Be More Empathetic in 3 Steps

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For me, empathy is one of the most endearing qualities a human being can exude. Don’t you think? Easier said than done, I know, but here are some simple ways I try to practice and improve my empathy.

1. Watch the news

Open your eyes to what’s going on in the world around you. It’s so easy to limit your worldview, but it’s equally as easy to expand it. Watching, reading, or following various news sources will help you better understand the lives of other people.

2. Active listening

Have you ever been in a conversation and you catch yourself just waiting for a pause so you can say what you think? While this doesn’t condemn you to an identity as a narcissist, it’s not the best way to be a good friend and practice empathy. Instead of thinking how someone’s story relates to you, try making it completely about them. Ask follow up questions, show you’re listening (no scrolling allowed), and really invest in what they’re taking the time to tell you.

3. Practice taking on different perspectives

This is huge for me. If you are facing a difficult decision or situation try to keep everything in perspective. If someone is rude to you, try to remove yourself from the scenario and understand where they are coming from. I truly believe people are naturally good, it’s just sometimes their actions are taken without thinking about their motivations behind them.

 

I know this post is a bit out of context here. But my life isn’t one dimensional, so I don’t think this blog should be either.

Do you have any tips on practicing empathy?

 

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J. Law’s Latest Body Comment: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

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For those of you who don’t watch celebrity news like it’s your job, let me catch you up. Jennifer Lawrence recently said:

“Everybody says, ‘We love that there is somebody with a normal body!’ And I’m like, ‘I don’t feel like I have a normal body.’ I do Pilates every day. I eat, but I work out a lot more than a normal person. I think we’ve gotten so used to underweight that when you are a normal weight it’s like, ‘Oh, my God, she’s curvy.’ Which is crazy. “

After I read this statement, I had three emotions. Good, bad, and ugly. 

Good: FINALLY! An actress is speaking out about how her teeny tiny body should not be considered “normal.” While it’s important to talk about this growing concern, it’s more important to DO something about it. You know the saying: “actions speak louder than words” – yeah it’s true. We need more people in the spotlight and in powerful positions (looking at you media, directors, producers, etc.) to say f*** this unrealistic/unhealthy body standard.

Bad: After saying the above comment, J Law continued: “With a laugh, she added, “At least so I don’t feel like the fattest one.” Wait, what? Talk about 1 step forward, 2 steps backward. Her first comment about body image was so moving to me. I was like HELL YES let’s all agree most actresses’ bodies are not normal and unattainable for us average folk, but then she said this. What I take from this comment is that she doesn’t want to change the standards of women’s body type for normal women, she wants to change them so SHE doesn’t “feel like the fattest one.” Not cool. Especially since she’s impossibly thin already.

The Ugly: The body positive movement is nothing new at this point. If anything, it just seems like an easy way to get some positive publicity. Especially since these seemingly profound words are often empty promises. We all know  J Law will continue to go to pilates classes everyday, land leading roles, and have a low BMI. But how does her lack of follow through affect “normal” women? The majority of women do not have the luxury of working out everyday, and having a nutritionist prepare every meal. And when one of the most influential actresses’ of this decade deems her own size 2 body as “fat” what does that make me?

So what can we learn from the latest body positive sentiments spouted from the mouth of a celeb? We can learn to take these statements with a grain of salt. I’ll believe it when I see it.

Baby Steps to Happiness

Although I’ve consistently been posting outfits, and weekend recaps, I feel like my longer form essay writing has fell by the wayside. In line with the millennial stereotype, I have a lot of feelings and I want to share those thoughts and feelings with people. And you, my tiny group of followers, are my people. So here we go.

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Sometimes I struggle with positivity. I would classify myself as a realist, which in the eyes of any optimist makes me a pessimist. Can any of you relate to this sentiment? There is a burden that comes with being a realist. And that burden sometimes means finding happiness in the everyday is a challenge. Which brings us to this list. A small compilation of tiny tricks to happiness.

  • Listening to your favorite song on repeat for a minimum of 30 minutes. This can be executed in the comfort of your home, or via ear buds in your cubicle. You do you.
  • A good or bad workout. Either way you’ll be better for it, and reap the rewards of endorphins.
  • Wear your favorite outfit. Whether it’s the pair of pants that fit your body perfectly, the shirt that instantly makes you feel like a celebrity ready for the paparazzi , or the perfect pair of shoes that give you confidence.
  • Pet/play/gawk at a furry critter. Popular options include, but are not limited to: cats, dogs, ferrets? Don’t own one of the above? Try going for a walk and pet a stranger’s pup (permission is required).
  • Talk to your best bud. Like literally speak to them with your voice, no texting or snapping allowed.
  • Give someone else a compliment
  • Get dolled up: no reason necessary
  • Make something with your own two hands! Bake a cake, learn to crochet, create art, anything is acceptable.

Do you ever struggle to find happiness? What are your go-to remedies?

Weekly Whine: Public Transportation

Have you guys ever seen the Buzzfeed series Whine About It? There’s no grand illusion, the name says exactly what the series is about. Every week the host chooses a topic and essentially “whines” about it for 5 minutes.

While I try my hardest to be a generally positive person, sometimes you just need to blow off some steam and go on a rant. What better platform to do this than a personal blog? Maybe I’ll start a series about things that make me happy so I can bring peace and balance to this lil blog. We’ll see.

As the title suggests, today I’m going to do a little compilation of complaints about taking public transportation 98% of the time. I will be airing my grievances in a visual manner, and by that I mean pairing them with the perfect gifs.

That feeling when…

Your bus tracker was wrong, and you miss the bus by 20 seconds. There isn’t another one for 23 minutes.

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When people won’t move away from the train doors, even though there is a TON of space in the aisles.  

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When a fellow Public Transportation peasant feels the need to call everyone in their contacts.

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How you feel when there is approximately 2 inches of free space and someone comes in with their giant ass backpack. PUT IT ON THE GROUND!

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When someone sharts during rush hour commute. 

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Any fellow public transportation users? Please share your grievances!

 

5 Reasons I Love Millennials

I was born in 1992, which puts me smack dab in the middle of the Millennial generation. A lot of people have negative things to say about those born between 1980-2000, but I’m here to call BS. Call me self-absorbed #generationY, but I’m in love with my generation. And here’s why:

1. We’re the most educated generation…ever.

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Education is a privilege. This is a statement I’m well aware of, and completely agree with. Whether you want to blame the economic collapse, or the crazy competitive job market, my generation was essentially forced into higher education. But this shove towards more knowledge is a peak, not a pit of being a millennial. It was in college that I was informed about humanitarian issues, different walks of life, and the history we weren’t taught in high school. You can read more about life lessons I learned during university here.

2. We have a voice, and aren’t afraid to use it.

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As you can probably tell from the sheer amount of blogs on WordPress, twenty-somethings have a lot of opinions and aren’t afraid to voice them. While some may chalk this up to narcissism, I wholeheartedly disagree. Speaking your mind is a powerful thing; it encourages confidence, knowledge, and change!

3. We care.

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It’s because of the aforementioned points that I think my generation is among the most empathetic ones of all time. As a result of listening to other educated voices, we are exposed to the many problems of the world. No longer is a person only aware of issues surrounding them in their own homes, or schools, or towns. We have been given multiple platforms that serve to expose issues (both local and global), and we can do something about them.

4. We’re changing the world

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Smart, inventive, and discontent with injustice. Young people are gaining powerful positions, and because they are educated and empathetic we can evoke change.

5. We care about experiences more than products

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I read that department stores are worried because Millennials are spending their hard-earned cash on plane tickets, hotels, and concerts rather than an expensive pair of pants. I love that my generation seeks adventure and memories!

 

Whole 30: Week 4

Whole 30 Week 4

Well here we are, we’ve almost made it to the finish line! Too bad it’s not the Whole 28, ya know what I mean? But I’ve been feeling pretty good this week, definitely better than last week I’d say. I still cannot look at another scrambled egg or baked chicken breast (too much of a good thing).

Food 

Breakfasts: So I’m 100% over the egg game. I managed to have scrambled eggs and a plain omelette two days of the week. But I also took to shakes this week. While shakes are discouraged, which I wholeheartedly disagree with by the way, it was necessary for me if I was going to try to eat breakfast. For these shakes I used banana, strawberry, and egg whites! It was filling and delicious.

Lunches: CHICKEN, we need a break. You’ve gotten me through 28 days, but I literally can’t even with you anymore. I had baked chicken and veggies all week. I’ve also come to the conclusion that pistachios and raisins are soulmates.

Dinners:  This was a good week for dinners! Lots of beef (NOMZ). Lean ground beef, ground turkey, eggs, and bacon made an appearance this week. I’ve also realized I’m completely obsessed with potatoes and plantains! Of course lots of veggies were also on the menu. I find frozen veggies so disgusting, that I insist we buy fresh produce. Frozen vegetables are just way too mushy for my taste.

Feelings

Peaks:

  • My clothes are still fitting loosely.
  • My workouts continue to be strong, and I’m feeling lighter during my runs (placebo?)
  • I’ve been sleeping pretty well this past week, but I don’t feel like it’s an insane improvement to how I usually sleep.

Pits: 

  • This was my fourth weekend of sobriety, and I’m feeling a little like I’m a prisoner in my apartment. I need to go out!
  • I’m not really craving any off-plan food. I just want peanut butter and popcorn. But not together, that’d be kinda weird. But maybe, kinda delicious.
  • I’ve started stressing about the reintroduction phase, and slipping back into old habits. But I’m sure it’ll be fine!

Only 2 more days until I’ve completed my Whole 30 adventure!

Whole 30: Week 2

Whole 30 Week 2

Hello friends! I’m two weeks in to my Whole 30 challenge, and it feels kinda like two years…

Food 

Breakfasts: I tried another egg bake this week. This time I omitted the asparagus, and added in some lean ground turkey. Let me tell you, it was great! But, I did make the mistake of using paper cups that basically became one with my little egg muffins (pictured above). Hard to peel, but easy to devour. For the weekend I’ve been living off paleo oatmeal (pictured above). Really don’t give two shits if this falls under the whole “sex with your pants on” category. It’s just banana + 2 eggs.

Lunches: Chicken and sweet potatoes were on the menu this week. I made a huge batch of frozen chicken in the crock pot on Sunday night (chicken + tomatoes + onion), and it lasted me the entire week. I used lettuce as a faux tortilla. PS I failed at making sweet potato fries not once, but twice. Also, I tried to do the thing where you cook a sweet potato in the microwave and managed to eff that up as well…

Dinners:  Lots of variations in dinner this week. Except I HAD to repeat paleo nachos because it was so delicious, I also had breakfast for dinner one night (my fav)! Meats: pork, ground beef, chicken, and ground turkey all made appearances as well + lots of veggies (duh)!

Feelings

Peaks:

  •  Guys, I feel like my stomach is the flattest it’s ever been!
  • I tried on all of my summer shorts that were a little tighter than I would have liked this summer, and guess what? They’re loosey goosey on me now #nonscalevictory!
  • My sister got a food processor and we made our own nut butter! It’s my new favorite, although I must admit that they’d taste better with just a touch of sweetness (agave, honey, anything).

Pits: 

  • I got a giant ass pimple
  • My period came 2 whole days early (TMI?),
  • and I really really really wanted alcohol.

Any snack suggestions?

5 Binge Worthy Shows

5. Master of None

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Aziz Ansari’s latest project is basically a twenty something’s anthem. In the brief 10 episodes, this show covers all the hot-button current issues from racism, to not giving enough shits about our grandparents.

4. Scandal

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Following Shonda’s typical style, Scandal is drama-filled and chuck full of plot-twists. The series follows super-smart, super-fashionable, and ultra-lovable Olivia Pope as she fights against the evil that is Washington DC politics.

3. Parks and Recreation

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Need a little light-hearted, heartwarming comedy? Parks and Rec is sure to deliver lots of laughs and good feels. The series follows the life of Leslie Knope, a low-level government employee who cares more about her town than you care about anything. With each passing season, the cast continues to grow more lovable, and more complex.

2. Grey’s Anatomy

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This is a show that has no re-run limit. I’ve probably seen every episode a minimum of 3 times. We’re dragged through the trenches following the lives of multiple swoon-worthy doctors. They somehow defy all odds and survive a shit-ton of life threatening scenarios (SO MUCH DRAMA), fall in and out of love with each other, and build and breakdown friendships. It’s everything your little heart could desire.

1. Gilmore Girls

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The perfect mix of comedy, drama, and romance! All delivered by a fast-talking, coffee-drinking, junk food-eating mother daughter duo who you can’t help but love. The series is as much a coming of age story, as it is a wtf do I do with my life series. Follow along, fall in love, and skip season six.

My Instagram vs. My Reality

Everyone knows Instagram feeds are highlight reels of people’s lives. I mean, come on, any app where you can photoshop the shit out of a PSL to make it look like a life changing beverage is bound to be a little misleading.

And after reading this article comparing an Instagram post to reality I was dying to write my own!

1. I workout & look cool while doing it

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Instagram: 

Check me out! I run, I have cool shoes, and what’s that? a sexy city skyline? You can bet I’ve been more productive than you this morning and I feel GREAT about it!

Reality:

Half way through my run I get a bad side cramp and have to catch my breath. Right as I’m gaining my strength back and mental resilience to complete my minuscule run at snail speed, I realize there’s a pretty good backdrop for an insta.

2. The glam selfie shot

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Instagram:

Look at me y’all, I’m naturally beautiful and have cool eyes. Also my hair is looking like a beautiful mermaid’s.

Reality:

I just finished an interview and was using my front facing camera to make sure I didn’t have a booger on my face or something. Decided the lighting looked good, and after some editing, voila!

3. I go to really cool places

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Instagram:

Check out this cool hipster bar that has neat wall art. Also, admire my tasty ass beverage. I obviously exclusively drink craft beer.

Reality:

My friends were judging me for taking this & since I had to hold my beer up for the pic everyone at the bar probably thought I was a photo obsessed lunatic.

While Instagram isn’t a perfect representation of my life, I do think it’s a fun way to keep track of some small moments and make them seem a little grander. P.S. you can follow my tiny adventures on instagram here.

The Truth Behind Cohabiting

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The boyfriend and I have been together for over 6 years now, WOAH! We’re going on year two of living together, but only a few months into living together sans roomies. When you live with your significant other you learn a lot about them: the good the bad, and the ugly. I wanted to share some little lessons I’ve learned from living with my main squeeze.

You will have really dumb disagreements

Recent arguments include: who fills the britta pitcher up more often, where we should put a picture on our collage wall, and if stevia is better than sweet and low. Remember to compromise, and play fair. One person can’t be the one who makes all the sacrifices. You both gotta win, and you both gotta lose #dealwithit.

Separation of chores comes kind of naturally

I make the bed, he takes out the trash. We  have to try to stay away from the whole 1:1 chores ratio because it’s really easy to get into that which can lead to some pissy pants feelings. I just try to remember we’re both trying to take care of our home, and we each have a preference for which tasks to do. And not all chores are created equal.

Boys eat a lot

The boyfriend and I have started buying our groceries together. Holy sh*t can that boy eat! I’m still working on keeping my annoyance at bay when I realize he’s eaten all the deli meat. I guess you should try to remember different people need different amounts of food, and my 6’4″ 195 lbs boyfriends needs more food than me.

You don’t have to worry about one person leaving

This sentence carries a lot of weight. Living together means an even deeper level of commitment (1 year lease, am I right?). It also means you get to do the hang thing every night! Waking up next to your person is awesome, and no one ever has to leave to go back to their place.

Living together is really fun, and really different. But most of all, it’s really great.