Sunday, April 4

Happy Easter- The End of a Journey

After 40 days, Lent has come to an end. My boyfriend celebrated by drinking a big can of Coke, thus completing his Lenten goal. I celebrated by preparing a long, emotional letter to someone that I have resented and begrudged for over 12 years- my father.

My project began as a way to be feel happy and free from anger. I chose Lent because it was a controlled amount of time and a time when it is socially acceptable to change behavior in the name of repentance. I feel like I have been successful in my project. In fact, I feel that it has blossomed into a new mindset, one where I play a brand new role- the role of an adult.

My apology to my cousin for not being around as much paid off. It actually inspired me to make sure I got to see her. I actually got to see her and her children yesterday. I enjoyed playing with the kids so much that I'm sure I will make time to go see them more often. I tried to apologize to a friend, but then, without warning or suspicion, she contacted me. It was odd, considering that she literally did what I had been planning for a month, but has proved to be a positive event for us. We were able to get everything out in the open and establish an open line of communication, something I appreciate and have greatly missed for the past year and a half. I wanted to write to two other ex-friends and just say that it's all behind us and I harbor no resentment, but a few weeks ago fate placed us in the same Target, a mere 10 feet from each other. I learned from their childish behavior that I would have to put it behind us on my own. In an unexpected twist, an old friend of mine contacted me to put our past to rest. It felt great to get everything off my chest after all this time, and even better to think that my spirit of freedom from the past may have enabled this to take place.

While each of these situations has turned out fine, my last mission is the scariest. I don't plan on rehashing every issue from my parents unexpected and messy divorce, but I do plan on putting it behind me. I know that its something you never truly get over, and that's OK. I'm not looking to get over it, I just want to get past it. I'm an adult now, looking to start a life of my own- marriage, family, career, home- and I would like to start all of that with complete support and open communication between all family members. I've planned a letter for my father which essentially says there was hurt, pain, and anger. Now, there should be forgiveness, communication, and trust. I am nervous about all of this, but I'm a little bit proud. I'm proud that I am finally getting this off my chest. I'm also excited about finally getting past, well, the past.

This project has been exciting, scary, and fulfilling. I have learned about the people around me, and even more about myself. I will try, in the future, to never let myself hold on to anything that may fester and eventually become a regret or grievance. I will try to be polite, and fair. I will be happy.

Tuesday, March 16

Lent: Part 2

So i've been working on my Lenten resolution, which is to give up my grievances, since Ash Wednesday. Quick summary: it ain't easy!

My first mission was to explain to a relative why I don't see her as often as I once did and to apologize for what must look like giving up. She laughed at me and explained that she understands that i'm young and i'm welcome whenever I want. Well, that was a piece of cake.

My second mission is to part ways, emotionally, with a former best friend. I'm not exactly sure why we lost touch, but we did. I would be lying if I said that I wasn't upset about it at one point, but I have since realized that we were going into different paths and our friendship was becoming all about the upkeep, not the relationship. I would her to know that I don't harbour any resentment for the lost friendship and that I wish her well in the future. Easy peasy, right? Wrong! I cannot get that message out to save my life! I've tried a few times and each one failed miserably. It would be easy to say that it failed because I secretly don't want to let go and all that jazz, but I honestly don't think that's it.

I'm going to try my best to get through this one, but I may just have to let this one go on my own.

Sunday, March 7

The "Pretty" Project

Lately I've been working on two projects. The first is my acceptance into grad school. The second is building my makeup collection. While one could immediately argue that the first is more important, I've actually found reason to believe that they may, in fact, be of equal importance.

I plan to enroll in a master's program in Mental Health Counseling (and, God willing, a PhD program shortly after). The program is based in psychology and certifies you in the state of NY as a clinical therapist, meaning you can work with patients and be compensated by medical insurance companies. As a counselor, I would pick a specialty. I'm leaning towards marriage and family counseling, though I could be swayed into forensics or even something related to children and teenagers. I would work with patients to discuss their issues and teach them how to deal with them. It's not that old stereotype of lying on the couch and talking about feelings. It's a patient telling me what is bothering them and then learning how to take that issue and think of it in a different way. I would allow them to see their differences in a new light, to reinvent themselves. In some cases, I may help to modify their behavior, changing the qualities they dislike and want to eradicate from their personality.

Now, after all of that, who can argue that what I would be doing is much different than the allure of cosmetics? After all, aren't I just trying to make people prettier? Now, it may be a stretch, but I'm starting to feel that counseling is to personality what makeup is to faces- a way to be pretty.

We have always been told that beauty is on the inside. There is much virtue in that statement, but, unfortunately, not enough people believe in it. I know this because of my second project, my makeup collection. My project began when I was given a makeup palette from a higher end brand for my birthday. I realized that the products were easier to work with and the results were much more flattering than when I use the drug store brands I had always purchased. I decided to rid my cabinets of cheap products and start building a higher quality (and high priced) collection from scratch. In the beginning, I felt so intimidated by the sales people and makeup artists working the stores and counters. I felt like they were wondering why this Maybelline girl was lost at the MAC counter. So, I took action. I consulted websites, reviews, and even turned to expert tutorials on YouTube- my counseling. After some practice, I mastered a few looks. Now, when I go in the stores, I'm not intimidated. I know the lingo and even look the part. They respect that I'm 'pretty on the outside.'

I would like people to think of counseling like makeup, a way to make you pretty on the inside. Your old habits and issues are the cheap drugstore brands, while your future is the pricey makeup counter- better quality, better results. You may have to throw away some old things, but what you'll get is better results in your life. I'm not saying that your everything will change, but maybe, with practice and care, you'll learn to let your inner beauty shine through.

Thursday, February 25

"Lent is when I determine which addictions I still have control over."

Yes, I stole the title from Whatev.

So Lent started last Wednesday (Ash Wed, for those not in the know). It was the first year in all my years that I did not proudly (or sheepishly, in my case) don the telling black smudge of musty palm ash upon my forehead. It was the first year I didn't go out of my way to proclaim my status as a sinner. Now it's Lent, a 4o day period of time to be used for fasting, sacrifice, and repentance. Generally, you give up something for Lent. I always have. My most succesful year was when I gave up soda at age 12. I still don't drink it. I gave up chocolate once, but my mother decided that was too difficult. One year, I gave up Lent for Lent. That was pretty easy, too.

This year, instead of giving up cupcakes or makeup (my true material weaknesses), i'm going for the heavy hitters: i'm giving up my grievances. Yup, that's right. I've decided that hanging on to pain and resentment is just as unhealty as soda, if not more, because while soda rots your brain, resentment digs in to the core of your being. Every person has had a friend or family member that they have had a falling out with, I am no different. I don't intend to contact everyone i'vel ost touch with and pioneer a new relationship (awkward much?), but I do plan on trying to clear the air. I may send letters, I may have a chat...I may just let it all go on my own- let it float up and away into the distance, like a lost balloon. In the end, I hope to be healthier. I hope to be free of the wrongs of my past, with a clear conscience and on the right side of karma. It may hurt a bit, to dig it all up, but in the end, I think i'll be a lot like the balloon- free, and light enough to let the wind take me to a new place.

Tuesday, June 9

Top Ten Most Overrated Celebrities

So i'm trying something new....a few top 10 lists to spice up the place.

This first Top 10 is a list of the ten (current) celebrities that I feel don't deserve the ridiculous amounts of fame they have somehow acquired. Read on, and make a mental note that any strong insults were partially influenced by PMS. Enjoy, and try not to hate me!

10. Perez Hilton
So I used to read his blog, until I realized is was insanely boring. Who did he sleep with to get his fame? (Actually, if you give me a minute, I’m sure I could check the archives of his page and read a detailed report). Anyone can use Paint to draw drool and cum on pics of celebrities, Perez, and your insults are about as catty as a 3rd grade bully.

9. Dane Cook
Anyone who likes stand up comedy generally hates Dane Cook.Why? Because he is not funny. He is over-exaggerated and steals other comedians’ jokes. His only appeal is to teens and twenty-somethings who haven’t matured into real stand up yet. He’s like training wheels. Loud, obnoxious, sleazy training wheels.

8. Megan Fox
All I know about this girl comes from quotes published in my mom’s trashy magazines. I’ve carefully studied them and came to one conclusion: she has some serious daddy issues. She was overheard saying that she has the libido of a 15 year old boy, wants a full sleeve of tattoos, and has a total crush on a female actress who is pretty much her doppelganger. I’ve never seen such an obvious cry for attention, and guys are just lapping it up. Good for you, Megan. At least your making money off your mental issues. Maybe you should invest in a few sessions with a nice psychologist.

7. The Jonas Brothers
I need to start this one by explaining that I have never actually heard one of their songs. That is part of why I think they are overrated. I listen to the top 40 station on the radio, frequently check out itunes, and stream Pandora in search of new music. I have never once come across a Jonas tune. What that tells me is that they are simply a name. Their sole purpose is to make 13 year old girls faint. Not exactly the makings of serious musicians.

6. Anyone from Gossip Girls
A bunch of spoiled brats running around in expensive clothes, making a big deal about having sex and wearing feathered headbands. That pretty much sums up the entire female population of my high school. I don’t have the patience to go through that again.

Every magazine I read praises the glory that is Rihanna. Her voice, style, attitude. Yea, ok. Am I the only one who finds her voice insanely average and really awkward? I really don’t understand how people like Jennifer Hudson and Chris Daughtry get voted off American Idol, but Rihanna has multi-platinum singles. Sure, Umbrella is catchy, but its all so…done. Techno-inspired dance beats with a monotone female vocalist…haven’t we heard this before? In the 80’s? Come on, people. Where is the real, sing-your-heart-out, no-computer-enhancement-needed talent?

4. Miley Cyrus
I have hated the Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus phenomenon since I first found out about it. Then, I heard her speak. Oh my God! How are people allowing their children to take guidance from a teenage girl who sounds like she smoked a pack of unfiltered Marlboro’s and chugged a bottle of Jack Daniels ALL THE TIME? Not to mention that her accent is totally hicked out. I don't know about you, but I wouldn't want my kids to idolize a 16 year old, never mind one that takes risque` photos and is dating a 20 year old model.

3. Lady Gaga-
She “sings” and dances in bodysuits and hair bows (as in bows made of hair), carries a tea cup everywhere, and wants to have a 4-some with the Jonas Brothers. TOTALLY the pinnacle of normal. She is praised for being unique and innovative, but i'm pretty sure she just shops at the Salvation Army, looking for crazy shit just to mess with our heads. People, where has your taste gone?!? These aren’t musicians, they are entertainers. I long for a day when a crazy like Ms. GaGa was only seen on the first few episodes of A.I., or even the 5 o'clock news.

2. The Entire Cast of The Hills/Laguna Beach…
One scripted reality show about spoiled brats spawned a bounty of wealthy losers that have infested our society. Who cares about the rivalries, fake weddings, spin-offs, etc? Do we have nothing better to do? Are fake tans, mini skirts, and Ugg boots that interesting? Come on, people!

1. Robert Pattison-
If this wasn’t simply a list of overrated people, you can bet your vampire-loving ass that Twilight, and all things associated with it, would be number one as well. Since it is limited to only identifiable celebrities who have inspired pandemonium, I’ll have to settle for the face of the outfit, Mr. Robert Pattison. Let me preface this by informing you that I am, in fact, a woman. I love some nice man-candy. He, however, is nothing of the sort. Pattison is not only creepy, but gross. You know when you can look at someone and just kinda tell that they smell really, really bad? Yea, that’s the vibe I get from this “super hunk.”And I believe I’m right, since I recently read a quote directly from Robert that he hasn’t shampooed his hair in months. I must have missed the “Body odor is sexy now” memo.

Sunday, March 22

(Platonic) Love lost?

Breaking up is hard to do. You are practically obligated to lock yourself in your bedroom for a week, eat junk food, watch depressing movies, and cry your little heart out (in recent years, the list has come to include stalking your ex on Facebook and going out to a bar to get trashed with your girlfriends). You are filled with so much pain, the pain of loss. You mourn what you once had, what you don't have now, and what you never will have with that person again. It can be all at once depressing, frightening, painful, and sometimes liberating. Most of us have experienced this agony at least once in our lives. It's the memory of this pain that keeps you on your toes in the next relationship. It's what reminds you to keep your eyes open to make the right choices, so that the next one won't leave you with your snuggie and a pint of Hagen Daas Cookies and Cream. Recent events have left me wondering: what happens if you don't breakup with a guy, but with your friends?

Lately, things have been a bit hectic. Early mornings at the office, late nights in class, and a bevy of emotional issues led me to prioritize in a new way. Free time was rare and I had promised chunks of it to a list of people. My closest friends were getting frustrated, but I simply couldn't give them what they wanted. After many long, painful nights, in which I judged myself for being a bad friend, I decided to evaluate what made their friendships so essential to me that I was allowing the issue to cause me such distress. After much thought, I couldn't really find much. I realized, through time, that I was clinging on to what the friendship once was, not what it had become. I tried to make it work, but it just didn't. Eventually I decided it would be best to step back and fade out slowly. I thought it was the perfect plan, since it would release me from "best friend" duties, but not make me an enemy. A word to the wise: perfect plans often backfire. Halfway through the fading process, I was caught. They noticed I wasn't around as much and wanted to know what was going on. I'm a horrible liar, so I told them the truth. I told them that I felt like we were at different stages in our lives and that we would be better off going our separate ways. I broke up with them. Apparently, that makes me a bitch. Interesting. After the "breakup," there was a long, long conversation, which was eerily reminiscent of a traditional breakup. We spoke about the weaknesses in our relationship and in each other, we brought unresolved issues into the limelight, and we made comments that can never be taken back or forgotten. The conversation ended with a bitter, sarcastic goodbye. I was fine in the beginning, probably because I was angry and insulted. I thought that I was ok, since I knew I was better off without them. I was wrong. While I still know that I made the right choice and I'm better off without them, I must admit that there were days where my boyfriend bought me Baskin Robbins and reminded me that I'm too good for them and I'll find a new friend. It was the need for his support that made me realize how a breakup is a breakup, whether its with a man or your best friend. I shed a few tears, deleted a few photos, and even dabbled in cookie dough. Instead of texting an ex for a booty call, I Facebook messaged 3 previous "best friends" I had lost contact with in hopes of reconnecting. I realized that romantic breakups have an advantage: mass sympathy. All you have to do is cancel your relationship on Facebook, and before you know it, that little broken heart is on everyone's home page and you have 15 sympathetic comments from people you forgot existed. Your family feels bad for you, so they deal with your moodiness. Your mom tells you to go out and buy new shoes, your little brother gives you the remote, your dad keeps the "I told you so" to himself. It's nice. You don't have that for a friend breakup. You have to find a way to support yourself. I chose to watch a marathon of girly movies and felt pangs of emptiness during the obligatory "best friend support" scenes. I quickly realized, however, that I don't miss them, I miss the idea of them. They were my closest friends for a while, and while they were incredibly flawed and self centered, I still miss the closeness of the relationship we had built over the years. The healing process with take a while. Just like a romantic breakup, I probably won't fully get over them until I meet new friends that remind me of just how bad my ex-friends really were. It's still a bit hard, even though I was the one who ended it.

My next move will be getting back into the "friending" scene, which, in my opinion, is just as difficult as the dating scene. I'll have to put down the ice cream and chick flicks long enough to take that interesting co-worker/classmate/acquaintance out to lunch. Then, if we become friends, we can do that together. Our boyfriends can come, too.

Saturday, August 16


Sex and the City isn’t real. I know, I know…you’re sitting there wondering why a young woman from New York is committing what seems like blasphemy. Just hear me out on this. First, let me say that SATC happens to e one of my favorite shows. I’ve seen every episode and can hold up my end on any Big vs. Aiden/Single vs. Married/ Slut vs. Modern Woman debate. I wore heels to the movie premiere and drank cosmos (ok, cranberry juice, but in a pretty glass!) for the finale.
However, unlike some other women, I refuse to fit the mold when it comes to the series’ many (many) questions and apparent revelations about love and relationships. Why? Because most of them are bull. Think about it long and hard, and tell me why I should idolize the picture painted by one of those four women. If you can, you deserve either a medal or a trip back to reality (probably the latter).
My problem with the ladies started when I was in a kitchy accessory store, and I noticed SATC-themed stationary. Among the pink-and-crystal encrusted goodies was a selection of keychains. Each one was supposed to proclaim the owners status as one of the four girls. There were different colors and icons, such as a shoe, cherry, briefcase, and leopard print bra. As much as I wanted one, I just couldn’t bring myself to pick one off the rack and bring it to the cashier. Why? Well, I didn’t know who to pick. Not a single one of them is a complete woman. Their characters are steeped in the most stereotypical traits of modern times. Charlotte, Samantha, Miranda, and Carrie only fully exist in their roles as romantic, wild, cynical, and pensive (or is it neurotic?), respectively. What irks me about this is that you need to combine the four to make a real person.
Look into your own life and you will see immediately when you are living as one of the characters. I found my examples so easily it was almost scary. For example: I’m Miranda when I’m afraid of being hurt, I was Carrie whenever I couldn't let go of something that wasn't right for me, Charlotte when I’m truly happy, and Samantha when the mood strikes. It’s human nature, in some ways, to react to different things in different ways. If you think about it, these four lovely women were robbed of their ability to experience true human nature. Poor things. I wonder how many cosmos it takes to fix that…