The pain will subside if we stand together

I’ve often been asked by people who know me professionally if I have an “off” button. If I’m ever not cheerful, happy, and positive. Yesterday, some of them saw the darkness that lies within me. Yesterday felt like one of the worst days.

The only way I can adequately put my feelings into words is by comparing it to other experiences. Few times in my life I have felt this numb exhaustion.

The first was in high school, when my first boyfriend broke up with me. I didn’t understand the feeling, and my mom compared it to the death of someone you love. Heartbreak is often the death of a relationship, and your body mourns that death. I barely slept. I couldn’t eat. And I found solace in a summer nanny job that kept my mind occupied and my body busy. Children have healing powers. But even then, I took to writing in order to work through my feelings.

A year later, September 11, 2001 happened. Three weeks into my freshman year at Bradley University and the world felt like it was crumbling. we collectively sat glued to our TVs, terrified, unsure, sad, and angry. We went to candlelight vigils and mass en mass. We prayed. And we cried.

The next time I felt that empty sadness was the first time (of three) my college boyfriend broke up with me. It was an old friend enveloping me in a dark cloud, and I truly wondered if I’d ever smile again. I lived inside my journal. Writing  the same thoughts and feelings over and over in every way I could.

And then, a real and painful death shattered me. My grandfather died. My grandfather, who had lived in our home for ten years. And the raw pain I felt was guttural. I trampled across campus, tears streaming down my face, coating my boyfriend’s pajama pants in mud to find him in the engineering lab because I didn’t now what else to do. I just knew I couldn’t be alone. For months, I’d start thinking of him and just cry. I would think, I’m okay. And then I’d hear a song on the radio or someone would say something that reminded me of him. And I’d burst into tears. My body and mind exhausted from crying, from thinking, from worry. I felt the pain physically.

It has happened several more times since then, but every time I experienced that exhausting, empty sadness, I came out of it, alive. Stronger. With kindness, courage, and resolve.

This week, it truly feels like someone died. Maybe it was democracy, but only time will tell. I have to have hope. And faith. And belief that this is not the end of the world, but the start of a revolution. I have to do what I can, and I hope you will, too, to continue to fight for women, racial minorities, non-Christian religious or non-religious people, the LGBT community, refugees, and any people looking for the American dream.

Bay City, Wisconsin

Bay City, Wisconsin

 

Yesterday, we mourned. Today, we rise.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Hey World, I Have Faith in You

Humans. I have faith in you. Recently, you’ve made me so sad. My heart hurts for the things I’ve seen and read lately. I can’t watch the news  because it makes me cry. And I know I’m not alone.

But I believe in you. I know that deep down, you really don’t want to behave the way you’ve been behaving.

image

You don’t want to show the world that it’s okay to rape a drunk, unconscious woman just because you’re drunk too.

You don’t want there to be fewer consequences for crimes just because someone’s stupidity could have a profound impact on their elitist, athletic, wealthy future.

You don’t want to spend all that time and energy arguing about which is more important: the life of a gorilla or the life of a child, when you could be thinking about how to create real, protective sanctuaries for endangered animals.

You don’t want to blast a couple of parents who’ve done the same thing every other freaking parent on the planet has done at least once.

You don’t actually want a racist, sexist elitist president.

You don’t want to waste your votes in the fall and not vote because you hate both candidates.

I have faith in you. I know you can do good things in this world. You can change it. You can improve it.

Be better.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Fighting Jealousy: Slaying My Green-Eyed Monster

When our air conditioner broke, we had to turn the air off for a few hours. It happened to be one of the hottest, most humid days Chicago has seen in a while. As I was coming into the house from outside, I felt the cool relief of our well-insulated home. The humidity was gone and the temperature felt lower.

Shortly after coming inside, I went down to the basement to help my boyfriend fix the air conditioner. Not 30 minutes later, I walked back upstairs to grab something, and was hit with a wall of hot and stuffy air from the exact same space that was cool less than an hour before.

The temperature hadn’t changed drastically. There was no rapid rise in humidity. But coming to that same middle ground from the opposite end of the temperature spectrum modified my perspective. I felt that the temperature was warmer because I was experiencing it from the cold angle while earlier it felt cooler because I had experienced it from the hot angle.

Shortly after experiencing this weird body temperature conundrum, my brain started connecting some crazy dots. That same physical change in perspective can be applied to emotional perspective. It was an analogy that physically made sense to me. And there are so many other ways to consider how your perspective affects your life.

The same situation can be completely different for two people or even the same person at a different time in his or her life. It all depends on our current perspective.

slaying my green eyed monster

I used to get ridiculously,  unequivocally jealous of other people. I coveted what they had, whether it was more blog followers, a book deal, money when I was broke, a relationship when I was single, vacations, etc. My jealousy held no bounds. I would think horrible things, like why can’t I have that? or I deserve that; why is it theirs, not mine?

My green-eyed monster was uuuuuuugly. I hated her, but I didn’t know how to slay her. I knew I was in the wrong, but for the life of me couldn’t make it stop.

And then one day, it hit me over the head like a pile of rocks. It was recent, and I’m ashamed to admit how recent. But it was something the unbelievably beautiful Samara said. At the wrong time, her words may have gone completely over my head, but at the time she said them, I was in a very solid place. I was surrounded by strong, brilliant women who were supporting each other. It was after I began really reading a lot of deep, heartfelt essays that put my own world into a different light. I had a new perspective and didn’t even realize it had happened.

So when Samara said something along the lines of, Why does anyone feel the need to compete with each other? We should be building each other up. There is enough success for all of us.

And oh my God did that resonate through every fiber of my being. It made sense on such a deep and powerful level, that I began to see more clearly the way to remove that green-eyed monster from my soul.

Even further still, the aphorism, “a rising tide lifts all boats,” which is often used in reference to economic changes was mentioned countless times this summer in reference to the writing community I call home. If we support each other, cheer each other on, help each other out, we are a part of the tide. And this can be applied to any aspect of your life.

We can all slay our green-eyed monsters.

Does this mean I never get jealous? Of course not. I’m only human. But I can be jealous without releasing that ugly kraken from within me. Instead, I try really really hard to isolate those twinges of jealousy before they overtake all of me.

When has your perspective changed how you react or respond to a situation? How do you battle jealousy? What inner-demons are you fighting with?

This piece was originally published on Sisterwives Speak.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Life is Just Plain Weird. Oh, and I Quit My Job Today

Quitting a job is absolutely bizarre. Today is my last day at my current company. In two weeks, I’ll start a new role at a new company, where I’ll learn new things and make new friends and start a new routine. But over the last week or two, things have been…weird. Because I knew I was done. But I was still getting stuff done. It’s a very surreal experience. I could say it twenty different ways and it wouldn’t feel normal.

Quitting your job is weird and awkward, and the ceremonious way in which we do everything makes it even weirder.

I’ve quit jobs before. I’ve sent e-mails to bar managers and called in to restaurant managers, but typically, I don’t just leave a job for something better. It’s never been my MO. I’ve been laid off and left jobs when they weren’t right for me, but I promised myself I’d never quit a job without a better job, this time. And so I waited it out. Until I could find a place that could offer me a new home. A place to grow. Which I did, and I’m SO excited about. But that doesn’t make leaving this job any less weird. These are just a few of the weird things I kept thinking about over the last week that make quitting a job the right way a little strange.

Two Weeks Notice

First, you’re advised to give notice. And not just like, hey tomorrow’s my last day. Instead, the norm is to offer 2 weeks of your time after you know you’re donezo. When a job lets you go, you’re out that day. Why does this tradition exist? During those two weeks, do you tell people you’re leaving? Do you keep quiet and get as much work done as you can? I fell somewhere in the middle and was wigged out the entire time. I’m proud as fuck I was able to see a contract through to completion and launched before my last day, but what if I hadn’t finished it? Would I have been expected to continue working long after my last day to finish it? Would I have left it to someone else who wasn’t in on the rest of the contract process? Fucking weird, right?

Exit Interviews

I always thought I’d leave angry with a big ole bone to pick with HR. I’d been preparing for my exit interview since I started. I documented every instance of ridiculous, crazy, and horrible things. But when push came to shove, I didn’t have anything to say. Sure there were times I was so angry I threatened to quit.  But I got a lot out of my job. I learned a ton. I explained my reasons to my boss, but mostly it was just the right time for me. I have a new job lined up that I’m so incredibly excited about, and I’m not leaving my current job on bad terms. I’ve made my peace.

Saying Goodbye

I’ve bid farewell to many a co worker in my almost 3 years with the company.  Several times, I’ve shed a few tears. Not just because everything makes me cry…but because I was genuinely sad to see people go. Now it’s my turn to go, and I’m genuinely sad to say goodbye to the people I’ve come to know here. That doesn’t make it any less awkward. I started telling some people last week that I had put in my notice, and others I didn’t tell until yesterday. Others still, I didn’t tell until I sent my last e-mail. It’s just weird. Because I didn’t want to be in the middle of contract negotiations and then tell people I’m leaving. I didn’t want to be working on a project and let people think it was going to slip between my fingers. I wanted to finish what I started and get it done properly without a thousand questions as to why…but then I felt guilty not telling them until now.

But my last day is here, and I’m not sad or angry or joyful. I just feel weird. Adulting is hard.

Have you ever quit a job for something new and exciting? What is the strangest thing about quitting a job? What other weird traditions do we stand by that should maybe be eliminated?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Six Degrees of Separation: A Sad Song

It’s such a small world in so many ways.

My girlfriend’s sister lived on the same street as my aunt. Now her kids go to the same school as my godson. One of my godson’s best friends is my other girlfriend’s son.

I sang karaoke with a dude who went to high school with my friend…and was married to a girl who’s best friend married another one of my friends.

I run into people I haven’t seen since high school or college on the train or at a restaurant.

We’re only as far away from one another as we are distanced by Facebook friends. Which often isn’t very far.

We find out where someone went to school, grew up, lives, works. Our first question is often, “Do you know ________?”

We seek out these connections. And we’re all surrounded by them. Six degrees of separation. Who needs Kevin Bacon when our world is this small?
image

And then there’s you. Impossible. Unreachable. You.

With the hundreds of connections I have on Facebook. The social media sites I’m active on, galore. The fact that you live no more than 20 miles from me (and that’s generous). But you’re invisible.

I realize I’m of another generation. But not by much. Most people of your world must have flocked to Facebook.

I say that, assuming you have people. Do you? Have people, I mean? Of course, I know you’re married. And I know you have a child (I think two). The internet is a beautiful thing. But do you have people? Friends? Family? Co-workers? People who beg you to be more active on Facebook?

Are you happy?

Have you made a life that makes up for what’s missing? For what you left behind?

Did you forget about us? Me? Your little sister who went and grew up without you. Who never forgot you. Who thinks about you more that she probably should. Who remembers every joke. Every story. Every song. With every fiber of my being.

Does it matter?

Blog friends, are you thinking about someone in your life that you haven’t seen in years? Do you have weird family stuff? Do you have an “six degrees of separation” stories? Tell me your story.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Reasons You Should Probably Never Talk About Money (With People. Do I Need to Clarify That?)

I’ve decided to devote a little discussion to money or better yet, why people shouldn’t talk about money (Does that make this blog post ironic? Someone ask Alannis Morrisette for me). They say that money is the root of all evil…so does that make evil the money tree? 

Rich or poor, you should probably avoid talking about cold, hard cash…here’s why.

7 reasons not to talk about money. Ever.

Very SERIOUS reasons not to talk about money. Ever.

  • Someone may get jealous of your larger pay check and find a way to steal it. Probably with ninja stars and boomerangs.
  • You might get punched. Especially if you make eleventy billion dollars and are trying to use an expired coupon. And then arguing about it with the cashier.
  • If you’re trying to use food stamps (or your state/country’s equivalent), and you roll your groceries out to a Lexus…I’m going to judge you for the rest of your life. Even though I don’t know your name. And I might even blog about you. You know, quite frankly, I’m glad I don’t know your name.
  • Making 6, 7 or 8 figures is great. We’re all really happy for you. But if you’re single (oh hell, if you’re making 7 or 8 figures, I don’t care if you’ve got a family of 10), you should never. Ever. Ever. Ever. Talk about how you have no money. Because if you have no money, it’s your own fault. Unless it’s all in savings so you can retire at 40. Because I can TOTALLY respect that. Sort of. Okay, fine. I’m just really jealous and I might want to find my ninja stars and boomerangs.
  • People will feel sorry for you if you have less money. And they might then give you money. Hmmm…. Maybe you should talk about money…Let’s think on that one.
  • No matter how poor you think you are, you never know what someone else’s circumstances are. You could be standing next to someone who ran away with the circus, finally escaped from a relationship with the bearded lady, and has three circus peanuts and a clown nose to their name. Not that I’ve ever experienced this…but you know…it could happen.
  • Blaming [insert politician or organization] here isn’t really helpful for anyone. And no one wants to get into your bullshit trap political arguments anyways. You stop that right now.

What are your thoughts about money talk? Have you ever wanted to run away to the circus? Do you love circus peanuts the way I love circus peanuts? Who wants to let me borrow their boomerang?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

5 Things Grey’s Anatomy Taught Me About Life

I’ve been a die-hard Grey’s Anatomy fan since Season 1, when a slutty intern went home with a hot guy at the bar, who turned out to be her boss. While Grey’s has had its ups and downs (I’m sorry, but can someone PLEASE explain why Denny died and returned as a REALLY dirty brain-tumor fantasy?), I’ve been in this relationship longer than a lot of my friendships, and most certainly my current relationship. These people are MY people. When they cry, I cry. When they’re happy, I cry (because I’m happy. Geez).

Grey's

With Mer, Der, Bailey, and the gang back for the second half of the eleventh season, and the first ten seasons streaming on Netflix, I thought that now would be a good time to ponder the really important things in life…you know…how Grey’s has truly brought knowledge, wisdom, and understanding to those significant parts of my world. From the moment Meredith begged Derek to pick her to the day Cristina left everything to start something amazing in Zurich, the doctors at Seattle Grace/Grey Sloan have captured our hearts and taught us a little something about the world in which we live. Here are just a few of them.

On marriage

There is NO wrong way to do it. You want to have the big poofy wedding dress with tradition and romance? Go for it. You want the court house secret wedding? It’s all yours. Two ladies proclaiming their undying love for each other in a beautiful lady-lady wedding? Sure thing. Forget the wedding and vow all the vows to each other on a post-it note? You can do that too. We won’t judge. All of a sudden the post-it that was Carrie Bradshaw’s romantic end became Mer’s romantic beginning. It was like TV amnesia, and we ate it up (not unlike the guy who ate the guy who ate Judy dolls. Okay, maybe completely unlike the guy who ate Judy dolls). The point is that you can do what you want. And when my boyfriend of four years has yet to put a ring on it, that’s okay too, right?Grey's I love you

SPOILER ALERT: If you’re watching Grey’s on Netflix and not caught up with season 11, skip the invisible print and move on to work/life balance. Otherwise, feel free to highlight the blank space below…

As the mid-season premier comes this week…They better not flipping break up. Again. That is all.

On Work/Life Balance

It is an absolute necessity to enjoy the company of the people with whom you work. You spend a lot of time with them, and you don’t want to worry about petty BS when you screw up. You want people that are going to work with you and help you in your sticky situation, whether you cut someone’s LVAD wire or slept with the boss. Make friends with the people on your team so that they’ve got your back when you need it. Just make sure you’ve also got their backs.

On Becoming an Adult

One day you’re doing tequila shots and letting the teachers guide you; the next thing you know, you’re the teacher…or at the very least, you’re required to be a responsible adult 40-80 hours a week. Whether you create a mini army of tiny humans or live out your dream of becoming one of the finest doctors at the real-life version of Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital, responsibility just hits you. And you can’t make it stop.

On Friendship

Sometimes you’ll fight with your best friend. Sometimes things will get so low and so dirty that you say nasty things…you stop speaking to each other for months and when you do speak, it’s snappy and horrible. You might even leave your freshman dorm for the summer vowing never speak to one another ever again (that may have been my real life Mer-Cristina fight). But between tequila shots, dancing it out, boyfriend drama, and free Olive Garden birthday cake (okay, I threw that last one in for good measure; it didn’t actually happen on Grey’s either), you’re back together before the summer’s over. Or before one of you moves VERY far away. But even in distance, your friendship is totally still there.Dance it out

On Weird Medical Stuff That Could TOTALLY Happen

If you find yourself saying, “I saw that on Grey’s Anatomy Once,” odds are you learned something. Of course, just because someone survived a serious bout of being encased in a cement block, doesn’t mean you should go take a swim in liquid cement. And remember that this is real life…and real life doctors (who can be just as delicious in appearance) know their stuff. Don’t distrust the doctor when he tells you he’s going to do something different that the McDreamy/Steamy Dream Team. He’s still a licensed professional. And you’re (likely) not.

Are you a Grey’s fan? What have you learned from your favorite TV shows?

Netflix Stream Team

While no one paid me to write this, I am a member of the Netflix Stream Team. I was given a year’s membership to Netflix and a device on which to watch Grey’s Anatomy and all sorts of other delightful shows!

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

New Year’s Resolutions…You’re Doing Them Wrong

Show of hands, Blog Friends…

Who’s making a New Year’s Resolution this year? I’ll bet it’s related to weight, money, happiness, or education…amiright?

New Year's Resolutions

Fuck that shit, you guys. Everyone makes THOSE resolutions. It’s time to get serious about your life. Do some hard thinking and really plan out the year that you want. Lucky for you, I’ve come up with the perfect system for resolution making. It’s seriously flawless. I’ve taken the liberty of breaking down the ultimate resolution checklist by month to make it easy for you to achieve your goals. You’re welcome in advance.

January Goals

Do fucking nothing. You’ve spent the last 2-8 weeks preparing for the holidays, whether you celebrate Christmas, New Year’s, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Solstice or whatever…and before that, there was that whole Thanksgiving feast thing to worry about. Slow the fuck down, young padawan. January is a month of rest – not a month of fixing your life. You’ve survived the last however many weeks, months or years without hitting up the gym…I’ll bet your body can do another 4 weeks while you cuddle in front of the TV doing absolutely nothing.

February Goals

Get the fuck out of town. If you’re in a cold-weather climate, you’re probably cold, tired and depressed because you haven’t seen the sun in weeks. Even if you’re just hitting up a local indoor water park for the weekend, buck up and get away. Even if it’s not cold, go somewhere different. Use the time away to think and unwind. You’ll be revitalized to really get moving on these resolutions you’re about to start.

Marco Island Florida

Valentine’s Day

  • If you’re single, ACTUALLY ignore Valentine’s Day. Don’t say you’re ignoring it and then go out with all your girlfriends to celebrate you. Go to work. Eat a regular candy bar and not 27 mini candy bars in your favorite game of heart-shaped chocolate roulette. Eat your regular frozen dinner and skip the bottle of wine tonight. Spend a few hours playing Candy Crush or whatever it is you do when you’re not doing anything important. It’s just another day.
  • If you’re in a relationship, go ahead and do something on Valentine’s Day. Even if you could give two shits about that “silly Hallmark holiday,” you’ve got a honey to hug, so hug them.

March Goals

Drink more. It’s still cold. And gray. And snowy. Or rainy. And the days are still pretty short. So go ahead and enjoy a bottle or two of wine. Your waistline won’t mind…Plus it’s good for your heart (I AM NOT A DOCTOR. I’M A MASTER OF BULLSHIT. DO NOT LISTEN TO MEDICAL ADVICE THAT I PRETEND TO GIVE.)

April Goals

Go outside, lazy. The weather is finally picking up. It doesn’t matter if you’re just dining al fresco in 65 degree weather…get your ass outside. You’ve been cooped up inside eating and drinking for 3-5 months. You could use a little Vitamin D.

Spring Tulips on State Street

Plan for something amazing. It’s now time to start thinking of a summer getaway. If your local weather gets sweltering, head north for a cool, breezy summer vacay. Or head somewhere even warmer. Or plan a getaway to meet up with a bunch of people on the internet that you’ve never met before (or that you meet every summer just like summer camp only better). Do  what you want, yo. It’s your vacay.

May Goals

Wish me happy birthday, bitches. As I was born in the beautiful month of May, you should plan to stop by and say happy birthday to me. I mean. You know. If you want.

Pick some flowers. Just, you know…don’t be an asshat and pick flowers from your neighbor’s garden. Go to a field or park where you are allowed to pick flowers. Or try your own backyard. Dandelions and other “weeds” totally count. But not that kind of weed. It’s like you’re not even listening to me. Sheesh.

June Goals

Overuse your grill. If you don’t have a grill, you’re doing it wrong. Stop cooking inside. Your home will stay cooler, and your food will taste better. If you don’t believe that everything tastes better on the grill, you’re wrong. And that’s that.

July Goals

Drink a cold one (or twelve). It’s summer, and what’s summer without a frosty beer? Try something new, this time though…No more of that Miller Lite bullshit. Journey outside your boundaries of piss water, and drink a crafty craft beer.

I love this beer.

I love this beer.

Cash in on those vacation plans. Whether you’re heading to a small local getaway like the Wisconsin Dells, a nearby beach, or a local lakeside escape, go enjoy a weekend or week of summer. You’ve been working hard on your resolutions; you deserve it.

August Goals

Plan out your Halloween costume. For real this time. Don’t SAY you’re going to have a plan and then forget until October 25, when you’re forced to tease the fuck out of your hair, thrown makeup all over your face and pretend to be a crazy lady.

Halloween teased hair

 

September Goals

Get your Christmas shopping done. Imagine you. In December. Without a fucking shopping care in the world. You don’t have to worry about who’s got free shipping. You won’t have to step foot in a mall from November through January. Pat yourself on the back this year and get that shit over with early.

October Goals

Go ALL out for Halloween. I’m talking costumes. Decorations. Treat bags for the kids. Get wild and have fun. You know you’ve always wanted to.

Eat your favorite candy. It’s okay. You didn’t make a goal to lose weight this year. You’re following the resolutions that will allow you to have more fun this year. So go ahead. Buy that bag of Almond Joys. I won’t tell.

November Goals

Celebrate Thanksgiving, and DON’T call Thanksgiving or a dinner with friends, “friendsgiving.” Thanks in advance for limiting the hipster buzzwords from spreading like gonorrhea.

Avoid getting suckered into Black Friday. God created the internet for a reason. You can do all your sale shopping from the comfort of your home…while you’re still in your underwear. Or naked. Just…you know…avoid taking selfies.

December Goals

Plan for next year. Don’t wait for me to tell you what to do. Make your own list this time. Maybe you can give me a few pointers, because I’ll surely tap out halfway through December in stress mode.

Eat, drink, and be merry. Seriously. You only live once. Enjoy it.

Happy New Year, guys! What goals would you add to this list?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

A Closet Full of Clothes…But Where Are Brian’s Clothes?

As my closet fills with fall clothes, I started thinking about my wardrobe vs. Brian’s wardrobe. When we moved into Brian’s dad’s house, putting most of our stuff into a gigantic storage unit, I had to pack up Rubbermaid tub on top of Rubbermaid tub full of clothes that I wouldn’t see again for another several months. I miss my clothes. Right now, I’m especially missing my Chicago Bears gear. All my t-shirts, hoodies and sweatpants. And sweaters. It’s getting a bit chilly out there. I’m definitely missing my sweaters.

How Should You Share the Closet Space?

The closet pictured was our Downers Grove apartment when we first moved in. I had NOT moved all my clothes in yet. Brian had. You can see the separation. Eventually, I took over this entire closet, plus some of the other closet. And Brian took that small portion of the other closet for his seven shirts.

Right now, my wardrobe dominates the small closet that Brian and I are currently sharing (it’s about half the size of our Downers Grove apartment closet). We’ve been in this situation before…sharing a small closet in which I only have a small portion of my clothes on display…For the first year and a half of our relationship, before we moved into our first apartment together, we didn’t technically live together. I just never went home. And we shared Brian’s tiny closet. Well…I shared his closet with him. It was slam-packed with my clothes, leaving just a tiny few inches of space on the hanging bar for Brian’s clothes.

Luckily, Brian only has about 5  fashionable designer dress shirts (which I happened to have purchased for him, because that’s what girlfriends do, right?) and maybe 3-4 other hanging articles of clothing hiding in the back of the closet, and the rest of his clothes can be folded in a dresser (or a laundry basket if we’re stretched for space, which we are). He didn’t have to pack any clothes in storage tubs. All of his clothes are hanging out in our room. But if you were to look at our closet, you’d see a whole lot of lady clothes and not a whole lot of Brian clothes.

Where am I going with this? Oh. Right. Closets full of clothes and space.

Hypothetically speaking…if we were to, say…move into a new house…and that hypothetical house were to have a deliciously sized hypothetical walk-in closet…and Chrissy were to be reunited with all her clothes (and they were to meet all the new clothes Chrissy purchased in their stead), how much of that walk-in closet would be used for Brian’s clothes, and how much of that walk-in closet would be for Chrissy’s clothes?

I mean…this isn’t a debate or anything. It’s a very serious question about very serious clothing and a very serious [hypothetical] closet.

And I’m asking for a friend.

Because that girl’s boyfriend may or may not have hypothetically told her that 50% of that hypothetical, magical-unicorn-of-a-closet would hypothetically belong to him.

What are your thoughts? Do you think the closet should be a 50/50 split regardless of the number of hangers on each side?

This post was sponsored on behalf of Sir Men’s Wear. I was compensated for my time, but this is still my story and I’m sticking to it.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Tell Me Your Password And No One Gets Hurt…

The following story about password security is true and real and SCARY. So listen up. Don’t do what I did.

While we’re here, I figured I should mention that I’m a brand ambassador representing F-Secure KEY in the effort to change the way people think about passwords and security. While I have been compensated for my time, all opinions, stories, and ideas expressed are still my own.

Password Safety KEY app

Photo by Viktor Hanacek

A story about giving away my password

A while back, I committed the ultimate password sin. My then-boss called me on my personal cell phone, while I was at lunch. “Quick! What’s your work password?!” The panic in his voice and the anxiety in my system (which gets even more GAAAHHH! when I’m put on the spot) responded immediately and completely stupidly. I gave him my password.

Not only did I give him my password, I clued him into the type of password I was, at the time, prone to using. THANKFULLY it wasn’t the password that I was using at the time for anything but my work log-in, but it was MY password. The password that I’m not supposed to give to ANYONE.

Even worse? I found out later that he was on speakerphone.

Now, he didn’t think twice of it as something he was doing wrong. He genuinely did need my password to get into a computer for something. But he should have waited the 10-15 minutes it would have taken me to return and input my own password without giving it out.

After the chaos, I politely sent my boss an e-mail explaining how uncomfortable his request made me and that I felt it was a little inappropriate, and I would prefer not to be put on the spot like that ever again. It was then that he realized what he had done, and he did apologize profusely, promising not to compromise my personal security again.

Since that day, I’ve come to adopt a system of creating new passwords for different log-ins to ensure that I’m keeping myself digitally protected.

F-Secure KEY

Now, let’s get down to the nitty gritty. Let’s talk about F-Secure. I’ve been using the app for about a week and a half, and I still haven’t integrated all of my passwords yet. But I’m getting there. And oh-my-God, I’ve had to change 3 passwords already so that I could input them into KEY – but I’ll never have to change them because I forgot them again! Obviously, I’ll need to change them every 6 months or so, but with KEY, I’ll have access to all the up-to-date passwords without a whole heck of a lot of effort. THAT’S what I’m talking about.

I’m not going to lie, you guys. This app? Totally not sexy. Although I’m AM a huge fan of the delicious purple color. But what this app does? TOTALLY important. One might say necessary, depending on how many times you have to key in your password before you get it right…which for me is often quite a few. KEY stores all of your passwords in ONE place, so you never have to remember the 27 billion passwords for all the sites you utilize. With the free KEY app, you can store your passwords on a single device, but with KEY Premium, you can use the app on ALL your devices, whether you’re a PC/Mac/Android/Little i. You won’t have to try to remember all the passwords, as the app will keep them for you. You’ll only need to remember your KEY password.

So who needs another flashy app when the function is what keeps you safe?

Just for you, I’ve got a code to try KEY Premium for two months, so you can see if less than $2/month is worth it to keep your passwords safe across all your devices. Download the KEY app and use the code PREMIUMKEYOFFER14 to check it out.  And even better? A giveaway.

Free KEY Premium for a year & iPad Mini 16GB Wi-Fi Giveaway

Oh look! The lovely people at F-Secure want to share their wisdom (and give you another device for storing your passwords)! All you have to do is enter, and we’ll do the rest. The Giveaway Tools form below will be open until September 30 at 9:00 PM Central Standard Time. Good luck!

Blog Friends, have you ever accidentally given out your password to someone? How would you have handled the situation if your boss asked for your password?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!