My Awesomely Random Life (and Everything in Between)

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Let’s face it, guys.

I’m probably the coolest uncool person in the history of ever. The fact that I just used the phrase “history of ever” only exemplifies that point. Over the years I have come to accept and love my weirdness, my uniqueness, my utter lack of anything and everything cool, however I didn’t always feel that way. I don’t know about you, but my middle and high school years were chock-full of awkward. There was also this sense of pressure to fit in, to be accepted, to feel included.  I spent so much time and energy trying to fit into this ideal, this image of what I was supposed to be in order to be “cool.”

It.was.exhausting.

Not only that, but I slowly lost who I really was. I listened to the ‘it’ music–because that’s what everyone was listening to, I wore the ‘in’ clothes–because you wouldn’t dare come to school dressed in anything but, and I laughed at all the wrong jokes.

It’s not unusual to feel pressure to conform to what society (or your peers) deems “cool.”A construct developed out of the sheer need/want to fit in, to feel like they are a part of something, included and liked. And don’t think that just because the hallways of high school are long behind us that this need to fit in suddenly disappears. Everyday we are constantly bombarded with messages, telling us what we should wear, how we should eat, the cars we should drive, even the kinds of toilet paper we should use.

This noise can be overwhelming, and it can be hard to ignore sometimes for sure, but I think that one of the coolest things you can do, the epitome of cool, is being who you are, listening to your own voice and rocking your uniqueness, your weirdness. Life is way too short to not be who you are, to hide your passions, your talents, your true you.

Here are just some of the things that are more important than being “cool”:

1. Falling head-over-heels, collision-with-the-ground in love with someone.

2. Being vulnerable, even if it’s terrifying and makes your stomach do somersaults.

3. Choosing that bag of **Doritos over that bag of kale chips. **When deciding between kale chips and literally anything else, choose anything else. Always.

4. Busting a move and ugly dancing in the middle of the room, even when no one else is.

5. Choosing to stay in on a Friday/Saturday night to read your favorite book instead. Again.

6. Wearing that 80’s hair band t-shirt because you actually like the band, not just because it’s ironic.

7. Cheering for that baseball/football/hockey/basketball team because you actually like them, not just because everyone else is/does.

8. Volunteering your time to something bigger than you.

9. Apologizing to people you have hurt.

10. Forgiving those who have hurt you.

11. Having a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle movie marathon.

12. Adopting a ‘Don’t Give A Flying Fuck About What Anyone Else Thinks About You’ mentality.

13. Giving every single ‘Flying Fuck’ known to mankind.

14. Learning all the words to Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire.”

15. Disconnecting from the interwebs/smart phones/social media every so often.

16. Wearing what makes you happy, comfortable, and confident.

17. Attempting to understand the perspectives of people whose values, beliefs and opinions are different than yours.

18. Respecting the values, beliefs and opinions that are different than yours, but not being afraid to standup for what you believe in.

19. Dad jokes. Just all of the dad jokes.

20. Puns. Just all of the puns.

21. Going on an adventure with no real plan.

22. Trusting again after losing faith in someone or something.

23. Going to a movie theater by yourself.

24. Going to dinner by yourself.

25. Approaching life with a sense of humor.

26. And a sense of wonder, excitement, and hope.

27. Liking stereotypically “cool” things.

28. Liking stereotypically “uncool” things.

29. Liking whatever the hell makes you happy.

30. Being unapologetically yourself.

I may be the coolest uncool person in the history of ever, but you know what?

That’s pretty damn cool.

I think it was my favorite doctor who said it best:

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Images viavia

Let’s talk dating, guys.

I know I’ve mentioned this before, but just thinking about it makes me break out into hives. Dating in general is the fucking worst. And yet weirdly pretty damn awesome. And nerve-wracking. And just all of the awful. And pretty much the best thing ever.

And first dates?! Psh. Don’t even get me started. They’re a whole other beast, my friends.

A weird and awesome and nerve-wracking and awful and best-thing-ever beast. I think we’ve all been there before. We’ve all had that one first date that makes you want to crawl into your blanket fort and never, ever leave again. And we’ve also had that one first date that makes you ridiculously and annoyingly school-girl-crushy. That one first date that gives you hope, gives you just all of the butterflies pterodactyls, and makes you think that maybe, just maybe, this dating thang isn’t so bad.

First dates are arguably one of the most unique (read: awkward) experiences we will ever encounter, each complete with their own set of highs and lows, failures and successes. Take it from someone who has pretty much seen it all and then some.

To all of the fellas out there, listen up. I’m not necessarily speaking on behalf of all female datees out there, but generally speaking, here are just some of the many thoughts that will likely pass through our beautiful minds the next time you find yourself across the table from your next Sizzle date. (Yes, we now have a dating app for bacon lovers. This is a thing. An actual thing. Because ‘merrica. And because bacon.)

  • It’s 7:03pm. Does three minutes constitute as fashionably late?
  • Shit. This place looks really fancy. Should’ve maybe rethought the Ninja Turtle t-shirt.
  • No, it’s cool. I’ll look chill, like I just threw this on and looked effortlessly fabulous.
  • 7:06pm. All right, cover me. I’m going in.
  • Aw. He’s cute! From all the way over here at least.
  • I mean, he doesn’t look like a serial killer.

1

  •  He’s already sitting. Dammit! I needed to analyze his height compared to mine!
  • Handshake? Hug? Kiss on the cheek? I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH MY HANDS!!
  • Why am I so awkward? Like, I am the most awkward person ever. I should just go ahead and apologize to my date right now.
  • I’ve forgotten how to speak.
  • Say anything.
  • ANYTHING!

2

  • The weather? Really? That’s the best you could do?
  • Wait. It’s okay. He’s smiling. Just breathe.
  • You know what? He’s actually cuter in person. That’s an unexpected bonus I will gladly take.

3

  • Okay. Let’s cover the basics: work, hometown, college attended, siblings, favorite way to eat an Oreo.
  • Just pretend you don’t already know everything about him from stalking his social media. Act surprised!
  • Yep. Nope. Definitely acted way too surprised.
  • Oh thank God the waitress is here. Saved by the menu!
  • I’ll have everything in the “snacks” section. Self-control!

4

  • Umm, yes I’ll split the fries! I thought you’d never ask. #soulmates
  • This is going well.
  • Does he think it’s going well?
  • We’ve hardly had any awkward pauses.
  • Am I talking too much?
  • OMG he hates me.
  • Oh hot damn. The food’s here. Try not to look too excited.
  • Yep. Nope. Definitely looked way too excited.

5

  • Okay, it’s really hard to eat and avoid lulls in the conversation at the same time.
  • What if I’m an ugly eater?
  • I kind of have to pee.
  • Yep. Nope. I really have to pee!
  • DAMMIT WHY DID I WEAR A ROMPER??!! This is going to be at least a 20 minute ordeal.
  • I’m just going to hold it.
  • This dude’s pretty funny.
  • Wait, was that a joke? I don’t want to laugh if he was serious, and I can’t not laugh if he’s trying to be funny.
  • So the obvious solution is to make a creepy half-snort/half-grunt. Nice, Wendi. Nice.

6

  • Great! He’s going to the bathroom. Now, I can check my phone and actually eat my food in peace.
  • Wow! We survived made it through an hour already.
  • Selfie check! I still look cute.

7

  • Has he been in the bathroom a while?
  • Maybe he has stomach issues? Or he’s climbing out the window?
  • FUCK! He’s coming back. Don’t stare!
  • Hopefully he doesn’t notice I just shoved my face while he was gone.
  • Another drink? YAASSSS.

8

  • Is he playing footsie with me? Nope. That’s the guy at the table next to us. That’s not awkward at all.
  • I do think he’s flirting though. He’s laughing at all of my jokes. I’m not that funny.
  • Wait. What am I talking about? I’m fucking hilarious!
  • I kind of like this guy. But who am I to say, really? I def have to debrief w/ my BFF (and mom) later.
  • Oh shit! The bill. Dun, dun, dun.
  • Let me grab my purse and at least try to pay.
  • No, no, no. He just spent way too much money on me!
  • Awe!! But it was really sweet. Crap.
  • And he wants to drive/walk me home? SO SWEET! CRAPPPP!
  • I really do like him!
  • We’re getting really close to my building. What’s it gonna be??
  • Just be cool, Wendi. Stop doing that awkward thing you do with your hands and feet and just follow his lead.
  • There’s not even a name for the part of my face he kissed. Somewhere in the no man’s land between my cheek and my lips. Yep. That just happened.

9

  • Did he really mean “Let’s do this again soon”?
  • Going home and NOT recounting every last minute of this glorious night to my roomie dog while I wait for his text.
  • Yep. Nope. I totally am!!!

And this is why I don’t date, y’all.

This is why.

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When you think about the person who has a big heart, who cares deeply and cares hard, it probably conjures up a lot of assumptions.

They cry at movies and get weepy at commercials (this Google Chrome spot has the ability to turn anyone and their second cousin’s best friend’s uncle into a blubbering hot mess) without concern if someone is looking. They care about strangers more than you thought possible, light up at the possibility of helping someone–even if they have nothing to give them in return–and feel things so strongly and so deeply, that those feelings often make their decisions for them.

They lead with their heart instead of their head.

You might mistake this person for being impulsive, for a ‘leap before they look’ kind of guy/gal. And in a way, you’re right. Because the head says ‘wait’ but the heart says ‘go’. And they’re not the kind that can ever sit still when their heart is telling them to run somewhere.

But painting them simply as someone who has too many feelings and too big of a heart, who doesn’t have enough of a head on their shoulders to really think things through isn’t giving them enough credit. It’s writing them off as someone who is just feelings. As if feelings aren’t valid or strong or worth noting.

The truth about the person who leads with their heart instead of their head that you’re probably too afraid to admit? They’re braver than you.

The person who leads with their heart instead of their head isn’t afraid of the possibility of failing. They’re too busy chasing, loving, and giving to worry about the repercussions that may come back to hurt them. They’re more concerned about doing what feels best to waste time weighing and outweighing options that may never even see the light of day.

They’re too busy loving, and in turn living, to unnecessarily linger on the possibility that something might be the wrong choice.

The truth about leading with your heart is that it’s the scarier choice. It’s the riskier option. More can go wrong when you leap instead of look, when you love instead of hold back, when you feel instead of giving into fear. It’s the bolder choice; the choice that leaves more open to come back and smack you with negativity and pain.

Which is why it is a choice that should be commended, not shamed.

So to those who lead with their hearts and not their heads, who are constantly giving without expectation of receiving, who unapologetically have those hearts on their sleeves for the world to take a piece of: I commend you. 

You are brave in a world that so often tries to make souls like yours afraid of what they’re feeling. You take risks in a world where doing just that is an act of rebellion. You put yourself out there when everything realistically is pointing at you to do exactly the opposite.

You remain loving in a world that is often so unkind.

Never apologize for being that person. Never make your love smaller to protect yourself. Never repress what you want to shout from the rooftops.

Because you are someone who leads with their heart and not their head, and that is brave.

And that is beautiful.

And the world needs more people

just

like

you.

A Lesson in Vulnerability

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Something I’ve been thinking about lately is toughness.

Being tough, being strong, being resilient, being scrappy, being brave, being stubborn, being unfazed and unrattled and unshakable and relentless.

Being confident.

All of these these things are synonyms in places, overlapping like a weird venn diagram of words and emotions and feelings. These are all good things to be and to have, and work as assets no matter who you are or what you do. Everyone is faced with criticism and critique, and everyone has to rise again from setbacks. That’s how life works.

It ebbs and flows.

But of all these tools in the spectrum of human emotion that help get you from valleys to peaks and back again, I don’t want to have a thick skin.

I don’t want things to bounce off of me.

I want to feel. 

Even if the feeling sucks. But that feeling? That feeling is a reminder that I’m human.

In some ways, thinking you’re not human — that you’re superhuman, and maybe even invincible — is helpful. It’s the adrenaline that pushes you through something scary and challenging, and makes you think you’re stronger than you are. Fire isn’t as scary if you don’t feel the flame. And whether you work or even just spend part of your life in a space that constantly requires you to be on your A+ game 24/7, a space that welcomes the critisim or opinion or viewpoints of others (whether good or bad) , you learn pretty quickly to let things bounce off you.

I work in a very digital world, a world of posts and Tweets and Insta-Snap-memories. I see and deal with a very different monster, one that I equal parts love and hate. We’re told to know better than to read the comments. People send nasty messages to complete strangers, either forgetting or ignoring the fact that there is another person and not just an anonymous computer screen on the other side of those words.

Outside of the realm of social media, we have the actual media that is constantly hitting us with news of tragedy, of heartbreak and loss and hatred and ignorance on a regular basis. The truth is, life is hard, often very messy at times. It’s not black and white, there is no staying in the lines. It would, in theory, be so much easier if you felt and reacted less.

Wouldn’t it?

I don’t necessarily think so.

Often, telling someone else to grow a thicker skin is to excuse the actions of everyone around them. “People are awful, don’t let them get to you.” But of course awfulness is going to get to a person. Of course it will bug someone. That’s human nature. You can’t tell a person to not feel, just because it keeps the status quo intact.

And okay, sometimes people can be hypersensitive about some things, but they have the right to feel any which way they choose. You can’t tell them that a feeling is wrong. (You can tell them that the concepts on which they’re basing their feelings are misguided, but a feeling is different from its dogma, and feelings in and of themselves are not right or wrong. They are just feelings.) And excusing the actions of other people — that oh, people are just overwhelmingly shitty, grow a thicker skin, move on — is to excuse that shittiness and let it keep happening.

Sure, you can only control your own actions and not the actions of other people, but your actions can also include taking other people to task when their actions are bad. You don’t have to ignore, and you don’t have to roll over, and you don’t have to simply accept things as they are. You don’t have to grow a thicker skin.

You can and should be resilient. You should stand your ground as much as you can, and especially when it’s for things that are right. But don’t grow a thicker skin. Don’t teach yourself how to not feel.

Let things affect you. Let things get under your skin and crawl up your veins and sit uncomfortably with you until you do something about them. Call people out when they say mean things to you. Stand up for yourself, and for anyone else you see being bullied or put down.

We may mostly be grown ups, but we’re still not so far from the playground. And sometimes on the playground, you’d skin your knee and it would sting and you’d get gravel and grit in your scrape, and it would hurt.

But you would remember that sting and you would learn.

Sometimes it was your own damn fault. But sometimes it wasn’t. Just because somebody else pushed you over didn’t make that sting hurt any less. And sometimes, those scrapes left scars. Sometimes, those moments of vulnerability lead to lessons and breakthroughs. Those moments of weakness often tell us who we really are.

Be strong and confident and believe in yourself, and know when people say things, sometimes they mistakenly say the wrong things, or they do so just to get to you. By all means, be stubborn and be smart about the fact that the internet can be shitty, and people on the internet say shitty things, and it’s often smart to ignore these said shitty things.

But having that wisdom is different than having a thick skin.

Don’t confuse the two, whatever you do.

Don’t grow a thick skin, or at least keep parts of it vulnerable.

Feel. Be human. Be imperfect. Be alive.

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Costanza, I think you’re on to something here.

There are certain things in the life that get a bad rap (for whatever reason). If you didn’t want me to eat all of the samples, Costco, you wouldn’t be tempting me with all of that chicken nugget-jalopeno popper-pepperoni pizza-pigs in a blanket deliciousness. And yes, a good 99.999% of my wardrobe consists of leggings, which I wear to do all of the things (zippers and seams and zippers….regular pants are complicated, y’all).

Society seems to deem (hey, that rhymed!) these kinds of acts as “unacceptable”, but dammit sometimes a girl needs to stuff her face with bite-sized hot pocket-donut-quiche thingys while rocking her stretchy pants!!!

Here are a few more things you may wish you secretly could do IRL (without getting the evil side-eye).

  1. Replying to formal emails with the thumbs up emoji.
  2. Full-on cuddling with strangers’ dogs on the streets.
  3. Repeating outfits on the regular.
  4. Going raging Hulk-mode on your phone when Pandora/Spotify plays that one song you’ve begged it to never, ever, never ever play again. Ever. But somehow it always ends up on one of your stations right as you’ve run out of available skips.
  5. Triple texting.
  6. Desk-napping it up at work when you are really tired. Because that 8 cups of coffee can only do so much, y’all! *If my boss is reading this, I would never think of doing such a thing!!! I’d take it out to my car—much more comfortable. 
  7. On the off chance that you’re not wearing your stretchy pants, having the ability to unbutton your pants or loosen your belt at a restaurant after second breakfast. I want to be able to fully enjoy my food coma in comfort, thank you very much.
  8. Eating 1 2 bowls of Cinnamon Toast Crunch for breakfast.
  9. Openly admitting that you just don’t “get” Beyoncé.
  10. Publicly skipping and/or frolicking. There needs to be more frolicking.
  11. Saying “no” without needing to explain why.
  12. Car-karaokeing to this. On repeat.
  13. Dancing to this. On repeat.
  14. Kicking people in the back of the knees when they’re walking too slow in front of you. Totally JK, JK! But not really.
  15. Handing out demerits to rude people (shoutout to all the line-cutters, loud-talkers, anti-tippers, double-dippers, bullies and Cubs fans of the world).
  16. Eating 1 2 3 bowls of Cinnamon Toast Crunch for lunch.
  17. Picking that wedgie in public/whenever the hell it’s necessary.
  18. Actually being straightforward with people.
  19. Talking to yourself in public.
  20. Openly cringing people with bad breath.
  21. Implementing a citizen’s arrest on people who spoil the ending of that book you’re reading, movie you’ve been dying to see, or TV show finale you’ve got DVR’d.
  22. Being allowed to politely decline hugs. Because sometimes sweat and hairy arms/back happens and gross.
  23. Eating 1 2 3 4 bowls of Cinnamon Toast Crunch for dinner.
  24. Rocking that ‘black socks with sandals’ look because you do you, Bill!

QOTD: What are some of the socially unacceptable things you secretly with you could do IRL?

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Ugh.

I’m getting old, guys.

Like, ‘in bed by 9 o’clock, gets hurt while playing kickball, can’t remember if I ate lunch so I eat second lunch’ old.

Okay, I’m not getting that old, but for some reason my perspective about life has dramatically started to change within the last year or so.

I’m inching ever so slightly to the 30 year mark (the new 20) and while for the most part I still feel and look my age, I definitely have my moments where I can’t help but feel like I’ve tripped, fallen and rolled over that damn hill. Despite my incessant complaining however, I’m glad I’m in the place in life that I am. It may have taken me a while to get here, but I finally have learned to embrace the things I want, and don’t want. The things I like, and don’t like. Life is way too short to worry about things that aren’t worth worrying about.

Ya dig?

Here are just 15 signs that you literally don’t give a f@*& now that you’re almost 30.

1. When people invite you to social outings that you don’t want to go to, you don’t come up with any particular excuse. You just say, “No.” And it feels glorious.

2. When you experienced a friend getting engaged for the first time, you were like, “OMFG WEDDINGS YASSS LOVE!!!” But now when it happens, you’re just like, “Aw. I’m so happy for you. Brb. I need to order a pizza.”

3. Forever 21 is a young man’s game. If a retail store stresses you out and only carries clothes that seem to be made for American Girl dolls, you’re donzo.

4. You’ve started referring to high school students as “children” or “youths.”

5. You don’t make any attempts to hide your hangovers anymore. They happen so easily (like, 2-3 beers easily) that you don’t even fight them. You just let them take over your soul.

6. Your weight fluctuates more than Chandler’s. And it’s whatever.

7. In your opinion, looking like you showered is the same thing as actually showering.

8. “Does anyone have any Pepto?” is something you frequently utter during dinner with your friends.

9. Brunch has become more about the quality of the bacon than about the deals you can get on bottomless mimosas.

10. Nope. Scratch that. It’s still all about the mimosas.

11. When someone tries to start a political discussion at a party, you just look at them like:

cinderella

12. Dressing uncomfortably is awkward for tweens. These days, you’re all about wearing your favorite t-shirt during a night out.

13. You’re less concerned with how good you look for work today and more concerned with how long you can hit the snooze button before you have to crawl drag yourself kicking and screaming out of your bedroom cave.

14. Life is stressful these days. So if you need a good cry while riding public transportation, you’re damn well certain you’ll make it happen.

15. Joining a gym is for recent college grads. You’d prefer to just live in a 4th-floor walk up and leave the house every once in a while.

Or, I mean, you could just join a debilitating kickball team.

QOTD: What are some things that you just don’t give a f@*& about now that you’ve reached a certain age?

Give Me What’s Real

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Give me what’s real.

Messy hair.

Mismatched socks.

That scar on your left leg

and the fact that you can never remember where you put your keys.

Poems scribbled down on bar tabs

and rainstorms pouring down while the sun is still shining.

Give me what’s real.

What’s tarnished,

what’s unedited and undone.

The conversations that happen past midnight,

when your eyes are heavy and your walls are torn down.

That’s where you find life.

That’s where you find perfect.

The unedited and undone.

Give me what’s real.

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