Don’t Let Family Bully You

(Image Credit: Olly)

(Image Credit: Olly)

Imagine this: you and a longtime friend are hanging out, getting coffee at Starbucks because that’s what you do. You are talking, having a great time, when all of a sudden you say something that wasn’t entirely the smartest thing you’ve ever said. It happens; it’s what you do. But your friend? They lash out. They look at you with disgust, they tell you that this is why America is going to hell in a hand basket and put you down. Then, in an instant, they laugh it off as they see your face contort in confusion and hurt. “I’m just joking; gosh can’t you take a joke?” They smirk and move on, as if nothing even happened. Continue reading

Real Women Have Curves: Not

(Image Credit: Iordani)

(Image Credit: Iordani)

Sure, “real women have curves.” But some real women don’t have curves. And that’s okay, but saying that women are only “real” if they fit one body stereotype or another is completely not okay. In fact, it’s entirely hypocritical and it isn’t helping improve the situation on either side of the spectrum whatsoever. Continue reading

Social Media, Anxiety and YOU

(Image Credit: ViewApart)

(Image Credit: ViewApart)

“Did someone like my status? Or see my newest picture on Instagram?” “I know I didn’t get a notification, but it won’t hurt to check just to be absolutely completely sure that nothing new happened on Facebook.” Yes, I’m one of those people. Someone who checks his social media accounts periodically, even when he knows decently well that nothing has happened. Rationally, I know it seems like borderline insane behavior – or at least the behavior of someone who is very anxious. But, at the same time, I know plenty of people just like me… Is social media making us crazy? Continue reading

Things I Wish I Knew In High School

(Image Credit: Voyagerix)

(Image Credit: Voyagerix)

I graduated high school four years ago, so I don’t know if kids are still being fed the same story I was, or if they’re still buying into it. I remember coming out of high school thinking, “Alright, I’m ready for that job now.” Well, it’s been four years since then and I’m still waiting. I’ve had jobs, don’t get me wrong. I spent a few years making coffee for the types of people I thought I was going to be, but the truth is, I won’t be one of those people with the briefcases and salaries until I get a good degree, or maybe three. Just “some college” doesn’t cut it. I’m one class away from an Associate’s, a stepping stone to my next stepping stone: a Bachelor’s degree. And after that, I really ought to get a Master’s, and maybe one day, when I’m sitting on a doctorate and I’m neck deep in a heap of student debt, that’s when I’ll finally get hired for a decent salary. Continue reading

Cheryl Strayed shares her words of inspiration in ‘Brave Enough’

strayedIf you haven’t caught on to my Cheryl Strayed obsession yet, I may doubt how well you know me, or how closely you follow my writing. It’s been a year to the date since I first picked up her New York Times best-selling memoir, Wild, and I am here to remind you (yet again) that Strayed is one of the most bad ass writers of our time. She has entire websites dedicated to her quotes, and a cult fan following including celebrities like Oprah Winfrey and Reese Witherspoon. Her words of inspiration and courage are laid across coffee mugs, clothing, and even inked permanently on skin. Her prose is both haunting and poetic, as she often reminds readers to use the world as a teacher and bravery as a guiding force.

This fall you can carry Strayed’s words of wisdom with you in her upcoming book, Brave Enough. The book will be released October 27 as a collection of quotes from her novels and memoir, Wild. In a statement, Strayed explains the power quotes have had in her own life, “From the comic to the profound, the simple to the complex, the sorrowful to the ecstatic, the inspiring to the stern, whenever I need consolation or encouragement, a clear-eyed perspective or a swift kick in the pants — which is often — quotes are what I turn to.”

Allow Strayed’s words to bring you to new truths, and give yourself the opportunity to get to know the woman who is a true warrior of love. And, should you find yourself needing more convincing, check out some of my favorite quotes she’s written below.

Don’t surrender all your joy for an idea you used to have about yourself that isn’t true anymore.

Forward is the direction of real life.

Forgiveness doesn’t just sit there like a pretty boy in a bar. Forgiveness is the old fat guy you have to haul up the hill.

Be brave enough to break your own heart.

The best thing you can possibly do with your life is to tackle the motherf*cking shit out of it.

Watching Life Through Screens

(Image Credit: Bibi)

(Image Credit: Bibi)

This era of human history is all about “the screen.” We love our smartphones, tablets, touch screen watches and laptops, and we love to share every moment of our lives through these devices and the wonderfully addictive apps that come along with them. And that’s fine. We’re all guilty of it. But it poses a serious question. Continue reading

What it’s like being an Anxious Optimist

(Image Credit: Michael Spring)

(Image Credit: Michael Spring)

There are two things in life that I know for certain: I am an eternal optimist and I have anxiety. I am a walking contradiction; I always hope for the best, but I’m always assuming the worst. It’s a tough world for an anxious optimist like me. Continue reading

The Health Benefits of Cuddling

(Image Credit: Warren Goldswain)

(Image Credit: Warren Goldswain)

Most of us really enjoy a good cuddle every now and then. Whether that’s with your significant other, your dog or cat, or that stuffed animal you’ve had since you were little, there’s just something about cuddling that makes us feel good. In fact, there’s this girl who is allowing people to buy cuddle time with her, a completely innocent way for her to help others feel better. But does it actually really help us? Well, as it turns out there are some really great health benefits of cuddling. Continue reading

We All Have A Different Path

(Image Credit: Narstudio)

(Image Credit: Narstudio)

Imagine you’ve spent all this time pouring over a map; its hundreds of routes crossing and intersecting in a tangled web of possibilities. After much deliberation, endless nights of tossing and turning, and having finally learned how to distinguish a passing cramp from your gut’s instinct, you’ve actually managed to pick one path to brave. You feel relieved! Excited! And maybe a little bit nervous. But that’s okay. Feeling all there is to feel, you set out on your chosen route with an awesome playlist queued up and the sun shining through your car windows, going at the pace which makes you happiest. All of a sudden there’s someone running out into the middle of the road. You slam your breaks and realize it’s…your fifth grade science teacher holding a “wrong way” sign? Continue reading

Why a Good Cry Can Be a Good Thing

(Image Credit: nuzza11)

(Image Credit: nuzza11)

I am a big fan of crying; fat tears racing for the bottom of your face kind of crying. Plenty of studies by fancy psychologists will back me up in saying that it is absolutely cathartic. I believe in crying, because I believe in dealing with emotions and processing them. Continue reading

7 Ways to Reduce Holiday Stress

(Image Credit: Aaron Amat)

(Image Credit: Aaron Amat)

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…right? The holiday season is supposed to be a joyful occasion, but it seems to get more and more stressful every year. Between shopping for gifts, attending parties and handling the pressure of lots of houseguests, it’s easy to forget what the holidays are really about.  Continue reading

Simple Ways to Boost Your Confidence

(Image Credit: Alliance)

(Image Credit: Alliance)

Everybody has something they feel insecure about. Whether it’s the shape of your nose or the way you laugh, insecurities can affect your enjoyment of daily life. Even though your nose probably looks normal to everyone else, and the guy you met in the copy room thinks your laugh is adorable, here are some tips for boosting confidence daily. Continue reading

(Image Credit: Alliance)

5 Things to Stop Feeling Guilty About

(Image Credit: Alliance)

(Image Credit: Alliance)

If there is one emotion that can truly start to become a burden, it’s guilt. It’s cumbersome, settles on your shoulders like a heavy shawl and bounces around inside your skull incessantly. Even dogs suffer from it (If you’ve never seen Denver the guilty dog, YouTube that gold now). And while there are certain situations in which we should feel guilty (cheating, plans of sabotage, stealing candy from a baby), a lot of people suffer from an overly guilty conscience and beat themselves up over everything from accidentally giving someone the wrong directions to making a batch of regular chocolate chip cookies when your sister really wanted pumpkin chocolate chip cookies (oops). Continue reading

(Image Credit: Laszlolorik)

The Grass Is Not Always Greener

(Image Credit: Laszlolorik)

(Image Credit: Laszlolorik)

I have this terrible habit. I think it started around the time I discovered the Travel Channel and Disney World (specifically Epcot: my 4 year old version of studying abroad), and then eventually worsened in my more “enlightened” years followed by Kerouac and Bukowski obsessions. The habit is one you might very well be suffering from too. The constant, and at times debilitating, theory that life could be better somewhere else, anywhere else for that matter. I have this philosophy that if I stay still too long, I’ll never move again. Stuck. A bleak life with little movement and growth, and it absolutely petrifies me. Continue reading