You Can Only Control the Controllables

I am a control freak, this I know.  If there is anything I know about myself, it’s that if it can be planned, put into an Excel spreadsheet, checked off, or crossed out, I am all over it. For those of you who are the “fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants” kind of people, I either sound like an alien from another planet or your best friend. My ability to juggle tons of details is perfect for my line of work, but murderous in all other aspects of my life, like the weather, my love life, friendships, and the general day- to-day functions of being a human being.

This past Sunday, I watched an episode of Super Soul Sunday on OWN featuring DeVonn Franklin a film executive, pastor, author, motivational speaker, and husband to Meaghan Good. Throughout the episode he used an analogy that related life to a movie project. He spoke in a spiritual sense about God being the director and us being there to co-create our lives. He went on to talk about conflict being the key to building character and growing on-screen and off.  Like any good movie, the ability of actors to accept conflict and push themselves to further to new heights, is the key to developing the storyline (and makes for great ratings!).

He went on to say that we needed to know what the vision of our lives was, and gain clarity about our purpose. Without doing so, we would be unclear of our next steps and goals.

Whether you are a religious, spiritual, or an atheist, the message can still be received.  What I got out of it, was that we can not control everything in our lives, so the less we stress about everything being “perfect” the more we can concentrate on development and growth. The more we persevere through hardships, struggles, and against eating that delicious chocolate fudge brownie, the more we grow as people (I am trying to give up sweet treats!).

Being a twenty-something is hard purely for the fact that I have no idea who I am yet. I have no idea what it really feels like to hit rock bottom, nor do I want to. I have no idea how far I will go or how long it will take me to get there.  But I will say that it feels damn great to know that I can’t fuck this up because I cannot control everything else around me. All I can control is myself, and in some way that’s empowering. I have to have faith in myself that I can create my vision, my inspiration, and my development, the rest is up to the universe.

Here’s a link to a clip from the episode: Super Soul Sunday- DeVon Franklin

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My Life, One Big Romantic Comedy

I’ve been in a relationship for almost a year now and it’s unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. We have a genuine connection without all the drama. It’s just two people who are best friends and share common interests. It’s one of those relationships that forced me to re-evaluate all of my previous ones and smack myself for all the dumb decisions I’ve made. The difference between this relationship and all others, is that I realized that if I wanted that “Rom-Com” kind of love, I needed to cast the right actor for the role. I needed to find that person that I *SPARKED* with, who I had that organic chemistry with. I was in search of the “Carrie & Big” kind of chemistry, minus all the breakup stuff. So I set my sights on meeting my “Mr. Big” and lucky me, I found him!

In this life, you have to use all resources to gain perspective on all things foreign, why should love be any different? Romantic Comedies can be used as tools to gain the upper hand in all things related to love, if used properly. You laugh now, but having watched He’s Just Not That Into You, Hitch, The Devil Wears Prada, and all six seasons of Sex and the City more than 1,000 times I am fully qualified to speak on all things pertaining to love. I know in my previous posts I’ve warned against watching movies (see: Don’t Watch Movies) when getting out of a relationship, but when trying to start one, movies are the perfect vehicle to learn from others’ mistakes without having to go through the embarrassment yourself.

Situation #1 : You’ve been dating the same guy for 7 years, you live together, and he hasn’t proposed because he doesn’t believe in marriage. Solution: Break up with him. When you have a family emergency and he comes back like a Knight in shining armor , take him back. Remind yourself that the only conditions that need to be placed on your relationship are the ones you mutually agree upon.

Situation #2: You broke up with your guy after finding out that he’s secretly the “Date-Doctor”, whom you think only helps guys get into bed with women, but then find out that he’s actually the “Love Doctor”. Solution: Apologize, and when he doesn’t accept it, wait. When he finally figures out that you are the one, play hard-to-get. Feel free to use your sister’s good-looking husband as a prop in your scheme. Remind yourself that you are worth him taking the leap of faith with you in this relationship, even if his leap includes a physical one on top of your Mini Cooper.

Situation #3: When you and your guy breakup because you finally got a job that will open a ton doors for you, and propel you further in your career; and you spend more time at work, going to parties, running errands around NYC, wearing Chanel boots, and flying to Paris than you spend eating Jarlsberg grilled cheese sandwiches in your studio apartment with your boyfriend. Solution: You will realize that your job sucks; you’ll quit and still get an awesome reference. Then, you’ll end up meeting up with your ex and he’ll tell you he’s moving to Boston, you’ll know that the train ride is only 3 hours from NYC and you two will have time to work on your relationship

Situation#4: If you have been dating a guy for 10 years, but he he’s having a tough time committing to you, moves to Napa, has his guard up ALL the time, gets married and divorced twice, and still has trouble getting out of limos to join you at the altar. Solution: Remind yourself that love does not conquer all; you still need to pay rent, and live your own life. Things generally don’t work out when you are willing to give more than the other person. After you both realize this, it will be the most opportune time for the love of your life to literally sweep you off your feet.

I can’t say it’s a perfect science, but hey.. Something clicked

stan and t

I Love You, But it’s Killing Me

So I have come to the realization that I am the type of person that allows everyone’s shit to become my shit. Don’t get me wrong, I mean it in the most loving tone and I do it out of love. I genuinely want to help the people in my life with their shit.  Though I do not think I actually know the difference between helping them and jumping in and fixing it for them. It’s not like I go out trying to fix everyone’s problems, fight crime when I get home from work, and be a hero.  I certainly do not think I am superwoman (though the thought of being able to fly is quite enticing), It honestly just happens that way. All of this has led me to believe that I have an issue.

The issue evolves from the pure fact that my attempts at being supportive usually end with their problems somehow becoming my problems. I end up being more upset, more stressed, and more exhausted than they are. I literally take over completely and DRIVE MYSELF CRAZY!

Truth is, I don’t think I know how to be the compassionate friend. Meaning, support them through issues in life, as in listen and just be supportive. Instead, I go bat shit crazy, jump in, and join the suffering and commiseration. I am the friend who thinks it’s my duty to see them through the end and make sure they feel better so that, NO– I can feel better. I overstep boundaries, I follow-up constantly on progress, all because I genuinely feel bad if it doesn’t go the way, NO–I expected.

In an effort to not go mad<– me wishing I had a British accent, I have decided to learn what it really means to be compassionate and be a supportive friend. I vow to find the balance between telling your boyfriend off for you, and giving you that awkward “I’m Sorrrry” look accompanied with the “Sucks to be You” uncomfortable hug.

I’m only myself after the hours of 9-5 and at Happy Hour

What does it mean to be authentic?

As I go through what one might call a quarter life crisis, I’ve tried to identify traits that I hold dear to me in all of my relationships. Knowing that authenticity and one’s ability to remain consistent to some degree is of importance to me, I try to hold on to the people in my life that I feel are truly being themselves. But then I couldn’t help but challenge/ critic my own thought process. Knowing that I am going through a ” quarter life crisis”, where I am trying to find myself, how can I expect the people in my life to know themselves to a higher degree than I do? What makes it okay for me to be inconsistent and on my journey, but not okay for others? To be honest the truth is, it makes ME feel better to have some consistency in my life, meaning that those in my life need to have things already figured out!
So knowing that is completely unreasonable and stupid, what can I do to prevent these high expectations from bubbling up in my mind?  Seeing people for the good they bring to the table rather than what they bring to ME is one way to look at it, though it may be asking too much in the moment. If I’m being honest.
I’ve dedicated to judge based on authenticity and one’s ability to remain true to their core values in all situations. Consistency  can no longer be the gauge,but  AUTHENTICITY I can certainly respect.

Feedback is my worst best friend

I’ve grown up in an age where seeking feedback is the lifeline to success. Asking for feedback and interpreting it into the needs of the business or of the team can be the difference between a promotion and a demotion.

Recently, I’ve noticed that I utilize this business inter personal skill in my personal life as well. What I’m finding, is that much like at work not all feedback is solicited and useful in the words they may be conveyed with. I’m finding that everyone is going through their own journeys and life lessons, but their life lessons may not be in sync with my own lessons. I’m trying to get a better sense of how to maintain myself within all of my relationships, and the best way I know how is to listen when feedback is being given, try to really listen to what that person really may be trying to say, remain calm, and until I fully process say “thanks, ill think about that more”.

 What I am finding is that relationships are work, but not every conversation requires me to alter who I really am at my core..

No Pink Roses, but we got Red Wine

Everybody wants to feel loved. A simple yet hefty statement. Though, this statement lends itself to allow people to go great lengths to feel loved and fall in love. But how far is too far? And more importantly how much are we willing to give up to get it? Is there an equation for love, some hidden set of rules for who and when we get our shot?

I mean don’t get me wrong, I love falling in love, and the feeling of a great date. I’m not going to sit here and bullshit you into thinking I’m one of those fuck men I don’t need “d*ck kind of women. Because truth is everyone needs it. Yes gay men out there I mean you too, and you too Miss I parade around judging all those tramps fornicating all over the place. Meanwhile, you’re the girl keeping Pornhub.com in business I AM TALKING TO YOU!

Well back to the point, sorry I get a little testy when it comes to the judgmental ones.

We go through great lengths to be in relationships. Here are a few of my gems:

You wait by your phone checking to make sure you have service, volume is on high, or you sit and wait for that tiny red dot to start blinking, or the message window to pop up, on the off chance you went deaf and blind, at the exact same time that all the cell phone towers around you all of a sudden suffered some mechanical failure that oh so tragically prevented you from receiving that fabulous if not meaningful response to your ” hey last night was fun, want to do something this week?” text.
Then when your response comes 3 hours later in the form of ” umm yea, sure hit me up.” You somehow are giddy with joy and can’t believe he wants to see you again! You begin to dance around the living room like you’ve just won the $5,000,000 Publisher’s Clearing House Sweepstakes.

You “casually” start stopping by the bar by his house when his favorite football team is playing to “grab a beer with your friends” on the off chance he might be there.

Dates become late night McDonalds runs on your side of town just on the off chance that he runs into Dave, you know his “annoying friend who he’s been trying to avoid”, and its just easier to drive the 15 miles to your McDonalds.

Please don’t take this as me passing judgment, I’ve been there been there done it a thousand times too many. But, just a thought, we all agree we are willing to go some large distances to prove to ourselves that we can deal with all of his “quirks” because this could go “somewhere”. He maybe flaking, rude, judgmental, distant, fucking other people, taking 4 hours to answer text messages, but somewhere deep down he really cares and wants to make this work. ERRGGGGHHH????

The place you have arrived to is called Settletown population 1,000,000. This is the place where you settle for a hamburger when you deserve the Filet Mignon. Grape juice instead of that fabulous glass of Cabernet Sauvignon, Fro-yo instead of Ice Cream, Regular instead of Premium, or a vibrator instead of the real deal! I am in no way trying to be rude and negative but really doe? Get it together!
Sometimes in a relationships, and I do mean a relationship, in which two people are equally physically and emotionally invested, you go the distance. Get out of your comfort zone, compromise, hell you may even start watching sports. But ladies let’s be real you know when you aren’t being true to your self. Muster up the strength and move forward because there are over 4 billion men in the world, this loser isn’t the ONE.

My Love Affair with Falling in Like

Why is that women don’t feel complete without the love and affection from a man? Okay so maybe the last statement may have been a little broad but nonetheless most of you know where I’m coming from. Life is just so different when you’re checking your phone every time you think you heard a vibration or magically you hear the new ringtone you just downloaded ( that you programmed just for him) don’t judge, you know you’ve all done it before. Point blank you walk a little taller, smile a little bigger, and even dress a little sexier( not sluttier ladies, just sexier), Courtney at the office doesn’t bother you ohh so very much and you can’t even explain this giddyness except to proclaim ” he said.. Have a great morning!”

I’m not saying it’s pathetic, because honestly thats what all of us young women are looking for. To know that you are being thought of and to know that he (in your most girly voice of voices) has been thinking about you. Your thoughts are consumed and all you want to do is spend more time with that person. You’ve thought about your next conversation, your next date, hell your wedding, honeymoon suite and what (insert children’s’ names here) will look like in the annual family Christmas card.

So ladies how is it that this man can alter us in such a way after a few dates? How is it possible to be so topsy turvy, so infatuated, so “in like” and so excited for something so new?

It’s natural, its’ what keeps the excitement in our lives. I mean who doesn’t love love? Who wouldn’t want someone to love you for you, someone who adores you? I mean come on you’ve just spent some of that rent money on a new outfit, new clutch and M.A.C eye shadow just for him! ( all of which I have done in the past, and do not condone let’s be financially smart here)  And then it hits you, the first time he sees you without makeup and says “You’re so beautiful”. You melt. You die. You want to immediately call your girlfriends and gush even before you have the time to breathe and say “Thank you”.

And when this new infatuation wears off and you find out that he may not be the guy for you. Remember that this love/ infatuation thing happens at first with everyone, it’s up to you to not be lazy and find the right one for you!

Go out there, BE YOU and find him ladies.

Don’t Watch Movies

You just broke up with your boyfriend.

For the last time.

STOP right there.

Put the remote down.

When going through a breakup do not watch How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. Do not watch Hitch and don’t even think about watching Sex in the City. Yes this is blunt advice, but before you completely write me off keep reading!

Basically you shouldn’t be watching any movie that tells you that love conquers all. Look, I am not here to sound like a debbie downer, crush all your dreams, and sound like a cynical heartless bitch. Love is not complete bullshit. Believe it or not I am a hopeless romantic, just with the right person! I am trying to get you past the bullshit of ” he’s the only one for you”. Not to mention that I’m just trying to save you from a couple of months of heartache.

You two broke up. Process those words. That means that no matter how many times you watch Going the Distance it will not change your situation personally. Save yourself the trouble. Instead of trying to envision how perfect your lives would have been, try to focus on how perfect your life is going to be.

Work on that one thing you’ve always wanted to do but never had the time to. Apply for that great job across country and move to a new city! Surround yourself with family and those who love you for the great person you are.

Go on that fabulous trip with your girlfriends, drink one too many margaritas and wake up the next morning with a story that will let your grandchildren know that you lived once too.

If there is anything that I’ve learned thus far in my life, it’s that life has just begun. Finding the man of your dreams will happen when you have found yourself. It may seem like you’re stuck in a rut, but this is just a curve in the road.

Now is the time to live your life to the fullest. Now is the time to do the things you’ve always wanted to do. You can drink. Smoke. Have sex with that guy in the bar you just met. Hell you can have sex with a prostitute in Nevada (not my first recommendation, but it’s your life, this is a judgement free zone. I’d use a condom though 🙂 ) . Whatever it is, get up, turn off the DVD player, and let go of that guy you broke up with. Grab a drink with the girls and start over.

Trust me, you CAN do it.

“Everything that happens,happens and it couldn’t have happened any other way”.