Babies, Brunch, and an Art Walk

I’m enjoying my last day here in Santa Barbara. It has been an incredibly relaxing and restorative adventure; plus hanging out with my best friend is awesome in of in itself. Now that she’s a mom (with another on the way), it’s safe to say the dynamic of our activities has changed drastically.  Continue reading “Babies, Brunch, and an Art Walk”

I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends

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No man is an island– though I’ve had to consciously remind myself of that as of late. As someone who spends a lot of time in her head, it’s nice to come down to planet Earth and speak to my fellow human beings– especially if they are people I’m very close with. So I’m happy to report that I had the awesome opportunity to have a quick coffee with my dear friend Toni, and her boyfriend Vince.

I’ve known Toni since high school and I consider her to be one of my closest friends. We’re incredibly similar in the fact that we’re both pretty independent, outspoken, and hate texting consistently. Unfortunately since she’s in SD and I’m in Vegas, we only see each other about twice a year– her visiting after the spring semester, and I make a trip usually around August . So it was such a great treat to have a coffee before her flight.

My favorite aspect about our friendship is that we don’t have to be in constant communication with one another to know that we’re still close. In fact, when we get together, it’s like picking back up where we left off. Plus, knowing each other as long as we have, our conversations are more frank and honest– which makes for hilarious times.  Also it doesn’t hurt that her boyfriend is such an awesome person and actually contributes to the conversation. Their personalities compliment each other so well, so I couldn’t be happier for the both of them.

While I’m sad it was a short visit, I’m glad we made it happen as it was like a charge to the emotional batteries. I feel rejuvenated– like maybe I’ll hit the gym or something (or something, ha). Anywho, I have to get back to work, I have a ton of cool projects I’m working on at the moment and I’m incredibly stoked! Also be on the lookout for more Freelance Friday posts tomorrow. (Don’t worry I’ve already written them, so they’ll be up). Happy Thursday peeps! 🙂

The Perks of Snail Mail Pt. 2

A while back, I talked about writing letters to my best friend back home. As it stands, it’s still something I continue to this day. In fact, I’ve expanded my little operation to a few more friends in Cali and Hawaii. Continue reading “The Perks of Snail Mail Pt. 2”

The Perks of Snail Mail

It’s no secret that I love writing. There’s something about putting words on paper that is just the bee’s knees for me. While writing is a great love of mine, getting a handwritten letter in the mail is equally just as awesome.

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Melissa, best friend of 13 years (that long already?!) and I rarely ever talk to each other these days. She’s off in Santa Barbara playing housewife and mom while I’m in Vegas causing all kinds of shenanigans. One of the best things about our friendship is that though we don’t talk very often, we always pick up where we left off and it works. I suppose when you’ve known someone for more than half of your life, you understand each other incredibly well. Anywho, since we both are terrible at communicating on a regular basis, we decided to start sending snail mail.

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Melissa and I many many moons (6 years) ago.

I LOVE getting letters in the mail. It’s right up there with birthday presents! Sadly in this day and age, getting snail mail that aren’t bills doesn’t happen enough in my opinion. I received my first letter from her yesterday and I was such a happy camper! Maybe it’s just me, but ready a tangible letter is much more inclusive and more awesome than in an electronic format.

What I’m like when getting the mail, lol.

Writing snail mail has so many intrinsic values to it. You can connect with someone who is far away from you. You have a reason to skip to the mailbox (I totally got caught by my neighbors but I didn’t care). Plus it takes away the static and distraction that electronics provides and allows you to communicate with your fellow people. Really, I could go on and on about why writing and receiving letters is the best thing, like ever.

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To the mailbox!

So now that I’ve shared my love of getting mail, I’m off to write my letter and send one her way. Since I’m in the penpal spirit, I may look into sending letters to different countries! Does anyone else love snail mail as much as me? Let me know! Until then, happy Tuesday! 🙂

How to Have a Successful Introvert/Extrovert Friendship: From an Introvert’s Perspective

For those who know me in the “real world”, you know that I am a total chatty Kathy. I love talking to people, especially on topics I’m interested in. Strike up a conversation on something I love, I light up like the stars in a night’s sky and will gesture with enthusiasm. While this is very true and I love being in the presence of others, I need time to recharge my social batteries. Yup, I’m an introvert. I tried to deny this for some time because stereotypically, we associate introversion with some atypical shy person who cannot carry on a conversation to save their lives.  That may be true in some cases, but I assure you it does not fit everyone. Chances are, your introverted friends are the ones who are great listeners and dispense some pretty solid advice. You go to them for emotional support. Since introverts operate in an internal manner, these functions can be pretty draining.

I have all types of friends who all have different personalities (it makes for great stories). Interestingly enough, I have a tendency to be drawn towards people who are extroverted. I’ve been fortunate enough to have become close with people who pretty much get my M.O. so it’s been great. Sometimes there is a disconnect between friends when one wants to communicate more frequently than the other. Problem is, if you don’t give me time to gear up for the next adventure, I get a little overwhelmed and become unresponsive. It’s not because I’m trying to be rude, it’s simply the fact that I need time to chill. So in light of recent events, I’m listing a few points on how to keep a meaningful introvert/extrovert friendship going.

1Be Welcoming 

The myth is that introverts will not talk to strangers. That is absolutely untrue. Just today I was at the grocery store buying syrup and a lady mentioned how it doubled in price since last week. Since she was pleasant and friendly, I had no problem chatting with her about different grocery items that have surged in price recently. Conversation can be intimidating for introverts, but if you start off with a congenial attitude, you’d be surprised by the outcome.

2. Be Patient

I like to have time to think about things. Very seldom (if ever) do I go through with a plan that has not been thought out. So if you’re introverted friend seems a bit hesitant about anything, give them a chance to process and they’ll eventually come around. Unless it has anything to do with snakes, then I’m out. No exceptions.

3. Give Them Space

I love hanging out with my friends, I really do. At times if I’m out and about for extended periods of time, I have to have some off time. Usually I’ll unwind by reading a book, crocheting, or going on walks with Abbey. So it’s fair to say that I’ll check out for a little while. It’s mostly a day’s time and then I’m back in the social saddle ready to ride off again. Point is, quiet time is important for introverts to get back out into the social scene.

4. Don’t Push

Here’s where some challenges can occur. If I don’t get the space that I need, I go AWOL socially. Which means I don’t answer texts, calls, or anything in between. I get that this can be seen as rude to some, but I assure you it’s not meant maliciously. The reality is that when you invade an introvert’s space, it can be seen as overwhelming. Of course that’s not the intent but it’s how the receiver can feel. Case in point, if I get a bunch of texts while I’m trying to unwind, it’s overwhelming. I cannot  maintain that style of constant communication, even if it’s on something I’m interested in. It’s like a tidal wave of communication coming at me all at once and all I want to do is throw my phone into the trash. At that point, I won’t respond and will need a cooling off period before I can engage. Later on, when I’m feeling up to it, I’ll get around to responding. If you have a friend who gets a bit standoffish, chances are, they’re feeling a bit overwhelmed. Let them take a beat and they’ll get back to you. If you keep pushing, all they’ll do is prolong responding.

5. Don’t Take it Personally

I love my zany outgoing friends. They push me to get out of my comfort zone to do things I wouldn’t do on my own. With that being said, I still need my down time. If your introverted friends don’t want to hang out, most of the time it has nothing to do with you. It just means that they are mentally relaxing and getting prepped for the next awesome hang out session. Once you understand the method to their madness and give them the opportunity to reach their social equilibrium, they’ll be back out in no time, ready for the next adventure.

So those are some quick tips for extroverts on how to get along with their introvert pals. I do have some advice for my introvert cohorts as well.

1. Be Receptive

A general misnomer is that introverts are shy. That’s not always the case. If a person is offering you a “social olive branch” try your best and meet them halfway. A little growth never killed anyone

2. Ask For Time

If you take some time to make decisions, tell your friends what’s up. Don’t feel pressured to just blurt anything out. Chances are that our extrovert counterparts don’t operate in this type of mindset and that’s ok, but make your intentions clear.

3. Ask For Space 

I straight up tell my friends when I’m going “off the grid”. Telling people that you need space is not rude, especially if it’s crucial to your wellbeing. We’re all different and may not see eye to eye on things, so communication is key. Just send an “I’m currently checking out” message to your friends and get back to them when you feel up to it.

 

4. Set Boundaries

If you have a well meaning friend who doesn’t seem to get the message, after you’re done with your hiatus, have a heart to heart with that person. Explain why you need your space and make sure that you get it. If they care for you at all, they’ll respect that. If they don’t, well that’s on them and they clearly are not respecting your need for space.

5. Let Them Know You Appreciate Your Friendship

It’s tough to hear that your friend wants some down time, so it’s important that you let them know how much you enjoy their friendship. I try as much as possible to let my friends know how much they mean to me. It helps them understand that it’s “not their fault” when you need space.

Honestly, if I try to be social when I haven’t had time to recuperate, I’m kind of an ass. It’s like a 5 year old who hasn’t had their afternoon nap; they become cranky and emotional. Once they wake up from that nap, they’re back to being the sweet kid they once were; it’s the same for introverts. So that’s my take on how to maintain a legit friendship between an introvert and extrovert. Introverts on the webs, do you agree? Also, all the extroverts out there what do you require for a friendship to be successful? I want to hear your opinions. 🙂

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Growing Up is Hard to Do

Maintaining relationships be it familial, friendly, or love related, is tough business! You have to be able to check your egos at the door and really put some effort into it if you want them to succeed. I will admit that I have a pretty big ego; after all if your peers keep telling you “how mature” you are, chances are you’ll start believing the hype. You can kind of say that I became the Justin Bieber of maturity (I.E. so high off my own hype that I act like I’m 5). On a side note, can you really blame the kid? A society that pretty much made him a deity before his balls dropped, and now we have the audacity to point and say he’s entitled? I guess everyone thought that through… Anyway back to my ridiculousness.

Today, I’ve learned that I need to dig deep and go to uncomfortable places to learn and grow among people. Far too quickly, I tend to cut people off and move on before the nitty gritty substance of how humans sustain meaningful connections come into play. The lesson that I learned today is that though I thought I was the epitome of awesomeness at communication and how things are supposed to be worked out, I still have some work to do. Therein lies the problem when one (in this case I) believes that they have learned all there is to know on what makes coexisting with others harmonious. Living/existing with others takes work and the ability to keep growing through experiences. The takeaway is that we never stop learning. The moment we think we know it all is the day we’re not evolving within our relationships. Stay inquisitive, my friends!

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It’s Not You it’s… Oh Wait, it’s You

The relationships in my life are incredibly important to me. Whether they’re romantic, familial, or of the friend variety, I respect and love the people that I share my life with. With that being said what happens when that relationship seems to be wrecked beyond repair? A friendship for example; after a gnarly argument, how do you get back to the place before words were said and feelings were hurt? Is there a point of no return and all hope is lost? These are questions that I’ve been wracking my brain with for the better part of 2 months.

I pride myself for not being able to hold a grudge (or so I thought). Typically, if I get into a tiff with anyone whether I’m right or wrong, the storm doesn’t last long at all. I just don’t see the need to hold onto such animosity for a long period of time. I just don’t have it in me. I understand that arguments/misunderstanding are apart of life and they will always happen. More often than not, bonds are usually strengthened after a fight in my experience.

I tend to adopt boxing rules when engaging in an argument. My requirements when dealing with conflict is that both parties A: fight fair,  B: No blows below the belt or kidney (metaphorically speaking of course), and C: after all is said and done everything is left in the ring. Now, in my 23 years on this earth, these methods have worked well for me, so much so whenever I am faced with an argument, I’m not even phased with it because it’s only a temporary thing. One thing I’ve learned, is not everyone plays by the same set of rules.

I’m always about fairness; quid pro quo if you will. I don’t put much stock in astrology, however as a Libra, I do believe they were spot on when it comes to my need for things to be even. When I argue, I typically stick to facts and how they made me feel. I also  am a generous apologizer if I am the transgressor, and I expect my “opponents” to give me the same curtesy  Unfortunately, in this world not everything is fair. “Fair? Fare is what you pay to ride the bus. That’s the only fair I know.” If you’ve watched the first season of Weeds then you’ve heard that line. As much as I hate to admit it, there is a whole lot of truth to that statement. But I’m getting off topic.

For the first time ever, I am having an extremely difficult time letting go of an argument. First, the fight definitely was not fair. Second, low blows were dealt that I’m still recovering from. Third, obviously not everything was left in the ring by both parties involved. This one definitely did not fit neatly into my box of “how to argue fairly”. After “smoothing things over, I find myself questioning the integrity of the friendship.

I am not someone who freely shares feelings with people. My thoughts are my own and for the most part are tightly kept in my crazy little brain. So it really stings to have a friend that knows you well, use your thoughts/feelings against you. It’s quite cruel actually; and during my latest argument, that is exactly what my friend did. I was definitely taken aback by the hostility of what occurred, it was like an argument that you would have with an enemy, not a good friend. Even now, I still feel the sharpness of her words and it still hits hard. Granted, I could have taken pot shots too, but it’s just not in my nature. I sure as hell thought about it though. I have forgiven my friend and I am not longer upset with our initial problem, however that argument did open up a new can of worms now I’m at a crossroad.

My dilemma is this: now knowing what I know, how do I go back to business as usual? I have no desire to share things with that friend anymore; not after seeing her carelessness of my feelings. Maybe with more time, this will blow over. Our friendship seems more like a mirror that has been broken into tiny minuscule little pieces that have been glued back together. It’s whole again, but it’s definitely not in the same form that it once was.

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To Continue, Press Play

I’m trying to enjoy a rare day off and for some reason, I am stuck in frozen mode. You know that anxious feeling you get when you know you have things to do but for some reason you just cannot move? Well that’s me currently. Even though I’m current on my “to do lists”, I still feel a bit overwhelmed. This whole “adult” thing is still new and a lot to process.

I will admit that I tend to be a wait for the “other shoe to drop”, type of person so at times it is difficult for me to accept that everything is O.K. and to live in the moment. I suppose I’ve been in “overcoming bad shit” mode for so long, I’m scared to enjoy the good. So, to get out of this lame mindset, I’m going to keep telling myself that it is O.K. to enjoy what life has to offer. And, if “bad shit” comes my way, I can deal. For the moment, I’m going to enjoy the good. 🙂

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Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones But Words Live on Forever

This time the old adage is not true; words really do hurt. Especially if you know your opponent’s insecurities. It has always been funny to me when people tell you to “brush things off” or “don’t let it get to you”. Uh, if I knew how to do that, don’t you think that would be the first thing I’d do? It’s not like I want to sit and feel the sting of someone’s words over a long period of time. I’m not a masochist by any means. Given the right combination of words, they can leave a gaping subconscious wound that goes right for the jugular. In my opinion, taking a punch to the face is a hell of a lot easier than taking a verbal tongue lashing. Bruises on your skin heal more quickly than bruises to your ego.

I know that the “sticks and stones” mantra comes from a good place. It is meant to inspire the disenfranchised to believe that the only power others have is the power that we give them. I do agree, however they forgot one little symbol in that equation: time.It takes time to heal for verbal wounds. Ok, there may be some who are coated in teflon (good for you, I secretly hate/envy you). But for the rest of us mere mortals, words do hurt; and forgive and forget is easier said than done.

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All Dressed Up and Too Scared to Go.

Being a workaholic and 23 makes for a dull girl. I should know, because I am that girl. I came to Sin City temporarily 10 months ago just to visit family after school for a month or so. I ended up staying for a job that offered me a a pretty sweet salary and great healthcare! (Hey, broke college grad and student loans, don’t judge). My work life is pretty much the only life I have which does not bode well for maintaing a social life.

So, last week I decided to take my abysmal social life into my own two hands. I discovered meetup.com! Since I am a total book nerd, I found a great nonfiction group to join. The first book was about an American Ambassador in Germany during WWII. Great! Totally up my ally since I majored in political science in international affairs, specifically Central European Politics. I read the book, enjoyed it and was so ready and stoked to go talk about an incredibly interesting book with a group of strangers.

An hour before the meetup, I’m stoked with anticipation waiting to get ready to go. After 10 minutes, I got cold feet and just twiddled around on the internet.  After it was all said and done, I was severely disappointed with myself because I know I would have really enjoyed the conversation let alone interaction with people outside of work!But in reality, it’s incredibly scary to take the step into meeting new people. I suppose I’ve been out the “game” for so long, I fear I don’t know how to go about it. So now, I wait for the next meeting, hoping I have the gull to follow through.

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