Get Ahead

Sorry guys! In all the flurry of excitement for the snow storm (see what I did there?), I totally forgot to post last night! Oops! 

And I also almost didn’t post today. (Oops I did it again…did you see what I did there, too? Sure you did. You are smart people.)

So, what did I do on my snow day? I did a lot of things to put myself ahead for the week. 

Because days off are usually split into two categories. You’re either productive as anything or you are a human sloth. And guess what? We need both of those kind of days. We need the kind that you veg out and only move to go to the bathroom and grab more snacks. And you need days where you can sit by yourself and sort through your email and generally reorganize your life. 

And you know what? I’d like to take back my previous statement about being unproductive when you’re a human sloth. Because like I said, we need both of these kinds of days. We need to heal ourselves and also take time for ourselves. We need to be dead to the world and also prepare ourselves to live in it. These are both productive and meaningful ways of approaching your life. 

So, don’t wallow in self pity when you haven’t done anything all day. That’s fine. And don’t worry if you just use your day off to catch up. That’s okay, too. Just make sure you take the time to be the best you. 

Goodbye?

I had a rather poignant conversation in the middle of a rather ordinary day. 

How do you say goodbye? (Besides the obvious). 

How do you say goodbye to a friend that you know you may not see again for awhile? How do you say goodbye to a co-worker that you’re leaving behind for a new job? How do you say goodbye to a lover or a family member?

Or do you? Do you ever say goodbye? Or do you just keep that part of your life alive somewhere? Why even say goodbye in the first place? Whose to say you won’t meet again? 

So, what do you do? (So many questions!)

Well, all I have to say is that I’ve never regretted that I said goodbye to someone when I did. There have been times in my life when I said goodbye, and it just stuck, and I never saw that person again. 

And at the same time, I’ve never had a moment in which I wished to say goodbye to someone one last time. Even for my grandmother who passed that I did not say goodbye to, because my memory has preserved her as the great person she was, not the sick person. 

On the other hand, I’ve kept up relationships in my life for no other reason than because I was afraid to say goodbye. Because it inevitably meant the end of something. 

Maybe instead we can all be hopeful enough that we won’t have to say goodbye, but smart enough to know that we may have to someday. 

To Women I Have Met (And Not Met) 

In honor of International Women’s Day, I’d like to take a moment and recognize some of the women in (and not in) my life: 

To my mother, most obviously, who raised me, who nurtured me, who mothered me and taught me what it was to grow. 

To my grandmothers, one delicate and sweet, one tough and powerful, who taught me what it was to be a woman, both feminine and strong. 

To my sister, who also nurtured me, but fought for me too, until I could do so for myself. 

To every woman English teacher I ever had, who brought me into the fold and let me flourished there, and showed me what I was capable of. 

To my female peers and colleagues in all of the college courses I’ve ever taken, who have awed me with their brilliance and cowed me with their determination. 

To every woman I have worked under, who has had a seat of power, who showed me that to be successful, people will call you mean names. Still, we will push on. 

To my female friends, new and old, who have made a sisterhood for me to return to time and time again. 

To every woman who I have only glimpsed walking by but knew that they were smarter, prettier, and more put together than me in that instant, who made me push for more. 

To every woman who has gossiped behind my back, who has given me the strength to triumph against pettiness. 

To any woman who goes out of her way to make others feel good, despite how she feels about herself. 

To any woman who has ever been nice to me in a bathroom on a drunken night out with friends. 

To any woman who thought they would never leave a bad situation. 

To every woman who has ever fought, battled, won, died from a disease or mental illnesss. 

To any woman who thought through their own problem and then applied it to the world. 

To every woman who was pronounced barren. 

To every woman who has raised a strong daughter.

Thank you. You have shown us all the way. 

Passionless

Remember when you were a kid and your parents signed you up for every activity possible so you could figure out what you were into and what you weren’t? 

“Okay, so tuba lessons on Monday, ballet is Tuesday, karate on Wednesday, soccer seasons starts on Thursday, and Friday is for spelling bee practice. Let’s do this!” 

And it’s definitely still happening to kids today (although I think these activities feel a little more mandatory to this generation. Like, they’re already thinking about their resumes and what extracurriculars would look good.)

But I’m not here to weigh in on that. I don’t care about pageant moms, tiger moms, or dads for that matter. (At least not in this blogpost).  

My question is why do we as kids do all this awesome stuff but then never have an outlet to do it again as adults? Why is it so hard to find an adult dance class (that doesn’t involve a pole) or an adult soccer team (that isn’t filled with David Beckham superstars) or painting classes (that don’t involve getting drunk first)? 

Why do we have to do the “adult” versions of things we did as kids? Why did we spend all of our time developing passions that we can’t do because of our 9-5 jobs? 

Now, if you’re a professional athlete because your parents made you work from when you could walk until now, then that’s great. 

But for everyone else who played a sport when they were younger and are now trying to get the same satisfaction running around the track at a gym – what happens to them? 

I say we build our passions again. We find a recreational soccer team. We sign up for instrument lessons. We take back our Tuesday night from vegging and drinking wine on the couch. We find what we loved. 

Why? Because we loved these things when we were younger and they made us who we are today. Why should that change just because we’re older? If anything, we need our passions more than ever. 

Self-Helping

Whether you’re having trouble finding happiness in your life or you just want to be a better employee, it’s easy to pick up a book, or listen to a podcast, or read a blog (wink, wink) that is supposed to *change your life*. And the best thing? You can do it yourself! You can start changing your thinking right now! You can have a better life!
So, what do I say about that?

First: Congratulations! You’re seeking help for a problem you have! That’s great! 

Next: proceed with caution. 

Why? 

Because I’d like to remind you that there is no panacea. There is no cure-all. And while it’s great to learn more about yourself and work to improve your flaws, it is not a switch to flip. 

Basically, you can’t watch 10 TED talks and become a better person. You can have a new perspective after you watch them. You can work on it. You can learn something new. But you can’t be a perfect person because you’ve read a book on how to be one. And I think it’s time you recognized how 1) awesome you are already and 2) how great it is that you’re even trying to improve your outlook on life. Way to not be stagnant! 

I think there really should be a disclaimer on all self-help books that warns people. And then, reminds them that theyre human. So, for best results, be realistic about your growth. 

In the end, by all means, give yourself some self-help. But remember to practice self-love, too. 

You Don’t Have to Do That

I don’t know if you get this vibe from me all the way through your computer/mobile device, but I’m a goody two shoes. I mean, I try to be a rebel and all that, and I really do not like to be told what to do, so I try to resist. But it doesn’t work out. I get uncomfortable when I don’t use the crosswalk when walking across the street. So, now you’re getting my vibe. 

But no matter who you are, a goody two shoes or a rebel, if you’re 18 and older, that means you’re an adult. And I have a secret for you. 

You can do whatever you want. 

Yes, yes, as long as you pay your bills and go to work and blah blah blah. 

But other than that? You can do whatever you want. Wanna buy stuff on QVC? Do it. You wanna drink wine and eat chocolate for dinner? Let me grab you a glass. You don’t feel like doing your laundry? As long as you have clean underwear, it can wait. 

Because you’re an adult. This is your life and you can fill it with as many things you want or as little as you want. The point is that as a kid, you lived by the rules and you had a lot of them. But now? You make the rules. So, don’t feel bad about breaking one or two of them every now and then. 

But just in case you don’t really get it yet, here’s a few more: 

  1. Friend asks you to hang out? Don’t have to go. 
  2. Don’t feel like staying up until midnight? You can go to bed. 
  3. Wanna put some weird art up in your bathroom? Can’t wait to see it. 
  4. Need a hair cut? Do it yourself. 
  5. Want to start a blog? Come talk to me. 

Hug Your Loved Ones

I don’t have much to post tonight. 

Just love on your loved ones. Remind them why you love them. Hug them. Be affectionate. 

Just remember to tell them. Because sometimes, we forget. And it’s too late. 

But if I tell you to do it now, it won’t be. 

Go out there. Hug someone. 

Love,

Bailey 

Humble Brag

It happens to all of us. 

We’re talking to someone about something, and we’re having a really good conversation. And then all of a sudden, they feel it’s really important that you know that they climbed to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro or that they met Britney Spears in a nightclub and she complimented them on their outfit, but no wait, this totally ties into the story you were telling me about how your lunch got misplaced in the community refrigerator. 

And for some reason, they always start that humble brag comment with what they’re not doing: not to brag or not to come off this way or that. But no matter how they preface it, they sort of end up sounding like a righteous jerk anyway. 

And if you’re anything like me, this even applies to even the smallest accomplishment or the tiniest brandishing of the ego. Any positive self talk at all seems to grate against my sensibilities. 

Even if someone is like I really had a great weekend and I got a lot of things done, I am somehow personally offended. Who do they think they are that they can be positive about themselves when I’m over here wallowing in self doubt like a pig in mud? 

But even though some people are really bragging to your face, this doesn’t mean that a little show of self confidence is necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it can really be the difference between getting ahead in life. When people see you believe in yourself, they believe you too. Their confidence in themselves does not take anything away from you. 

Now do you need to tell everyone you hiked Everest? No, because their opinion of your worth doesn’t really matter. But if you feel like you did something well, and someone asks you to elaborate on it, don’t be afraid to tell them. Humble brag or regular brags aside, you should be proud of your contribution to the world.