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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4 Feelings While Watching the Golden Globes

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Just an FYI, I have a lot of thoughts and feelings and opinions about a lot of things. This is my space to express said opinions. That being said, continue reading if you so desire to know about my thoughts on the Golden Globes.

1. Envy

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Oh my god. That dress, those earrings, the makeup! Please gimme all of it, pleaseeee. I don’t know where in the world I would wear any of the MANY stunning gowns I saw the other night, but I know I want, nay, NEED them.

2. Disbelief

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How on earth is your arm the size of my index finger? I am not trying to body shame in any sense of the word, but I can tell you that these actresses (not actors), have all lost about 20 pounds in the last 5-10 years. Which would be cool if they needed to lose weight for health reasons, but they all look bony, malnourished, bobble heads. And they were just as beautiful as they are now.

3. Anger

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Why the f*ck do I support the entertainment industry? An industry that demands a woman’s weight remain as close to double digits as humanly possible? I don’t blame the women who are clearly victims of a thin-obsessed culture that is perpetuated by…well I don’t know who is behind it. You? Me? “The Man?” It’s clearly not one person, and I’m really hoping we, as an entire society of human beings, shift our beauty ideals away from starvation and towards healthy weights and behaviors.

4. Self-loathing

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This brings me to my final point. After watching a solid hour of red carpet coverage where women were praised for their tiny bodies, I couldn’t help but feel like my own 5’4″ 140 pound frame was inadequate. That I, a strong, bright, fit woman should dwindle my weight down to as much as humanly possible. It’s this feeling that worries me most. Also, these 21 year olds have more money now than I will ever have in my entire life on Earth… Cool. 

On a lighter note: S/O To Brie Larson and her very well deserved win for Room!

So as we can both derive from my feelings, I should probably stop watching Award Shows.

But, when are the Oscars…?

Our Lil Home Tour

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Logan and I moved into our humble abode in August. We started with basically zero possessions (downfall of living abroad for a year). While we aren’t finished decorating our space, I really wanted to share some pics, and see how far it comes in the next year.

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We got this giant couch of craigslist and I’m OBSESSED. As you can probably tell, the thing is massive! Perfect for binge watching TV, snuggling up for a movie night, or surfing the web.

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Our collage wall (still a WIP) features postcards we collected throughout our year abroad.

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entryway

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Our room has two HUGE closets #praisebe. We haven’t really spent much time decorating this space since we don’t spend a ton of time in there.

diningroom2

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For some reason we have a massive dining room. At first we had no idea what to do with all the space, but it’s come together pretty nicely. Having a giant dining room is also a great excuse to host lots of little parties!

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fridge

Our kitchen is pretty meh, so here’s a pic of our fridge. Can you tell I have a thing  for photobooths…?

Thanks for joining the home tour! Which room is your favorite?

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.

Thoughts & Feelings: The Wedding Industry

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This one goes out to all my past brides, brides-to-be, and anyone else who will be throwing a giant-ass party to celebrate the greatest human emotion – unconditional love.

One would think that such a pure and heartfelt event like a wedding would be mirrored by the industry that surrounds it. But you’d be wrong. Like really, really wrong. The entire industry is one HUGE up-charge. Venues clear well-over 5k, photographers are another 2.5k (minimum), and don’t even get me started on filming your special day. Want to feed your guests with tasty food? And maybe even give them a place to sit? – it’ll cost you about the same as a used car (if not more).

I’m only in the beginning stages of wedding planning, and I want it to be really fun! I want it to be a silly adventure, and I want the entire process to be like one longgg day dream. But, as the song goes “you can’t always get what you want.”

So please send good vibes, cash moneyz, or your services free of charge (looking at you photographers).

K thanks.

Thoughts & Feelings: Young Love

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I made a new friend when I was 16, I started dating him at 17, I fell in love with him when I was 18, and now here we are – 22 and 23, and engaged.

Gauging by different reactions people have had to our big news, I can tell some of them are a little weary of the idea of getting married “so young.” But here’s my beef with that, Logan and I got lucky, we really did! We aren’t the same people we were at 16, and neither is our relationship. Sometimes you meet an awesome someone that you can grow up alongside, mature into adults together, and create wonderful memories with. And that’s what I found.

Our relationship isn’t complacent, nor are we “settling” for a high school love. Our relationship has had it’s set of challenges: we grew up in cities an hour and a half from each other and did long distance for not one, but two years. We eventually were in the same place for 3 years in college, and then we moved abroad and taught english in Spain for a year. We’ve traveled the world together, lived together, and even adopted our lil cat child together. We know each other inside and out, and I am really really really excited to keep on keepin’ on & marry this dude.

So, while I can (kind of) understand people’s concerns about us being young, I’m here to tell you that you can worry about something more worthwhile, because we got this love thing down pat.

5 Little Feelings | Post Engagement

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1. Excited!

I’m so so so excited that I’m engaged to my BFF. It’s kind of crazy that he’ll be my husband pretty soon (no, we don’t have a date yet). I can already tell this engagement time will be SO fun! I can’t wait for all of the memories and celebrations this next year has in store for us.

2. Loved

The amount of love and support the fiance and I have received since our engagement has been nothing short of amazing. I feel so loved by all of my friends and family. Literally the best feeling.

3. Overwhelmed

So I guess we have to plan a wedding now… How does one even plan a wedding?! Hahaha, I’m sure once we get the venue it’ll be a lot less daunting.

4. Lucky

Feeling lucky that I found someone who loves me so much that he wants to spend the rest of his life with me. We came into each other’s lives so long ago, and have really grown up alongside each other, I just feel so lucky to have met such an amazing dude.

5. Giddy

Every time someone asks me to tell the engagement story, or gushes over my ring, I can’t help but feel SO giddy about it. I catch myself picturing myself walking down the aisle with my dad, exchanging mushy, meaningful vows with Logan, and celebrating a huge day with all of my favorite people. It’s just so freaking exciting!

Thoughts & Feelings: Starting a New Job

I recently started my first “big girl” job (going on week 3). So now that I’m a seasoned vet, I wanted to share some of my first thoughts and feelings about new beginnings (career wise).

1. Butterflies in your tum tum

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I think everyone goes through this phase, right….? Starting your first day is a little nerve-wracking. Especially when it’s your first full-time job, and you don’t really know what it’s like to be an actual employee. Doubts start sinking into your mind: will my team like me? will I be able to keep up? will I like my job?!

2. Super excited 

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After the nerves pass, you start to get excited about all the possibilities! New friends, new work environment, and lots of learning are in your future.

3. A teensy bit overwhelmed

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You’ll be trained (hopefully), and then it’s off to fulfill your duties. It’s easy to feel a little bit overwhelmed with all of your new responsibilities. But don’t worry, because you’ll totally get the hand of it!

4. Realizing you’re a perfect fit

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Hopefully as time goes on you’ll see that you’re a perfect fit for the company, on your team, and in your role!

Tell me about your first few weeks at a job!

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.

Thoughts & Feelings: Anxiety

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I don’t know if this is considered “too personal” for an internet post, maybe this better belongs in a secret real-life journal that I can keep tucked away in a safe drawer, but I think a lot of people feel this way. And who doesn’t like a healthy dose of honesty?

I’ve had a lot of experience with anxiety in my life. I don’t know if it’s some predisposition I have, or if my anxious feelings are a result of the driven/perfectionist/all-or-nothing culture the US seems to radiate. Or maybe I’m simply a bit of a worry wart. Regardless, I wanted to share what some of my anxious feelings actually feel like to me.

1. A bit of a pessimist 

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I don’t like admitting that I see the glass half empty, but it’s true. I often find myself expecting the worst, and worrying about the thousands of ways everything can go wrong. When I have these feelings I do have to consciously remind myself to think more like an optimist, and imagine some positive outcomes as well (those exist right?).

2. Constant doubt

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Did I lock the door? Did I pay my bill? Did I put my phone/wallet/keys back in my purse? I have these almost crushing feelings of doubt a lot. Thankfully they’re usually about really minuscule things, because I’m super confident about my intelligence, skills, relationships, and big life choices.

3. Nerve nerve about the new

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Meeting new people, starting a new job, adopting a new pet. I think a lot of people can relate to this point, because new experiences are kind of naturally fear-inducing. When I feel really nervous about something new I always try to bring it back in to perspective and remind myself of the grand scheme of things. New things are kinda scary, but mostly really exciting.

I know a lot of people deal with these feelings. While life can seem a little overwhelming at times I’m going to try and take some deep breaths and dive right in.