Saturday, October 15, 2011

job interviews, fucking the man (UPDATED)

hi hi hi! 
here i am! 
i'm ready! 
like, soo ready. 

i am in my apartment, roommates gone, listening to this iron chic and girls playlist that i have been listening to for THREE MONTHS STRAIGHT UGHHH, drinking this weird green tea gingerale all like, omg did i really buy this? what in god's name is the point of this? (other than the fact that it tastes good), and i have two hours to kill before i am heading BACK into the city for some fist in the air marching against the man and i have this voice in my head all like NOW, DANIELLE, NOW! this is the time! this is your chance! get back on that advice column horse and riiiiiide.

and so, like i said, i'm ready. giddy-up motherfuckers!!! ( sorry about that.)

i was laid off from my job of nearly four years over a year ago and rather than looking for a new job straight away, took a gap year (now gap year and a half!) to "discover myself" aka go on tour, shop when everyone else is at work, discover meditation and new ways of styling my hair, and travel. now that my unemployment wages are due to run out and i feel sort of lazy and ready to become a gainfully employed member of society again, i have a few job interviews lined up. i've already had two and both times the interviewer asked me why i left my former position. i got tripped up and gave a long-winded story about how my position was made redundant but i feel like this automatically puts me in a position where they see me as unemployable and assume that if the company is still in business, i must have been a bad employee. 
my question is- would it be totally irresponsible to just say that i left my job because i wanted to move on or make up a slight white lie without saying the words "laid off" so my potential new employer won't see me as a failure? i know this could potentially come back to bite me in the ass, but it could also help me actually get a job and feel productive again. everyone embellishes on their resume a little bit, right? would this be much different? looking forward to your reply.
your currently semi-unemployed friend who is in a bit of a moral dilemma

hi friend in a moral dilemma! first off, good on you for taking that year off! seriously. i'm so glad that this question isn't questioning that part of your question (what?) because i would hate for you to regret or doubt the value in that time you spent living, loving, learning, you know? there are so many people out there that will try and make you feel guilty for that, but puhleeeeeaze, continue to own your discoveries and the time spent with yourself. it's so so important and i wish that it was more valued in our society. the fact that it's not valued is why certain people (aka haters) will try to make you feel guilty - because they themselves didn't get that chance, or find/make/force a way for themselves to get it. our system values workworkwork and so that's what they did and now they're all like WELLLL IF I HAD TO WORK EIGHT DAY JOBS WHILE ALSO WORKING SEVEN NIGHT JOBS THENNNNNN I MEANNNN YOU SHOULD AT LEAST HAVE THE DECENCY TO NEVER ENJOY YOUR LIFE AGAIN I MEANNNN

but no, i say! no no no! for a few years after college i worked in advertising and the other women in the office would always tell me the things i "have to" or "should" do in terms of career/job stuffs, investing money stuffs, la la la general life stuffs. these things were usually just the things they did, the things that most people did - the normal, safe things that our society tells us we have to/should do. these were the things that got them to where they were and yes, i will give them credit that they were quite 'normal' and their lives were as 'safe' as could be (until the 2008 financial collapse anyway) but you know what else they were? totally fucking miserable!! omg. they were as miserable working in that office for low wages and high stress as i was - and they did it for 30 MORE YEARS THAN ME. shot not, mofos! i loved these ladies, they were total sweethearts, but their lives were not what i wanted for myself AT ALLLLLLLL. all they did was work 50+hrs a week (not including commute), save money, stress about money, spend money on decorative pillows, repeat. they had families they didn't see as much as they wanted to. they had dreams of traveling but rarely did because their vacation time (2 weeks for a whole year? fuck you!) got eaten into by needing more sick or personal days for themselves or their kids. it was totally heartbreaking and taught me some real life lessons that i still hold quite dear. (namely, my favorite life lesson aka fuck the man)

and that's the gift of being in a younger generation, yeah? we can see where the older gens got it right and where they got it wrong and choose for ourselves which way we want to go. i think it's def heading that way in certain aspects (hi #OWS and the rise of freelance/mobile/internet work etc). our generation may get dissed for being a bunch of self-obsessed, lazy, attention-seeking crybabies, and on our worst day that probably holds true, but i think we are also much better at understanding and valuing balance and we are beginning to redefine what success and happiness mean to us. the older gens are just scared and weirded out because we're rocking their boat, you know? it's normal, it happens.

but woah, sorry. where did any of that come from? you didn't ask any of this. you just want to know if you can tell your prospective employers a little white lie to get out from saying that you were laid off. i honestly don't think you have to?! being laid off is so common nowadays and i don't think it has the stigma attached to it that you are attaching to it. maybe this is leftover guilt from somewhere/something else??

i think the trick is in just saying the truth with confidence. when this question gets brought up, don't hem and haw. fucking lay it out all like, "the company made cuts and my department was hit hard" - or something along those lines. it's really about how you say it rather than what you say in this case. especially because you weren't fired for being a bad employee - your position was made redundant (right?) so like, what can you do? just own it like i know you're owning that awesome gap year.

also, please let me know how you started to style your hair?! and where did you travel to?! I'M DYING TO KNOW.

back with a vengeance,

remember when i told you about always having amazing, awesome, super smart friends around you to fill in yr blanks? well, after this was posted, i got a message from one such friend, named renae, who coincidentally was the girl who trained me at that old advertising job i mentioned above. she has since gone on to hugely bigger and better things out in LA and seriously knows how to nail an interview based on her suggestions below. as i've been working as a nanny/sometime pre-school teacher, i have not had to 'sell' myself in this way in a long while, hence, renae nailing it and filling in my blanks. yayy. keep your smart and amazing friends close, for reeeeal. here is her update!:

you should tell the interviewer the truth that there was no room for growth at the small company where you were working and you had gotten all you could out of your position. While you had learned this that and the other thing (fill in with actual stuff about the industry, what you liked/didn't... the things you liked somehow relating to the position for which you're interviewing... ) but you weren't sure at that point, a year-ish ago, that you were ready to dive right into yet another corporate position while you, in fact, had the financial freedom to take a hiatus and really figure out what profession it is that will be most fulfilling for you. You travelled, read a ton, took some classes, were involved in a startup that didn't wind up getting funded (but you learned a lot) and participated in some political events that meant a lot to you. You came out knowing that THIS is the exact next step you need to take on your career path because you want to be a _____ and you're super amped about it. You not only have the qualifications suited for the position but you now have a level of commitment that they won't find in other women your age who have yet to take this time off to do what you did.

 CAN YOU EVEN HANDLE THAT? she hit it out of the park!!

thanks renae! god bless you and god bless america, good night.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

a little note

hi lovelies!! just wanted to say a quick hi and note that i have not forgotten about this, you or the emails sitting in my inbox! i have been spending much of my free time down on wall street, occupying the shit out of it (for a few hours at a time after work at least) and it's been really cool and wild and renegade and inspiring and awesome, but with me doing that other things have obviously slipped down my to-do ladder, this included, and it's totally sad face for me!

i just wanted to put that out there so maybe the self-imposed guilt will lay the f off and stop being such a hater. omg, see? even registered advice columnists need to openly work out their shit.

yay for public forums and for the gandhi quote re: being the change you want to see in the world, i love you all,

Friday, October 7, 2011

somehow connecting the protests to shoes because that's just where i'm at right now

woah! sorry, readers. i totally just fell into an internet/life k-hole re: #occupywallstreet #ows the past few days and am just waking up out of it all like, is this other life still really happening? what do you mean i have to shower and go to work? i have to feed myself and return phone calls? omg that's so weird and unnecessary in the face of revolution, no? and then i'm all like, yes, danielle, it is necessary because in order to be the best revolutionary-er i can be, i need to restore some balance and sanity into my life and what better way to do that than to answer some questions and give some AD-VIIIIIICCEEEE (as said in oprah's excitement voice aka my favorite voice aka the only voice i need to know that love still exists).

and this one is about a topic that is near and dear to my heart, revolution or not. yes, ladies and gents, IT'S ABOUT SHOES!! i know, i know. what an intro to then talk about something as (seemingly) frivolous as fashion, but honestly, life is really complex and textured and i think that's one of the coolest parts about it! i can care about and be in to many things at once, right? i mean like right now my firefox tabs are as follows: gmail, twitter set to search #ows, ally financial history page because fuck big banks, blogspot, needsupply shoes, madewell boots, zara coats, nymag vulture tv recaps aaaand the hairpin. it's just how it is and i'm not ashamed! i can totally support the rev while reading about tv shows and participating in the fall-boots-hunting season, right?! right!

and what a season it is!! as you can see, i have a few separate tabs for shoes open and that's just where i'm at at the moment. come back in like, ten mins and i'll be on three different ones. fall-boots-hunting season is a real thing that millions of women go through, like menopause or bro-down conversations about how their love for jordan catalano sorta ruined their lives for a while there. we all create these perfect shoes in our minds and then go out into the wild all like SHOW THEM TO ME, STORES!!! PRESENT THEM TO ME ON A GOLDEN PLATTER AND PLACE THEM ON MY TENDERS (um, is tenders even a word for feet or did i just completely make that up?). only they don't totally exist. or they kinda do, but that heel is awkward/that zipper is too zippery/that buckle makes me look fat or whatever. or if they do exist, they are like, a thousand million dollars over our budget. or worst of all, they exist and then only come in suede.

ugh. you see, suede is hell for fall shoes, especially here in NY where the ground is wet literally 96% of the time and only 84% of that time is from natural precipitation. and this is why i imagine my lovely reader sent in the following question:

Have you ever sprayed one of those sealant sprays on a light pair of suede shoes? I want to do this to a pair of my bad boys but I'm too scared to ruin them because they cost so much $? Any tips?

omg. what a seemingly simple question but i gotta say that this one was a little outside my comfort zone. do you know what the number one tenet of being a registered advice columnist is? KNOW YOUR LIMITS. that's right. i had to take a moment to reflect and realized that, shit, i may know a good amount about looking for and shopping for and getting disappointed by and then duct taping shoes, but about actually protecting them from the elements before i wear them? ah, not so much! because as much as i participate in the shoe-shop-mayhem, i either just stay away from suede for this very reason or go the punk as fuck route and just get them wet and ruined all like I DON'T CARE ABOUT YOUR FABRIC RULES, WORLD! and hey, while we're on the topic, like 87% of your other rules, too, so if you wanna like, talk about it or whatever, lemme know..?

and then the second/third tenets of being a registered advice columnist are to a) never let your readers down and to b) have amazing besties on hand to help fill in your blanks and wouldn't ya know that that's exactly what i did! i sent the question immediately to my best friend, sheela (of fame) and look at this! she knocked it outta the park (duhhhh). without further ado, here's her guest answer!:

let me start by saying how honored i am that i was asked to guest blog for whatsyrproblem. i might not have the answers when it comes to questions related to existential problems and relationships, but shoes? now you're talking my language.
sit back and relax, it's story time.
we've been having quite schizophrenic weather here in new york as of late. last weekend, the sun was shining and the air was crisp. i took this as a sign that it was the perfect opportunity to break out my beautiful new yellow suede shoes (just purchased in london. read: extra special shoes!) several hours later, i was in a bar and it was pouring rain. i tried waiting it out, but it got to the point that that the bar was closing and i had no cash left. i had two options. 1. walk to the train barefoot  2. destroy my beloved shoes. walking barefoot was clearly the more sane option, but as my feet hit the new york city pavement and i spotted a tiny rat run by, i knew it wasn't going to happen. next door to the bar was a falafel shop, where i retrieved two plastic bags, swallowed my pride, wrapped one around each shoe, and walked those 5 blocks with dignity.  (a girl even high-fived me and said she loved my dedication to fashion!) it was a bit slippy and i must have looked completely mental, but my shoes were relatively in tact and i learned a lesson, which i am passing on to you. 
the lesson here is this: NEVER wear fancy shoes without taking the proper precautions, despite what the forecast says. if you want to try and DIY it, i suggest doing a patch test on the shoes with the sealant on a discreet spot (either inside or hidden by laces, bows or buckles perhaps?) to see if it changes the color at all. if all looks ok, follow the instructions on the bottle and go to town.
if you want to play it safe (recommended), bring them to a professional. if you live in new york city, email me back and i can recommend you several wonderful cobblers. may i also suggest, my dear fellow shoe lover, that you have the cobbler add a layer of rubber to the sole before wearing any expensive shoes out in the world. they might not make that fun clickety clack noise when you walk anymore, but they will last you much longer, especially when you live in a city that requires you to walk a lot.
 shoes are a shitty investment because they get destroyed so easily, but they're pretty and make us happy! (aka: worth it.) if you take the proper precautions, i promise yours will have a long, beautiful life, and you will never have to walk anywhere with plastic bags over your feet.
here's to a lifelong weatherproofed love affair between you and your fancy stems!

uhhhhhhhhhhh holy shit, can you tell why she's my best friend?! what an angel. lemme know if you want her e-mail so she can recommend some "cobblers" (lols if she can say cobblers i sure can call feet "tenders") so go on! test out the sealant on your shoes or get them done professionally because suede should not stand in the way of anyone's perfect fall shoes any longer! i now feel like i have to go back and re-look at the thousands of boots i've already looked at without ruling out suede!! how exciting! how liberating! how freeing! how easy for me to now connect this back to the protests by using words like liberating and freeing because for real just because we're revolting a corrupt system it sure as hell doesn't mean we can't look fly doin it. so get those suede shoes waterproofed and then get to the streets. i'll see you there. hollerrrr.

wearing my sunday best whilst fucking the man,

Monday, October 3, 2011

how to stop the obsessive negi-thought train from a-blaring

no time to waste! life moves pretty fast, etc! let's do this!

Dear WYP,
Really liking the blog so far. Had something bouncing around my head for a while. So here goes: There is this girl that I have worked with at my job for the last few years. For a long while we were quite friendly, and even hung out outside work on a few occasions. However, as time progressed, I developed a huge crush on her. I don't mean like "creepy stalker weirdo" crush, but more "growing interest and joy in the person's presence" crush, sprinkled with "wouldn't it be nice if ... [insert daydream future together here]." Anyway, it got kinda out of control; and I decided to just bite the bullet and ask her on a date. This was about a year ago. She said yes, It went great, we had an awesome time and all my hopes and crush fantasies came true. It didn't last, because the next few times I asked her out, she got very quiet, and would give me the cold shoulder. My feelings were crushed, and all the butterfly excitement fell apart (whoa, that is way too 10th grade "dear diary" poetry.) This, of course, only fed the fantasy further, in that I thought I had done something wrong, and I would do anything fix it, or if that was impossible, at least return to the normal level of friendship. So in essence, it is now a year later, and I have developed this obsessive fake fantasy love of her, and have nearly quit my job multiple times simply from crossing her path or from getting the cold shoulder. Worse off, I get insanely jealous whenever she chats up other male co-workers and I hear her laughing and acting normal, the way she used to act around me. 

My question is, how do I simply shake these obsessive feelings and move on? How do I rid myself of depending on "what might have been" feelings that give me some vain false hope for the future? I don't want to jeopardize my job.
-A walking Smiths song

okay, first off, again, way to start with the compliment!! you bitches just KNOW.

and now i'll just jump right in and say some of those "HARD TRUTHZ" that i'm known for (disclaimer: i'm not known for anything, especially not anything like a hard truthz). here goes: although you thought the date was great and you had an awesome time it sure doesn't seem like she did. ugh, i know, but you seriously gotta break the storyline that the date was a two-way street of high-fivin happiness and start believing that it was more like those drama masks - one side happy, one side saaaad. [my artistic rendering = :) :( ] this totally sucks but in order to move on you gotta be on solid footing and honest acceptance will be your first step.

now, i imagine she probably thought the date was nice, alright, fine, since you guys were already friends and bro'ed down before, but probably felt no sparks that way and she, in her awkwardness on how to handle that unfortunateness, decided that it was best to just avoid you from here on out. this is absolutely NOT the best way for her to have handled it, especially since you work together, but somehow in this day and age not everyone reads WYP and may not have known that a little dose of kind-hearted honesty would have been the better route. either way, this is where you're at. it's awkward, it sucks, and you want to move on. nay! you've GOT to move on!

you have to try and let go of her in totality. let go of her as a crush object and let go of her as a friend. the work you are going to do is going to be from inside you. if she ends up in your life in some compacity after the fact, well, that's a bonus but it cannot be the goal. you see, you are giving this girl a lot of power over you. you need to get the power back from within you. you will never be fixed by an outside force, right? so let's get that inner-strength back and then you let the chips fall where they fall with this girl and all other girls, k?

you're all like, "the work i'm going to do?" I KNOW RIGHT?! i tried to sneak it in there. it may sound scary but i promise it's not so hard. it may just be a little cheesy because that's how i roll these days, but it won't be hard and the benefits will straight step up in this mothafucka just a-swangin their hair (aka so worth it.)  you're going to have to try and train your brain to think from the negative to the positive and what this take is repetition. repeat the repeat to repeat the repeat and back again. you've been sitting in obsessive negi-town for about a year now! those negi-thoughts are deeply grooved in your brain at this point. the neurons are all used to that pathway now. it's easy and comfortable for you to go down it and then go down it again. you have to put up some posi-roadblocks to stop the negi-train from hitting the same brain station (omg metaphors 101).

take a moment and write out all the negative things you are telling yourself. maybe about how you fucked up, are unlovable, wrong, broken, la la la, or how this girl is perfect, will save you, will fill the void that makes you hollow.. whatever! and then write down on another page the inverse. change those into positive affirmations. to quote modern day philospher m.elliot, "i put my thing down, flip it and reverse it." now start saying those posi-affirmations like a mantra. you don't gotta go all stuart smalley on yourself, just repeat nice things about yourself to yourself as you go through the day.  for me, what works is writing it out over and over. i swear, my last heartache i filled a whole notebook with "I AM VALID, I AM WHOLE" written over and over and over LIKE A CRAZY WOMAN. but guess what? i totally may look like a crazy woman to anyone who snuck a peek at my notebooks (please see: i will kill you) but i got through it! and i got through it super stronger! and i now truly believe that i am valid and whole on my own! how cool is that??

so anytime you start going down your now-normal negative thought train, stop it and flip it. be patient because "these things take time" - the smiths (yessss! i was hoping i could work in a smiths lyric somewhere in this jammy). just be persistent and these thought patterns will change. whatever you think you need to say to yourself to get yourself out of this mess, say it! and then say it again! you know your thoughts and know what needs to be the antidote to this year of negativity. be nice to yourself.

another trick is that when you can't stop thinking about yourself and your problems, you should call someone else and ask them about theirs/see if there's a way to help them out. helping others gets us out of our own heads and is a proper way to gain some self-esteem. so if you're ever really IN IT and can't find a way out yourself, call up a buddy and see if he needs help moving something or driving somewhere or whatever. just go take your able-body and do something ably for someone else. it'll at least delay your crazy train sched a bit and when your head hits the pillow that night, you at least made a positive difference that day! those actions will add up as will the moments spent outside of your head.

and as soon as you feel like your positive-self-love tank is filled (remember: this may take tiiime!) and you are ready to enter the dating world again, i'd suggest asking out a couple girls at a time. online dating is an easy way to set up a few dates at once. seriously. don't put all your eggs in one basket. if it doesn't work out with one, you got another lined up. it takes the pressure off. and keep up with the affirmations!! keep being nice to yourself and keep loving yourself. know that dating is hard for everyone and can be quite soul-sucking (me? bitter? nahhh) but the best relationship is the one with yourself anyway. haa, told you. i'm so fucking cheesy lately i should come with a lactose warning but i'm also dropping MAD TRUTHZ aka what i'm totally known for soooooo slam dunk!

whole and valid always,

Saturday, October 1, 2011

it's totally okay #2

and i'm back on this beautifully rainy-ish saturday afternoon to let y'all know that it's totally okay to do a couple more things you may be all like, really?? about. payment in the form of no-payment, please. this is just what i do! (unless someone wants to pay me?)

let us begin!

1) it's totally okay to spend your friday night eating pizza with a bestie, come home by 10pm, youtube videos on how to clean make-up brushes, fucking clean yr make-up brushes like a grown-ass woman-champ and then finish the night by throwin it allll down on this week's nymag's crossword puzzle like YOU DON'T KNOW ME 79-DOWN I AM YOUR GOD TONIGHT!! while an episode from season 1 - 30 rock plays out from the netflix app on yr iphone. wtf! that is a bomb-ass night any night of the week! fuck friday night or saturday night pressure. external pressure is for physicists! (science joke). i used to feel cRaZySeXyLoSeR if i didn't go out and flip tables and scream in stranger's faces on the weekends (right?) but now i believe it's totally okay to spend those nights doing the things i need and want to do, especially when that includes taking care of myself in small ways that add up to big ways! did i mention i had a face mask on the whole time? because i did!! i was clearing out my pores too, you guys! last night just totally ruled. i have more fun this way, i wake up on saturday morning basically high-fiving my soul and science just called, told me that he loooved the physicist joke above and then confirmed that i slept even better than a baby because babies don't hit things outta the park like i just did, you know?

(1a. it's totally okay to google "external pressure physics" to make sure your joke about it in the previous paragraph makes sense. and then to reference that joke again. and now again.)

2) it's totally okay for me to let you know once again that you should absolutely, 100%, without a doubt, fuck the haters. also, please know that no one is really thinking about you as much as you are thinking about you (weird, right?). i know so many of us who allow the imaginary thoughts of random strangers to stop us from doing the things that we want, can or should do, and i just won't take it anymore! 

example: this morning i went on a run for the first time in like, two months. it was haaaard. i was hot-messing it all up and down these streets and sure, random others were looking at me for a second as i passed them panting, crying, begging-them-for-a-mercy-killing, but honestly?, i bet they didn't even think about it/me/the situation one bit. i bet they were thinking about their dog peeing on their fav shoes that morn or how their boss totally laughed at their joke the other day and how awesome that felt - whatever. i just bet they weren't all that concerned with me in the way that i was concerned with me, you know? i'm just super glad that i went for the run because for a long, long, long time these imaginary negative thoughts of random strangers would stop me. fuck that!

and okay, even if they were thinking about me, i bet it was either a passing "ohh poor girl, good luck with that!" OR maybe even a "good for you! you go get it, girl!" if it was a negi thought, 1) that person is just a walking negi-vibe and who cares, DISREGARD, and 2) wait five seconds because (especially here in new york) you just gotta know that in less than two breaths time that negi thought got replaced because all of a sudden a guy on an eight foot tall tricycle wearing a clown nose is air-horning his way through a speech on the illuminati and although he is obviously batshit crazy, he is kinda making sense? and then you go home and google things that scare you.

so just do it, you know? this applies to running, singing, dancing, creating, writing, whatever! i'll repeat one more time: fuck the haters!

and finally,

4) it's totally okay to have a really loud laugh. just know that if there's one thing this world always needs more of it's laughter so let it ring out like the bells of freedom!

have a good saturday!!


Thursday, September 29, 2011

going lesbian at 31

i am so excited over this one question that i have to scream YES YES YES YES YES DUH DUH DUH DUH DUH before i even post it. just imagine me in a flowy dress, rooftoppin it, arms up, hair whippin around, all like YES YES YES YES YES DUH DUH DUH DUH DUH into the cold city air. imagine me winning an oscar for my total dedication to the moment and then me kissing my lover (gosling probs? or maybe JGL? is there a new hottie i'm forgetting?) as i go up to accept my award. i get a standing ovation and also win best dressed because that's how clear the answer is to me, you know? i just don't think that there is any other way to answer this?! (i mean, unless you're a homophobe and then heyyooo, haters to the left

okay. here it is:

from anonymous gemini chick (LOLz):
i don't know if it is a problem, but maybe a conundrum and your thoughts would be most welcomed...
so i am 31 and well, i would say that i don't really have a type in reference to my romantic inclinations. all of my sig oths have been very different and bar a couple of flings, all boys.
however i have recently met a girl (a lesbian, let it be noted. not hitting head off brick wall yet) that i am actually crushing harder on than any boy i have met in the recent past.
 so i guess i am looking for a bit of bi-solidarity here... it is ok to want to pursue my first relationship with a girl at 31 when most people are thinking of sheding anything off the beaten path and going on the road more traveled and getting orthodox with their lives, right?!

Also, for a little clarity- guys like the chase girls, do all of these rules apply for girls chasing girls? can i just be upfront and say hey- let's go out on a date? and let the cards fall where they may?
Dish the tips.


so let me repeat myself. YES YES YES YES YES DUH DUH DUH DUH DUH. of course i recommend going for it!! and yes, i will back you up in pursuing your first girl love relay. and pahlease, 31 is so young! don't you play that age card. if this question came in from a 41, or 61, or 71 or 81 year old my answer would still be an emphatic YES YES YES YES YES DUH DUH DUH DUH DUH. (ok i think at this point i just like typing that out. like a typing meditation. new concept? and oh look at that.. COPYRIGHTED) this is the life we got! the only one! do it do it do it! this is such an explosive you'd-totally-regret-not-goin-for-it move, you know? (note: most things actually are but this one is def of the epic variety).

but i get it, there's this societal pressure. there's always this pressure. we all feel it. it exists in the ether making us doubtful, fearful, ashamed or probs all three. no one is immune to this, not even your trusty advice columnist! you see, for the past two years i've worked with kids nannying, babysitting and preschool subbing as my day job. i totally fucking love it. the kids are awesome, the parents i work with rule and i get paid pretty well. my days are spent in playgrounds and parks. i build lego sets, play board games and draw pictures of aliens. i get to hug and kiss the sweetest little faces and be told that i am their best friend in the cutest voices ever you just want to JUMP OUT A FUCKING WINDOW.  but no matter how much i love it, there is that damn voice telling me that this is wrong, that i should be doing more, i'm 28 for christ's sake, i went to college, dammit!! this is that societal pressure voice just running his mouth being a dick. this is what that voice does. it is made to be the dickness.

i worked in advertising for almost four years before nannying. it was a 'real job' that used my 'college degree' and guess what, i hated it hated it hated it. i hated waking up in the morn, was so stressed and sad all the time and would cry at my desk whenever e-mails would come in. (i was an exec assistant - emails always came in). that's the beaten path right there. thank god it took me only four years to know that the beaten path is ugly and muddy and i don't want to walk it not in these shoes. that doesn't mean the societal pressure voice doesn't still pop up and spew his dickness all over my parade, but now i just let him talk, say "thank you for your input, dick :P" and then kindly remind myself how happy i am waking up in the mornings now and how when i walk into work i am greeted by cute little dudes giving me hugs (not creepy don't arrest me), not an angry boss yelling about some bs i could honestly give two shits about.

so that was a long and probably unnecessary ramble to basically say YES YES YES YES YES DUH DUH DUH DUH DUH. also, probably boring to the people who came here wanting me to just talk about leeeeeeeesssssssbbbbiaaaans. y'all got tricked, suckasz. 

(lemme also say that the 'beaten path' does work for some! there ain't nothing wrong with going the road mostly traveled if it's the road you want to go! it's the pressure to conform and the guilt associated with not going down that road that i'm all like oh hell no to, but y'all knew this)

now, re: pursuing her. god, you're getting me at a point in my life, you know? i'm just so over any sort of games and that applies to straight, bi, gay, whatever and regardless, i honestly don't really think it matters all too much anyway. i read somewhere once that all good relationships start out either really easy and almost carelessly or they start haphazardly with a lot of twists and turns which you then look back on and re-frame as charming. so just do the 'follow your heart' thing. be honest and ballsy and own it! it's a better way to live in general than being sly, sneaky and manipulative, yeah? if it doesn't work out, at least you were true to you. i know that seems like a shitty, new agey, blahblah consolation prize but it's one of those weird things where in fact it is the MOST AWESOME PRIZE that doubles and triples and quadruples in self-esteem size that it's not even consolation anymore but a real deal first rate thing, you know??

another thing about dating - just know that the only thing that is needed is that elusive mix of chemistry and timing. we all know chemistry. it's that thing that exists outside of people, in between them, almost like a third entity in the room. you can't fake it (or i have no idea why anyone would want to..) it's there or it's not and you have no control over whether it is. if it is there then you just gotta see if the timing is, too. if you're both looking for the same thing at the same time or are willing to eff around for a little before you are. that's out of your control, too! omg, fuck! so with those two big dealies out of your control, what can you do? well, for starters, yes - you can totally ask her out on a date and let those chips fall! let them rain down! how it progresses afterwards is for the universe, you know?, but you can def get the ball rolling. go for it! you got this! go lesbian at 31! i love you! lemme know how it goes?!

bringing people together since a week ago,

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

how to get over someone

no time for fancy intros tonight! this is a big one! also, i got two episodes of jersey shore and one project runway to catch up on! (i know.) let's get right down to it:

Dear WYP,

Cool blog. Love the advice. Need some of my own. Here goes: Earlier this year, I made out with one of my oldest friends. A couple of days later, we both admitted to having long-term crushes on each other, then things moved really quickly. We ended up dating for seven months, long distance, and things were great (no fights, no issues, lots of laughs, great sex) until he pulled the plug. He decided he doesn't want to be in a relationship and needs to work on some things. We don't really talk now, which is ok because he's far away but not ok because I do eventually want to be friends again. The problem is, I still have feelings for him. How do I fast-track getting over someone?

hi FML! what a pretty name. i hope it doesn't stand for what i think it stands for (duh of course it does) because we here at WYP headquarters don't believe in such nonsense. we don't fuck lives over here, no matter how sucky a situation may be so let's get that straight, ok? your life shan't be fucked! also, lemme just say hey now! good on you to start off with the compliments!! my readers sure know what i like to hear.

anyway, sad face, i'm sorry! this is a situation most people with hearts (aka most people in general) (not sociopaths) (or total assholes) have been through. we've all been in the place where we just want to stop liking the person we're liking! the like is not serving us anymore and we just want to get it the f over! why is it so haawwdd?? (my long island accent comes out when i emote). i have personally been here many, many, many times befaw thas for damn shaw! (ahh ok, AND ENDS).

so from your point of view there were no issues or fights. i'll just put it out there and try to say as lovingly as possible that this is probably a romanticized version of what went down. maybe you're glossing over some things in your memories (we all do this - it protects us! it's okay until it's not okay anymore, you know?) or maybe this dude didn't let you in until it was too late. the distance may have made it easier for him to do this. regardless, there was probably something goin down, right? i mean, hence the breakup.

i'm just trying to gently break any denial and maybe knock this relationship off of this 'but-it-was-perfect!'-pedestal. denial-breaking and romanticize-smashing are key to moving on. no matter what though, you are here now and you didn't ask my opinion on that noise. you just want to know how to get over him, and that's what i'll try to focus on.

ok. so i occasionally sub in at this little preschool here in brooklyn. it's adorable, tiring and fun and although i'm getting paid to watch and play with and teach these little scrap-a-muffin kids, i usually end up learning something as well (cue music, cheesy smile, side glance and wink at camera). the lesson a couple weeks ago came in the form of this book called "we're going on a bear hunt." i think it's like... a classic? but i had never read it until i read it there and it's all like, this family talking about going on a bear hunt? they never get into the why of it all, but regardless, they just keep getting caught in things like, grass or a river or something and they keep repeating this one part over and over and over again - "we can't go over it, we can't go under it, we've got to go through it!" and i think you know where this is going! my dear reader there is no way around this - the fastest way to get over someone is to just go fucking through it.

first, you must accept honestly where you are. you got broken up with and that sucks. it's okay that this sucks! this is the prototype of a 'this sucks!' situation. this is a dude you had a long-time crush on and then you made out with him. that alone is insanely exciting. then he said the same things back to you and you started dating! wtffff, you know? that's some dreams coming true bs. and to top it all off, from your pov of the whole sitch, things were going along swimmingly until it all of a sudden wasn't and now you're here with a confused and broken heart in your hands all like, wait motherfucker what??

so, accept this and then let yourself grieve this! you just went on a seven month emotional roller-coaster. please don't judge how you feel. let yourself feel it all without beating yourself up over it or telling yourself you should really be feeling this or that. just feel what comes for however long it comes. be sad, lonely, angry, confused, rejected, hurt, powerful, strong, weak, happy, free - whatever! be many things all at the same time! from my experience, these feelings are going to come whether you allow them to or not. it's better to feel them now - truly and soberly - head on and without fear - then let them pop up nine months from now during a drunk dial or eight years from now in a completely different relationship. this is honestly how you move on. you feel your feelings until your feelings are done. have faith that this will not last forever. it may not go as 'fast' as you want - but it willwillwill pass. all things do, right? this is no different. you happen to just be in it now. know that one day you won't be, k? just knowing that fact helps me go through the worst of it.

try to find creative and cathartic ways to get these emotions out, too. writing sad poetry is a cliche for a reason. (love how "cliche for a reason" is now a cliche in and of itself. MINDMELT). no one's gotta see it! you don't gotta go all slam poetry open mic night if you don't wanna (i kinda wanna?). don't be embarrassed, work it out!! write, paint, draw, sing, scream, dance, whateva - own the angst and longing and get it out in a productive way.

another thing to do is to not look at this period as a waste of time but to look at it as a period of growth and of personal understanding (#eatpraylove.) re-frame this time and re-frame it positively! use this time to see how you work! like, how you work as a person. like, how you as a person works. watch yourself lovingly and patiently go through this like you're a scientist doing some experiment. you will learn so much! "oh, and there's the 8th time today i checked his facebook. interesting how uninteresting it is after the 5th go-around." "oh, ok. still fantasizing about that one conversation we had that one time that made me sorta happy." "oops! and here's another dude in my bed." "and here i am eating my third chocolate cake of the night." "oh wow, MARK IT DOWN! i'm actually able to sit and watch tv without crying tonight. pass me more cake!" whatever happens, just passively watch and learn about yourself - your ways of handling grief, loss, sadness, etc. it's actually a kinda fun and interesting thing to do if you're able to do it without judgement. loving yourself through it is so key it hurts (until it doesn't hurt anymore.) the lessons you'll pick up during this time will be so valuable! huzzayy! you can see what things you like and what things you may want to change in the future. it's like emotional maturity level 301 with a kind, lighthearted pop quiz next thursday.

and you know i gotta say this - please let go of the notion of becoming friends with him again. it really may not happen and i'd hate for you to be heartbroken over that too. i'm sure you know things have gone and done changed. you're not just old friends anymore- you're ex-lovers now. it's a whole new ballgame. (one where apparently i use the term 'ex-lovers' completely un-ironically.)

if you are able to reconnect in a friends-only way, prepare yourself that it most likely will be a different brand of friendship than the one it was before you dated. just know that there are a thousand different varieties of friendships out there and you will def be tasting a new kind with him (what? ew). from my experience, you gotta let there be a lot of good ol' fashioned healing time in there first (so be grateful for this time of little-to-no communication!! it is needed) and you gotta be totally open-armed to a new chapter in the relay, however it may unfold. you may not be super close, you may not want to talk about certain things, you may still feel feelings! just make sure to take actions that value yourself and to let go of the results.

okay!! you got this, girl. e-mail me your slam poetry if you want. i'll just be here watching snookie, wondering how she would have answered this question. (answer: GTL + smush, duh),
danielle FORLIFE