A Case for the Broken Heart

Do you remember when you first had your heart broken?

Was he or she the love of your life? Was it love at first sight when you first saw him or her? Was he or she the most beautiful creature you had ever seen? And at the same time, the cruelest for breaking your heart?

I can’t really say that I’ve ever had my heart broken. I mean, I guess when I found out that I was half Johnny Depp’s age. Or any time that I go into the kitchen, and there are no salt and vinegar chips. And I’ve certainly experienced the acute pain of an unrequited crush (and the elation of a requited one).

Of course, none of this has stopped me from wanting to have my heart broken. I know, that’s like writing “get run over by a car” on your bucket list. But think about it. It’s sort of a rite of passage, isn’t it? You can cry and sing along to really depressing songs. You can indulge and eat whatever you’d like and watch movies in your pajamas. And the best part? No one looks at you weird. No. They bring you more ice cream. They comfort you and spend time with you. Or at least, this is the picture that the movies paint for us.

But there’s another reason that it is important to sometimes be broken-hearted: it makes you all the more stronger. How do I know this cliche is true? Because I realized it while ripping up a Post-It note today. Yes, if you thought I had gone off the deep end before, then you are in for a longer dip now.

Today, I used a Post-It note, as one does, and as is the case with this infernal invention, it had lost its stickiness within about three seconds of my placing it onto a surface. I wanted to discard it. But I didn’t want anyone rifling through my trash to look at it later (because I’m obviously paranoid and self-important). So, I ripped it. It was quite satisfying, actually. It split almost in perfect halves. So, I did it again. And again. And again. Until finally, I was unable to rip the pieces anymore. (No doubt you’ve heard a similar story about it being incredibly easy to break a single stick but incredibly hard to break a bundle of them.)

My fun was over with the sticky note at this point, but it did get me thinking. Maybe, just maybe, when we’re torn apart, ripped into tiny, tiny pieces, made less than whole, we become stronger, more resistant to damage.

While I don’t know from experience, I can almost assure you that this is the same case with a broken heart. It isn’t that its cracks and fractures make it vulnerable to more destruction. Rather, they fortify it. The heart defends itself with its own undoing.

So, I recommend getting your heart broken as many times as you can. Do you know why? Because it means that you felt something. And it made you stronger. That is something no one can take away from you, and it is something that you can’t teach yourself.

You Probably Already Know How You’ll Die

One of my favorite movies is Big Fish. It tells the story of a man whose tall tales and colorful lies create a beautiful life in retrospect but a difficult reality to accept for his son. It is a gorgeous film about what happens when cliche and skepticism meet with a truly masterful lesson at the end.

It opens with a few boys sneaking onto the property of a “swamp witch” that lives in their neighborhood. The story goes that if the witch lifts her eyepatch and peers at you with her milky eyeball, you will see how you die.

She inevitably comes out to scare away the rabblerousers. And as you probably guessed, the main character’s friends, one by one, look into her eye to see their fates. When it is the main character’s turn, he dutifully looks and watches himself die. (The audience doesn’t get to see it.) Interestingly, however, the knowledge doesn’t haunt him throughout the movie. Instead, it informs him. Much later in the film, when he gets into some trouble, he rationalizes that this isn’t how he saw himself die in the witch’s eye. Therefore, he tells himself, he’ll probably get out of this pickle unscathed.

I don’t think this thinking has to be exclusively relegated to movies. If we’re completely honest with ourselves, we already know what will probably kill us in the end, too. Or at least, we can make an educated guess.

For example, you may know that you have a lot of cancer in your family. You may live in a dangerous part of the world. You may smoke. (Enough said.) Heck, Elvis died on the toilet, for heaven’s sake. So, maybe he didn’t know, but he couldn’t do anything about it, either.

Me? I know I’ll die of something heart related. First of all, I have too many feelings, so I will probably die of a broken heart when my favorite television show is cancelled. Or I’ll simply give up and eat everything that my food allergies say that I can’t have until I clog my arteries in one fell swoop. (Talk about dying happy…)

Now, I’m not trying to be morbid. I’m simply saying that this is one less thing that you need to worry about. If you’re wondering how you’ll die (and you shouldn’t because it is a waste of time), you have to rationalize that you have probably already encountered how it will happen. In fact, you may have been the one to initiate the behavior in the first place, by crossing the street or lighting up a cigarette. And, in actuality, that is a freeing thought, to be lifted from the accusations of time and the punishment of “what if…”

Oh, I’m sure it’ll still be a surprise when it happens, which is good, to keep the suspense up and to keep you on your toes. But you can’t be afraid of how it will happen. You can only hope that your death will be fitting of the person you were in life.

But in the end, we’re all staring into the witch’s eye. It’s how we react to the information we see that shapes us.

A Love Letter to the Earth


Admittedly, I forgot today was your day. But you have to understand: for me, every day is your day! Okay, I know that sounds a little bit like “It’s the thought that counts…” but seriously. How much more do I have to prove my love for thee than by staying firmly planted on thine soil? Fine, it’s gravity that anchors me here, but give me a chance to explain!

I know that you’re just jealous since we’ve been checking out other planets recently, but they don’t have what you have (specifically, water…). I mean, we had a thing with the moon for awhile and that was great, but it was never going to last (or we were never going to last in the atmosphere). And now, you’re worried that we’re going to replace you with Mars as our favorite planet to explore. Please believe me when I say that the people that may be going there would much rather stay here. And really, Mars doesn’t hold a candle to you in looks. She has obviously applied too much self-tanner to achieve that reddish, dusty look. And no one can deny that you get hotter every day (except for the people who refuse to acknowledge climate change).

I know. If we love you, then we certainly have a funny way of showing it. We tear you apart, and we poison you, and we claim you. Yet, you still allow us to walk on your surface. (I guess love really is blind.)

As a result, I would like to make it my personal mission, as we all would, to see that you live out the full extent of your life so that we can all live out the full extent of ours. But more than that, I want to help you to reach your fullest potential. You continue to amaze me, even when I’ve only seen a fraction of you. What could you be if we all devoted more time and energy to preserving you, helping you to thrive?

Don’t worry, I’ll set the mood by turning out the lights so as not to waste electricity. I’ll hand wash the dishes that we eat a romantic dinner on to save water. I’ll even recycle the wine bottle after we’ve drained it so that it can be used anew. I always know that the little gestures and things (like a single species of creatures) matter the most to you, Earth. And we would all do anything for you.

From the bottom of the deepest oceans to the heights of the tallest tree, we love you.



10 Thoughts Everyone Has at the Gym

If you’re anything like me, you really have to push yourself in order to make it to the gym a few nights a week. Okay, scratch that. If you are human, you probably have to yell at yourself so that you make it to the gym a few nights a week.

And now that we have that in common, I’m sure we probably think the same thoughts when we’re there. After all, gym minds think alike. Or is it great minds?

10. Okay, I’m here. I need to make it worth my while. 

-Of course, within five minutes of me being there I am already calculating how long it will be before I can leave. Okay, these people watched me walk in 15 minutes ago. Will they judge me if they are on the same machine when I am leaving? Man, I don’t care. I’m tired.

9. Seriously. You are going to work out on the machine NEXT  to me?

-I’m all like, Helloooooo? There are about 5 open machines next to me, and you want to work out alongside me? Can’t you observe the one seat rule? You know, in the movie theater, when there’s enough seats, you leave one open between you and the person next to you? OH. Oh, now you want to race? Okay, well beat a 15 minute mile, buddy. I don’t care that you’re twice my age, eat my dust before you BECOME dust, you feel me?

8. Why are you running so fast? You’re making us all look bad.

No, but seriously. Are you some kind of superhero? There’s no reason to run that fast. I don’t even think a murderer could catch you. Wait, you’ve been running at that pace for the last three hours? What do you think you’re doing being that good? What’s your running playlist like? Did you just start at the first Harry Potter audiobook and go from there? No, but really. Teach me your ways.

7. Maybe if I watch television, I won’t notice how long I’ve been running for.

Hmmm, I have to watch something that I like, though. Let’s see, no, no, Fox news oh god no, no, no, no Real Housewives, hmm. Oh, look, Tomb Raider is on. Okay, I guess I could watch this for another mile or so. Oh wow. I don’t remember Angelina Jolie being this bad of an actress…or not wearing a bra. Who cares? She’s still gorgeous. Ugh, I will never look like her. Note to self: never let my boyfriend watch this movie alone. 

6. Wait, what is that? How do you work out on it?

Wait, is that a rope? Hanging from the ceiling? Oh, god, flashbacks to gym class, circa the nineties. And what’s that? Is that a bouncey ball? We all know where that’s going to go: under my butt as I bounce around the room! Oh, what is this other ball that’s really heavy? Oooh, I don’t like this one as much…Give me the fun one, the bouncey one.

5. Whoa, Blue Steel. Is it necessary to stare at yourself when you work out?

Look, I’m really sorry that I had to break the spell by walking between you and the mirror. But, uh, the way that you are staring at yourself is making ME uncomfortable. And I’m a third party. Take that somewhere else. Preferably, back home. You can do all the staring and working out you want there.

4. What are YOU doing here? You’re beautiful.

Sure, I know that you won’t stay that way if you don’t maintain your perfect, flawless–OH WHO CARES. You’re beautiful. You don’t need to be here. You can go home because I wish you were my body double. No one needs that kind of motivation. It hurts. And I’m not talking about the workout.

3. This is it. This is the end of my life. I’m going to die.

I … can’t…breathe. Why…did…I…set…the…incline…to…5…my…heart…is…like…a….volcano….with alka seltzer…in it.This….is…it. ….I want…everyone….to…work…out…in my honor when…I …die….no. …At my funeral! …Yes…everyone….gets…a fit bit at…my funeral……you…get a fit bit….and you…get a fit bit…

2. Maybe if I work out twice as hard, I won’t have to come tomorrow?

And maybe if I didn’t eat two cookies after every meal, I wouldn’t be here right now. Oh, well. Might as well accept my fate. Okay, let’s see. I’ll probably go home and make myself a hot chocolate, so that’s about 200 calories. But I had a salad for lunch, so that’s like, negative calories, right? So, I can get off of here in another 5 minutes. Yeah. That sounds right. I knew it would all balance out.

1. Stretch? Cool down?

Hahahhahahahaha. Nah. I’m out of here. See you tomorrow.

So, maybe you don’t have the exact thoughts I do at the gym. Actually, I hope you don’t. I think too much. But I hope you got a good laugh out of these.

Actually, I hope you laughed so hard that you worked out those abs of yours. Look! Now, you don’t even need to go to the gym at all! You’re welcome.

5 Rejected Halloween Costume Ideas

I would like to think that people start growing old when they stop dressing up for Halloween. And for me, the funnier and punnier you are, the better your costume is. I, personally, strive to stay on the cutting edge of costumes every year, (you’ll see mine at the end of the week, don’t worry) but it is getting harder and harder. People are certainly catching on in the creativity department, which is great. This only means that I need to step up my game because Halloween is this Friday. You know, four days from now.

So, are you looking for ideas yourself? Do you need a little glitter for your ghoul? Need a bit of “wear” for your “werewolf”? Then, take one of my (rejected) ideas! All you need to do is cite this blog somewhere on your body. (I’m kidding.) But if you do use one of these costume ideas, please let me see it!

1. “BOOtay”

-This is probably the easiest costume you will ever make. Just cut out some eye holes in a sheet and pad your bottom up a little (more power to you if you have enough going on back there and don’t need the extra stuffing). You are then transformed into “BOOtay.”  (P.S., you can also become a “BOOquet. Same idea, just hot glue flowers to that same sheet.)

2. A Sexy Ghost

-If you’re anything like me, you get a trifle annoyed when you see a website that only offers sexy outfits for Halloween. And sure, there’s a time, a place, and a girl for all of that. But that’s not every person. So, if you’re a bit conflicted on whether you want to be sexy or not, be both! Take that sheet you used for “BOOtay” and put a candy bra on top. Can you say (or sing) we’ve got the best of both worlds?

3. Teenage Dirtbag

-No, this is not just a one-hit wonder by Wheatus. It’s your adolescent years. So, bring back this awesome song! Simply take a bit of lipstick for zits, some black frame glasses, and, you guessed it, a bag of dirt. If people don’t get it, try to give them a few hints. And if they still don’t get it, they’re too young for you, bro.

4. iTune

-This one is ridiculously simple. Just carry around a pitch pipe, (a la pitch perfect), and help people get tuned. Points for creativity, but you may spend the entire night explaining yourself. (Tune down for what!?)

5. A Cat

-So, why is this in my rejected costume list? Well, it’s time that we hang this up. Put the fuzzy ears and the body con dress away, and quit telling everyone you are feeling “frisky.” You have more imagination than that. I believe in you. Besides, there’s four other costumes on this blog post alone that you can pick from.

And that’s it! I promise that you’ll always have a good time on Halloween when you try and be a little “batty!”

Don’t Listen to Anyone

Don’t listen to anyone. Ever. Because no matter what they say, they are always going to be right because you believe them.

How so? Let’s think about this for a minute. There are people, right now, in the world, that are making money by telling other people, no, strangers, that they are or, more often, are not good at something. We actually pay and want people to pass judgment on us. I mean, Simon Cowell has millions of dollars right now because he was rude to a couple people. Well, accurately rude, rightly rude. But yes, rude. 

And you have to wonder, as he is looking up at his gold ceiling, lying on his revolving heart-shaped bed at night, does he ever feel bad about it? 

The answer is undoubtedly no. He’s mean, and he gets rich because of it. Simple equation even for a non-math major here.

But let’s imagine a quick little scenario. You’ve been singing your entire life. I mean, since the time that you could hold a microphone. You grow up, learn to play guitar, and moonlight as a solo act in a few bars in your hometown. You’ve got stars in your eyes when you finally get an opportunity to sing in front of the American Idol panel. And then some British guy with a bad haircut says that you’re rubbish and that you shouldn’t quit your day job. And that’s it. POOF. There goes any chance that you’d actually continue singing because there it is. One of the most popular talent coaches in Hollywood just told you that you can’t sing. And of course, if you do sing again, all of the pigeons in NYC will burst in a puff of feathers a la Shrek. 

Except that isn’t the conclusion you should come to at all. Simon Cowell can afford to be mean. But you? You can’t afford to give up your dream, the one you’ve had since you were a child. 

So, what are you supposed to do? Well, you shouldn’t listen to Simon Cowell, for one thing, but, then again, you should never listen to anyone. Once you hear their side of things, suddenly they’re right and you’re wrong. You can make people right just by following their advice, by assuming that they know something that you don’t. But sometimes they aren’t right. Actually, people are wrong a lot. And mostly, they aren’t right about you because, well, you’re the only person who is you. And you know you best. I know, mind blowing.

Yet, people are still told everyday that they can’t do something by someone else, and they believe them. It makes me want to add a footnote to every millionaire’s net worth explaining how many times they doubted themselves or were rejected by the “right” people (who turned out to be the wrong people because look where they are now). The amount of times they failed would outpace their fortune ten times over. I think it is so interesting that people forget and forget and forget how many times J.K. Rowling sent the HP manuscript out or how Stephen King would spear rejection letter after rejection letter on one of those short-order cook nails. Do you honestly realize how many people were told they couldn’t do something time and time again and did it anyway? If anyone was stopped from doing something simply due to the fact that it “could not be done,” we would have nothing to show for modern civilization. I sincerely want to shake really angry, loud maracas at anyone who has ever believed that you can get something right on the first try. So loud would my maracas shake that I could drown everyone’s fear of failure and that little critic’s voice in our heads.

So, in the end, don’t listen to anyone. Not even me. In the end, I should be like a car passing you with my speakers blaring bad 90’s rap. You hear my mix tape (full of Notorious B.I.G.) really clearly when I am directly in front of you, but when I start to speed on down the road, I start to fade. That is how you should perceive all advice. It’s clear and direct in the moment, but what does it sound like down the road? Maybe it doesn’t apply so far ahead in the future. 

That’s where you come in. You start to make decisions for yourself. And you don’t have your ear pressed to the highway, waiting for someone to ride along and tell you what you should do and think. All advice eventually runs out of gas. And when it does, you’ll have to pick up the slack with good, old fashioned intuition when you turn your ignition. 

The Most Humble Blogpost I’ve Ever Written

This Thanksgiving, it’s important to remember to be thankful, which often means being humble. While I am not a stranger to humility in most cases, I do have trouble with one idea: saying “I don’t know.”

It really all boils down to the fact that I’m afraid to look stupid in front of others, and so I will do just about anything to avoid saying, “I don’t know.” Even lie. “Oh, yes, sea turtles definitely speak three languages.” Or, “No, avocados are the healthiest fruit. You actually shouldn’t even be eating anything else.”

I know, I know, it’s terrible that I can’t say “I don’t know.” It’s even worse that I care so much about what people think of my intelligence. As a matter of fact, I shouldn’t ever care what people think. Period.

So, let’s exercise my humility, and get me comfortable with the unknown. Say it with me:

I don’t know. I don’t know. I DON’T KNOW.

Okay, so maybe this was an incredibly easy blogpost for me to write, but it was rewarding.

And will I start saying “I don’t know?” Well, I don’t know. But I think it is important to recognize your weaknesses from time to time, and grow from them. Or, just fake it until you make it. At any rate, don’t get so caught up in what people are thinking. Spend more time valuing what you think. Even if you just don’t know.

The Death of the Photo Album

We are gathered here today to mourn the fact that we will no longer be able to gather around a friend’s vacation pictures set expertly into a photo book. Instead, we will have to huddle around a computer screen and flip through Facebook pictures, waiting for them to load. Forgive me friends, but maybe we shouldn’t all be seeing the intimate pics of your wife in her bikini? Perhaps, you should have only kept that for your eyes and the photo developer at the pharmacy? Maybe next time you might discriminate what photos you put on the internet. Simply put them in a photo album. You can always frame your favorite money shots for later.

I regret to inform you that the slideshow projector could not make it today. It too, has bitten the dust. Or rather, it has been covered in it.

Truthfully, I believe this world has lost an art form. The ability to set the right pictures next to each other to tell a story. Circumspectly lifting the plastic flap to slip them inside without dog-earring the picture. Your baby book can’t be brought down from a shelf anymore, it’s taken off the hard drive. You don’t point and laugh at a particularly embarrassing photo, you like it, and you “LOL.” Or at least you say that you are “loling,” but really I think you are just chuckling darkly in your basement.

Loved ones, don’t fret. Pictures and photographs will always have a place in our over-sharing hearts. As long as our friends still shoot milk out of their noses, someone will be there to document it. As long as we take vacations to the ocean, we will feel compelled to take pictures of it, even though we have seen it before. And finally, as long as we feel good in our clothing and in our own skin, we will take the all-important selfie.

Long live the photograph.

Please proceed to the rotary phone’s house for refreshments after the service.