Anecdote, Awkward, Food, Home, Humor, I Wasn't Worried, I'm not a mommy blogger, My Idea Of Being An Adult, Thoughts, You're Fine

How Southern Have I Become?

I’ve been scaring myself lately. I’ve had many moments where I stopped and said, “That was awfully Southern, Jess.” I’ve actually thoroughly enjoyed my time here in the South. The only section in America I haven’t lived in is the Midwest and no thank you. There have been certain aspects to the South I’ve experienced over the last six months that you can only experience in the South. Kind of like New England with their Autumn – apple picking, cider donuts, jumping in the leaves, and oh my god I think I might cry. (You can experience those things outside of New England but it’s not the same.)

So here are some Southerner things I’ve dealt with that is so Southernly Southern that I now feel the need to rate myself on a scale of 1(Southern) to 10 (Northern).

The Food

I ordered Chicken and Waffles the other day for breakfast. I was ashamed as I was ordering it, and I felt the button on my shorts ripping at the seams. Chicken and Waffles is still a completely weird and foreign meal to consume but I’ve heard nothing but good things and decided to try it.

It was disgustingly delicious. For those of you unfamiliar with this meal, it’s a giant waffle with a piece of fried chicken on top. And yes, you dip both the chicken and the waffle in maple syrup. How the hell do they come up with this? And we wonder why the South contains the fattest population in America.

Scale – 1 (Dude…that was so Southern.)

The Pace

It’s very, verrrrrryyyyy, verrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrryyyyyy slow down here. Some mornings, it takes me fifteen minutes just to get my coffee. Nearly every coffee shop I enter, even the Starbucks, there’s no more than two people working the counter, even on the busiest mornings. And they take one order at a time.

They take the order. Spend five minutes making the order. Give the order to the customer. And then so on. They for some reason don’t take multiple orders and try to do everything at once. AMATEURS. 

But I’ve learned to buy myself some time. I wake up earlier, skip down the street and order my coffee, which the place I typically go to now knows my order by heart, and we will make small talk as I’m waiting. The pace down here has been bearable if I allow it.

Scale – 5 (You’re adapting…)

The People

Southerners have a certain quality in them that’s erie. Ever seen Fargo? All of the characters are so wonderfully nice and jolly while they’re trying to solve a murder.

This might be a better example: You can automatically tell when a New Yorker or a Bostonian is angry just by making eye contact. They will get up in your face with a rage you’ve never seen, all because why? You didn’t put the cream in their coffee like they asked. They’ve got places to be man!

But Southerners, they are all about the passive aggressive banter. Take my landlady for example. I got a voicemail from her last week and she said, “I was just driving by y’all’s place and noticed the recycling bin isn’t out, and I just can’t help but wonder…why???” And then she hung up. Bitchy, right? Yet her tone was so charming. She then texted me and Colleen asking about it, and I apologized and said we just aren’t used to taking the bins out because we’ve never had to anywhere else we’ve lived, but we can work with the girls next door to figure out some alternating schedule.

Her response was, “I completely understand and I know I clumsily forget as well. But that’s just part of being an adult living in a city. I’m putting money into making your home feel special and it would be nice if you appreciated it.”

I completely lost it. This woman tends to act like she’s my mother scolding me. I already have a mom. I don’t need another one. And then to accuse me of not having my shit together like a normal adult was downright insulting. However, if there’s one thing I learned about Southerners and they’re clever passive aggressive banter, it’s that it doesn’t usually last very long when you bite back because they hate confrontation. So I said, “I’ve lived in many cities larger than Charleston, so I’m aware that it works differently everywhere.”

Her response, “Alternating weeks sounds like a great idea! *Inserts smiley face*”

Scale – 10 (NORTHERNER! ALERT! ALERT!)

As long as my northernness never leaves me entirely, I’ll live. I don’t think it’s possible, honestly.

 

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I Wasn't Worried, Memories, My Idea Of Being An Adult, Thoughts, You're Fine

It’s Not So Scary Anymore

You know what’s been on my mind lately? Interviews.

I remember one of my first interviews out of college was for an administrative assistant position at MIT. It took me forever to find the right building, and by the time I got there I was a sweaty mess. The pencil skirt I had on didn’t fit quite right and I was self conscious about my purse because my boyfriend at the time thought it was weird to bring a purse into an interview. What can I say? Men are kind of stupid sometimes.

I didn’t expect to be interviewed by six different people all at the same time. And I was so nervous that I neglected to even look up the mission of the school, so naturally a question that related to the mission was asked and I diddle daddled my answer. It’s safe to say, I didn’t get the job.

Over the years, I’ve interviewed for a lot of different places. It’s easy to say that I’ve just grown accustomed to it but I’ve noticed something that’s pretty relevant. Most of the jobs I received after college, I didn’t actually want. I remember my interviews for them and I was extremely nervous. I stumbled over my words, lied when I felt I needed to, and yet still found a way to nail the job.

The question I’ve hated the most is, “Why do you want this job?”

For years, I’ve been lying. Whatever job I was interviewing for, I had no desire to have it. But I needed a way to pay my bills.

Since I’ve been living in Charleston, I’ve been crushing my interviews and it feels amazing. I’m still a running candidate for an art instructor position for wine and paint night. I recently interviewed for another gallery that went so well, I nearly cried on my walk home. It’s all starting to feel real to me now. I honestly never thought I’d reach this point, this simple act of interviewing for jobs I actually want. It felt like such a far away dream for so long and it’s finally coming together.

I just got an email this morning that I’ve landed an interview to be North Charleston’s Artist-in-Residence for the 2017/2018 school year. I applied on a whim the other day, not expecting a call back because of how many applicants I’m sure there are every year. It’s a chance to teach in the local schools and outreach programs, hold seminars and workshops for students of all ages, and I’d have an exhibit of my work at the end of the year and the Arts Fest in May. Not only will this be a fun and amazing experience, but this could be a step in a direction towards the art community here in Charleston. I’d be getting my name around, perhaps making it easier to find jobs and showcase my artwork in galleries.

My interview is scheduled for Monday and I’m surprisingly not nervous. I’m excited to hear more about it and meet the director of the program.

There’s a reason so many of us get scared going into an interview. Perhaps a lot of the time it’s because we’re not listening to our gut.

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Donald Glover Got It Right

I watched Donald Glover’s standup last night for the first time in over a year, and it was just as funny the second time around. He makes a joke about how Home Depot is where children die. When you’re a kid and you’re forced to go to Home Depot with your parents, you’re all like, “This is so boring! I can’t even touch anything!” And then the moment you walk in again and you’re like, “Oh! Look at these knobs!” That’s when your childhood dies. A beige, concrete hole of childhood graves.

My childhood died years ago when I got excited over a new lamp at Cost Plus. And I starting saving home decor pins on Pinterest. But I have officially crossed over onto the dark side because ladies and gentleman, I pulled my back out.

I’m currently sitting on my couch because I can’t move. It’s been bothering me for a couple of days now so I figured I slept funny one night. But then I went to get up, felt the stiff pull, and collapsed onto the couch and attempted to get up four times before rolling back over onto my blanket. I’ve popped three Midol pills, and here I sit, in annoying, excruciating pain.

It’s like that episode of Gilmore Girls when Lorelai gets a back spasm from making Rory’s dress for the dance.

First step: Denial.

Second step: Convincing yourself that you are moving

Third step: Admitting the truth

So please, wish me luck as I have just misplaced my water bottle and now need to go on a crippled hunt to find it.

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I Don’t Want to Be a Princess

We can go ahead and consider this a new Single Schmingle installment since I’ve discussed this very topic with Myka and Meghan. Bear with me here.

I always thought Mia Thermopolis was crazy. Who wouldn’t want to wake up one day and find out they’re a princess? The girl got a full blown makeover for free, a millions beautiful ball gowns, a tiara she got to wear occasionally, and full service at her disposal. Granted, if you’re introverted like Mia, all of that attention can make you feel like you have a thousand tiny ants crawling all over your body. You’re uncomfortable nearly all the time. You might even feel guilty. And I am exactly like that.

Something Colleen said to me last week struck a chord with me and I can’t shake it off. After I told her the complete switch in enthusiasm from Navy Man when I told him I wanted to be casual and friendly, she said, “You shouldn’t have said anything. You should have just let him treat you like the princess you are.”

“But I don’t want to be treated like a princess,” I said.

“Why the hell not?”

I thought about this for the past few days. I can’t be the only girl out there who feels uncomfortable using a guy to feel special, only to know that I’m not actually interested in him. I’m shocked that girls actually do this. They let these guys take them out to fancy restaurants, buy them presents, and then whisper to their girlfriends that they don’t really like him, they’re just waiting out the storm.

I feel weird if a guy even pays for me all the time. I just don’t think it’s necessary. I’m the type that if a man brings me to a fancy restaurant, I’ll order the cheapest item on the menu. I’m more of a hot-dog-cart-with-a-side-of-cheesy-fries kind of girl. But I know that’s just how my mom raised me. She always said, “Never depend on a man. Learn how to take care of yourself.” I think a mother with three daughters has to feed them that mindset nowadays. Especially a single mother.

Of course, it’s always nice to get pampered every once in a while. Some flowers or an ice cream run when I’m feeling down. But nothing major. I’ve been in relationships where I never got those things, mostly because we grew too comfortable with each other that we forgot how to appreciate one another. And even if those small gestures did happen, I was so surprised by the event that I was asking a million questions to figure out why it was happening.

I can’t help but wonder what would happen if the roles were reversed. What if was the one to ask a guy out on a date? What if was the one to court the guy around and pay for the date? This isn’t some feminist, all mighty woman power post. It’s just a thought. How would the date turn out in the end? Would it be the same? I feel like with every date, the guy is the one who is trying to impress, meanwhile, I think the girl should be equally impressive. We don’t give men enough credit. Some women out there might roll their eyes at that last statement but I’m serious. It takes a lot of guts to ask someone out. And then you have to take that person out and all of the pressure is on them to impress them, and make sure they’re having a good time. Here I am, nervous for nearly every single date, when it seems all I really have to do is stand there and look pretty, maybe laugh at his jokes, and share an anecdote or two. That’s my only job.

I’ve never laughed over a guy asking me out on a date. I’m always flattered, no matter who they are. But men get rejected all the time. For women, it’s once in a blue moon. And when it happens, it doesn’t feel good, does it? Let’s face it, ladies. When it comes to casually dating, we’re kind of spoiled. Even if you never make it to date number 2, you still got a free meal.

However, after discussing this with Myka and Meghan why we may perhaps feel weird about going on dates, no matter how long we’ve been doing it, it could be the slight chance that men have kind of given up. In 2017, a typical date is “Netflix and Chill”. We could have done that in the comfort of our own home. You invite us over to “watch a movie”. We know what that means, gentleman. We suddenly feel like they don’t want to actually get to know us, because who discusses life, hobbies, and family in the middle of a movie?

Of course, this post is all over the place. A lot of it may be contradicting. But that’s just because I’m another crazy woman who doesn’t know what she wants.

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Little Bird

A little bird gave me a wonderful piece of advice and wisdom recently that I’m trying to hold onto dearly.

But first, I’ll explain how my date went with Navy Man on Monday. He was a gentleman, for sure. He held the door open for me. He paid for me the entire evening. He made good conversation with rare moments of silence that didn’t really feel awkward. However, I did find out within the first 30 minutes that he turned 21 in March. Instantly I knew, this guy is too young for me. I was confused because he explained that he went to culinary school for 2 years, and then has been in the navy for the past 2 years, which is why I thought he was more in the age 24 range. Did this guy graduate from high school at 16?
I accepted his age in that moment and decided to just enjoy myself. After dinner, we went to another bar, tried a few weird cocktails called a Jimlet, which tasted exactly like a gimlet, and listened to a Beatles cover band.

On Wednesday, he texted me saying that he had an amazing time and hopes that this wasn’t a one time thing. He said he really enjoyed my company and wants to get to know me more. Now, I don’t like hurting people’s feelings. After a couple of days, I decided I really wasn’t interested in this guy anymore for various reasons, and not just the slight age difference. I politely said that I really appreciate what he has said and I had a great time and would like to hang out again sometime on more casual friendly terms. I told him I’m not looking for anything serious or long term, which in hindsight, is true. Suddenly, he pulled a 360 on me. His response was, “I could be on the other side of the planet in 6-7 months. I don’t know where my job is going to take me. I’m just looking to have a little fun while I’m still here…”

Oh, so now I’m an escort. Or a Geisha. I’ve been downgraded. Immediately, I was even more turned off by this guy than before. I know he responded that way because I kinda sorta rejected him. He said all of these nice things and now he’s considered me his party animal. Oh, okay.

To be fair, I did tell him I wanted things to be casual and light hearted. But he could have responded in a better way.

After that comment, I don’t have an intention of seeing him again. Which brings me back to what my little bird friend said to me a few weeks ago. To sum it up, they explained that dates are kind of pointless. People treat them more like a checklist, which is not the way to find your potential partner. You should find your future someone when you’re comfortable with them and nothing is forced. If you have to force conversation simply because you “matched” on Bumble, then it’s kind of doomed from the start. Everything should come naturally.

Which brings me to my question: if what I said to Navy Man is actually true, that I’m not looking for anything long term right now, then what the hell am I dating for? To pass the time? To seek out attention when I’m feeling the most vulnerable? Writing that out makes me feel like I’m wasting my time and I’m already annoyed with myself.

So, how can you just accept yourself for who you are, without the needs of someone else? I’m getting there, slowly but surely. Especially a few weeks ago when that guy made the cute comment and I shut it down immediately. I’m tired. I’m tired of the same conversation over and over again. I’m tired of the same compliments. I’m tired of trying to find a way to let people down gently. It’s all very exhausting.

I need to stop dating out of boredom. I need to learn how to take myself out on dates, and be content with myself. I’ve been told you can’t fully love someone unless you love yourself first. But that’s easier said than done.

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It’s Just a Date

You know it’s been a while when you log into your WordPress account and find 17 spam comments you need to delete.

How has everyone been? Good? Cool? Solid? Wonderful.

I would devote some time to reading blog posts by all of you glorious bloggers but I don’t simply have the time. I’ll try, though.

But I have finally plopped a seat in my kitchen with a hot cup of coffee watching the sun shine through my window on this day. It’s supposed to be 89 degrees today. The heat has already kicked in rather rapidly here in Charleston, and I’ve been melting. Only slightly.

I’m about to share with you some funny stories over the last few weeks, some updates, and maybe ask for a little advice too, if you’d like to give it.

The job in the gallery is going pretty well. Of course, there are some aspects to the job that aren’t wonderful, but the shoe always drops, doesn’t it? I’m not going to be a millionaire anytime soon but at least I’m gaining valuable experience.

I’ve been “dating” or rather, “seeing” one guy in particular. My Girl Gang group chat with Meghan and Myka like to call him Southern Man. He’s born and raised in Charleston. He’s a little rough around the edges, but he’s sweet. In a weird yet comforting way, he reminds me of my dad. He’s fun to be around and he brings me nachos late at night after he works. We’ve been seeing each other for over a month and I’m having serious doubts about the whole thing. I told him after our first date that I wanted this to be casual for now. I just wanted to keep spending time with him before committing to anything serious. However, after our first date, he made it very known how MUCH he likes me. I feel like I should have been happy with this but I wasn’t. It actually kind of freaked me out. But I wanted to give him a fair chance and still hang out with him in hopes that it would change. It did change slightly. I actually do really like him, but there’s one major con standing in the way. He absolutely despises kids.

He has no intention of having children at all. The first few times he mentioned it, I let it slide. But he’s brought it up on numerous occasions to the point where it concerns me and I’m realizing he’s not joking. I completely respect his decision to not want kids, but I made it known that I actually do want kids in the future. This doesn’t seem to phase him, though. So I keep thinking, where does it go from here? Here’s my answer: it doesn’t. I am fully aware that us hanging out, casually, is as far as it’s going to go. Unfortunately, I know he doesn’t see it that way.

Southern Man left for a cruise on Saturday and will be back on Thursday. I plan to have a chat with him when he’s back to clear the air and see what he’s thinking. I hate having those conversations, especially when it’s about something that is so far off in my future that the whole conversation sounds a little insane. But the way I see it is if I’m going to get serious with someone, we need to want the same things in life.

On a less serious note, I went out for a ladies night on Saturday. I have found a very colorful and crazy group of girlfriends whom I love. We sat in an Irish bar and listened to Irish folk music and danced. Here is the part where I may need some advice from you fellow bloggers but read the entire situation, and take into consideration what I had just previously shared with you.

I’m sitting at the bar, drinking my Michelob Ultra, and noticed a guy at the bar kept smiling at me. He interacted with me from across the bar a couple of times in a joking manner. After a little while, the bartender handed me a shot of whiskey. I asked her where it came from and she pointed to the man. I started laughing and he yelled, “You’re in an Irish bar and you’re drinking a Michelob. Have a whiskey!”

I hate whiskey. But I took the shot anyway and made sure to give him the most disgusted face after, in which he laughed. So then I followed along and asked the bartender to pour two rumplemintz shots. I had never heard of rumplemintz until I moved to Charleston. It tastes like toothpaste but at least you’re minty fresh after. I asked her to hand one over to the guy. As the bartender is pouring them, another guy comes up to me and asks to buy me a drink. I was like a lost doe in the woods. Here I was, buying a man a drink while another man is trying to buy ME a drink. It was a very confusing 10 seconds of my life. I looked down to read this new guy’s t-shirt and it read the name of the same restaurant Southern Man works at and I nearly had a heart attack. Charleston is small, y’all. So I instantly said, “No, I’m good. Thank you.” If I had said yes, I would have had to change my name.

The whiskey guy at the bar took his shot of rumplemintz and yelled, “Thanks for the Colgate!” After a little while, he got up to leave and slipped a piece of paper with his number on it.

Smooth.

What I liked about this guy was how classy and old school he was. He didn’t try to come over and talk to me because he could see I was with my friends. That’s already a good sign in my book. He didn’t ask if he could buy me a drink, he did it anyway. Another good sign. And the fact that he slipped me his number on a piece of paper like it was 1997 made me a happy camper.

I sent him a text, and we’ve been talking on and off since Saturday. Then he wrote to me, “This may seem a little forward, but would you like to have dinner sometime?” <— Another wonderful sign that he doesn’t want to push boundaries. He actually seems like a proper gentleman. And he’s in the Navy, which might explain his good manners. I said yes and now I have a date tonight at a pretty classy, expensive restaurant that apparently people try to get reservations at months ahead of time. This guy means business.

Of course, a part of me feels a little shitty because I’m still technically seeing Southern Man. I keep trying to justify it in my head by saying, “You told him casual, Jess!” or “You’re not doing anything wrong!” I’m monogamous at heart, so going on multiple dates tends to weird me out. I know deep down I’m not actually doing anything wrong or shameful but I can’t shake the feeling either. It’s just a date. It’s just a date. It’s just a date.

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Art, I Wasn't Worried, My Idea Of Being An Adult

I’m Alive and Well

Long time no see!

Cheerio!

Guten Nachmittag!

I have not abandoned this blog, although at times, it felt like I would never write again. It’s been a long few weeks since my move to Charleston. It’s been stressful, hilarious, fun, and also worrisome. I searched high and low for jobs, and then some days, I gave up, and then the next morning I’d get the urge to conquer the world again. But isn’t it funny how you can go from having absolutely no job prospects to having far too many that it stresses you out even more than if you had none?

That’s what happened to me.

A couple of weeks ago, I received a job in catering for an event company. It was serving, which I’m no stranger to, although I’d never done it through catering which can sometimes be fine dining. I’m not a fan of eating at a fine dining establishment, let alone work for one. The pay was practically nothing but I figured if I got a full time job, I could still work for this company to make extra cash. I had my first shift yesterday and in my personal opinion, it was not worth the time and money. It’s great for younger people, like high school or college kids, but I am neither.

It was a long, 13 hour nonstop day. And it wasn’t just serving food. I got in at 5:15am, loaded the truck, drove to the venue, unloaded the truck, set everything up, served breakfast and lunch, broke everything down, cleaned the entire venue, loaded the truck back up, drove back to the warehouse, unloaded the truck, and then put everything back into its final resting place, or at least until the next event. At the end of the day, I realized I only made about $120, given my hourly wage. After serving in restaurants, I came to the conclusion that I could work half of that shift, and not have to do nearly as much work, and make that much money, which led to my bitterness towards the whole situation. Do I sound bratty? Yeah, probably. But I don’t care. I’m twenty-six years old now. I’ve done the waitressing thing. I know the grueling hours and work it takes to make the money some of them make. If I were eighteen years old complaining about this, I’d smack myself in the face. But I’m older and have more experience than most people want to believe so yeah, I feel entitled enough to know that this job was not worth my time. #Sorrynotsorry

Anyway, I found an ad on Craigslist for a Gallery Associate at a downtown art gallery. The ad gave no name, phone number, or email address so I had no idea which gallery it was. I replied to the ad anyway, not expecting to hear from someone. The following day, I received an email requesting to send my resume and by the next day, I was getting called in for an interview. I danced in my apartment for 20 minutes. I also had another interview at a restaurant that reminded me a lot of the diner in New Hampshire where I served, and that position sounded promising and I was genuinely excited about it.

I just had my interview with the gallery today and I was hired on the spot! She didn’t even ask me any questions about my resume. We just chatted about the position, and then she said, “So…what do you think?”

I said, “This sounds perfect.” She shook my hand and we both squealed. That was that. I’ve been searching for a gallery position for over four years, and I somehow lucked out with the nicest woman on the planet who is willing to show me everything on how to run a gallery. And I mean everything from stretching canvases, framing, and installing to selling the work myself. The starting pay isn’t good but after a couple of weeks, if I show I’m able to learn fast and do well, she will give me a raise plus commission on any works I sell. I don’t care if I get paid in rocks…I made sure to tell her how much this position would mean to me and how thrilled I am to be working with her. She hugged me and I feel like I could die of happiness.

The whole point to this move to Charleston was to find myself in the art field. Charleston has a huge art and medical environment. What would be the point if I turned down the position due to the pay, and ended up in accounting again? When I’ve tried for years to get out of accounting? That would make this move utterly pointless and I wasn’t about to let that happen.

I was supposed to work at an event tomorrow in catering but I called up the company and quit, explaining my situation to them. He didn’t sound pleased but I really don’t care. They are a catering company and they have wide range of employees they can call up. I’m usually very responsible when it comes to this stuff and I wouldn’t normally quit on the spot like I did, but this gallery is my top priority. It has to be. Instead, I’ll be starting my new position tomorrow.

I’m feeling hot hot hot.

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My Quarter Life

There has a been a weird vibe in the air. I don’t know if any of you can feel it but I certainly can. It’s been here for a while. It could still be the aftermath of January and all that it has to offer me, which is usually nothing. It could be the fact that I’m still adjusting to my move. But something seems…off. Things seem strange with friends whom I haven’t talked to in a while, but I have been busy over the last month. Life in general feels like it’s tipping over. I no longer have a routine.

My days are now mushing together and I don’t like it. I find myself sinking into my bed, staring at the twinkle lights I hung up around my closet door for what feels like hours. I like to stay busy, but I have very little motivation lately. Every day, I find a new bruise on my arms, legs, or neck from putting together furniture since I arrived in Charleston. My body is sore. My mind is weak. I haven’t even had much inspiration to blog. If I go on WordPress, I glance through the feed for about two seconds before tossing my phone at the end of my bed and crawling under the covers for the rest of the morning.

But I was in my car this morning thinking about my quarter life crisis I had nearly a month ago. I was home in New Hampshire visiting my family before I moved down south. It was 2am, and I was sobbing into a pillow with my mom by my side. I’m not even sure what happened to make me so upset. It wasn’t the thought of moving away from my family. I’ve already done that what feels like a thousand times. I think I’ve said goodbye to them more than I’ve said hello. I was telling her about a potential job in an art gallery in Charleston that I’m both excited and terrified about it. I finally admitted to my mom that I’m scared I will fail. After all those years in college, studying, memorizing, practicing, and drooling over the art I was taught, I’m scared that in the end, I will find out I’m not actually good in the field at all. Then what? Perhaps that’s why I’ve had such trouble finding a job in my field since I graduated. I’ve secretly been sabotaging myself into believing I will fail and I wouldn’t be able to handle it.

Then my mom brushed the hair off my face and simply said, “I have never, not even once, been worried about you succeeding. When it comes to art, you know exactly what you’re doing and saying. I have no doubt you will be great.”

giphy

So, I’ve been trying to remember what she said. I have to stop convincing myself that something will go wrong. I have to focus. But, if I wake up every morning like I did this morning, with Mumford’s paws wrapped around my leg and his head digging into my ankle, I will definitely spend an extra fifteen minutes in bed.

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Miscellaneous

Moving is such a horrible concept. I have moved a lot since 2009. I moved from dorm to dorm on campus, and then apartment to apartment in various states such as New Hampshire, Massachusetts, California, Connecticut, and now South Carolina. I have to say, moving to South Carolina has been the worst by far.

Moving is never a smooth transition. Something always goes wrong, but it’s usually fixable and not a giant headache in the end. If you lose a coffee mug or two, you just buy a new one. If your sheets rip during the drive, you just buy some new ones. However, my move to South Carolina has been absolutely terrible that I would rather the earth opened up, swallowed me hole, and spit me back up as a demon torturing myself in order to justify the reality of my situation(s).

At first, everything was hunky-dory. I drove down with Mumford in one piece. The movers arrived to the apartment before I did with my mattress, bed frame, and cabinet, which I was happy about. I unloaded everything from my car rather quickly with the help of Colleen. I was ready to somewhat relax and put my bed back together until I realized some of the pieces to my bed were missing. I texted the mover who apologized and checked his truck and did in fact find the rather small and annoying pieces that were preventing me from sleeping on a firm surface other than a floor. He said he was in Florida already and would be back in my area the following afternoon. But then the following afternoon came and went, and after reaching out, he told me first thing in the morning he would arrive. And then “first thing in the morning” came and went, and yet I was still here, sleeping on my mattress on the floor like a drug addict in an abandoned house in the woods. My room is pretty tiny, so not being able to put my bed together kind of stalls me from putting everything else together. Once the bed is together and placed in the right spot, I can then sort through all of my other things.

I finally texted the mover again, and after several hours, he told me he would be by with my pieces in “about nine days”.

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NINE DAYS.

I can’t put anything anywhere. I have more stuff arriving this week. I live in a pile of clothes on my mattress with a useless bed frame exploding my tiny bedroom. I. Am. Not. A. Happy. Lady. Right. Meow.

I informed him immediately like the princess that I was behaving as that that arrangement did not work for me at all. I need a bed. It’s only been three days and I’m already throwing crap around because I have no placement for them yet. I still have no idea what’s happening with the bed so I’m just going to shove issue #1 aside for now.

Now onto issue #2 – I bought a brand new bookcase that arrived today. We go to unload the heavy pieces from the box only to find that they did not include any of the nails to actually put said pieces together, leaving me once again with another piece of useless furniture I cannot assemble at this point in time.

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It’s official. South Carolina does not want me to put my furniture together. It has not welcomed me with open arms. I just want a bedroom that wouldn’t make Jesse Pinkman cry.

So I’m just going to go in my room now and huddle in the corner to look at what’s left of my belongings in hopes nothing else happens.

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I Need to Learn How to Say No – UPDATE

I got a lot of wonderful feedback from you friends on my post from yesterday, and I want to thank all of you. Since I never responded to Maybe Cory’s text from the other night and he’s been silent since, I figured that was the end of that. I was thankful he didn’t turn out to be a psycho stalker who would eventually become scarier and scarier with each unanswered text.

But, I woke up this morning to a text from Maybe Cory saying, “Don’t want to chat?”

Oh boy. It’s official. I have to answer him. The text was slightly passive aggressive, filled with annoyance and perhaps regret. I immediately felt bad and tried to think of what to say without hurting his feelings. I kept thinking this morning about how aggravated I’ve been in the past when my messages had gone unanswered. I tend to overthink things way too much and I didn’t necessarily want to do that to him or anybody else. He seems perfectly nice.

I apologized for not getting back to him due to the stress of moving to South Carolina. <– I had to remind him of this very important fact.

He said he understood and then the light bulb went off. “You live in Connecticut?”

I said yes.

“Ohhhh. I missed that part. *insert sweaty smiley emoji*”

And that was the end of the conversation. I have a feeling I won’t be hearing from Maybe Cory again.

So I realized many things from this very small experience.

1.) Maybe Cory was probably too drunk to comprehend what I was saying to him that evening.

2.) Maybe Cory wasn’t actually listening to anything I was saying to him that evening.

3.) It’s more than likely a mix of both 1 and 2.

4.) I need to take a chill pill.

So even though I didn’t get a chance to actually turn him down, it makes me feel a little bit better that I sorta kinda tried. Until next time.

fdgfdgdf

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I Need to Learn How to Say No

Why is it so hard to say no?

I read an advice column a few weeks ago and the reader asked, “How do you say no to people?” The advice columnist put it very simply – just say no. However, for people like myself, it’s a lot easier said than done. And I’m not talking about drastic situations like, your best friend wants your help committing a murder. If my best friend asked me to participate in murder, I would very easily say no and then run away/go to the police.

Here’s my example from this past weekend:

I was out with my mom, aunt, and two older sisters in a small downtown area in New Hampshire. Since it was my last weekend visiting them before I leave for South Carolina, it was kind of a big blow out. My oldest sister just had a baby back in October, so she was shaking her little mom self the whole evening. My second oldest sister was handing me Jello shots while my mom and my aunt took videos of me and my sisters reenacting the rap scene from Teen Witch. We are a close-knit family, as you can tell.

I ran off to the ladies room and on my way back, my arm was tugged ever so lightly by some guy with thick-rimmed glasses. I was wearing my glasses as well (long story short – I put my contact in my eye and it just disappeared without a trace. I looked like Jessica Day all weekend). He pulled me aside and said, “Hey, you seem interesting to talk to.”

Now here’s where I tend to ruin things. In an overly sarcastic tone I asked, “Is it because I’m wearing and you’reeeee wearing glasses?” But then he started laughing and asked for my name. Our conversation was going smooth and I knew it was going to be brief. After all, I was just being polite. And if I really thought about it, this guy had some balls to just pull me aside and strike up a conversation. Bonus points for him. He will go far in life. I told him that I was out with my family because I’m moving to South Carolina. He thought that was cool and congratulated me. And then I started looking at his face and realized he seemed pretty young. Perhaps even younger than myself.

So I did what any obnoxious older woman would normally do in this situation and I asked, “How old are you anyway?”

He was twenty-two.

And then the grandma side of me kicked in and I began reminiscing my college graduation.

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He was still a senior in college. I informed him that I will be twenty-six next month. He didn’t seem to give a shit. I got nervous because of the situation I was in and began spewing out advice like I’m his career counselor and he needed help on his resume. I then quickly ended the conversation and told him I needed to get back to my mother, which we both looked over and I’m fairly certain she was holding a Jello shot. But he still asked for my phone number.

Now, a few key points popped into my head at this point.

1.) I just informed him that I’m moving to South Carolina.

2.) I’m nearly four years older than him. That doesn’t seem like a lot but when I realized that he was a freshman in college while I was graduating and stressing about my student loans, it wigged me out a little.

3.) I don’t even currently live in New Hampshire, which he knew.

4.) Our conversation really wasn’t all that interesting to be honest. It felt like we were speed dating – what was your major? What do you do? Where do you live? Where did you grow up? —> How on earth can you tell if you like someone by asking these basic questions? I want someone to ask me what my favorite episode of Doug is, and if I thought Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears should have worked things out.

So I couldn’t help but wonder why on earth this guy wanted my phone number. For what purpose? I think it was pretty obvious we were never going to see each other again. I’m sure some of you are like, Oh Jess, you’re so naive. You’re right. You’re 100% right.

But I panicked and said, “Sure” and inserted my number into his phone. I had zero intention of speaking to him after our encounter. Some of you might think, Wow you’re an asshole. I wasn’t trying to be. I just don’t know how to say no. He was perfectly nice and polite.

My oldest sister yelled, “Why didn’t you give him a fake number? I did that all the time before I was married.”

“Because I’m not a jerk. How horrible would that be if you got the balls to ask a girl for her phone number only to find out that it’s not her phone number? If I were to do that, what’s the point of giving him a number at all?” I said.

“You could have said you have a boyfriend,” my mom suggested.

“I don’t think that quickly on my feet.”

Flash forward to the following night, and I received a text that my iPhone very cleverly labeled, “Maybe Cory?” It took me a second to realize it was senior-in-college-guy.

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I never answered the text.

It’s so easy saying no to people who are just not very friendly, or if it’s someone asking to do something for you. Whenever a guy asks to buy me a drink, I always say, “No, thank you” unless I know them. I don’t like feeling as though I owe them something in return, if you know what I mean. I know plenty of girls who go out and get free drinks from gentlemen all night, and they have no intention of actually conversing with them after. I’d feel like a dick by doing that. I’m a working woman and I can pay for myself. Also, there’s an unspoken fear among females that we don’t want to get roofied, so shout out to guys, if you’re wondering why some girls turn down your drink offer, just know the roofie thing is like, half the reason. But if someone asks for my phone number, it sounds kind of weird saying, “No, thank you”.

In the end, I guess it doesn’t really matter. Turning them down from the start is the exact same thing as ignoring their messages. Sure, it might hurt their feelings, which I don’t like doing, but if I have no intention of speaking to them anyway, then it’s a web I can’t break free of. Eventually, I just have to grow a pair and say “No” so that I can stop getting messages from people I don’t want to talk to.

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Welcome to Charleston

I can’t be the only one who has that one month out of the year when a series of unfortunate events takes place. For me, that month is January. It happens nearly every year when it seems my walls come crashing down. My walls are by no means sturdy.

However, I just spent nearly a week in Charleston, South Carolina. Yes, it was fun and relaxing, until I came home to a flat tire in the parking garage of the airport, and then a letter from the unemployment office in California, which I won’t go too far into, that would make anyone’s heart stop. By the time I put my bags down, I was ready to fall into tears and fly back to South Carolina to avoid life in general.

Luckily, I will be going back to South Carolina very, very soon. Colleen and I decided to move there. Since my lease is up at the end of February, it’s very important that we make this happen as soon as possible.

Colleen and I sat in the living room of her friend Zach’s apartment while him and his roommates were off at work. We grabbed a bottle of wine, blank sheets of paper, and jotted down the pros and cons to living in Charleston, Washington D.C., and New Hampshire/Maine.

Let me fast forward to when we were leaving Charleston and Colleen was chatting up the Uber driver. He was confused as to why we could just pick up and move without a care in the world.

“What about your jobs?” he asked.

“Well, we don’t really like our jobs,” Colleen answered. The Uber driver laughed hysterically.

“Nobody likes their job!” he said.

It was at this moment I wanted to jump out of the car. I’ve come to really despise that excuse.

Yes, I realize not everyone likes their job, and that’s unfortunate. But there are people out there who love their job. I don’t see what’s wrong with wanting a job I enjoy. One of Zach’s roommates named Jack went on and on about how much he loves his job, and he gets up much earlier than he needs to because he can’t wait to go to work. That right there is the kind of life I want.

I can’t understand why people just accept the reality that they don’t and probably will never like their job. Then why are you doing it? There are bills to pay, and rent, and the overall need to live. I’ve been living this life since I graduated college almost four years ago. But in my downtime, I’ve been searching for other opportunities. It may seem like I’m flaky and I jump from job to job, but that’s because I’m scared of getting too comfortable in a field I don’t actually have an interest in. Even though I haven’t been successful in finding something I love, I at least have been trying. I haven’t given up. I don’t have a reason to. I’m not married, or even in a relationship, and I have no kids. I have no excuses.

Back to when Colleen and I were sipping wine and going over the ideas of living in three entirely different places, we had to be realistic.

Washington D.C. is too stuffy and expensive. It’s also a place Colleen is used to and she needs a change of pace and environment.

New Hampshire/Maine was ideal in the sense that my family is there, and New England is where our heart is. We love the seasons, the beaches, and the people. But the job market is terrible. All I thought about was how I would end up a waitress again, scrubbing the chocolate pie out of my apron every night and smelling of french fries. New England is the type of place I’d like to end up once I feel a bit more established. I just don’t feel comfortable enough there.

Even though Charleston is far away from our families, we have more connections to the job market than we do anywhere else. We have a better chance of succeeding. It seemed like the obvious choice. Even if I do have to serve food for a little while, at least it’s not in my hometown where I feel like I have just given up. I’ll feel more motivated to make it all work.

So, even though January tends to give me a headache, at least I have something exciting to look forward to.

I’m certainly tired of moving. I’ve lived in three different states in the last three years. I’m exhausted. But until I find my place in the world, I won’t stop. I don’t know if Charleston is my forever home, and I’m okay with that. Maybe I’ll fail, or maybe I’ll thrive. But it’s worth a shot.

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21 Things That Prove I Don’t Have It Together

I have a friend, let’s call her Heather, and she’s been going through a bit of a rough time over the last couple of months and has been confiding in me. I think it’s nice to be sought out when the goings get tough. I do my best to give her advice, but let’s face it, I’m no Dr. Phil. Her life seems to be up in the air at the moment, and she’s stressed about her recent breakup from her fiancé, but I try to stay positive and let her know things will work out in the end.

And then this happened:

She asked me what my plans are for the following year, and if I regret any of the decisions I made in previous years when it came to my love life and jobs.

My honest answer was this:

I have no plans. The only plan that seems to stick right now is that I will be moving in with Colleen around February/March. We haven’t picked a location just yet, but we’ve narrowed it down to two places. We will be taking a mini vacation together next month to Charleston, and then I plan to go to England in the spring to visit my newly married friend. But that’s about it.

I have no plans for a job. I could end up working in a coffee house or a flower shop for all I care. As long as I make enough money to pay rent, buy art supplies, and pay my student loans (I like to pretend this one doesn’t happen every month), I’d be happy. I don’t really care about the rest. I think the main things Colleen and I agree on with each other is that we both need adventure, and possibly a prohibition styled apartment (that was her idea).

And even though I have zero idea what my concrete plans are, I don’t regret any of the decisions I’ve made.

This was her response:

“I’m so jealous of your life! It sounds so exciting and care-free. You seem to really have it together.”

Me:

hgfhgf

What’s funny about this reaction from Heather is that I did not get this reaction at a recent Christmas party where I was the only single person and their response was a little more like, “Oh…alright then…”

I never felt so underachieved than I did in that moment.

However, this isn’t the first time I’ve gotten the “Your life seems so great!” comment. I’ve gotten it a bunch of times this year and I’ve been scratching my head trying to figure out why.

So here is a list of things to prove I don’t actually have my shit together.

1. I finally removed the month old stain on my carpet the other day.

2. I keep forgetting to give my asthmatic cat his steroids. I’m surprised he’s not dead yet.

3. There is literally nothing to eat in my apartment. I’m not just saying that. I think I have a stale box of Cheez-Its and some rice that I’m too lazy to actually cook.

4. ^ I forget what a grocery store looks like.

5. Some of my belongings are still packed in boxes. I moved into my apartment last March…

6. I STILL have not registered my car and I don’t intend to until I move again. Therefore, I’m illegally driving my car everyday.

7. I have split ends.

8. I come home from work every day and crawl into bed with my cat while watching either Gilmore Girls or Friends, but also contemplate going to the gym but then so much times passes that it’s not even worth it to go anymore.

9. I failed my Goodreads Reading Challenge, AGAIN. Unless I can somehow bust out four books in two days.

10. If you’re wondering why I haven’t been able to reach my reading goal, refer back to #8.

11. I still have canvases and frames sitting in my car from when I went home to NH in the beginning of November.

12. I haven’t managed to shave without cutting my legs at least twice.

13. I don’t moisturize enough.

14. The batteries in my electric toothbrush are out and I don’t feel like going to the store to buy more.

15. My Christmas tree will definitely stand tall for another two months.

16. I’m terrible at cleaning my paintbrushes.

17. I don’t have the confidence to wear red lipstick all the time like I want to.

18. I have a resting bitch face. I’m really trying to work on that.

19. I get a slight boost of anxiety every time I open my bank account.

20. It took me months to figure out that the sign at Planet Fitness that says “Leave egos here” doesn’t say “Leave eggos here”. It makes a lot more sense now.

21. I’ve been paying $65 a month for cable and internet, and I never was able to hook the cable up myself. So I’m still paying for cable even though I technically don’t have it. Why? you ask. Because then that means I have to sit on the phone with my cable company for 30 minutes, most likely talking to a machine and listening to customer service grunt about how I should have cable, and I’d honestly rather pay the extra $20 a month until I move.

So there you have it. I don’t have it together any more than the rest of you, I’m sure.

Please share some of your bad habits with me in the comments. I think we all need a good laugh.

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Conversation with Sixteen-Year-Old Jess

*Dials number to Sixteen-year-old Jess, fully aware that the ringtone is a Boys Like Girls song*

Sixteen-year-old Jess: Hey, hey, hey! Who is this?

Current Jess: I forgot how annoying you were…

Sixteen-year-old Jess: Okay, seriously. Who is this?

Current Jess: This is Jess…from the future.

Sixteen-year-old Jess: That’s impossible. I don’t believe you.

Current Jess: You’re probably wearing a really tacky and unfashionable Hollister sweatshirt right now.

Sixteen-year-old Jess: That doesn’t prove anything. Everyone has those sweatshirts. Tell me something nobody else knows.

Current Jess: You never read the first Harry Potter. And you read the rest of them completely out of order.

Sixteen-year-old Jess: That was a really lame example…

Current Jess: Okay fine. You kissed Aidan Murphy in the fifth grade…

Sixteen-year-old Jess: *GASP* What do you want? Why are you holding this against me?

Current Jess: He had extremely chapped lips and it freaked you out…

Sixteen-year-old Jess: EW. STOP.

Current Jess: I’m here to fill you in about life.

Sixteen-year-old Jess: How old is future Jess right now?

Current Jess: I’m 25.

Sixteen-year-old Jess: *Sighs* I can’t wait to be 25. I’m going to go to Clark University and study anthropology. Or I’ll go to the Art Institute of Boston and become an art teacher. 25 is going to be amazing.

Current Jess: *Chuckling* Oh Jess…none of that happens.

Sixteen-year-old Jess: What do you mean none of that happens? I had a plan!

Current Jess: I know you do. You were stuffing college brochures in your desk drawer since you were thirteen.

Sixteen-year-old Jess: Did I at least study abroad in England like I always wanted to do?

Current Jess: Yes. I will gladly tell you that you accomplished that. Congratulations.

Sixteen-year-old Jess: Okay, well at least that’s something. So what happened to the rest of it? You’re 25. You’re supposed to be set in your career. Am I an art teacher? Do I work in a fancy office? Do I wear nice clothes? Do I have my own apartment? Am I getting married soon?

Current Jess: Whoa, whoa, whoa. Slow down, Lassie. First of all, you never became an art teacher. You studied art history.

Sixteen-year-old Jess: But I hate art history.

Current Jess: You grew up and changed. It happens to all of us. You also like broccoli now.

Sixteen-year-old Jess: So what do I do for a living?

Current Jess: I’m not going to dive too far into that one because it’s messy, frustrating, chaotic, and frankly, you’ll want to punch me in the throat.

Sixteen-year-old Jess: What about marriage? Am I getting married soon?

Current Jess: No, probably not.

Sixteen-year-old Jess: *hyperventilating* WHY NOT?

Current Jess: I don’t know, dude. Calm down. You can’t just marry the first guy to pay attention to you. It doesn’t work like that. Take your time. You haven’t even figured the career part out yet.

Sixteen-year-old Jess: But there is so much I wanted to do. I wanted to teach English to schoolchildren in Nigeria. I wanted to backpack through China. I wanted to hole myself up in a cabin in Washington State, away from everyone else for a little while. Kind of like Johnny Depp but without the mental breakdown.

Current Jess: There’s still time. Just because you haven’t done those things by the age of 25 doesn’t mean you need to write them off the list entirely.

Sixteen-year-old Jess: What about my friends? I still have my friends, right?

Current Jess: Eh. Not really. Only a select few. But that’s okay. You enjoy being by yourself, remember?

Sixteen-year-old Jess: Yeah, I suppose. But what happened to those friends?

Current Jess: You just realized they weren’t the best people to be around. Quality means more to you than quantity.

Sixteen-year-old Jess: So, what’s your plan now?

Current Jess: I don’t really have one.

Sixteen-year-old Jess: What do you mean you don’t have one? This is our life you’re screwing with!

Current Jess: Remember when you were around three-years-old, and you used to go with mom to her night classes at Lesley? And you would walk ahead of her through Harvard Square?

Sixteen-year-old Jess: Yeah. I would pretend I was a Harvard student even though I was three.

Current Jess: Exactly. That’s when you started dreaming about college.

Sixteen-year-old Jess: Get to the point, please.

Current Jess: My point is you’ve been planning your life out since then.

Sixteen-year-old Jess: Since I was three…

Current Jess: Yes.

Sixteen-year-old Jess: So you’re saying I’m a lunatic.

Current Jess: Yep. That’s exactly what I’m saying. Stop planning and start living.

Sixteen-year-old Jess: How do I do that exactly?

Current Jess: Don’t think. Just do. Just be happy. That’s all that matters.

Sixteen-year-old Jess: Okay. I guess that’s decent advice. Can you just tell me one thing?

Current Jess: Shoot.

Sixteen-year-old Jess: You’re still with Tristian, right?

Current Jess: HAHAHAHAHAAHA. Nah. He’s married to some Romanian girl now.

Sixteen-year-old Jess: What?!

Current Jess: Byeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. *click*

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Dear America

I still remember the presidential election of 2000. I was in the fourth grade learning about politics for the first time. Since most kids typically vote for the candidate their families vote for, I was rooting for George Bush. I come from a mostly Republican family. My best friend at the time, Megan, came from a mostly Democrat family, and her vote was for Al Gore. When Bush won, I jumped up and down for joy while Megan kicked her feet around saying, “Gosh darn it!” and we still ate lunch together as if nothing ever happened.

The same exact thing happened in 2004 with George Bush and John Kerry. I still managed to keep my Democrat friends close even after George Bush won. So, I ask America, what in the world happened to us? Unless I just grew up, opened my eyes, and realized what was actually going on.

The 2008 election was just a small taste for what we were in for: hatred. My best friend at the time, Katherine, was voting Obama and she let me know every day what a terrible mistake it would be if I rooted for McCain. I must admit, that election was during my senior year of high school and I honestly didn’t pay attention as much as others did because I had college applications and SAT’s on the brain. But, my family was voting for McCain. However, that didn’t alter Katherine’s hateful and sarcastic comments one bit.

The 2012 election, I was paying attention to the best of my ability. I voted Romney. And from a sorta-kinda-Republican/Independent point of view, this is what happened:

My college campus was jam packed with Obama buses to bring students to the nearest town hall to vote. Thousands of students were shoving Obama signs in my face, yelling at me to vote. Most of my friends spent the day screaming at the television about how much Romney sucked, and nobody was voting for him (which is ridiculous since obviously people were voting for him). I actually had people who I considered close friends express their hatred for Republicans, which made me uncomfortable to no end.

After Obama won, I wasn’t upset. I went to bed and slept like a baby. However, a former co-worker on Facebook figured out that I didn’t vote for Obama, and it MUST have been because he’s black right? Which he then felt the need to express all over the Facebook page of my employer at the time, asking them how they could hire a racist? That racist was apparently me, and he wrote my name out in all caps. Luckily, my boss was able to delete the comment immediately and block the person. But that didn’t stop the cooks from making racist jokes every time I walked by. I spent most of my shift in the bathroom crying.

Ever since that particular election, I’ve been too afraid to voice my own opinion in a country where we claim we can go ahead and do that. Between the Facebook posts bashing not just Republicans but Democrats too, to the unwanted political conversations where all I do is fold my hands and stare at the floor, it’s become too much. I understand this election has turned us into a mockery for other countries. A sort of lesson on “What Not To Do”. But I am here to say that whoever my friends and family vote for, I’m not going to berate them for their choices, and neither should the rest of you.

I haven’t asked one single person who they are voting for because it’s simply none of my business. I was raised to “never bring up politics at the dinner table” and I maintain that even more now. We have to get a grip and remember that not every Republican is so far right and not every Democrat is so far left. For every person you make fun of, whether they are voting Clinton or Trump, you are insulting someone you know or their families. It baffles me that I feel the need to write this to adults. I’ve been wanting to say these words since 2008 and I don’t want to be afraid anymore. It’s not fair.

So, whether you’re a Republican, Democrat, Independent, or what have you, I wish you all a safe Election Day. Don’t forget to stash those nips in your pocket for later.

fsdf

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