Category: Daily Struggle

I’m Not Your Doormat; 3 Places to Start Speaking Your Mind

Tired of feeling used by family and friends?
Are being disrespected and/or treated like your invisible at work or school?
Has your social life ruined your credit, health, and/or confidence?

If you have answered yes to any of the questions above then it may be time for you get up off the floor and stop being a weak-willed doormat (yeah, I said it!) and start figuring out who you are and what you stand for. Although, this may be easier said than done, keeping quiet because your afraid of people’s reactions hasn’t worked this far so you may as well try something new.

3 Places Where Speaking Your Mind is a MUST:

1. At Home: Wither you are living with room mates, a significant other, by yourself or living with family members; the place you are currently calling home is supposed to be the one place where you can be comfortable being yourself. So, that might mean that it is finally time to have that chat with the one who is leaving dirty socks on every flat surface about the lovely invention of a hamper, maybe you need to show them the wad of hair that you recently released from the shower drain or maybe you have that friend that “only wanted to crash for a few days” but 3 months later has made your living room into an adult fort filled with mysterious scents and creatures of the deep. Has your wholly organic spreads just become the condiment of choice for someone else’s midnight snack? What ever it may be it is time to SPEAK UP and let them know that what they are doing just isn’t really working for you. Life outside your house is stressful enough so why bring that into your house?

“Your not trying to come up, in MY House, with all that”

2. At Work: Finding a job is hard enough in this economy and so when you finally and one it is understandable that you don’t want to “rock the boat” and potentially end up back on the unemployment line but sitting quietly and allowing others to lay claim to your hard work and your ideas isn’t the way to go about it either. When at work go by the old saying “It isn’t what you say but how you say it” there is nothing wrong with having a differing point of view or correcting someone’s oversight but it does require a healthy dose of TACT. So like mothers all over the world have told us about honey flies and vinegar. Tone down the acidic bite and sweeten up your approach in the work place.

“I’m not a Bitch, I just know my own mind”

3. In Your Relationships: Relationships are hard, no matter if it is a sibling, a friend or a significant other, and oftentimes just a quagmire of sticky and often times explosive situations. A way to diffuse these situations is to address them as they arise instead of waiting until your ready to bite someone’s head off because they left the cap off the toothpaste or left the gas tank only a quarter full. Not only is it unfair to them but it is also hard on you. Healthy relationships are built on sharing and understanding each other and telling them about the things that really work your nerves or hurt you is a part of that and again why the added stress in your life? Especially in the relationships that we choose the rule of them is “If you don’t tell them, they won’t know.” So maybe they need to lay off the weight jokes or be less judgmental about your preferences or choices. If they are doing something that hurts you. YOU need to say something about, otherwise the behavior will only continue and who could blame them? People are not mind readers so say something.

“Be BOLD about your shit!”

That being said if you have told them , more than once, that you find a certain behavior of theirs a little hard to swallow and they still continue it may be time to reevaluate if that particular relationship is really necessary in your life. If not, keep it moving, life is too long and too short to be stuck with people who continually make you miserable. Especially early on in romantic relationships, be bold about your shit! If they can’t hang, then it is always best to know early on before someone resorts to a “Waiting to Exhale” moment!

Now that is one woman who could have released some of her pent-up anger!

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Lesson learned; 5 yrs. later

It’s that time of year again, Graduation Season! As thousands upon thousands of students countdown to that day when they too will don their cap and gowns to walk across that absurdly long stage and take those first initial steps into “adult-hood” and all the opportunities to go out and concur the world; to make a difference and to be successful.

This May being my 5th anniversary from graduating from University.I can’t help but wonder if I was ever so innocently optimistic?

What have I learned since then? What would I tell those who are preparing to leave school and the realities they are bound to face?

1. Don’t rush into furthering your education (Graduate-level) right away: It is not that I don’t support more education, because really nothing can be further from the truth, the fact still stands that unless you are going to Med-school or Law school (which may not be such a smart move either) will only put in you in debt with no work prospects. There are tons of people with advance degrees who can’t find work in their prospective fields who are stuck working whatever job they can find just to keep there heads above water and a great majority of them are barely managing to even do that! So my advice is to put it off for a while and look into starting a career first because there are still some companies that offer tuition reimbursement and/or training that you would need to grow in your career.

Being social at the work place….

2. Learn Business Etiquette: Trust me on this, no matter what field you are in or what you are doing, learning how to appropriately communicate and interact with your co-workers and superiors (both written and spoken) is the Number #1 rule for succeeding in the work place. In Corporate America, even if you work for yourself, your not moving up that ladder unless people take you seriously and they LIKE you!

I can’t even begin to tell the amount of times I have had to tell co-workers (my age and some younger) that Yo’ is not a greeting, emails don’t begin with Hey and now is not the right time to have a loud ass discussion about that party you went too last night! (Don’t laugh! It happens!) There are tons of online resources that will teach you the basics of how to write emails, memos, minutes, slides etc. and they are all FREE! so there is no reason to not do your research and save your self some aggravation and start your career with your best foot forward.

Speaking of jobs…

3. If you managed to land a job realize that you are lucky to have one, no matter how much it sucks: I get it, you have just spent all of that money getting your degree and the last thing you imagined yourself doing was working at the supermarket, mall, movie theater etc. The moments when you hear “Where is the restroom?”, “Can you make that a Large?” or “I need you to order my lunch.” make your eyes roll and lead to drink away your misery.

But guess what? you have a job! Your making money and you are getting out of house! And trust me after spending almost five months unemployed I was all too happy to get that job working in retail for the holiday season and so should you be!

Making it Work…

4. Have a Plan A and figure out how to make your present situation work towards that plan: So your working the sucky job but have dreams of owning your own business/writing/acting etc. It is all about making where you are right now work for where you want to go. All those hours you spend sitting at your desk doing virtually nothing, start doing some research about what you would rather be doing, start writing that great novel in between calls or start a blog *wink-wink*. In retail and wanting to act: start playing with character development while your on the sales floor, change your accent, start quoting lines from your favorite movies at the register!

Not only does this make your day more interesting for you but allow yourself to work towards your Plan A and still make the money you need to survive.

5. There is no shame living within your means: Financial literacy is what your quality of life will be built on because there is nothing worse than worrying over money. It will affect your relationships, family planning, career, health etc. And is one of those things that is never too early to learn. If your lucky enough to have family that will continue to support you, take advantage of it! Even if that means living at home for a while, not buying rounds at the bar for all of your friends and getting those $300 shoes.

And if your friends try to laugh about you still living at home and being on a budget just let them know that when they start worrying about their credit card bills you will be laugh all the way to bank! And get you some like minded friends, on time, who are trying to something with themselves!

If you get the chance…

6. If you can swing it, Travel: While you are still young and free from significant commitments see the world, not only will you get the chance to learn more about others but you will definitely come back (if you decide to come back) knowing yourself a whole lot more.

There are tons of opportunities to go abroad and work/volunteer, like Teaching English in Asia or doing Eco work in the Andes and you will never regret the experience and the stories you will have for a lifetime. If you do decide to go, a word or two of caution; do research about the country you are looking to visit; not only touristy spots and night life but the political climate as well. Also just because your traveling/working abroad doesn’t mean you can ignore your financial commits back home (ie: Student Loans) make sure you work out a plan to continue making payments on those while you frolic over seas.

It is important to remember that there will be surprises, break-ups, let-downs, laughter, tears and tantrums along the way. But just take a deep breath and live in the moment you are in now!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Izx9ADLjgbM

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Is Body Positivity Even Possible?

So in my search for inspiration for posts for The Un-Life, I ran across xoJane’s advice column, where they allow the readers to answer/advise, and thought that I would weigh in on the discussion.

The Question:
I’m 18 and three weeks ago I got a breast reduction. I was overjoyed going from a 32H to a 32D (or thereabouts), but after the initial shock of a lighter load and a higher rack wore off, I become increasingly disillusioned with my body. I was never an exceptionally chubby kid, but for whatever reason I was teased for my weight starting in preschool. This, coupled with a family who decidedly never complimented my appearance (I think they did it out of love. You know a pretty-is-not-everything kind of thing? They’ve always praised my intellect, creativity, etc) left me feeling unmentionably ugly and fat. I experimented with eating disorders in middle school, and eventually worked my way out of it, but was still left with the feeling that I was horribly unattractive. I’m only 5’3″ and weigh 135 pounds–which I realize is not overweight at all, but I carry most of my fat in my stomach, leaving me with a pooch that my mom sometimes says makes me look pregnant. In the beginning, it was only stomach I hated but as I’ve gotten older its spread to my pasty skin, my round baby face and lack of cheekbones, my smile in pictures, the blackheads on my nose, even my toes. I tried to buy new clothes post-reduction but they seemed to highlight every one of these features. The majority of my friends seem have grown into beautiful, womanly, confident, semi-adults. I on the other hand feel flabby with the insecurities of a preteen. I am wondering if body positivity is even possible or if I should stop deluding myself that I will ever be pretty (or moreover, feel pretty) and try to focus on other, more important parts of myself? When I asked my mom for advice she just told me to go on a diet and workout more.

My Answer:

The first thing to realize is that Body Positivity, is a journey, FOR EVERYONE! Not only for those who are on the heavier side but also for those “semi-adult” looking friends who you are comparing yourself to, and that is where you should start; by NOT comparing yourself! The human body is a varied and wonderful thing and should be honored as such!

I found myself in a similar place after losing a significant amount of weight and instead of enjoying the new body that I was in I was standing in front of the mirror pinching, poking and criticizing the areas that I felt just weren’t “good enough”. Which led me to burying the body I had worked so hard to achieve under layers of clothes and doing the best that I could to go unnoticed by others.

But what is good enough? The women on the cover of magazines? Hell, they don’t even look like that! With the amount of articles online about #photoshopfails in popular ads I think it is about time we stop fixating on those images for standards for own bodies. Be your own standard of beauty. You are uniquely and beautifully you!

Alright enough of my preaching. Here is what I suggest, start small: everyday find something that you Do like about your self. Maybe it is the color of your eyes or the shape of your mouth if so, slap a fierce lipstick on it! Start building confidence from there. Be kind to yourself, you don’t have to love everything but you have to start liking something!

Look for Inspiration! Use the internet as a tool to build yourself up start reading body positivity blogs (or start your own!) that detail loving the body your in and being unafraid to disregard societies rules for what can/can’t wear or should/shouldn’t look like! I feel talking to others as well as surrounding yourself with positive people who understand (sympathetic/empathetic) where you are coming from will definitely help also wither that is a professional or a friend. It doesn’t hurt, I promise!

If you still feel like you would like to make some changes with your start incorporating healthy habits into your daily routine; eat healthy, drinking more water and moderate exercise will not only having your looking “better” but feeling better as well.

All in all, you are not hopeless, Body Positivty is very real and obtainable but the road to getting there all starts with you!

To see the original post, the comments readers left in response, and other questions like this visit XOJane

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I am a Millennial; Un-Ashamed

During my daily on-line trolling I often come across thought provoking articles or topics, that then led my on a merry day-long quest for more information. Today, that article (featured on HuffPost) is Ira Wolfe’s Why Many Unemployed Workers Will Never Get Jobs and while Wolfe does bring up many good points on of some reasons the currently unemployed may remain so. It was his comments on their overwhelming feelings of entitlement that led me back to my own considerations on Generation Y.

And seeing as I tote this blog as being an accounting of The Un-Ashamed, Un-Afraid, and Un-Apologetic life, it seemed important that I write this post about Millennial shaming.

My first encounter with Millennial shaming happened a few years ago while having a casual dinner with some older friends (professionals in their early to mid 30’s). As we were dining on decadent sushi and Japanese fried chicken at Bozu (in Williamsburg, LOVE IT!) and the libations were flowing, conversation took a natural turn to work gossip and #workfails in the office, which happened to center around one particular intern. According to the friend; she had no idea what she was doing and always sure she was right, wouldn’t listen to anyone, lazy and full of herself!

Somehow this poor girl managed to single-handedly embody all, that we are told, is wrong with new graduates entering the workforce! And what was the response this was met with? “Oh well, she is a Millennial what can you expect?”

So if you will imagine, me (at the time I must have been 21 or 22) only a few years out of college myself listening to them talk about the evil that is a Millennial, like I was at some sort of rally for the 30+ professional

With just me alone there to represent the opposition!

I, as someone who has always prided themselves as being a conscientious and hard worker, never asked any one for anything, but went out with determination for everything I wanted, felt nothing but embarrassment and spent the remainder of the evening quietly in my corner, and when pressed for comments simply nodded my head in between bites of Tako-yaki. Needless to say I was more than glad when the night was over but never forgotten.

Since then, I cringe every time I encounter a piece on Millennials in media, I mean how many times do I have read that “Gen Y (Generation Me) is unprepared, difficult to manage, narcissistic, solipsistic and too filled with a sense of entitlement to ever be major contributors to the workforce? Is it just me or are they harping on this a little too much? All this talk is really starting to make me feel a certain way about myself, and not in a good way!

But why should we feel ashamed of who we are, when we are the by products of our circumstances?

The Economy sucks and there are no jobs! Fine, so we begin to make opportunities for ourselves through any avenue available to us (ie: YouTube)

The Environment is unstable! Alright, so we devise ways to promote sustainability in our food, recreation and transportation (but those bikers need to learn to stay in THEIR lane!)

You are Narcissistic and Entitled! You’re getting a little harsh there but- We (at least not ALL of us) are not sitting around demanding what we feel we are owed! As a generation, Gen Y, has spent more time and resources to causes that support those who have less (TOMs, GAP’s Red Line, FEED, etc.) What previous generation has not wanted more than there parents had? What parent, in that case, doesn’t want more for their children?

While these sort of generational gripping is not particular to the Millennial and everyone previous to us has had there turns (*cough-cough* Baby Boomers) None the less we are your future and I refuse to be shamed for it!

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Fattitude: A Body Positive Documentary- Fighting Against the Haters

Recently, (as in the weeks leading to the creation of this blog) I have been introduced to wonderful world of Body Love and the Body Positive Movement. As someone who has struggled with her weight all her life, I can honestly say that this “movement” (some reason calling it a movement sounds wrong, why haven’t we women been loving our bodies, just as they are?) has been a long time coming and I wish I had known about it years ago. But have no fear I know about them now and I aim to join their fierce and fabulous ranks! That’s why when I saw one of my fave bloggers The Militant Baker posted on twitter today about Lindsey Avrill and Viridianna Lieberman’s project and the just plain ole nasty hate it had been receiving online I just had to spread the word too.

FattitudeBanner-Color

What is this FATTITUDE project?
According to the documentary’s kickstarter, Fattitude is a feature-length independent documentary that exposes how fat hatred permeates our popular culture, spreading the message that fat is bad and in turn forwarding the idea that being cruel, unkind or downright unjust to a fat person is acceptable behavior. Since announcing the project Avrill and all those associated with the project have been bombarded with cyber bullies that have gone unnecessarily as far as harassing their families after being reported for abuse on Facebook and Twitter.

If you doubt for a minute that fat discrimination does indeed exist then read Avrill’s account on what has happened since announcing the project here and here If that isn’t enough just go to your favorite search engine and type in: “Fat people are/aren’t” and see what pops up in the search guide.

Ways to Help

1. Donate to the Kickstarter campaign. Every contribution counts to getting this project funded! If you can’t give, send the page along to others who might be able to!

2. Like their page on Facebook and invite your friends to do the same!

3. Spread the word through your own social media, Tweet it, Like it, Pin it and whatever else everyone out there is doing today!

Let’s stop the hate and support a good cause whether if it’s through donations or just by spreading the word. Everyone deserves the chance to love themselves!

FYI: I am in no ways connected to this project, just doing my part to support a good cause and spreading the word!

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Starting with Me

I have always been a person with a plan in life, and at 12 or 13 what could possibly be simpler than to graduate from a good college, go into medicine, take a European tour, start working!; for oodles of money, meet “the one”, get married, buy a house, have kids and then in my later years retire and travel the world. Simple right? That is until life starts getting into the way and I can’t help wondering where it is that I went wrong where others had succeeded….

That was probably my first mistake. What was that mistake you ask? It all seemed perfectly reasonable to me. You say. Well allow me to enlighten you:

“Humans plan. God laughs.”

I did graduate from a good college? Yes, I did but never managed to enter the medicine field (much to my parents chagrin)nor did I ever manage to take that European tour (other than the few weeks I spent studying in Spain), make oodles of money working a great job and I still live at home with my Dad (love ya!) and I am still very much single. But that isn’t the problem.

It is in those weak moments (that make us all human) when I start getting the LinkedIn updates about classmates being promoted and Facebook is telling yet ANOTHER person is engaged/married/pregnant when I start to doubt myself and the choices that I made in my life that make me feel unworthy, incapable and essentially just… less.

But why should we (or I, maybe I am all alone on this one) feel any way but happy about others happiness? I will tell you why, it is because we have been living our lives in comparison to others.

Do you get a case of the giggles when your friend/frenemy gets dumped? or Do you secretly wish they would trip and fall on their face when you feel like you are being out-shined by their awesomeness? If yes, then you too may be suffering from a Life-by- comparison.

Sabrina wait, isn’t that just plan ole’ jealousy? To me? Yes and no while jealousy does exhibit the same emotional symptoms it is in the mental barring that all the difference is made. It is when we begin to doubt our own worth and purpose, due to someone else’s achievements/attributes.

Example: As previously mentioned, I have two older sisters, both of which are solidly into their careers and living pretty good lives; making good money and living it up, Me? I can’t for the life of me get it together, I can’t even begin to tell you; the number of projects I have started that have gone no where and the number of jobs that went no where, all just to wind up still at home and still broke and trying to “work it out”.

Does that mean I doing something wrong? Do I now need to re-evaluate my whole life? Do I punish them in little ways for my own perceived short comings? I want to, I will admit it. Especially when I just need to figure out how I am going to pay my cell and student loans this month and one of them tells me she is headed off to Europe on a mini tour in two weeks and if I can give her a ride to the airport?

While I could cry like Ann (but I have a REALLY ugly cry-face and it makes me swell) and I want more for myself and while I may still be working on figuring it out I just want the world to know:

And so it all comes back to me (and each and every one of us in our own lives). It is what I aim to accomplish through The Un-Life I want to reclaim all the possibilities of my future while discarding my insecurities of today.

“The only limits to the possibilities in your life tomorrow are the buts you use today.”-Les Brown

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Oh, that these days should be mine…

Recently (for the last few years, actually) I haven’t been able to get these words from my head. I have lived my life trailing behind two older sisters; watching them participate in take-your-daughter to work days, participating in candy stripe programs, getting employed with Bloomberg (at the height of his reign in DC)and I can’t help but feel like I keep getting the shit end of this here stick.

These days there isn’t much (traditional) work to be had out in the “real” world but there sure are bills to pay and expensive educations that has yet to appreciate. Sure, you can work the holiday season at the major retailers (that haven’t closed down yet) or take a job just for the moment to get you out of the house and keep you sane. But it hardly seems fair at the end of the day.

So what is a young millennial to do? As much as we read that employment is slowly on the upswing and the administration has funded the creation of thousands of jobs across the country what does that actually mean for the recent-grad/part-timer/entry-level worker, who is sending out 30-50 resumes a day?

Well let’s think about it this way. Here in the US college aged individuals graduate 3x a year (late spring, late summer, mid-winter usually) And let’s just say that each class that graduates is on average 2,000 students who are looking to enter the work force as entry-level/interns. Now, we will apply that to a just the public state and city schools here in NY (64-State and 23-City)
So that’s: 6,000 students (entering the work force per year) x 87 schools (just here in NY)

For a grand total of 522,000 NEW jobs needed to employ each person a year.

And let me just tell you. I have been out of school for 5 years! And I still haven’t seen the benefit of any of those government sponsored jobs! Those jobs that they say, are opening up; are not ones that the young work force are qualified for. But that doesn’t mean you couldn’t get your degree and your dream job within the same month. But it just doesn’t happen that way for many anymore. The majority of recent graduates (3-5 years) are working minimum wage; if not for free (interning).

So what do I say to my sister who complains that she hates her 90k (starting) a year job?
images (8)

Not that they (my sisters and just about anyone who is gainfully employed) are to blame, it is my own fault for being born last. It isn’t their fault that when I was ever finally old enough to participate in these programs they were all of a sudden discontinued due to; budget cuts, economic crises and political ambition. Nor can they be blamed that during interviews for entry-level positions that I am sitting next to people with 14 years working experience who are more than willing to take a pay cut while all I have is the theory learned in school.

Is it their fault? Nooooo

Do I still resent them? Yesssss

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