Relationships from the Outside

If there is something I have noticed lately, it’s that nothing is what it looks like. We look at so many relationships around us and see only the picture perfect side, the side that is posted to Instagram or Facebook. We’re too focused on what makes other’s relationships look so perfect that we forget those people are normal and have the same relationship struggles we do.

Log onto Facebook in your 20s and you’re bound to see someone flashing their engagement ring. Check LinkedIn and you can’t escape noticing your old colleague just got promoted…But we’re only seeing a carefully crafted slice of someone’s life — which they’ve probably slapped a filter on — and it can make us feel like we’re falling short when the fact is, we’re not seeing the whole picture.

Newsflash: you define your own success and happiness. And more importantly, the success and happiness of others that you think you’re witnessing on social channels isn’t necessarily a reflection of their reality.

-Rebecca Strong, Social Media, FOMO and the Perfect Storm for the Quarter-Life Crisis

I’ve been in a relationship with my boyfriend for a little more than a year (or a year and a half if we don’t count the few months we broke up and remained friends). We’ve also known each other for a couple years, during which we’ve had a fair share of arguments.

Like many relationships, we argue and a lot of the time it’s about the same things.

  • I’m cranky for no apparent reason (probably because he’s not talented in the area of cleaning up after himself).
  • He’s cranky for no apparent reason (probably because I don’t like deciding where we eat out).
  • We argue about:
    • cleaning
    • who will make the bed
    • who didn’t make the bed
    • what we should set the thermostat at
    • that I should water my plants
    • that he should take shorter showers
    • who didn’t replace the toilet paper
    • I don’t want to bore you with any more

But upon listening to my friends and family and, of course for good measure, an extensive google search, I learned that couples fight. Couples argue. Couples love. Couples persevere.

The problem is that social media leads us to believe everyone else’s relationship is perfect because we don’t see other couples arguing, we don’t see other couples in unhappy moments in their relationships, which makes us think that our relationships are wrong. 

“…it is important to keep in mind that conflict and arguing can be very beneficial to the health of friendships ad romantic relationships.  In particular, facing the need to argue with a close other can be energizing and motivating—the topics that bring about arguments remind us of what is important to us-from our core values to our goals for a given day. Arguments also give us the opportunity to think about and voice how we feel about our relationships and “who we are” as friends or dating partners.”

-Jennifer A. Stamp Ph.D., The Benefits of Arguing

 

Arguing is good, it helps me remember that I have a voice, that I am an individual outside and inside of my relationship, someone who has her own values and beliefs. I don’t always like when I am challenged by my boyfriend, but it helps me grow.

Here are your takeaways: Relationships are not picture perfect, and if you see one just remember it isn’t always pictures on the beach, it’s also stinky socks and arguing about the thermostat settings. Arguing is healthy — it challenges you and your relationship in the best of ways…just make sure your arguing habits are healthy.

 

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Love: so many meanings

Love means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. What does it meant to you?

I have come to realize that we, as a society, put a lot of weight on the word love. It’s a word that I hesitate to say in some situations, even though I’m pretty sure I feel it.

So to find out more about this word, I decided to look it up in the trusted Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

  1. 1a(1) :  strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties <maternal love for a child>(2) :  attraction based on sexual desire :  affection and tenderness felt by lovers <After all these years, they are still very much in love.>(3):  affection based on admiration, benevolence, or common interests <love for his old schoolmates>b :  an assurance of affection <give her my love>

  2. 2:  warm attachment, enthusiasm, or devotion <love of the sea>

  3. 3a :  the object of attachment, devotion, or admiration <baseball was his first love>b(1) :  a beloved person :darling —often used as a term of endearment (2)British —used as an informal term of address

  4. 4a :  unselfish loyal and benevolent (see benevolent 1a) concern for the good of another: such as (1) :  the fatherly concern of God for humankind (2) :  brotherly concern for othersb :  a person’s adoration of God

  5. 5:  a god (such as Cupid or Eros) or personification of love

  6. 6:  an amorousepisode :love affair

  7. 7:  the sexual embrace :copulation

  8. 8:  a score of zero (as in tennis)

  9. 9capitalized,Christian Science :god

WOW, “love” can be used in so many ways. Love can also be an action towards someone or something.

Love for me is comfortably awkward moments, a quick phone call with a family member, snuggles with the baby I babysit, “hello” texts and a hug on a long day. What is love for you?

Find more about what people feel about love with these hashtags: #healthyrelationshipsweek #loveis #healthyAXOlove

 

Warm Hands, Cold Weather

If you’re looking for something to do on a cold Friday night, look no further than finding a friend to play “Rock! Paper! Scissors! Lizard! Spock!” I have the dice game; however, after we read the directions a few times, Bethany just had to learn it like Sheldon Cooper, which in turn made me want to learn it too.

My little and I spent a good portion of our evening learning the whole thing! By the time we had someone around to record our shenanigans, our hands were sore from making the Spock sign.

See how it should be done and giggle while watching it:

 

This was one of the many attempts to get it right on camera:

 

I had to move to the other side of Bethany to finally get it right:

Obsessions of the week

Favorite things this week!

I just learned that “OOTD” stands for. “Outfit of the day” for those of you like me, who don’t know.

In lieu of this new, cool acronym  and the fact that I am a serial outfit offender, as I am constantly repeating outfits; I have decided to create my own fancy acronym, “OOTW,” which stands for “obsessions of the week.”

This week my obsessions have been few and far between; however, some are worthy to note.

Gilmore Girls Prints

Like many millennial women of a certain age, I love Gilmore Girls! Who doesn’t? Can we not all relate a bit to Rory? My single-parent household, stuffed bookshelf, crazy banter and perfectionism sure do align with her! I am so glad her and the rest of Stars Hollow will be gracing us with their presence again this fall, finally!!!

Well, some incredibly creative woman, owner of the Etsy shop, WindowShopGal, has created the perfect prints to go along with my obsession. It feeds my love of art, specifically print art, and my love of Gilmore Girls to a ‘T.’ Check out her store here.

WindowShopGal also has some other amazing prints based off of books and movies you may know well!

I would love to have each season in print to hang vertically on one of my walls!

 

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Buy it here!
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Buy it here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stranger Things

So, I may have watched all of Stranger Things in less than a week! No shame because it was one of the most riveting shows I have watched in forever. My binge watching was affirmed when I went home and caught up with my bestie from high school, who said he was equally obsessed with watching it.

The young actors are so good. I cannot wait until 2017 when the next season comes out. Hopefully, they will include more episodes in the next season. Either way…here is an interview three of the cast did with Chelsea Handler.

Millie Bobby Brown, the young woman who plays El is hilarious! She kind of reminds me of Emma Watson. I basically want to be her six years ago…actually now, today I want to be her. Watch the interview with Chelsea Handler here!

Story behind the meme

If there is one thing I love, it is a good story. It doesn’t matter if it is fictional or factual, on television or in a good book. If I can immerse myself into a new world then I’m sold!

 

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Find the story here!

 

A Facebook friend shared, “The Incredible Story Behind The Senior Freshman Meme,” a Refinery29 article by Amanda Green. The story follows the life of Nola Ochs, who is from Jetmore, Kansas, and primarily focuses on her calling, to completing her bachelor’s degree at 94 years old. Go Nola!

As a lover of education at any age, this story resonated with me. Who knows, maybe I’ll be the 94-year-old in the classroom some day on round two of college, correcting my professor.

Places we love, going home

Saying goodbye is hard, especially to friends and family. However, there are a few mindsets that can make saying goodbye easier.

 

Jenn
Jenn and I in downtown Detroit. I had to get my Starbucks “Places” mug.

 

If there is something I dislike very much, it is saying goodbye. Whether that is goodbye to a friend as they are off to begin an adventure or saying goodbye to my parents.

But if there is anything I have learned growing up, it is that goodbye is just a part of life. It is something you need to learn to say in order to move on.

So, what makes saying goodbye easier?

  1. Knowing the goodbye isn’t a forever goodbye.
  2. Having an understanding that your goodbye is leading to other opportunities.
  3. Saying goodbye means you won’t see each other as much, but it does mean you will have plenty more to talk about when you meet again.

I believe the best goodbye I said was after my junior year of high school. One of my best friends graduated a year before me.

She lived in my high school’s dorms and is from South Korea. Jenn is a year older than me, so she graduated a year before I did. Her graduation meant going back to Korea for the summer then moving to Detroit for college. However, that also meant we really didn’t know when we would reconnect in person again. We would throw around ideas, but never settled on anything.

That goodbye was hard, probably the hardest. I knew I would see her again, but I didn’t know if it would be months from then or years. But like any good friends do, we kept in relatively close contact through iMessage, facetime and Snapchat. Even though we were in different states or even different continents, we never let the distance get to us.

Fast forward from her graduation in 2013 to November 2015. I found a great flight and hit up Detroit for a long weekend at the beginning of my Thanksgiving break.

The most amazing part about my trip, it seemed like time was at a standstill for us. I can’t even remember what we talked about, but it was as if no time had passed. Our friendship had withstood the test of time and distance, and I honestly cannot think of a better friendship than that.

Saying goodbye at the end of that trip was hard. Probably one of the hardest goodbyes since the last time we had said it, but knowing that our friendship was solid changed the tone. This goodbye wasn’t as sad or melancholy, although I think I cried once I got through security, it was joyous knowing that the next time we saw each other nothing between us would really change.

I had a post about goodbyes in my drafts, knowing it was something important to write about; however, the topic had evaded me until Jenn called this past Tuesday. She was on her way back to Detroit after spending a summer in Korea. She happened to call and text me a bajillion of times while I was in class. Unfortunately, I couldn’t talk to her that day, but the following day we reconnected between my classes and caught up on each other.

I do miss Jenn, just like I miss a lot of my friends, but I know that the next adventure is not too far away and they are just a phone call, iMessage, facetime or visit away.

It’s Simple

We all dream of being effortless. I am not.

We all dream of putting forth that effortless front. We want to make our lives seem utterly effortless in every way. Whether it is the way we dress, style our hair or do our everyday work; there is some force telling us to show effortless perfection.

I have friends who exemplify this effortlessness. I do not. I am constantly falling up the stairs, locking myself out and creating stains on all my clothes, but it is okay. Through a few trials and a lot of ups and downs, I have come to the realization that being perfect and effortless is not the goal.

The goal is to be happy with yourself and where you are.

Am I content with my innate ability to spill whatever I am drinking on myself? Not really, nor am I happy with my indecisiveness; however, I see my utter ability to mess up a lot as slightly motivating.

Being a bit crazy and not together is okay, but it motivates me to get my life together in other ways. So let’s see where this goes. Where will my crazy, indecisive brain take me? Right now I’m okay not knowing, but I sure am excited to find out.