live once.” You only die once, and its getting closer every day.”  How to Face your Big Fears
  90. “Change it up! If freestyle isn’t working there are other strokes out there. The important thing is to take action. You’ll feel more in control of your situation.” Just Keep Swimming
  91. “Remember the beginning is always slow, but you have to just slog through it. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other, and you’ll get there eventually.”  How writing a novel made me a better person
  92. “Take a look around you. Say a general thank you to the positives in your life.”  The Power of Thank You
  93. “Let’s stop being virtual recluses!  Go forth and have conversation.” Make Like a Blondie Song and Call Me
  94. “Being yourself, having fun and making eye contact are all things that attract someone to you and your personality.” Could your next date be at the grocery store?
  95. “Sitting around complaining about it and doing nothing to change it seems pretty silly don’t you think?  Unless you do something to change your situation, nothing will change.”  How to Let It Go2512983749_ee38b41e0d_b
  96. “By creating a new schedule for yourself the bad stuff won’t seem so bad because you are living the lifestyle you desire.”  5 Steps to Getting Out of Your Own Way
  97. Make mistakes. Make choices. Take chances.How to Listen to Life Lessons
  98. “I understood that I would be even more unhappy and unfulfilled in my life, which would actually be worse than the possibility of failure and the humiliation.”  How to Face Your Big Fears
  99. Being kind only takes a moment of time, but it will earn you moments, hours, and years.–Clare
  100. The true definition of luck is when preparation meets opportunity. You can be the luckiest person in the world if you want to be.–LL
  101. Go out and be great.  Or at least enjoy the ride!–LCL

Thank you!  Here is to hundreds more blogs, stories, and pieces of advice!

xoxo–Clare and LL

If you have a comment scroll down past the tags below (or up, if you’re on the main page), or email us at liveclarelesley@gmail.com   We LOVE your feedback!!   Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for DAILY inspiration!

Photo credits–all photos from Flikr Creative Commons: 100 (by Ash); lightbulb (by Beat Kung); Create (by Dana Bateman); Truth (by T); Snowflakes (by MayYeo); Dream Big (by Heidi); Ant Heart (by uditha wickramanayaka)

Celebrate National Girlfriend’s Day! 5 tips on how to be a great friend

A friend sent Clare a National Girlfriend’s Day card last year, and to be honest, we hadn’t heard of it before that. A few people have reached out to us through this blog to ask us our viewpoint on friendship and on National Girlfriend’s Day. So here it is:   WE LOVE IT!

LL and Clare have now been friends for 14 years. We celebrate not only own crazy partnership, but all that we have in our lives! We do our best to have a weekly phone conversation, partially to discuss this blog and our future, and partially to get updates on each other’s lives! We have written some Blog posts about friends, to keep them or to leave them, making goals that include friends, and about taking care of each other. We both value health and loving yourself.

These are our 5 favorite tips for great friendships:

–reach out to your friend(s).  Relationships take tending.  So make sure you give it attention to help it grow! True friendships take time to grow. If you don’t water them or get the weeds out they’ll die out.

–listen.  The most important thing in any relationship is keeping your ears open.  Everyone needs support.

–don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions–yes, friends might be sore that you’re asking them, but things like life choices and health are nothing to take lightly.  We posted a health checklist below to start that conversation.

— be honest—even if you think it might hurt their feelings. If they find out you lied later it’s actually worse.

–have fun–friends help us let loose, try a new activity. Share your favorite thing to do with your friends today

Go out and celebrate all of your friends and friendships!  As Maya Angelou said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

-Clare and LL

If you have a comment scroll down past the tags below (or up, if you’re on the main page), or email us at liveclarelesley@gmail.com We LOVE your feedback!! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for DAILY inspiration.

Below, check out an infographic made by Oscar Health Insurance Company!

Oscar Women's CheckupsLRG

WE WERE NOMINATED! So, we pay it forward

liebster1 Hey loyal readers!  We love inspiring you, and we love the inspiration we get from you–especially our fellow bloggers!  We were nominated for a Liebster Award by JustAddTea! WE love you!!  and Love that you love us!  Anyhoo–we’ve followed The Rules, answered your questions, and want to pass on the love!  Go check out JustAddTea’s Blog after reading this! The purpose of the Liebster Award is to recognize up-and-coming new bloggers, bring exposure to them, and encourage networking between us. The Rules

  1. Link the person who nominated you to your blog post. Thank them and let them know you answered their questions. 2. Answer the 7 questions given to you by the nominator. 3. Nominate 5-11 other bloggers with a following of less than 500. 4. Create 7 questions for your nominees to answer. 5. Let the nominees know that they have been nominated by going to their blog and notifying them. 6. Display the award on your blog — by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget” or a “gadget”.

Our answers to the questions posed to us:

  1. Why did you start blogging? We met up to reunite a cold evening in January and realized we were living very similar lives even though we are in different places. People are always asking us for advice. And we are constantly learning through our life trials. We thought we’d share experiences and inspire.
  2. What is your favorite blog post that you’ve written so far? LL: Sex With Friends Clare: Growing Out of Friends
  3. What do you do when you’re not blogging? Clare: actress/nanny in NYC and all the running around that entails! I’m also writing a work of fiction. LL: When I’m not blogging I’m coaching! I teach Pilates and coach teachers and studio owners on business and life goals. Enjoy a good book, Netflix and hiking, yoga…such an LA answer! Haha
  4. How do you come up with your blog ideas?  LL: life in general! Sometimes it’s simply an over heard conversation that gets me thinking. Often it’s hearing someone say something and my reaction to it. As in Don’t want it now. My now boyfriend then said “I just don’t know what I want right now” and my reaction was “I know what I want! I just don’t want it right now.” Clare: It’s life inspired. Usually it’s because I’ve had a phone conversation with a friend and a topic stands out and the hamster in my brain won’t stop running until I’m writing.
  5. Who inspired you most in your life? Clare: I’m generally inspired by anyone who is out there chasing a dream. LL: No one particular person…maybe when I was younger Santa Claus intrigued me because he could do so many things in one night! Now as an adult I find inspiration in people following their dreams and taking their own journey.
  6. Do you have a set place/time/routine when you blog?  Clare: I usually get inspired late at night–this probably comes from being a college student and writing those late night papers. I also get crazy inspiration on the subway and in the shower. LL: Nope! Maybe some day but I will write whenever I’m inspired and have a moment to get the idea down. I find my outdoor office is where I get complete blogs out and my comfy bed is where I can edit.
  7. Do you hope to impact people who read your blog?  Why or why not? LL: absolutely!! I want for people to have their best life. To be their best self. To have self love and self worth. My experiences good, bad, ugly and or sexy can help them reach their next level. Clare: definitely. We aspire to inspire hope and quench the fears in this sea of life. We want people live their best lives and share their experiences.

We nominate: This, That, and the other Thang  (You’re a DOLL!  We adore you!) Fearsome Beard  (You make us giggle, and wish we could have beards!) Wheat Free Dairy Free Kitchen (These are yummy! and LL is GF!!) Simply Delish  (Yeah, we like food. A LOT.  And we adore your blogs!) Hopelessly Romantic Cinderella   (Your adventures are entertaining!)   And now, nominees above, you have to answer our Questions: 1) What was your most exciting moment with your blog? 2) Craziest thing you’ve written or written about? 3) Did you inspire someone today? Why or Why not? 4) What is your favorite quote or saying? 5) If you could have one person read your blog—living or dead—who would it be? 6) Is the glass half empty or half full? Explain. 7) What do you want to be when you grow up?

Finding Closure

Here we are in the third week of January. Can you believe its 2015? Last year wasn’t too terrible, but a lot happened to me. I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to close the door to 2014 so I can move forward. Let’s find our way towards closure, together!

My amazing roommate has found herself unwillingly in a closure situation. A good friend of hers is in a terrible relationship. The proof is there that the man that the friend is seeing is cheating, in multiple ways. He is also leaving the country to go home to his own country for good in three months. Its obvious to everyone, including my roommate that her friend is in a relationship that is going nowhere and is a terrible situation. The friend just needs to walk away. My roomie talked with her all night long, and finally convinced her friend to kick the dude out. The next day, friend was standing up for the dude to my roommate and saying that he had no place to go, that he wasn’t really that bad, that she had misread things and none of the cheating was really as bad as she thought…. And so on. The reason the friend knew all of this about Cheater Dude was that she went back for closure—she needed to ask (and be answered) why he would cheat on her. Isn’t she more important in her own life to allow that kind of treatment? My question for her is: why do you need to know?

This has happened to all of us! Eeek!! You’re in a situation that you know is wrong. It just is. Its bad for you. It’s deteriorating your life, your sensibility, your soul. You walk away, or really you start to take steps in the direction that leads away, only to proverbially look back over your shoulder, catch a glimpse of what you’re leaving, and you run back looking for confirmation that you’re retreat was best for you. Only to find out information that you didn’t want to know.

When you read it all written out in a hypothetical, it sounds rather silly. However, it is human nature to look for closure. Humans are a species that likes to tell stories. We have proof that cave men and women painted pictures to tell tales. The Egyptians are famous for hieroglyphics that tell their history and stories. Disney makes millions and millions of dollars on stories that parents across the world are exhausted of watching over and over (if anyone sings to me one more time about wanting to build a snowman…). What do you do when you go out with friends—you tell stories about the things happening in your life! One thing about stories. They all have endings. We have trained ourselves as a society to look for endings. Everything that begins has to have some sort of close. Although we may, from time to time, refute this fact—it is true. Everything has an end. Every chapter has a final period. Every book has a final sentence. Every movie has rolling credits. There is seemingly an end to everything.

In every day life, credits don’t roll. There isn’t a final punctuation mark or thought or sentence. Sometimes there is just the quiet sound of someone giving up. Or being fed up. Or generally not being invested or interested anymore. It happens. Life is short. Just like when the book we are reading or the movie we are watching ends, we move past it because its over. Our attention span is only so long, and we move on to another event or person in our life. Sometimes we don’t even finish that book or movie.

In relationships, curiosity always gets the best of us, and pulls us back into situations that we know are wrong. We need to know the answers, we need to figure out what we did wrong, we need to know how to fix it or do better next time. Because of our story telling culture, with their morals and their tidy endings, we feel that we need to make everything end with a tidy final sentence with the bad guy going off to something horrific, and with a lovely scrolling “The End.” Roll credits. My lovelies, this is life. It’s harsh, it’s insane, it’s chaotic. There are rarely satisfying endings in life. Life is most satisfying when you take the reigns, go out and make it your own. If you don’t like the way a relationship or friendship or job situation is playing out, approach it. Work it out. If it isn’t work out-able, move on. Sometimes you have to let things go, and let them work themselves out. Sometimes you have to run, don’t walk, away from Cheater Dudes and Dudettes. Sometimes you have to end relationships with friends. Sometimes you have the chance to see them later in life and enjoy Schaudenfreude at their expense, and sometimes you have to remove them from your Facebook because you can’t stand to see continual happy pictures of them at family gatherings, weddings, with babies, etc.

Yes, it is an attractive thought to look up people and friends from past lives. With so many social media outlets that are at our fingertips, it is just too easy to look up people or groups that we have left behind, but still need to connect to, or confirm that our leaving was best. I fell into the trap of looking up an ex’s profile the other day—I felt good about myself because, oh my goodness is he still in the same exact place he was when we dated, and is seemingly going nowhere! But then I started to feel horrible—how could I ever have dated that person and why did I spend so much of my time at the end and after it was over, bemoaning the loss? Of course I spiraled for a bit, feeling sorry for myself. Anyway, the point is: had I not indulged and went to take a look at his profile, I wouldn’t have spiraled. I should have left that door closed, instead of seeking to find more closure on the subject. Because, here is another point: nothing would have satisfied me. Nothing. Even if he had died, I still would have been sad. Even if he had been ripped apart by dragons, his parts divided between aliens, and then eaten by worms on their separate planets, I still wouldn’t feel quelled. It was better to just not think of him at all. I made my closure when he left my life the first time, and I should just leave it at that.

I’m going to tell you a secret about closure: its within you. Yup. Serious. You’re in charge of all of the closure you get. Which is great because you’re in control of when the story ends. You can walk away at any time. You can choose how the story ends. However, when you return to someone else for closure, they have the power. Don’t let them have it. They’re probably the one who is in control of you anyway because you let them be. Stop the insanity. Take control. Make the closure happen. Walk away. Tell yourself positive things like: they were sucking the soul out of you and now you can actually thrive; single is much better than being someone’s puppet; that friend was making you into something you hate; you’re better than the ick that was happening to you; you’re a sensitive, wise individual who deserves better. Get up and get out. I promise you once you step away from the bad things, new and better things will replace it. Remove yourself from the toxicity.

I had a really “great” job several years ago. You might hear me reference this job several times, because having that job, actually losing that job was a huge catalyst in making me head in the direction I was meant to go. For now take my word on it that it was a good amount of money and benefits, but it was squashing my soul. I made some mistakes in the job, which led them to find more reasons to let me go. The thing is, to this day, I’m still curious about what happened to that place. They made me feel so terribly about myself in the time span I was working there, that I wonder if they’re still in business. I sometimes even find myself opening up a search engine and start to type in their name to look them up. But really, it doesn’t matter. I’m sure they’re still surviving. More importantly, I’m thriving. My life is all the better for having been kicked to the curb. That door was closed, and I’m leaving it that way.

My roommate chose to take closure into her own hands, too. She told her friend she could be friends, but could no longer listen to or be a part of her friend’s deterioration. My roommate stepped away from her friend—which wasn’t easy. We still don’t know what happened with the friend, and her straying beau.

We search for closure all of the time because we are trained to find the ends to stories, the results to equations, and the outcome of everything. Life is messy, and really only ends when you’re dead—and even then it’s questionable. Depending on what kind of mark you put on the world, you could live on in infamy like Marilyn Monroe, Al Capone, Robin Williams, Maya Angelou, or Mother Teresa. As an actress, I go to so many auditions that I never find out the results to—I could sing my face of and act my heart out and not book the job for any number of reasons. The same goes for any job interview, college application, house buying opportunity, great first date that never amounted to anything, or missed opportunity. Things end or don’t even get started. Sometimes the why isn’t important.

The biggest thing to know about closure is that it too is like a book or a movie—you have the ability to watch it again, or open up the book and start from the beginning. However, you already know the story. You know how it will end. You know that you didn’t enjoy it the first time… so why put yourself back in that situation. Instead, put the “book” back on the shelf, and the “movie” back in the case. Look at it from time to time to know that you lived it, and move on. Psychologically, we remember mostly the good things, and forget all of the bad. This is awesome; however, we have to remember that the toxicity is not for repeated indulgence. There are much better stories out there with much better plots, and more worthy of our time. Don’t reach out for closure. Close the story within yourself, put it away, and reach for a better one. Start 2015 by closing the door on the past!

–Clare

Our Top 5 of 2014

As this is the week of new years, we wanted to say goodbye to 2014–a great year because it was the launch of the Live ClareLesley movement!  We want to thank all of our followers and readers–you all are amazing!  We’re so glad you’ve decided to Live ClareLesley!

This week we wanted to revisit some of our FAVORITE posts.  Please read, re-read, and share!  Come back each day this week to see what’s next!

Day 1 of the 2014 Picks: Growing Out of Friends— maybe its time to clean out your friend list, as well as your closet!

And make sure to stop back next, and every Wednesday for new blog posts!  Better yet, follow us and we’ll let you know when we have a new one up!  Also follow us on Facebook or Twitter @liveclarelesley  Also, feel free to #liveclarelesley and share and post!!

xoxo–LL and Clare

Growing Out Of Friends

Friendships are usually loving relationships with urban family members of your choosing.  However sometimes they do grow stale and even toxic.  Earlier today, I sent a link to a friend about an article online that I thought she would find comically introspective. Although I sent the article with good intentions, she got quite incensed. It used to be that she would laugh at something like this, and not take it so personally, but now she sees it as an attack—and I’m probably mothering and smothering, as I’m wont to do.  Both of us have changed along the way, and neither of the women we have become inside the friendship are the women who entered it.  We’ve evolved.  We are at the point of toxicity.  We’ve grown past our need for each other.  So the question begs to be asked: what do you do when you’ve found yourself outgrowing a friend?

Like a romantic relationship, a good friendship is a partnership. They should bring out your best, help you shadow your dark to the public, and help you tailor or fix these things in private. You’re not necessarily agreeing to go in half and half, but you do have to ebb and flow with what life brings to this coupling.  Someone once told me that kindred spirits find you when they are needed and then when they no longer are, they leave you. They might come find you in other lives (whether you’re a faithful person or a spiritual person, we all think that we will find people again that mean a lot to us).  The big question for today is: when is the time to leave people in this lifetime?

We often think about how to update and improve our romantic relationships.  Couples go to counseling in extreme situations, but successful couples continually strive to make the relationship new or constantly evolving.  In today’s society, where we are in consistent endurance to make our own selves better, and our romantic relationships better, the same society that applauds and reveres “friendship comedies” like Sex and the City, Friends, Will and Grace, and How I Met Your Mother, why are we NOT investing more time into friendships?

Have you found that you’re sort of ignoring or avoiding a friendship?  Maybe you’re not reaching out to the friend at this moment because the person no longer serves you.  And that’s OK.  Really.  People come and go in our lives.  Humans are constantly growing, adapting, and making changes with our lives and where our journey is taking us.  This really is ok.  Change in friendship is bound to happen when you’re upgrading and updating your life.  So what do you do when this happens?

Friendships have to be whatever suits both of you.  At the beginning it could just be a mutual shoulder to cry on and bitch to, but understand that you’ll need to grow and adapt as you both grow and change as people.  When the friendship starts feeling labored, or even if you’re just simply not as excited as you once were to see the person, then its time to rethink your friendship formula, or even walk away.  Not a bad thing.  Change isn’t always bad.  Adapting your friendship to your lifestyle is something that does exist.  Sometimes its natural or unneeded, if you’re lucky, and the friendship just adapts itself.

Taking a break isn’t always detrimental, either.  Lesley and I met at work, many different life choices ago.  Dramatic things happened; I changed jobs, Lesley moved up in the company.  We stayed friends, but weren’t as close because our friendship was built into our work lives.  Lots of things happened in between. I do think that Lesley and I grew out of each other, and then grew back in.  I don’t think I ever got tired of Lesley (and I’m not writing this because I know she’s reading and editing it) but we truly just grew away from each other.  Because I listened to where life was taking me, it led me back to her at a moment that we both needed the support—A Boomerang Friendship, Lesley has dubbed this phenomenon.

Know that sometimes people come into our lives and accomplish what they need to and then move on.  Like anything else in life, change and adapt to what you’re thrown.  Feel free to keep in touch with as many people as you care to on social media, but know that the real friendships are those that both sides invest in and make a priority in life.  If you’re not making someone a priority, or enjoying your time, then its time to evaluate, try to fix, and possibly let go.  Its alright.  Change happens.  Breathe and let go.  A forced friendship is never a good friendship.  If you’re lucky, friendships just work, but sometimes you do have to work at a friendship.  Evaluation and evolution are never a bad thing to stop and do.  A good friend will be there to support change, not add to the aggravation of it!

Friendships are hard.  Cell phones, Internet, and social media allow a little more assistance with friendships, but they don’t do the work for you, they just make it easier to connect.  In a way, these technological advancements have made us even lazier at friendship cultivation.  You have to work at friendships.  You have to check up on people and invest in them to have them invest back.  A successful friendship isn’t a two way street every day, but you have to get back a good amount of what you put in order to remain devoted.  You just have to understand what you put in isn’t always the same thing you’ll get back.  Make sure that your friendships are still working and are serving your current life.  Friendships aren’t always fun, but they should never, ever be labored or make you feel bad about yourself or your life choices.  Evaluate yourself in your friendships—are you getting as much as you would like in return?  Is it you or the friend?   If a friend is driving you crazy, evaluate the relationship and maybe take a break.  Otherwise, you might keep trucking down past the point of no return.  Like any good relationship, a good friendship brings out the best in ourselves.  If you’re not seeing your best, you’re not in the right relationship anymore.

Clare