Nine ways to win at life

Advice. We all seek it until we don’t want it (which is when we actually need it). Its always changing too, both our needs of the advice and the actual advice. As we grow, or refuse to grow, the advice pool is always there. Here are some pieces of advice, that will help you win at life.

  • Worry. This is a must. Do it daily, because when you don’t worry, things don’t get done, or people get hurt, or life changing or threatening things happen. Worry fixes everything, and takes up very minimal brainwaves. So please, make sure to worry every day. Constantly, if possible.
  • Be Impatient. There is nothing that makes other people more happy to help you as when you are completely irrational and impatient—they know you have a schedule, and they know that you are the most important person/thing/happening in their life, so if you keep reminding them with your impatience, this will help you get what you need done.
  • Do everything at once. People who can’t do, multitask. If you try to do everything at once, you have the perfect excuse when you can’t finish anything. And if you get everything done while trying to do it at once, well, that is just a double win, now isn’t it?
  • Perfect perfection. Always focus on being the absolute best. Never settle for anything less. Ever. Never forgive yourself or others if perfection isn’t achieved daily.
  • Rudeness rules. Everyone else is so much less important than you are, and they just don’t understand your life, your needs or your time limits. So why not use rudeness, and pepper it with a LOT of sarcasm, so they understand who you are and will get out of your way so you can be that amazing person, and live your amazing life.
  • Focus on yourself. When you focus just on you, you understand yourself. You will always have to live with yourself, unlike everyone else. No one else has to live with you every day, so you’re the only one who knows what you need and when. Even if you don’t know. You can just sit there and focus on it and commiserate with yourself. Eventually everyone will realize that this is the best way to make yourself the best.
  • Throw everyone under the bus. Remember to get to number one, you have to get there first. If that means you have to pave the way with bodies, do it.
  • Know you’re perfect. Never try to learn anything new, make yourself better, understand others, grow, change, or delineate from your original self or plan. It only leads to destruction.
  • Never, ever, ever stop to breathe or take a moment. Woo-woo people who light candles and believe in things bigger than themselves take time to stop and breathe. You are on your way to winning at life, and your body does those things naturally, so why stop and take the time to do them?

If you’ve read this far, and stayed with me the entire way, I hope you are laughing. This was all sarcasm… To live a great life, do the OPPOSITE of all of these things. There is NO winning life. There is just LIVING life. Mistakes happen. We all get broken and bruised—but you just have to keep getting back up and trying again. Breathe. Be kind. Do the best you can. No one is perfect and we should STOP SEEKING perfection–it doesn’t exist.  Live your life for YOU, but don’t knock everyone down on your way. You’ll be much happier.

Xoxo–Clare

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)

Love Your Skin Now! 

LL recently wrote about Loving The Skin You’re In. I suggest you go read it, or re-read–spoiler, the article was about getting up and getting out and moving–but seriously, go read it!!! It’s VERY motivational! 

I want to reiterate that idea: Love the Skin You’re In! But I also want to remind you that you should love yourself now. Just as you are. Your body is like anything else in life: a result of choices; unique; amazing if you believe it is!
My body type is tall, curvy, overweight (according to BMI, I’m obese). I’m 6’1″ and people are in awe and at times jealous. I’ve made choices. I like to eat, and I love some exercise, but I don’t like to make time for it. This is ironic because LL is a pilates instructor, my roommate is a gym enthusiast (and just came home stating she dead lifted 200lbs–go, girl!), one of my best friends is a dancer and gym bunny, and another bestie is a trainer and a spin instructor. They ALL encourage me to get out and work out–and I admittedly make jokes and faces at them. What can I say–other things take priority.  Here’s me April 2015:
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Apple shaped–whenever I gain weight, I gain it all over–I have fought weight since hormones kicked in when I was a teenager. I have an crazily distorted body image (I forget I’m tall and just view myself as “big”). I’ve also learned how to dress myself so my squishy parts are camouflaged. When I was a teenager, I thought I was fat. I was a size 14 when most of the other girls were size 3s or 5s. Shopping in women’s sizes at 15 years old sucked. Pants and long sleeved things are always too short. I remember a specific incident when I shopped in the hip juniors fashion shop, bought a pair of Z Cavaricci shorts, that frankly barely hid my lower lady bits. I brought them home, and was immediately told to return them. I did–but for a pair exactly the same, but in a different color.  Those got returned as well, this time with parental figure towing me, and then a trip to JC Penney’s women’s section where I was bought bright coulattes–quite the opposite of what all kids my age were wearing. Needless to say, I was unhappy for so many reasons. As an adult, I mostly derive feeling I was fat. Probably because I insisted I was a 12, and the shorts that were too large were also too tight in the waist and I never wore them. I know that the phrase, “you’re too big for those shorts” was used for all unfortunate purchases during this incident. I’m pretty sure I gave up on myself sometime in high school. I know I tried again in my 20s to reimagine my body. But my body image has always been so distorted. My mind is a fun house mirror–the one that makes you look like Violet Beauregard AFTER she blows up like a blueberry. Every time I walk in front of the mirror, I hope I’ll see the other type of funhouse mirror–the one that stretches you and makes you look super tall and skinny.
Looking back at pictures from high school, I wasn’t ever that big. Tall yes. Round, no. I did get rounder as I got older. In fact at one point I was 270lbs–which on my frame was very plump. I struggled into size 20 pants. I was in a few plays around then so I know my measurements.  I was shocked when my waist took almost the entire measuring tape around my waist–56 inches.
I now walk as much as I can, I try to swim 2-3 times a week, and walk a little extra when I can. Even though I’m now down to a size 14, 223lbs, I’m just a little bigger than I was in high school, but I still have that distorted image of myself as Violet.
I’ve created a reality of my body that isn’t true. It is a daily wrestling match with my brain to actually know what I look like and to Love The Skin I’m In. It’s difficult. 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.
This is really hard–especially the first time. Because you are not allowed to pick yourself apart. The new TV show “Younger” Sutton Foster is about to go on a date and asks Debi Mazar about a “cleavage wrinkle”. To which Debi replies: women have such a distorted body image, stop creating issues that aren’t there.
Look at yourself. You beautiful snowflake!  Yes, there are things that could be changed, but the life you led and your genetics brought you to this. Don’t pick yourself apart for the first minute. Look at all body parts, all sides. Those oversized parts encompass joy. Those undersized parts are freedom. Those wrinkles are proof of wisdom.  Stretch marks show experience. Changing your body isn’t instant–even with surgery. Remember there is a healing process in THAT as well. Nothing is instant. The physical things you don’t like about yourself now took time to put there. I have my mother’s thighs and my father’s stomach. But I have MY memories–my friend’s birthday where we ate until our stomach’s hurt, my Christmas holiday in the Dominican Republic where French fries and margaritas were delivered to us on the beach, my dad’s pot roast whenever I’m home–my most favorite food. I have stretch marks on stomach and thighs to remind me of how unhappy I was at 270lbs and a reminder not to return to that–and I’m reminded to be happy at the 50 pounds I’ve lost.
Before you put your clothes back on, pick three things you really like about your body. It could be that you love your pinkie toenail on your right foot, it could be you love the shape of your belly button. Small details are ok. Hold on to the positives. When you start beating yourself up, use the three things you like as a mantra to remind yourself that you do possess beauty. You are a snowflake. Different. Beautiful!
Now, if you want to change things about yourself–DO!  But, unless you’re willing to actively and HEALTHILY work on yourself YOURE NOT ALLOWED TO COMPLAIN!  This negativity will only harm you more. Physically and mentally. Read this Danielle LaPorte article on positivity.
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To review:
1) Stop the negativity–towards your own body, and the bodies of others.
2) Get naked. Literally face the truth, your truth.
3) No matter what, find positivity about your body.
4) LOVE YOURSELF
5) Change it or don’t, just know you are the only one in control of how you look and feel.
…and someone hears Trumpets
Clare
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!
Art credit: Cheryl Richardson.

Am I An “Amy”?

I’m reading Gone Girl, and I’m almost done—don’t worry for those of you who are reading it or have plans to see the movie, I’ll talk about the book some, but nothing that gives away any spoilers. I have to admit the book was really difficult for me to read for the first section. I grew up in a small town in Kansas, and I know where North Carthage is. I have been to North Carthage. My Midwestern town seems grossly similar. I also now live in New York—and although I’m not the heiress and namesake of a popular book series (yet), I was feeling a lot of parallels in my own life. Which I’m sure is a point Gillian Flynn is trying to make—are you like Amy?

This fact is almost as terrifying as some of the twists in the novel. Amy talks about being a “Cool Girl” and makes herself a blend of what men think they want—the thin girl who isn’t afraid to eat, likes to be adventurous, and isn’t upset if a guy goes off and does his own thing instead of premade plans with her. There are a few articles out on the subject like this one, that state their viewpoints on “Cool Girl” status.

In the shower, I was thinking of this—I seem to do a lot of deep thinking in the shower, which is a pain in the ass because by the time I get out, I forget the amazing topics I had just brainstormed.  In the shower I wondered if I should shave my legs, but shrugged it off thinking: I’m not sleeping with anyone at the moment, so…why? After the shower, I was thinking about my last few weeks…I’ve been occupied by a relationship of sorts with a man and it wasn’t as engaging as I would have liked it to have been, so I’m moving on. But before it turned the corner, I was out shopping and planning. I bought new razors, thigh highs, and the pretty kind of panties—the ones that after you wear a couple of times just get all frizzy, so you save them in the back of your drawer for “special occasions” and then in a few years clean out said drawer, and end up throwing them away because they’ve somehow ratted up in the back of the drawer, even though they were never worn—yeah that kind. I have all of these things, and am ready “just in case.” Lesley and I had a conversation about this blog, and she brought up that a common complaint people have when dating is that the other person changes after three months of dating, and it isn’t true. People don’t change, they just relax back into who they really are.

I’m a comfort woman, not that I am lazy, but there are things that I don’t care to do, unless its for show. That being said, there are several things I do for myself regularly like wearing pretty smelling lotion, daily mascara, and blowing out my hair. But the myriad of things that I list to do when I think I’m about to hop into a relationship is a bit mind blowing for me. Partially because the list is seemingly long, but partially because I’m so easily willing to slip into a vaguely different version of myself, a better groomed, slightly more sexy, taller (the heels come out) version of myself. Because, in a way, this is what I think I need to be in order to start a relationship. Again, not major changes, but I don’t show up to a first date like I do to daily things.

I’m not just a heightened version of myself only when dating. We all go into different situations where we are a shinier, better, improved version of ourselves. There is a different me at work, there is a different me with certain friends, there is a different me at a networking party. It just happens. It’s when we play into this persona and create even more heightened versions of ourselves that it becomes an issue.

In Gone Girl, Amy confesses that she hates this person who she has made herself out to be, this perfect version of a wife for Nick. The perfect version of a daughter for her parents who are in a cookie cutter relationship. She hates it so much that she doesn’t know who she is. She doesn’t even know what it is that she likes. Because she has created this character, partially out of fun and partially as an experiment, Amy makes herself out to be likeable (to which at one point she asks the reader if “likeable is a compliment”) and therefore makes fake relationships with people by being an amalgam of the things she thinks people want to see.

One of my favorite quotes is: “To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best day and night to make you like everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight and never stop fighting.” ee Cummings nails humanity on the head with that thought. What is the better choice: to be yourself, or to take on who you think people want to you be? Amy says it’s a game for herself to step into these people, these different stereotypes to be more likeable. Feminism says you should stand up and be different than the stereotypical woman. I say: I like fancy undies and heels when I’m out on a first date—heels for the first impression and to give a glimpse at how intimidating I actually am, and fancy undies so if my first impression of you is a good one, I can know that I have a secret I’d like to share—maybe not tonight… but sometime.


I’m not a feminist. I’m an equalist. I think that if you want to let your freak flag fly, then do. If you don’t, well… don’t. Your choice, just don’t hurt anyone intentionally. I think that its fine to be who you want one moment and try on someone else’s skin the next—just don’t get so deep in a lie  that you hurt someone, or worse hurt or confine yourself. If you want to buy fancy undies, or fancy wine, or have a fancy shave, do.

Plans to see the movie tomorrow with my book club, are urging me to finish reading Gone Girl even though my inner voice keeps comparing me to Amy. I think, even though the comparisons terrify me, I know that I’m not like her. Yes, I do try on different versions of myself, but all of them are rooted somewhere in me—I would wear the fancy undies and heels more often if they were more comfortable. But ultimately its not the true me. And when I do put on these personas it is for me—possibly driven by others—but in the end, for me. I’m going to go finish the book now… maybe you should go check on yourself and see how much of your outward self is for you, and how much is for the world… We’d love to hear your thoughts below! (Oh, and I JUST finished the book… I’m NOT an Amy.  Not even close.)

Clare

Text-a-Bitch (or how to pause before irrationally texting)

You know that nagging feeling when you want to reach out to someone who you’re starting to feel romantic twinges for but you just don’t know if you should? For instance, you are sitting on your sofa on a Friday night, staring at your television set that randomly doesn’t work, and you open the bag of chips that a guy left at the party you threw two weeks ago… and they’re delicious, and you want to Facebook him to tell him how great they are? (Let’s face it, its kinda because of the yummy chips, but mostly because you want a reason to connect in the hopes for a response.) Yeah. I know it sounds like a good thought to text him… but here’s the thing, its probably not. And if you’re sitting on that fence and know what you should do and what you want to do are two different things: Text-a-Bitch! What I’m trying to say is that some times you need to bounce certain ideas off of friends to see if an idea merits a sent text message. So when you get a “great” idea to reach out to someone in a way that you shouldn’t, send one of your designated’s a text, and ask their opinion, i.e.:

Hey Lesley, should I Facebook this cute guy about his 2 week old chips?

Now, Lesley is living in a rational world outside of my romantic fantasy world (the one where he immediately responds, and not only appreciates that I told him that his chip choice was stellar, but he offers to come over, fix my television, accidentally make out with me, propose, … and well, you can fill in the rest) and she’ll respond with something like:

Don’t eat the whole bag, and don’t you dare tell him you like the chips.  That is something that a needy loser would do. And you’re not a needy loser. Don’t you have some writing to do? Stop thinking about boys and eating chips and go be productive. Or at least read a book. Muah!

So, after reaching out, I’ve achieved two things: One, I’ve fulfilled the need to reach out and two, I’ve gotten feedback (well three, if you count that I’ve also now put down the chips). And whereas the reach out and feedback weren’t to the person I wanted to reach out to, it still lessens the need to reach out. Also, I don’t sit around the rest of the night, eating the rest of the bag of chips and then moving on to the full box of cereal to keep busy, and either spiraling up thinking of my crazy chip-TV-fixing-making-out-marriage-proposal scenario, or spiraling down wondering why he hasn’t responded to my incredibly important Facebook message at 8pm on a Friday night, and convincing myself its because he is out on a date with another woman, and falling into self loathing, finishing the box of cereal, moving on to a bottle of wine and some really old chocolates left over from the holidays which were now three months ago. I know it sounds like I’m spinning a silly scenario, but I can safely say that a ¾ bag of chips is sitting across the room on the counter, wrapped up, and I’m sitting here writing this instead of alternating between wedding dress shopping and looking at every picture on his Facebook to see if any of the women he is in photos with look like they could be a better choice than me. (We’ve all done it. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be reading this blog and I wouldn’t be writing it.)

Now that I’ve given you this silly scenario that you’re probably shaking your head at because it’s very silly, and you’ve probably done something similar, let me tell you how Text-a-bitch works.

A quick how to:

–if you want to text about something goofy/weird/quirky that you’re not sure if you should: first, Text-a-Bitch (a designated friend who knows you could reach out for advice at any time)

–have a friend, or many, on call to use as a sounding board

–when you have a moment where you’re unsure, TaB the who and the what you want to say

–WAIT FIVE MINUTES

–if you hear, follow suggestions of your TaB. If you don’t hear, wait 5 more minutes.

–walk away. Do something else. Change your focus, you’re mind won’t be far behind.

–if all else fails, wait a day. If you wake up tomorrow and it still seems like a good idea to send off that text, do. 99% of the time, you’ll be glad you waited to text, because it won’t seem like such a great idea once you’re out of that headspace.

Oh, and just to be clear, you aren’t limited to “texting” with this, but I use it as a general term for contact, because at this moment in time, texting seems to be the prime way to communicate. Feel free to check in with your TaB via social media messaging, a phone call, a question over an already planned meet up, an email or whatever. Just communicate with someone in some way to double check yourself before committing the action. The thing is, these goofy/quirky outreach texts (like the chips) are gateway messages. Once you send one, you’ll want to send another, and another and another and another… and when does it stop? When you’ve texted about every grocery in your apartment, and possibly your shopping list for Trader Joes? NO. Stop the crazy now. I promise it will help, and you will have saved yourself from making something you’ll feel is a mistake later.

I know, that now that you’ve read this, you are wondering if this applies to you, because you’re in a great relationship… well, yes, dear reader, you can use TaB for just about anything in your life. A few scenarios:

Family: Want to rant to your sister about how many freaking pictures of her newborn she’s posting on Facebook? TaB.

Life: You’re tempted to text your ex (who you had an horrific break up with only three months ago) because you just saw someone walking down the street that reminded you of them. You know it wasn’t them, but a doppelganger. TaB.

Work: You want to resign and you’re thinking that texting or emailing your resignation is best because you don’t want to face the boss in the morning. TaB.

Remember the whole point of this is to double check yourself. Its like a math problem that has an emotional component. You need to take a step back from yourself and what you want to send out in the universe. Having a friend double check your thoughts is a great tool to have. Texting a confidante settles the craving and the impulse to connect with someone. I’ve now trained myself to weed the crazy impulse texts out on my own. But sometimes I still use TaB. Lesley, and a few other friends can attest. I’m telling you, strengthen those muscles, and make those messages mean something.  Cut out the excess chatter and find that peace within.

Clare

We would LOVE your comments on this.  Please post below, or try it out and let us know how it worked for you!

Don’t Want It Now

I don’t know what I want. Well actually, I know what I want, I just don’t want it now. Yep! This week I realized after clearing out all the pots on the stove, any leftovers from the fridge that I’m done with duty dating. But, I’m so not into dating! Yes, I’m saying it out loud. Why? Because I don’t think we admit to ourselves that we know what we want we just don’t want it now. I’ve decided that it’s completely ok. A-Ok to know what you want but not want it now. This doesn’t make myself or you wishy-washy. In fact, I think it puts us back in control. And right now, I don’t want to be in a relationship, I just want to be single.
There are so many pressures when you are single to be in a relationship. Who are you dating? Do you think they’re the one? Are you ready for that? What are you looking for? If you want a family you should start getting serious! Well, guess what?! Today I’m dating no one, tomorrow is a new day and the day after who knows if they’re THE ONE! They’re the one for right NOW. That’s perfect enough for today.

But, back to my point. I have dated my archetypes—all those men that I think I wanted to be in a relationship, or at least try out (check back for a different blog post on archetypes!). I have enjoyed myself entirely. I know my dealmakers, breakers, and am comfortable re-working them. I know what makes me swoon, laugh, get annoyed, feel supported, free, and get rocked. I just don’t want any of it right now. I want to do my thing. Enjoy myself. Live my life my way, by my rules. Not have to check in, share my time, or worry about another person’s feelings. I love having all the “me” time I want!

I discovered this when I had a suitor turned friend over for a great make out sesh. We have both been through the long, deep relationships. We are both barely a year out of our own past relationships. He said he just doesn’t know what he wants. With this conversation, I realized, I do. I know EXACTLY what I want. Lucky me! Even luckier I’m so comfortable not wanting it right now.

If you’re wondering if something is up with you, perhaps you’re in the same boat. Perhaps you too know what you want but just don’t want it now. There is nothing wrong with that. What is wrong is if you let yourself think there is something wrong with you. Asking yourself questions: am I depressed? Did I make the wrong decision? Should I go on another date? Nope! If you’re not into it, you’re just not into it. Enjoy that! Rock that! When your friend asks about your dating life, you should proudly say “not anyone for now and it’s perfect enough for today.”

If more of us start announcing with pride our Single Status then think of how much better the our conversations will be. We can actually talk about other things going on in our lives with our friends instead of whom we are not doing.

LL