Laughing to Myself

I’m really into podcasts. I love listening to learn new things or to hear a new story. 

But what’s my favorite reason to listen to podcasts? It’s to laugh. There are some extremely funny people out there doing really hilarious podcasts. And as is the case with all of my favorite activities, I love being taken away and being distracted from reality and getting to laugh along the way. 

However, have you ever tried to keep in your laughter? I mean, have you ever tried to stifle it? It looks totally crazy. 

When I was listening to a podcast just today, I was sitting on the train trying hard to keep my lips buttoned and trying to look only a little bit weird while smiling stupidly to myself. I snorted out loud a few times, but for the most part, I stayed in character: a bored commuter trying to get home. 

But do you know what the best part is about not trying to laugh out loud? It’s that it only makes you laugh harder. All I wanted to do when I was trying to hold it all in was to laugh and laugh, no matter who was looking. 

I think the point is that no matter how hard you try to hold it back, restrain yourself from something, the more you’ll be drawn to it. And you should never keep yourself back from fully enjoying something. 

So, next time I’m on the train, I’m going to burst out laughing. Because I love laughing, and I want the world to know. 

Still A Chance

Have you ever woke up on the “wrong side of the bed”?

Of course you have. You wake up and you’re just angry. You’re not sure about what yet but then the bathroom is occupied, and then you notice there’s no milk, and you drop your keys when you’re heading out the door, and burn yourself on your coffee mug, and you trip up the stair, and now you’re just hulking out. 

And no matter what you do, you just can’t shake the feeling that if maybe, just maybe, you didn’t get out of bed this morning nothing like this would have happened. 

I certainly think about this. And I did, this morning. It was just one of those days that everything went wrong and I wished, and begged, and pleaded for a reset button. For a Groundhogs Day moment. Just once. So I could see where life could bring me if I didn’t have to deal with whatever today was. 

But then, I had a good middle of my day. I saw my friends and my mood lightened. And I had a good end to my day. My fiancée and I spent some time eating dinner together and enjoying each other’s company. 

And I realized, that in every day, in every hour, and even in every moment, there’s still a chance it can get better. Sometimes it most assuredly doesn’t. But still other times, it does. And I love that. I love that you can be so desperately sad at one point, and then the next, something makes you smile. It’s unpredictable and ever changing and it’s life. 

So please don’t give up. This may not be your moment. But there’s still a chance that the next one will be.  

You Suck (and so do I)

You’re human. Inevitably, you suck at something. Maybe it’s cooking. Maybe it’s public speaking. Maybe it’s skydiving (so don’t do that.)

And probably because you’re not so good at this thing, you probably don’t like to do it. Hell, you may even hate it.

For me, it’s coloring. And I don’t hate it. I loathe it.

I’m serious. Ask my mom. She actually watched me throw tantrums when I was asked to color. I mean, in high school, my classmates cheered when they could color for their extra credit. I actually groaned out loud once.

I mean, there’s just no room for error and there’s too many rules when coloring. It’s inside the line or it’s not. It’s too dark, too light. How exhausting!

But weirdly enough, now that I’m older, I like to color in adult coloring books. It’s soothing, and I can actually color the colors I want. Do I need a blue sky? Darn tooting, I sure don’t. It’s purple now. Because I say so.

But why do I like it now? I mean, I’m definitely no better at it. I can’t keep the color inside the lines if I had a gun to my head. It requires all the patience I don’t have.

What’s different? This: I’ve accepted that I suck. That I’m not good at it. That with some things, practice doesn’t make perfect. But that’s okay. Or at least, it’s not the end of the world, like it was made out to be in my childhood.

There’s something to be said for being able to tell people about your accomplishments. But you should also understand your limitations and weaknesses. And you shouldn’t be ashamed if you can’t do anything about them. What you should do is accept yourself for who you are. And if you do that, you’ll succeed in life with flying colors.

Make Art

Sorry guys, I’ve been pretty burnt out lately. I passed out so hard last night I forgot where I was. (And I forgot to post). 

But I’ve noticed that all of you guys have been keeping up the passion and the spirit. And it’s awesome to see, no matter what you believe in. 

I mean, people are really making a stand right now. They’ve stopped hitting “like” on Facebook and they’re actually taking their message to the streets. It’s amazing to watch and wonderful to be a part of. 

But the best part that I’ve seen? People are looking for new ways to express themselves through art — to cope and to rally. To reassure and rebel. To express and address. And I just love that. 

Because in these times, we’re gonna lose sight real quick of anything that isn’t absolute priority (like clean water, apparently). And as society has shown us, art isn’t always on the top of our list of things to be saved (like NPR, for instance). But it should be, and we can make sure of it. 

So if you feel so inclined and impassioned, you should definitely march and protest, but you should also make some art. You should sing a protest song, you should paint a sign, and you should absolutely write your own blog. Because even though our society won’t admit it, it needs artists, especially during difficult times, to remind us of who we are and why we should continue to create when there are many forces asking us to destroy. 

Don’t Settle for Substitutes 

I’m sorry I didn’t post last night. I got laid low by a cupcake. 

I have no idea what came over me. I am fully and painfully aware I am lactose intolerant. That’s probably why I thought I might scrape the cream cheese frosting off. But I’m not entirely sure what convinced me not to. (Is there such a thing as the cheese devil that tempts you into eating dairy?) 

So, I ate it. And it was delicious. I mean, it was fluffy and creamy and amazing. No exaggeration — it was the best damn cupcake I ever ate. 

How did it make me feel? H O R R I B L E. There was cramping and bloating and I even got a headache. I’m not sure what I thought would change between seeing that cupcake and putting in my mouth. It’s not like dietary allergies go away. 

Which is why I have a very special request for you, my readers: please do not accept substitutes. Eat the thing. In all its glory. As it should be made. With the cheese. All of it. 

I mean, if you want to drink almond milk to lose weight, that’s fine. But when you see a cupcake, do not eat a dairy free, soy free, gluten free cupcake unless you absolutely positively have to. Like, if that’s the last chocolate one and you really wanted chocolate, then that’s ok. Because I have to eat substitutes for my favorite foods for the rest of my life, and although I love my avocado spinach pasta recipe, it’s not pesto with Parmesan and it’s definitely not Mac and cheese. It’s not the same, and sometimes, I really notice

So, don’t accept substitutes, whatever you do. (Which is pretty good life advice in general, actually.) 

Be Like Neil

As anyone who has done anything in life (including starting a blog) can tell you, everyone looks up to someone else who is doing something similar. 


Basically, everyone has people in their lives to influence and inspire them. I, too, have many of these people. My family, my fiancée, and Shakira, to name a few. 

But also, our family friend, Neil. He passed away unexpectedly a few years ago. He had a beautiful and lovely family. He was full of life, an absolute shooting star, who burned brightly in any gathering. Hilarious, insightful, and generous in every way. 

But the best part? 

He had a day job, like the best (and the rest) of us. And yet, somehow, he was able to dedicate time to his passion: music. He wrote his own and performed covers at local performance venues. In all of the hustle and bustle of normal life, he not only found time to do what he loved but he did it for others. 

Today is his birthday. And this day of all days, I wanted to take the time to remind everyone that if you do what you love, then you are very, very lucky. But if you have to work a day job, you can still do what makes you happy. If you’re extremely determined and very special, like Neil, you can bring joy to others by bring joy to yourself. 

Be the person you want to be, but be more like Neil. I know I want to be. 

Why I (Occasionally) Wear My Fitbit

I get it. We all have fitness goals. Run farther and faster. Weigh less. Be stronger. And a Fitbit or other weight loss device can really help to motivate us. We set goals and track our meals. But then we’re all like, “I can’t walk any farther because I’ve met my goal for the day, and I don’t want to over do it and lose steam for the rest of the week.” But at least we’re trying, right? 

And don’t get me wrong. I totally appreciate having a little thing that helps me get up and go. Because that’s not exactly easy when you have a desk job. And it’s not exactly easy when you’re just an all around busy person, like we all are. 

But these were my thoughts before I realized that with a fit bit, you’re never really alone

Like, instead of running along a path, getting a workout in, in complete silence,  your Fitbit vibrates because someone’s texted you and you can read it on your Fitbit. I mean, how am I supposed to get into my run, enjoy nature and the sensations of my body, if I’m being reminded that I’m still connected to the real world? If I can read texts on my wrist? 

And it distracts me all day long. Because how do I ignore something that is right under my nose?
I know, I know. I could just turn off the alerts. But wouldn’t I miss being constantly in the know? And when does this become a concerned citizen discussing a pervasive issue to a bratty twenty year old something’s entitled rant? (Yes, I have a Fitbit. Even though it scares me to own one, I have one.) 

But maybe that’s what our new reality is. Our technology has just become a part of us, and we have to stay connected, no matter what. 

And like it or not, tech is pushing forward…by sometimes just making us do push ups. 


“You cannot kill an idea.” – V for Vendetta

But a man? Yes, you can kill a man. Even a man who stood for something as important as what MLK Jr. stood for. Maybe that man does even more dying than any other man because of that. Because he’s remembered for the sacrifice he’s made in the name of an idea, every year, and very little for who he was. Because he’s quoted and photographed and photoshopped and read and reread. And suddenly he becomes synonymous with the idea that he once stood for and transcends humanity that way. 

And with all that said, it’s hard to live up to the idea, especially for the idea that MLK was/stood for. Equality. I mean, how do we do that? How do we start over? (And we still need to start over, even decades later). 

We take one step at a time. We start small and we do it today. We give kindness, in small acts, and in this way we move forward, and very slowly, we change things. 

It was just an idea at one point. And he was just a man at another. And you will perform just one act of kindness. And someday, we’ll all be really happy with the progress we’ve made. 

At least, I hope. But at least there’s still hope to be had. In large part thanks to MLK. So, don’t forget to thank him today. Always for the person he was and always for the idea he gave us. 


Today, it was pointed out to me that I like to sugarcoat things. 

Like, oh, your house is on fire, but it’s not that bad! It’s just mostly singed. And at least you won’t have to pay your mortgage this month! 

And I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing. I mean, who likes to tell people bad news? But I think my dislike of telling it like it is goes deeper. Because what if *gasp* people don’t like me if I tell them the cold naked truth? So…I don’t. And then what happens is that people feel good when they’ve left an interaction with me but they also haven’t gotten the whole picture. 

But I have to tell myself that people may not like you for a moment, but they’ll appreciate your truth in the long run. I mean, what if a newscaster sugar coated the news? We’re facing just a bit of a nuclear war crisis and just having a touch of global warming. But it’s not a big deal. Mars is habitable. 

Or what about doctors? I mean, it IS cancer, but think of it as an opportunity! You’ll get so many cool wigs!

The point is no matter who you are or what you do, you shouldn’t have to be worried that people won’t like you just because you need to tell them something they don’t want to hear. The best interactions in my life have been when people were brutally honest with me when I needed it. And I don’t mean being Simon Cowell honest. They just made me face facts. 

So, don’t overthink it, and lay off the sugar. People will appreciate you slimming down the truth. 


So, are you excited to get married?

Are you excited to move? 

Are you excited to buy a new mattress? 

Yeah, sure. I’m about as excited as getting a problem tooth pulled. I’ll be happy when it’s done, but there will be a lot of pain in the meantime. 

I mean, why do people ask if you’re excited about huge life changes? (I know. Where did my status as an optimist go?) But don’t they realize how much stuff (aka money, energy, tears, potato chips) goes into making a life change? Because I’m super tempted to tell them the truth. Just in case they really don’t know. 

And I guess it is exciting from the outside. When you’re not involved and you don’t have to stay up late picking napkin colors and wrapping yourself in packing tape. You’re blissfully unaware, and that must be so so nice. 

The point is that the next time you’re going through a life change and someone asks if you’re excited, think about telling them the truth. And then bite it back and tell them that it’s “great!” Because maybe in convincing them, you’ll convince yourself.