Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Five Things That Are Difficult Now but Pay Off Later

[[Also featured on Thought Catalog]]

Building a structured life as a twenty or thirty-something is challenging to say the least.  Despite the fact that you may be doing all the right things, you might be so overwhelmed that you can't imagine when things are finally going to get easier.  If you're feeling more hopeless than hopeful, you are not alone.  However, I guarantee that when you take a moment in a couple years to reflect on this time of your life, you will absolutely notice the transformation that has occurred as a result of your dedication to change.  Your hard work will pay off.

Sometimes things just suck before they get better.

Oily face now, younger looking skin later.

Does your face look like it's been rubbed with a generous serving of McDonald's fries?  Do you shine like a greasy star?  If your face constantly needs to be blotted by a Clearasil Oil Absorbent, I feel you.  In fact, I've probably shared my pack with you.  While those of us with oily skin may have had more breakouts than the rest of the kids on the playground, there is a silver lining.  Oily skin delays the onset of wrinkles better than dry skin because the oils keep skin smooth and moist.  In 30 years when your peers who never had to subscribe to Proactiv put the grand in grandma, you'll look like you haven't aged a day.  Therefore, people with oily skin have a better future.  You can quote me on that.

Save money now, stress less later.

This one is more of a "note to self."  I'm no Suze Orman.  While I thankfully have no debt, my savings account is pathetic.  Let's be honest, putting money aside is hard when you want to travel everywhere.  However, I have a feeling that life in the future will be a whole lot easier (and the adventures much more frequent) with some savings in the bank.  Before you distribute part of your next paycheck to a savings account, start saving money today by: forgetting Starbucks happened, rolling your car windows down, ditching cable for Netflix, and using coupons like a boss.  You got this.

Get up early now, feel like superman later.

The other day, I tripped over my alarm clock.  It was on the floor of my bathroom because I had thrown it across my bedroom.  I am not a morning person.  However, I have heard that waking up early is pretty crucial for success.  I mean, it does make sense.  We all have as many hours in a day as Beyoncé.  It's up to us to use them.

Eat your vegetables now, look hot and healthy later.

I love kale.  I do.  But sometimes a girl just wants to eat like it's the last day on earth.  And who the fuck would eat kale on their last day of existence?  I want a cronut in my mouth on a constant basis.  However, pastries and the like tend to cause weight gain which tends to cause depression which tends to get it.  The benefits of eating healthy are endless, from anti-aging superpowers to killing off cancerous cells.  While eggplant might see like a boring food option now, your body with thank you for it later.  It is okay to splurge on sugar every now and then, but moderation is always key.  Unless you're eating vegetables.  No one ever said you could eat too many peas.

Face your fears now, rule the world later.

Perhaps you're afraid of rejection.  Gosh, who isn't?  Being told "no" is a daunting prospect to consider but not putting yourself out there at all is so much scarier.  Is there a job on your radar that you feel is a little bit out of your reach?  Go for it anyway.  Do you have a crush on someone that, quite frankly, makes you weak at the knees?  Ask the human out.  Don't wait another month of your one life waiting to ask for a raise, sign up for that marathon, or apply for the job of your dreams.  Being told "no" sucks but never truly knowing what you're capable of is so much worse.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

The 10 Commandments All Girls Should Follow

Girl Code:  An unofficial set of guidelines that all girls are encouraged to follow unless they want their weave pulled out.

It's a tough world out there, ladies.  We need to stick together.

Gentlemen, you can go.  Girls, let's break it down.

The 10 Commandments All Girls Should Follow

1.  Thou shalt not covet a dude who has a girlfriend. 

Respect.  It doesn't matter if the dude looks like George Clooney.  If he's taken, back off.  It's not going to happen.  And if it does happen, you just joined forces with a cheater who, guess what, is probably going to cheat on you too.

2.  Thou shalt not kill another woman unless she slept with your man.

I don't usually encourage murder, less bitch in the world can't be a bad thing.

3.  Thou shalt not hook-up with your friend's ex-boyfriend unless your friend gives you permission, which she won't.

Just because your friend isn't in a relationship with him anymore, she was intimate with him and probably definitely doesn't want to think about him with another woman--especially her own friend.  I mean, get real.

4.  Thou shalt carry an extra tampon in one's purse in case you run into a bleeding woman in need.

It's called bathroom etiquette, ladies.  Has your Aunt Flow ever come to town a little too early?  Of course she has.   If you ever run into a woman struggling with this situation, be the period hero and restore her faith in womanhood.

5.  Thou shalt never make a man a priority if he only makes you an option.

We are woman.  WE GIVE LIFE.  Therefore, we're fucking amazing.  Never settle for less than you deserve.

6.  Thou shalt refrain oneself from hating on other women.

Two words: Lena Dunham.  It still blows my mind that women try to body-shame this incredibly multi-talented human from behind their computer screens.  We should be encouraging one another, not tearing each other apart.

7.  Thou shalt not let a girlfriend out in public if she has kale in between her teeth.

She's not going to be embarrassed if you call her out on having something stuck in her teeth.  But she WILL be embarrassed if she runs into her what-could-have-been future husband when she has something stuck in her teeth.  Don't mess with her fate like that.  Wanna go the extra mile?  Give her a toothpick.

8.  Thou shalt not hang out one-on-one with the boyfriend of a woman who isn't you.  

Especially at sunset.  It's weird and inappropriate.  Boundaries, both of you.

9.  Thou shalt be available and present when your girlfriend just got dumped.

When your friend is in need, particularly after getting her heart stomped on, you need to be available like a doctor on call.

10.  Thou shalt not repeat words spoken to you in confidence.

Unless you're looking for some drama, don't be a gossip girl.  Have you ever seen Real Housewives of OC?  It just never ends well.

Bonus Commandment: Thou shalt stop getting relationship advice from Cosmopolitan Magazine.

It's a trap.  

Got it?  Good.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Sugar Addiction and The Remedy

Alcoholism rocked my early 20s.  Typically of the white wine variety, it was an hourly obsession that could have destroyed my life if I had let it.  Spoiler alert: I'm almost two years sober.  It's not always easy though, especially during holidays like Fourth of July when I have to pretend that O'Doul's is really doing it for me.  If I'm ever feeling envious enough of my normal-drinking peers to fantasize about picking up, I just have to remind myself that, well, I can't.  "Elin, honey, you poured a bottle of chardonnay on your laptop.  You stopped going to class, drowned in depression, and kissed a lot of idiots.  Remember your drunken Facebook statuses?  You couldn't hold a job and you ordered way too much fucking take-out.  Your life was falling apart."  Oh, right.

So, yes, I'm familiar with addiction and the damage it can do.  Which is why, when I woke up with a constellation of acne on my forehead and a craving for cronuts, I realized I'd fallen for a new drug: sugar.  Besides the fact that a sugar overdose cannot actually kill you (or can it?), sugar and alcohol have a lot in common.  They're both addictive.

True Life: I'm addicted to sugar.

Are you?


Five Signs You Should Join SAA (Sugar Addicts Anonymous)

1.  You tried to cut back on sugar once but failed so hard.

If you've ever told yourself you wouldn't eat chocolate cake every night for a week but in fact ate chocolate cake every night for a week, you have a problem.  You're a sugar addict.

The remedy:  Stop being a sugar slut and get a food journal.  Hold yourself accountable for what you're putting in your mouth-hole and you'll be amazed by the results.

2.  You often feel sluggish and rely on sweet snacks to keep you going.

Do macaroons gives you a "high" that you need throughout the day?  Welcome to SAA.

The remedy:  Get your shit together.  Literally.  Get all of the sugar products in your house together in a big sugary pile, and give it to your worst enemy.  A sugar addict keeping sugar in the house is like an alcoholic keeping booze in the fridge.  Bad idea.  Instead, fill your kitchen with whole foods.  You'll be amazed at how easy it will be to grab an apple instead of a chocolate bar.

3.  You daydream about donuts on the daily.

This is bad.  If you find yourself seeing sweets when they're not there, it's a good thing you're reading this because you are dangerously close to tattooing "Actually, I'm pretty sure chocolate tastes as good as skinny feels" down the center of your protruding belly.

The remedy:  Daydream about men in soccer shorts instead.  You need to reprogram your brain.  When you find yourself focusing on sugar snacks and how bad you want to binge, hit yourself in the face.  Soon, you'll equate sugar with pain.

4.  You're having an affair with the ice cream man.

Your cravings for sugar have become dangerous.  There is nothing, and I mean nothing, you won't do for a Klondike bar.

The remedy:  First of all, put earplugs in so you cannot hear the ice cream truck.  He's bad news for you, babe.  Next, find a healthy replacement for your craving.  Make running, for example, your new "afternoon delight."  Eat balanced meals and drink all the water.

5.  Your skin is starting to look like the pepperoni pizza you ate for breakfast.

Babe, your skin will look so much sweeter without all that sugar.  If you're a true sugar addict, you've probably noticed that sugar is just as bad for your skin as it is for your waistline.  Run from simple carbohydrates like you're running from the police because they rapidly break down into glucose.  This will result in insulin spikes, added stress, and bonus breakouts.  Ew.

The remedy:  Invest in Biore strips and cucumber masks ASAP.  Get plenty of sleep to keep your cortisol levels in check.  Replace soda with water.  And don't eat pizza for breakfast, silly.

If you're tired of feeling like you're drowning in a swamp of molasses, #payattention and do something about it.  I'm a firm believer in the expression, "everything in moderation."  However, if you're starting to feel like sugar is interfering with your pursuit of happiness, take a break and see if you feel better without it.  Guess what?  You will.  Just like any addiction, it is possible to give it up in order to change the rocky road you're on.  Pun intended.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

What Louis CK Said

I have fallen for a 46-year-old redhead.  He's brilliant.  He's weird.  He's Louis CK. 

Louis Szekely, famously known as Louis CK, is my favorite comedian to date.  The multi-talented actor, writer, director, and stand-up comedian has the ability to say the most unfathomably crude joke while simultaneously proving a point.   From utterly hilarious to downright depressing, he just goes there.  You know, "there."  Often compared to Woody Allen, Louis makes you laugh, but moreover he makes you think.

Perhaps that is why he is worth 12 million dollars today.  You go, Glen Coco.

In honor of the pudgy man who made me consider that "maybe if touching a nut kills you, you're supposed to die," I have compiled 30 quotes that came straight from the strange and twisted brain inside his ginger-bearded face.

 “I’m bored” is a useless thing to say. I mean, you live in a great, big, vast world that you’ve seen none percent of. Even the inside of your own mind is endless, it goes on forever, inwardly, do you understand? The fact that you’re alive is amazing, so you don’t get to say “I’m bored.”

I am really tired of looking at my hips. I’m seriously really tired of standing naked in the mirror and staring at my hips for hours and hours while muttering, “You hips. You hips need to get it together.” 

When you have bacon in your mouth, it doesn't matter who's president.

Farts are—I just refuse to be snobbish about certain shit with comedy. You know, farts come out of your ass and they make a fucking trumpet sound. That shit smelling gas comes out of your ass and it makes a toot sound. What the fuck is not funny about that? It’s perfect, it’s a perfect joke. It has all the elements.

It's really the kids that do you in. We have two kids. That's fucking stupid. Don't do that.

Out of the people that ever were, almost all of them are dead. There are way more dead people, and you're all gonna die and then you're gonna be dead for way longer than you're alive. Like that's mostly what you're ever gonna be. You're just dead people that didn't die yet. 

You’ll be fine. You’re 25. Feeling [unsure] and lost is part of your path. Don’t avoid it. See what those feelings are showing you and use it. Take a breath. You’ll be okay. Even if you don’t feel okay all the time.

I've started to kind of hate people, and it’s not because I have anything against them. It’s just, I enjoy it. It’s recreation.

The meal is not over when I'm full. The meal is over when I hate myself.

There are people out there who there’s just nobody for them. People like to say things like, ‘There’s someone for everyone.’  NOPE!  Not at all true!  And stop saying it ‘cause it’s mean to people who never find anybody.  There are millions of people out there who we've all unanimously decided they are light-speed ugly and nobody kisses them on the lips ever! Nobody touches their genitals their entire life, they just wash it and then they die, that’s all that happens.  Aw, and if you’re feeling bad for them, you can go find one and fuck one tomorrow, you can just solve the problem right there, with all that kindness in your heart.  Nah, I didn't think so.

Friends should always tell you the truth. But please don’t.

Whenever single people complain about anything, I really want them to shut the fuck up. First of all, if you're single, your life has no consequence on the earth. Even if you're helping people aggressively, which you're fucking not, nobody gives a shit what happens to you. You can die, and it actually doesn't matter. It doesn't. Your mother will cry or whatever, but otherwise, nobody gives a shit.

If you do something and people think you're stupid, just go for crazy. You get more respect that way because nobody likes stupid people.

People say 'my phone sucks.'  No it doesn't!  The shittiest cellphone in the world is a miracle.  Your life sucks.   Around the phone.

It’s like when you’re talking to a girl at a bar because you’re attracted to her, the first thing you say is always gonna be dog shit. The most honest thing you could say to her is ‘I wanna fuck your face.’ That’s the most honest thing you could say.

As humans, we waste the shit out of our words. It’s sad. We use words like “awesome” and “wonderful” like they’re candy. It was awesome? Really? It inspired awe? It was wonderful? Are you serious? It was full of wonder? You use the word “amazing” to describe a goddamn sandwich at Wendy’s. What’s going to happen on your wedding day, or when your first child is born? How will you describe it? You already wasted “amazing” on a fucking sandwich.

You're not a real woman until people come out of your vagina and step on your dreams.

Twitter and Facebook and MySpace; all that stuff makes you warped. We’ve all basically given ourselves data entry jobs. I’ve actually heard people say things like, “Aw shit, I have to update my Twitter.” Really? You have to? That’s a big priority for you?

If you’re a woman and a guy’s ever said anything romantic to you, he just left off the second part that would have made you sick if you could have heard it.

There are two types of people in the world: People who say they pee in the shower and dirty fucking liars.

The only time you look into your neighbor's bowl is to make sure that they have enough.  You don't look into your neighbor's bowl to see if you have as much as them.

It’s in the Ten Commandments to not take the Lord’s name in vain. Rape is not up there, by the way. Rape is not a Ten Commandment. But don’t say the dude’s name with a shitty attitude.

Everything that's difficult you should be able to laugh about.

I love being white. Seriously, I really do. If you're not white, your missing out. 'Cuz this shit is thoroughly good. Let me clear this up by the way: I'm not saying white people are better. I'm saying that BEING white is clearly better. Who could even argue? If it was an option I would re-up every year! 'Oh yeah, I'll take white again. Absolutely.' Here's how great it is to be white: if I would have a time machine I could go to any time and it would be awesome when I get there! That is exclusively a white privilege! Black people can't fuck with time machines! 

I killed my Facebook page years ago because time clicking around is just dead time. Your brain isn’t resting and it isn’t doing. I think people have to get their heads around this thing. All this unmitigated input is hurting folks.

I've learned from experience that if you work harder at it, and apply more energy and time to it, and more consistency, you get a better result. It comes from the work.

When you write from your gut and let the stuff stay flawed and don't let anybody tell you to make it better, it can end up looking like nothing else.

Six o'clock in the morning... I have blown off entire careers because of one day I didn't want to get out of bed.  Like, I'll just not be that then.

I really think that white people are from another planet because when we came to America, it was so nice. It was just Indians. And they weren’t even Indians. We called them that by accident. And we still call them that. We knew in a month that it wasn’t Indians but we just don’t give a shit. We never correct it. We came here. They’re like, “Hi.” And we’re like, “Hey, you’re Indians, right?” And they’re like, “No.” “No, this is India, right?” “No, it’s not. It’s a totally other place.” “You’re not Indians?” “No.” “Ahh, you’re Indians.” “You’re Indians for hundreds of years after.”

I finally have the body I want.  It's easy, actually, you just have to want a really shitty body.