Two Words, One Lesson.

“Me too…” she said, half chuckling nervously, half confused as to whether she should have just pledged a “sorority” she wasn’t sure she was ready to pay the dues for. In the split second following her admission, she decided it’s always better to be included. After all, it was the sixth grade, she was tall and lanky with awkward braces and big ears, and boobs that had just sprouted on her otherwise stick-thin body, somehow at the exact point of her body that was equal to the height of every boy in her grade. The other girls in this new group were the popular girls, so this had to be a good sign, right?

She checked her baby-G watch to realize that advisory period (or homeroom in a less, achem, “preppy” school) started in four minutes.

“Four til,” she announced. “So what do we do?”

She was always the thinker. The over-analyzer. Twelve-going-on-forty her mother and her friends would always joke.

“Well, I guess we need to tell someone, right?” Another one of this chosen group of six young girls blurted out. Her already size DD chest bounced as she shrugged her shoulders.

The girls huddled and ultimately decided that between advisory and first period, they’d meet with Mrs. B about it. The girls never went to first period.

Years later, she couldn’t remember the details of the meeting, whether it was actually six girls, or five. She couldn’t remember if she was the one who started the conversation with Mrs. B or if it was another girl appointed for the task. But, she could remember this – she figured the meeting with Mrs. B would be the start and end of it. Well, maybe it would require her talking a little bit more about it with the headmaster or worst case scenario, her parents, but certainly, it wouldn’t follow her past the sixth grade.

Years later, her memory recalls that day going something like this. Certainly, parts of her memory are incorrect, but we all remember inconsequential-turned-consequential events differently, right?

After advisory, the girls, minus a couple who “chickened out”, went to Mrs. B to tell their tale. She didn’t think that any of them thought it was that serious, but they did think that what they had all discovered was odd, and at least worth mentioning. At the very least, she’d tell them, in true Mrs. B fashion, that they were being dramatic, and then they’d go on with their day. Instead, what they told them that Mr. S, the computer teacher, turned Mrs. B into a ghostly shade of white as she told them to stay in the room and that’d she’d be right back.

Presumably, Mrs. B returned with the headmaster and the head of the middle school. She asked the girls to repeat what they had told her. Nervously, one of the girls recanted how just that morning, one of the girls mentioned how it was strange that Mr. S had, on multiple occasions, reached his hand under her skirt while checking up on her computer work, and done some sort of rubbing thing on her chest a few times, too. How, when she mentioned it to one girl, that girl grabbed another, who said it had happened to her too, and she grabbed two others. Ultimately, a group had formed that realized that they were all sitting in the back row of the classroom and that it was happening to them. And, it turns out, much more to at least one of them, but she didn’t want to discuss that. They all thought it was weird when it happened, but had brushed it off. Now that they knew that it wasn’t just them, they figured it probably wasn’t an accident and they should tell someone. Upon hearing the story, the two male heads of school turned that same ghostly white. If she had a mental curse word vocabulary at that point in her life, this would probably be her “oh shit” moment.

The two men told them all to stay right there, and they did, as Mrs. B followed them outside. None of the girls spoke. What had they done? Were they in trouble? Would other people find out? What was going on?

Mrs. B returned a few minutes later and told them first off, that they had done the right thing by coming forward. And secondly, that the police had been called.

“WHAT!?” One of the girls blurted out.

“This is an awful thing that Mr. S has been doing to all of you. We had no idea. When the police arrive we will confront him and have the police escort him off of campus and he’ll probably be put in jail. Don’t worry girls, you did the right thing. I’m not sure, but there will probably be an assembly about it. It will all be fine.”

That ghostly shade of white took over six more faces.

The girls were told to stay put as this all went down. They did. She doesn’t really remember what they did in the meantime. She does know that it wasn’t that long, because the assembly Mrs. B had mentioned took place in the morning. Turns out, the assembly felt like more abuse than an unwelcome leathery hand inside of her pre-teen thigh had ever felt like.

At the assembly, the headmaster and head of middle school gave some sort of run-down about what had occurred that morning. They stated that Mr. S would never be allowed back on campus, and if anyone sees him, to notify the faculty immediately. They commended those who came forward and offered counseling for any that would need it. They also asked for anyone else to come forward should they share the same experience.

She’s not sure how, but somehow during that assembly, or before, everyone knew. Everyone knew that she had said “me too.” Perhaps, the headmaster had mentioned that Mr. S was doing this to those girls sitting in the back row. Maybe, they knew because she had developed early and it was obvious. Or instead, maybe one of the girls “let it slip”. Either way, suddenly, a firing squad of pre-pubescent boys were whispering in her ear as the headmaster explained that they might be seeing police on campus in the coming weeks.

“You like em older, huh?” One said.

“Hahaha, can’t believe you let that old man touch you,” another whispered in her ear.

“You guys are so stupid. Why’d you make such a big deal about this?” said another.

“You guys are liars.” Another hissed.

She buried her head and tried not to cry. When she lifted it again, she had a fake smile plastered across her face. She wanted to be in on the joke, not a part of it.

“I don’t know,” she said, “it was just like, annoying, you know? Plus, he was not cool at all.”

She knew then, that “me too” were the worst two words she could have ever said. Why did she do that!? She’s always doing stupid things. It wasn’t that big of a deal that he did those things to her. Sure, each time his hand got closer and closer to being inside of her, but she could’ve devised a plan to shift her body as she did it. Why did she need to feel included? She was telling the truth, but she should have known better. This was probably the type of thing her mom had warned her about. About not falling into the wrong crowd. Why did she let herself get lumped into this crowd?

She somehow managed to get through the rest of the day. She doesn’t remember now, at 27, what exactly happened, but it was a variation of this. Things at school calmed down, but there were still several jokes made about the “Mr. S thing”. Her parents were notified and her mom was alarmed, but, aside from talking about it right after it happened, it was not discussed. Rumors circulated at school that Mr. S ran a booth at the rodeo and to be on the lookout, because he would come after them. She was terrified at as she went on the carousel that year. But, she luckily didn’t see him there.

A few weeks later, her mother took her to the police station to give her statement. She wasn’t prepped for what they would ask, and nothing was really talked about on the way there or the way back. She gave her statement to the police and despite her looks trying to signal the detective, she had to answer the questions in front of her mom. She was not comfortable and she didn’t tell them everything. Besides, at that point, she had convinced herself that the little bits that she had told the detective were the whole truth, not the partial truth. To this day, she doesn’t know what parts she carved out of her memory. Funny how that happens, isn’t it.

While Mr. S didn’t follow her to 7th grade, the story of him and the girls did. The boys and even some other girls, continued to taunt the girls for claiming the story and telling Mrs. B. Even before their balls had dropped, the boys somehow knew how to victim shame. It was like it was in their DNA. It was bad enough that one girl left the school for the local public school and never looked back.

She tried to forget it had ever happened. For the most part, it worked. When she was sent to therapy in seventh grade for whatever reason a seventh grader without any severe problems is sent to therapy, it wasn’t mentioned. It was never discussed at home. Once, when she was 15 and a freshman in high school, a new detective called her home. He informed her mother that the detective in charge of the case had really messed up and it was never completed. Mr. S was still out there and they wanted her to come in and give testimony. Her mom asked her if she wanted to and she quickly stated that no, she doesn’t even really remember it anyways and it’s just not a big deal anymore. Her mother was quick to accept and relayed the information to the detective. The detective never called about it again. She didn’t think about it anymore. It didn’t happen.

It wasn’t until some sort of drug was slipped into her drink in college and no one believed her that she had vivid flashbacks to the Mr. S thing. Thankfully, with the drugging, nothing had happened besides becoming violently ill and terrified as her body felt paralyzed, she couldn’t talk and she vomited everywhere with her close friends freaking out around her. That, and you know, the losing “friends” thing that followed afterwards because they said she “claimed” drugging when she had just had too much to drink. She began having panic attacks, remembering that she had done this before, been dumb enough to tell people about something that she should have known they wouldn’t believe, and created a label for herself. She was in college, she should know better.

The next two times something happened to her, they weren’t just a hand up the skirt, a slight brush of the breast, or a drugging without the sexual assault kind of incidents. One violent, one not. Both during law school. Both at inconvenient times. Both assaults by people she knew.

Thanks to the first time I said “me too”, just in the sixth grade, I know better than to tell those stories. I’ll just relay those stories through a hashtag. After all, that seems to be the actual popular thing to do.

Oh- we both know she is me right? Figured we had cleared that up.

So, #metoo.


This story is told to the best of my ability. If there are errors, as I’m sure there are, they are not intentional. On the record, I believe those involved – the school, parents, police (aside from the one detective) did the best that they could, at the time. But clearly, so much more could have been done.

29 Things I wish I could teach my 92-year old Grandmother

Aka my roommate

Aka my roommate

  1. The cashiers automatically print Powerball tickets as cash option, you don’t have to remind them three times, twice a week.
  2. You don’t have to use a cell phone to call another cell phone. You won’t be charged a long distance fee if you call a cell phone from a land line.
  3. It’s okay to go on a date once every fifty years. Or not. Dating kind of blows anyways.
  4. It is not polite to stare at someone’s cell phone screen and comment and/or ask about every single thing they’re doing on their phone.
  5. It’s okay to ask for help from those who love you. You’re not bothering us. We exist to help each other and we would never think less of you because you ask. It shows you trust us.
  6. You pet a dog, you don’t pat a dog. (Also, the “love taps” to my face kind of hurt)
  7. In the past when I haven’t been in a relationship with someone, it is not because I’m stubborn or there is a problem with me. It is not because I didn’t try or because I didn’t want one. It is because I am me and I owe it to myself not to settle.
  8. On that note, chivalry, as you know it, is kind of dead. (side note: just because I have a boyfriend that somehow defies this statement does not make it less true. But yes, you did “tell me so”. I found a unicorn. Shout out to that dude). Guys are not necessarily straight forward with their intentions. They won’t assume you are exclusive because they took you to drinks twice. On that note, I should not demand a full dinner-date the first time we go out. Most girls don’t get picked up for a first date or called on the phone when they are asked out. Texts, or whatever you call them, are our unfortunate new normal.
  9. I know you can move more. Walk more, you’ll feel better. I believe in you.
  10. I’m really not that fast at getting ready. I just don’t think you need an hour and a half to put on your makeup to walk to get your mail. Also, it’s okay if I forget to put lipstick on.
  11. You don’t believe it, but you’re my hero. Your kindness is overwhelming. Your words speak the truth. Your criticism is always from a place of love. Your wisdom is quirky and unparalleled. You are a maverick of your generation, but still the epitome of class. (One thing I don’t need to teach you: how to rock a pair of pants)IMG_6838
  12. Just because you can’t find something doesn’t mean the movers stole it during your move 6 years ago. They probably didn’t sell a picture of your brother on the black market.
  13. Wearing hearing aids is not a sign of weakness. No one even notices. If you are able to participate in a conversation, believe me, the only thing people are paying attention to are the hilarious things coming out of your mouth.
  14. 65 degrees does not warrant turning the heat on at 75.
  15. How to use on-demand.
  16. If I ever express feelings of hurt by any of your actions, you are not a failure. You are my favorite person in the world. If I get upset, it’s not because you have a fatal flaw. It’s because we are both human. And by the way, I notice when you listen to what I say and make huge efforts to make it better.
  17. Life could have always gone differently. It won’t go as planned. Forgive yourself if you think you messed something up along the way. I assure you, we all think you did a pretty damn good job. I mean, you gave us our existence, literally.
  18. They dropped the “the” from “The Facebook” over ten years ago. Similarly, I wouldn’t reference the internet as my internet. If anything, it’s probably Bill Gates’ internet.
  19. You look good for your age. But, you’ve looked good at every age. You were, you are, and you always will be beautiful.
  20. You don’t need to remind me, I do know you have the best fashion sense around. And yes, it’s all about having the eye and make sure it’s a good fit.
  21. You don’t need 37 extra bottles of detergent. If it’s been on sale that many times, it probably will be on sale again.
  22. The Bar Exam was really hard and it was not guaranteed that I would pass it, no matter how smart you think I am. But thank you for thinking that.
  23. There’s a mute button for the tv. It has the magical powers of allowing us to hear what we’re saying when we scream a conversation at each other.
  24. I know you’ve borrowed a few stories. Never stop telling them.
  25. You are as smart as I am and you are as capable. I grew up in a different time. I was given different opportunities.
  26. Physical therapy is not the same thing as working out.
  27. At some point, it is nice to sit on the nice furniture instead of just staring at it.
  28. Whenever I called you to “check up on you” every day for the ten years I lived away from home, it wasn’t for you, it was for me. Also, thank you for reminding me what I said the night before. I accidentally had 2 cocktails instead of the one I *normally* drink.
  29. How to make a foot of room in one of your four closets for me. Eh, you know this already. Nevermind. I’ll go get another hanging rack at target.

I have solely you to thank for allowing me to believe that my voice is worth listening to. That my accomplishments mean something and that I am loved. Thank you for being the encouragement that I didn’t know I needed, for expressing how proud of me you are when I think I’m just doing what is normal and expected, and for bragging about me to a point of embarrassment. Thank you for literally taking notes when I tell you about an accomplishment, so that you get every single detail right when you get to tell the nasty woman at the beauty shop about it. Thank you for crying when I left after visits home from Boston and Philadelphia and for showing me the purest form of love. You are my best friend and my favorite topic of conversation. You have filled my heart with your love and allowed it to open up to others’. Your sense of self is unparalleled, even if it means you offend people sometimes. We all know that “they should know”.

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Who’s grandma is awesome enough to commission an “L” necklace for law school graduation. I know you are “too classy for a poster”, so thank you for letting everyone know that Lollie graduated Penn Law in 2016. And you are her grandmother.

29 Things I’ve learned from Living with my 92 year-old Grandmother.

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  1. Don’t ever underestimate the power of folding your clothes properly, ironing everything and spending a few extra dollars to have your clothing tailored to fit you well.
  2. When receiving a present, always think about who you can re-gift it to – not because you are cheap, but because you’re fortunate and never need it more than someone else out there (but it is okay to keep the really good ones…).
  3. Always wear lipstick.
  4. Don’t ever forget that when you are young, you should enjoy it. This means sleeping when you can, and operating on a lack of sleep when it means another time to enjoy your youth. Friends are forever, but don’t live forever. Never feel the need to defend yourself for enjoying your life. One day, your butt will be stuck sitting down and you’ll wish it was still boogying.
  5. Control over the thermostat can be quite a contentious issue.
  6. Mean girls exist no matter your age. Don’t be naïve.
  7. (already a mantra, but reinforced) Talk to anyone and everyone, whenever and wherever you can. Don’t worry if whoever you’re with is embarrassed or uncomfortable because of it. This is how friendships begin, spirits are lifted, gaps are bridged and stories are started.
  8. When in doubt, more hairspray.
  9. When you think you’ve used enough hairspray, add another layer.
  10. QVC actually sells some decent items.
  11. You can survive without wi-fi. Cherish being disconnected with those you love, but expect Steve Harvey’s voice to be playing in the background.
  12. Always write thank you notes in a timely manner.
  13. Oftentimes people who say they are hard of hearing can hear a whole lot more than you would think.
  14. Spending time with those who raised you is the most valuable gift you can give. You may not receive a thank you note or even a thank you for all the chores you’ll do, errands you’ll run and favors you’ll give as a result, but then again, do you think four year-old you ever thanked them for everything they did? You have the power to change someone’s day just because you put aside time to spend with them. You can provide love to someone when those feelings may sometimes feel like a distant memory to them.
  15. If you can, write down your stories. Live a life that you are proud to put on paper, or, at the very least, would be an entertaining read.
  16. It’s A-Okay if you forget what day it is.
  17. You’re never too young to use eye-cream. The cheap stuff is just as good.
  18. Why would you ever buy Q-tips or paper plates anywhere else besides the dollar store?
  19. Speak your mind. Air your grievances. If you’re wrong, well, you’re wrong. You’ll figure that part out when it comes to it.
  20. If you are invited to an event and believe someone else should have also been included, don’t be scared to ask the host to extend an invitation.
  21. Keep track of what you make mental note of and what you’ve actually communicated out loud. You can avoid a lot of confusion.
  22. Always keep something in the home to serve unexpected guests. It may seem old-fashioned, but it’s never a bad idea.
  23. Check your receipts before you leave a cashier.
  24. You can never have too much closet space, too many shoes, or enough extra toilet paper.
  25. Get up and get dressed every day. It’s perfectly fine if “getting dressed” just means changing into a fresh pair of pajamas.
  26. There will always be challenges in your life that are beyond your control.
  27. Forgive yourself for past mistakes.
  28. Apparently, don’t date a Scorpio. Ever. She means it.
  29. One day, my grandmother WILL win the lotto.

Lord it’s so hard to be humble when you’re perfect in every way.

Gotta love some Willie Nelson right? I used to love this lyric every time I heard it. In fact, I’m sure if it was written out in some sort of caligraphy-o-rized script on @bitches instagram or some shit like that a few years back (if that was a thing a few years back) I probably would have thrown it a like or at least an internal smirk. Funny thing is, I just re-read that lyric literally as I’m typing this and instead of an internal smirk in an “oh so true” kind of a way, I read it in a jealous, dear lord I wish I believed that to be true way.
Insecurity is a really funny thing. In my mind, it is almost a curse word… but I think that may be part of the problem. The funniest part about using the term itself is actually that those that use the term frequently to describe others, are often using it from a sort of insecure place, or really as a way to insult someone without allowing themselves to believe that they are actually insulting the person. Allow me to elaborate with the following examples.
Example 1:
Girl A at party looks Girl B up and down. Girl B is flirting with likable guy.. like a lot. Girl A to Girl C: “Wow Girl B is such a slut.” Girl C to Girl A: “Well you know, she’s just insecure. You’re so much prettier. Don’t worry about her.”
Insecure = replacement for admission of jealousy or using meaner words to say how you really feel. 
 
Example 2:
Girl A tells beautifully skinny Girl B she should eat a hamburger. Girl C tells Girl B to not worry about it, Girl A is just insecure.
Insecure = replacement for meaner words of how she really wants to describe the woman/ excuse for behavior.
Okay, here’s my example. And most of you who know me know that I don’t typically bash on certain ex-boyfriend who I lived with and this HONESTLY is not meant to do so. But I am writing this to admit to you that I am insecure. I AM insecure. I WAS not.
While I was dating said ex-boyfriend we lived together. At the young age of 23, I was quite busy in my first year of law school and to be frank, just really didn’t have a jealous or suspicious bone in me. I don’t know if that was because I had a big head and didn’t think a guy would ever want to cheat on me or if I really just wanted to see the best in people. Either way, as said ex-boyfriend and I lived together, I would frequently use his phone to play games, etc. In about the last six months of our relationship, said ex-boyfriend would consistently tell me that I was paranoid if I asked him while he was taking his phone away from me. If I asked an innocent question about where he went while I was out of town, he would call me insecure. If I made a joke that he checked out a girl (I was probably checking her out in awe at the same time) he would tell me I was insecure and had trust issues because of my relationship with my father. The list goes on and on. Long story short, I think you can see how in these last six months of our relationship, where in fact he was having relations with at least 6 other women, he had somehow convinced me that I was insecure, even though I had never accused him of anything…. he ultimately admitted it after the first time I flat out asked him if there was something I should know.
Insecure = excuse for behavior/manner of making someone else question their own logical acts
 
So, I realize how roundabout this whole post is, but this is the funny thing. I was not insecure then. How do I know that? Because I truly, honestly I  am now. How did this happen? Did it happen when I found out about the first girl? the second girl? The fourth and fifth? Did it happen when I had to admit to people what had happened and people consistently asked how I found out? Instead, did it happen in the three years that followed as law school beat me to a pulp, I never really figured out dating and then fell into a job that convinced me I was less than nothing?
Several thousand dollars of therapy later and I honestly can’t answer that. I can say one thing. I was not insecure then. Sure I had my moments, but in many many ways I was a very confident young woman. But I also hadn’t experienced a lot of the life challenges that I have now. Call me an asshole for saying this but I hadn’t had troubles getting guys to like me. I really didn’t have a hard time with school. Aside from 20 pounds I’d like to forget my freshman year of college, staying in shape came pretty easy. Does my life suck? Absolutely not. Those 20 pounds went away and I still have a wonderful education and ultimately, am blessed for my work experience.
I find it pretty funny when people ask me if I’m “over” my ex-boyfriend. First of all, the ones who normally ask are people who have no business asking such a personal question and if I said no, would likely not be willing to help in any real meaningful way (aside from one unbelievable former educator, who had a lovely conversation about this with me the other day). Second of all, what does that even mean? Look, if my ex-boyfriend asked me to date him in any capacity again I would literally put water in my mouth just to have water in my mouth and spit it out when he asked because I was laughing so hard. Yes, in that sense I am over him.
SO HERE IS THE THING PEOPLE DON’T TALK ABOUT. When you are cheated on, you get over the person, but it is really really really hard to get over the situation. I’m talking REALLY hard and I am a damn strong woman. One day you are living your life with one reality and in a split second, everything you believed to be true no longer is. One day, you think you are the apple of someone’s eye and later that day you are that person’s worst fear. You are the person that they are scared will find out the truth. They are who you think is the closest to you in the world and instead you are the one person in the world they don’t want to let in. This is what I know about being cheated on. I also know, that in some twisted, fucked up way, when you are cheated on, at least for me, when the scorned ex drifts into your past and all you are left with is yourself, it is not them that you are left with being angry at, it is yourself. He’s no longer around. I can no longer walk in the other room and ask him if there was a seventh girl… and even if I could ahhahahahha dear lord I would not. But I am still here. I still live with myself. I am here questioning myself, my ability to read people, my ability to trust others, my self-worth and my reality. That’s the truth.
So here’s the time where I contradict myself and, spoiler alert, there’s no beautiful ending to this long-winded post that will bring it all together. A few weeks back I was hanging out with friends in Philadelphia when I made what seemed to me like a normal comment and my friend who I have not known for that long, very kindly said to me that “we need to work on your confidence. I feel like you think you’re not worthy and it’s just not true. I was the same in my 20s, but you deserve to know now that you’re not less than anyone.” He said it from such a place of warmth and love that I actually had to excuse myself to the restroom and actually cried a happy tear. I agreed with him, but to hear it from someone else was such a symbol of pure kindness, and I’m not quite sure why it was hard for me to believe that someone had that much kindness inside of them.
So, I had that conversation. I had the conversation with my former educator who says that he’s known I’ve been insecure since I was a child (probably true but in different ways) and that we need to figure out how to deal with it. Until a few days ago, while these words had been hard to hear, I knew they were true and honestly felt like yes, something I obviously need to work on, but in the end it was only myself that I was hurting.
Wrong. The other night, a close friend wanted to set me up with a friend of hers and invited me to a house-warming party at her place where said set-up would be. He was nice as can be… tall.. good looking… I mean, dream set up. It was a party, so of course it was a casual set up and it was not like I was his date or anything like that. During the party, he was nothing but kind to me and I realized at some point (through the haze of some pineapple vodka drink that has me on a temporary alcohol ban at the moment) that he was talking with another woman a lot. Call it flirting, call it whatever you want. It really doesn’t matter. He was/is single, it was a party and he had every right to. Well, in that moment I pulled him aside and COMPLETELY out of jealousy and nothing else, I said something really awful about the woman he was talking to. I don’t even want to repeat it because I’m ashamed. He appropriately thought my comment was disgusting and very nicely told me that (I believe something later like “that was  a strange comment” .. I deserved a much harsher criticism). Later that night I half-ass told my friend who was doing the setting up that I messed it up and she told me that she heard what I said and that she knows that’s not me, but I need to stop being insecure. So fuck me, what I said before was wrong. She was right and she was a good friend. I am insecure and I let it get the best of me. If I could have just trusted that whatever happens happens, that I’m worthy of being loved and if it is with this guy or some other man who comes along so be it, then I could’ve saved myself, my friend and the guy some embarrassment.
So if you’ve made it to this point then you’ve made it past whatever I’m going to reread for typos and you’re a fucking champion. I guess the reason I’ve written all of this is because over the last 24 hours I’ve been thinking about this insecurity and how it really has gotten the best of me. About a month ago, right before my first blog post, I also made a promise to myself to hold myself accountable for my actions. My flaws make me beautiful but negativity does not. So, I’m really dedicating myself to addressing this issue. Part of this is practicing self love. Focusing on my strengths and what makes me a good person. Knowing who my true friends are and also knowing how wonderful these people are and they would not be friends with me if there wasn’t something positive about me.
Ultimately, I stand by my statement at the very beginning of all of this that being labeled insecure can be an insult and most of the time, when we call others insecure, it is meant as an insult. If you are not saying it from a loving place, don’t label someone as insecure. It’s a real thing and it does hurt. On the opposite site of the spectrum, if you do realize a friend is insecure, tell them. Let them know you love them and they have no reason to be. NO ONE has a reason to be. We are who we are. If we aren’t where we want to be, let’s help each other get there. In the meantime, I’m going to work on being my own biggest fan.
So I’m sorry Willie, I am humble and I’m not perfect in every way, but I think I can try to find some sort of compromise where I learn to love myself in every way.
Would love to hear your experiences/thoughts/suggestions in the comments below. xoxo

#Adulting

Resume vs. Reality

I am 27, Ivy League educated, completely self sufficient, a lawyer at a large corporate law firm in Boston and compared to many, I have been known for the large part to “have my shit together.” This was 3 weeks ago.

Oh, I left one thing out: completely miserable.

Many would tell me to never admit that for several reasons – don’t show weakness, no one wants to be around someone who is miserable,  no one wants to hire someone who seems unhappy, it’s not a “good look”….. the list goes on and on.

But here’s the thing, do you know how empowering it is to admit that you’re unhappy? What once felt shameful to say out loud now feels energizing. However counterintuitive this may seem, once you admit you are unhappy, you can begin to try to figure out why it is you are not or even, what can help you chip away at that unhappiness. I’m not talking a pros and cons list here, no. I’m talking what your every day life looks like and what parts bring dread, and what, if any, bring joy.

For me, what I found may not be surprising to those on the outside, but was a personally starting revelation. I asked myself how I ended up unhappy and found that I could not trace it from any point where I can say I was truly happy. For as long as recent memory could recall, I felt like happiness would come once I finally graduated Penn Law, started my “dream” job as an attorney and with this, truly could live my life as an independent adult. But graduation came and went, months of #adulting came and went and the lawyering did not bring the so-called happiness I expected. In fact, it did the opposite. You see, by placing these intense expectations of happiness on one step, I also set myself up to fail and when failure is in the form of personal well being and mental health, that fall is crushing. By failing to live in the moment and instead constantly thinking of how things will be different in the future, I was bound to fall and fall I did.

Every day was a struggle – it simultaneously felt like every 24 hours lasted 24 years and like my life was passing me by. I woke up in tears and couldn’t explain it. Why did everything feel so hard! I really can’t explain it. The only thing I know is the most adult thing I’ve done in my life was sit back, admit I was unhappy and make an immediate and deliberate change. So, three weeks ago, I quit my “great” job in Boston and moved back home to Houston, Texas in search of my happy self. No, I’m not making the salary I was making there and yes, I’m living with my grandma who’s in her nineties. Some would say I’m currently doing the opposite of #adulting, but I really couldn’t care less. It is a beautiful thing to wake up every day and deliberately tailor your day in search of happiness and your true self. If this is failing, I’m alright with that. Because I have to tell you, taking the pressure to “succeed” off of myself feels pretty damn good.

That’s all for now, hopefully more stories of joy to come. Xoxo