Inspired by my bestie (who’s a Chip, and I’m totally a Dale).
I have to say, being referred to as “Wonder Woman” for an entire day last weekend at SDCC was both awesome AND empowering. :) Made by Megan from Wishes to Stitches and inspired by haniemohd’s design.
Also, being in the same room as Matt Smith, Joel McHale, and Nathan Fillion was the single greatest hour of my life.
It’s that time of year where a lot of us make resolutions to be healthier and happier in the months to come. In lieu of setting resolutions that are doomed to peter out sometime in March (or, who am I kidding, late January), I’ve instead set intentions for myself. I intend to buy books from only independent booksellers. I intend to write more. I intend to do a headstand in my yoga class by this time next year, dammit. But, most of all, I intend to be happy this year.
True to intention, I picked up The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun at Vroman’s, an amazing indie bookstore in Pasadena, CA. The title is really what drew me to the book, and the title says it all: Gretchen Rubin spent an entire year adhering to her chart of resolutions that would ideally boost her overall happiness in life. There are 12 subjects for 12 months in 12 chapters. Rubin is incredibly methodical (she clerked for a Supreme Court justice, after all). Each chapter has a major resolution with subheadings of resolutions that fall under it. For example, January’s major resolution is to “Boost Energy,” and under this theme she discusses her experiences in going to sleep earlier, exercising better, organizing, tackling nagging tasks, and acting more energetic.
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When we break-up with a boyfriend, or husband, there’s some kind of protocol in place that we’ve learned from experience and pop culture. We walk around in a zombie-like stupor, binge eat, cry on the shoulder of a best friend – any of those stereotypical scenes we’ve seen in TV shows and movies. But, what do we do when the person we’re breaking up with is that shoulder we’ve relied on during our break-ups and other emotional meltdowns? How do we deal with this loss, when there are no divorce papers or social protocol in place for breaking up with a best friend?
As someone who has recently lost her best friend of 11 years, I gotta tell ya, it’s rough. I thought I was alone in this experience, but reaching out to different people about it has made me notice something: best friend break-ups are more common than I thought they were, whether you’ve drifted apart or had a major blowout from which the friendship could never recover. I fall in the latter category, however, I hope my best friend break-up experience will help others who have lost their shoulders, so to speak. Below are several pieces of advice I have to offer on the matter thus far.
1) Eat an entire pie.
The first real action I took after the bestie break-up was driving to Marie Callender’s to buy a pie. I ate the whole thing in 24 hours. It was a cream cheese pie, not a cheesecake because I couldn’t afford it. I am not ashamed. The big picture here is to indulge yourself, or, as Tom and Donna from Parks and Recreation would say, “Treat yo’ self!” Don’t worry about calories, because I’m pretty sure you can cry them out.
2) Allow yourself to cry.
Crying is literally a form of release – water from your body escapes from your eyes – but it’s obviously an emotional release for us as well. Sometimes you need to release a build-up of negative emotional toxins, so, sometimes you just need to cry. There are certain songs that you know are good for you when you need to cry. For me, Coldplay’s “Fix You” makes me weepy every damn time I hear it. If I hear that song during a scene in a TV show, I immediately begin bawling. It is these kinds of songs you want to turn to. Depending on how you left things with your friend, “For Good” from Wicked or “When Somebody Loved Me” from Toy Story 2 are friendship themed songs that can turn you into a babbling brook real quick. Sometimes crying once isn’t enough, so this is another way to treat yo’ self: let yourself cry however many times you want to.
3) Watch Oprah. Lots and lots of Oprah.
I’m pretty sure Oprah could solve all of the world’s problems with a combination of catchphrases and perfect lighting. I wasn’t an avid watcher of hers while she had her talk show, nor am I religious, but when I saw a clip of hers on my friend’s Facebook about “surrendering” when there’s nothing else you can do about a difficult situation (http://youtu.be/rpwW42HVZws), a major league stadium’s worth of light bulbs went off in my head. Since then, she is the figure I have turned to in my hour of need. Here is what I’ve learned from her gospel: if someone has done you wrong, all you can do is forgive. I had an “Aha! moment” in my not so perfectly lit room when she said, "You forgive for yourself. Forgiving is letting go of the hope that it could’ve been any different, accepting it for what it was, and being willing to move forward with your own life. And that’s the only life you have any control over."
So, forgiveness isn’t accepting that what happened was right, but it is accepting that it happened and that it’s time for you to move on. Doesn’t that blow your mind? I’ve been trying so hard to engrain this in my thinking. This kind of thinking, however, is difficult at first because bitter feelings will continue to cycle through your everyday thoughts. Like any break-up, pictures (of which, after 11 years, there are a lot) and random associations (of which, after 11 years, there are A LOT) act as trigger. To deal with this, see the following point.
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My best friend had just compared, via text message, her relationship with the current guy she was seeing to Finn and Rachel from Glee, because, in her words “they make it work!” I immediately followed this with “Are you Tim Gunning your relationship with him?” which made me stop and think for a moment. Wow. Six years and two English degrees later, I had finally done it: I had created a new verb.
To Tim Gunn [/tɪmgʌn/]: to make it work (ex. She is Tim Gunning her relationship). Origin: 2004-present; Project Runway.
We’ve all heard Tim Gunn’s famous catchphrase, regardless of whether you’ve watched Project Runway or not. “Make it work,” however, is so much more than a catchphrase. It’s a way of living.
On the show, Tim acts as a mentor and is there to offer guidance and support to the aspiring designers. When time is running out, or if ideas haven’t completely come to fruition on the mannequin, Tim thoughtfully stares at the piece over his spectacles and proclaims, “Make it work!” Sometimes this is accompanied by a hand gesture – a raised fist with the thumb tilted toward you for emphasis that shakes three times with the beat. Make. It. Work.
Now, I’ve been watching this man say this phrase, and other amazing vocabulary words, for years, but it wasn’t until that texting conversation with my friend that I realized the bigger picture of a “make it work” mentality. What it basically means is that you are trying your absolute best to do something, whether it’s creating a fabulous dress, maintaining a healthy relationship, having a desired career – anything we attempt to make happen for ourselves. And you are not only attempting to do this, but you are doing it in spite of whatever perceived obstacles that may be in your way. A designer may not have gotten enough fabric. The guy my best friend is dating has commitment issues. I aspire to be a writer, but two English degrees do not a writer make. In the end, it all boils down to effort. If Tim and Oprah have taught me anything, it’s success comes with hard work.
The verb “to Tim Gunn,” in all of its conjugations, means that you are making the best of a situation and putting in your utmost effort. There may be a bit of an overlap in meaning between Tim Gunning and McGuyvering, but that’s to be expected in language (Tim Gunning has more of a chic connotation anyway). What Tim Gunning inevitably means is you have some kind of goal or vision, and you are striving to achieve it. I can’t see any reason why we shouldn’t be living our lives this way.
Lastly, to Mr. Tim Gunn:
I love you.
Thank you for being a genuine teacher who wants everyone to continue improving upon themselves. Thank you for your teacherly wisdom and for making more obscure words okay to use in everyday conversation. Like “caucus.” Caucus is a great word.
I love sitcoms. While watching the Emmys, I realized that I’ve religiously watched every single episode of every T.V. show nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series. I watch Modern Family like they’re my family. I watch 30 Rock and The Office like I work in Rockefeller Center or Scranton. I watch The Big Bang Theory because I’m a big ol’ nerd. Glee is near and dear to my heart because I spent six years of my life in show choir sequins. And, I only just finished watching Parks and Recreation two weeks before the Emmys aired. My best friend got me into watching it by hinting that a Jim/Pam-type relationship develops. Sold.
The first season of The Office without Michael Scott has aired, and, though there were no physicists, it began with a bang! Robert California, played by James Spader, ended the previous season by filling in as the new regional manager, only to be promoted to CEO in the first minutes of the new season. Andy Bernard becomes the new person to step into Michael Scott’s managerial shoes. Pam is well into another pregnancy, and this time it’s a boy. Angela is pregnant, the father being her new husband, the gay senator. BAM! I’m wary yet excited to what the new season will bring; they certainly added enough new stories to the mix. Andy Bernard’s “Nard Dog” tattoo will hopefully make another appearance in future episodes.
The Modern Family – and Hayley’s boyfriend, Dylan – went on vacation to a dude ranch in Wyoming. Dude, it was awesome. Perhaps the best treat of the episode was another gem of a song by Dylan: “I rode a horse for the first today/ I wasn’t surprised when he went ‘neiiigh!’” The best storyline was probably Dylan’s too. After proposing to Hayley, he goes on an unintentional walkabout in the middle of the night in the middle of a forest. He decides to stay and work there with “a woman named Jake, who’s strong like a man.” It’s sad to say good-bye to the recurring character Dylan, but the family back at home in the next episodes has enough to deal with. One of the major stories of the season will be Cam and Mitchell’s decision to adopt a baby boy. Babies are popping up like daisies in these new episodes of hit shows thus far. Perhaps it’s an easy way to make things more interesting: when in doubt, have a baby. I wouldn’t recommend this in real life, though.
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