Give A Piece Of Your Heart To Someone

I’m always seeing little graphics that say, “tag someone who needs to hear this,” or, “tag a friend to let them know you’re there for them,” on Facebook and Instagram. While the person who created the thread means well, as do the friends who write, “@insert_name_here” in the comments, that just doesn’t cut it for letting your loved ones know you care about them.

November is a month for thankfulness, so the next few weeks I’d love to challenge you to write love letters to friends and family you care about. A letter is one of the most intimate and personal things you can offer someone; you are giving a piece of your heart and spilling out your feelings on a permanent page.

Is letter writing not really your thing? Then I encourage you even more to sit down at your desk and write a few letters. Often some of the most beautiful notes I get are from people who have scribbly handwriting or don’t use the most eloquent adjectives available in the English language. I realize that these letters are truly written from the heart, and that someone was sitting and thinking about me for an uninterrupted amount of time while they put pen to paper.

If you don’t quite know where to start, some of the subjects you can touch on are why you love the person you are writing to, how they have made an impact on your life, and what they do that you happen to think is incredibly amazing about them. You love them for a reason, and all you have to do is write that down so they can see that and cherish it forever. If nothing else, I challenge you to write three letters in the rest of November. Then, see who really appreciates the note, and make a habit of sending one letter every month. It only takes a few minutes, but is a gesture that can mean the world to someone.

Screen Shot 2017-11-08 at 11.15.22 AM.png

Bonus: Write a letter to sweet little Jacob. You can count this toward your three for the month, and I promise this will be an effort that won’t be in vain. As someone who saves special letters from readers and loved ones, this gesture means more than you could imagine.

Are You Still Friends?

Friendship is a two way street.

This is a lesson it took me years to learn, and to this day it can be a hard truth to swallow.

I talk to so many people who are frustrated about friendships that die when they stop putting in all the effort, and I can definitely relate. I’m love to communicate and find that keeping in touch is easy enough if you want to reach out to someone with a text or phone call every so often to see how they’re doing. Old friends tell me that they’re glad I’m good at keeping up with them, and I am happy to, as I genuinely care about how they’re doing and what’s going on in their life.

There are those friends, though, who never reach out if you don’t say something first. I don’t always think this means you need to cut them out of your life or even that they don’t care about you — some people are just incredibly busy and don’t have casual friendships as a top priority. I do think this often means they cannot still have a top space in your heart, though. You can care deeply about a friend who doesn’t put in effort to your friendship. You can still want the best for them and support them, but it’s important to make sure your heart knows what distance to keep the friendship at to realize your own worth.

Screen Shot 2017-08-10 at 2.35.19 PM.png

Here’s a good comparison. Would you want to date someone who never texted you first or gave any sort of affirmation that you’re an important part of their life? No! You deserve to be a priority in people’s lives, and if they can’t see how much you’re worth there will be other friends who will.

If some of your current friends don’t recognize that you are valuable enough to keep in touch with, there will be others who will. Just like the men who are waiting to date a girl like you, there are people out there in the world looking for a friend just like you, too. Keep each of your friendships as a treasure in your life, but if you feel frustrated about a lack of effort in a close relationship, spend your time on someone who will put time back into you. You are worth investing your time in people who are investing in you.

Today’s lesson: Not everyone has time to spend on a wide range of people and that’s okay. Don’t take it personally if you begin to realize some of your friends aren’t putting any effort back into your friendship. It likely has nothing to do with you and everything to do with their schedule and priorities. This is a really hard lesson to learn since it can feel so personal, but once you realize that there are other people out there who want to use quality time as their love language, finding the right friends becomes just a little bit easier. There are so many people in this world who would love to have your friendship; you just need to find the right humans to invest your time in.

The “We” Mentality

I love seeing women support one another and strongly believe the more we become each other’s cheerleaders, rather than competition, the greater an impact we can make on the world.

This is why I want to encourage each and every one of you to view your friends’ hearts as your own too. Instead of criticizing the girl who is smack dab in the middle of a really messy breakup, realize that she is trying her best and probably wants to get over her ex, it just takes hearts some time to heal when they’ve been torn apart. Open your arms to the women who need your help and come to you for advice. It isn’t always easy for people to spill their hearts to friends; be proud that you are someone who people can trust with their feelings, and be gentle with their heart.

Screen Shot 2017-07-31 at 11.26.33 PM.png

The “We” mentality says that we’re in this thing called life together. It views someone else’s struggles as our own, and their victories as ours too.

I remember so vividly when one of my best friends and her boyfriend broke up. My heart ached alongside hers, and I shed a few tears too. Not because I thought she lost someone irreplaceable, but because I knew exactly the way she felt, and wished I could take away the sharp pain from her. I’ve always said that in a close relationship only one person has to be strong at a time, though, and this was my turn to be strong for both of us. We talked every single day and I always offered an open heart, even when I was busy, because a heart is easier to heal when you have a friend who will help you put the pieces back together again.

On the other hand, I remember when my best friend got her dream job. I got the text and literally squealed out loud and did a happy dance alone in my room. She absolutely deserves the best things this world has to offer, and her new company is so lucky to have her on their team. We went out to celebrate over dessert, and I couldn’t stop smiling when I saw how excited she was. This wasn’t just good news for her — it was great news for me, too. I got to watch my bestie live out her dream only a few years after graduating from college. This is one of the moments in life that feels so incredibly perfect.

One of the best parts about celebrating in others’ success and joys is that you have so many opportunities every week to be excited. Even just seeing my friends post about engagements, babies, puppies, and new jobs on Facebook is exciting. I feel like a tiny piece of my heart gets to celebrate even with the most distant of friends when I see something happy happen online. Regardless of who it is, someone on the other side of the computer screen is filled with joy, and that makes me really happy too.

Screen Shot 2017-08-02 at 11.10.00 AM

Today’s lesson: There is no room for competitiveness and jealousy in a beautiful friendship. Pushing each other to do better is always a great thing, but when you’re constantly competing to be better than each other you miss out on so many opportunities for joy. Stop comparing, and start rejoicing in each other’s “wins” in life. Learn to love people with your whole heart, and realize that when you celebrate others, they will want to celebrate you, too. Life is hard enough as it is with all the things we can’t control; we’re all in this together, and the world would be such an incredible place if we all could learn to lift each other up every chance we get.

December 3rd

Hi SITS family! One thing I think is so much fun about this blog is that most of my friends read it, but most of my followers are complete strangers — or friends of friends, which is also super fun!

Anyway, since most of you don’t personally know me, you aren’t Facebook friends with me to know that today is my birthday. I love celebrating birthdays, but not necessarily my own because I hate being the center of attention. It’s awkward and I would 9 times out of 10 rather hear someone else talk than blab on about my life. Unless, of course, it’s writing on here I suppose!

I’m notoriously bad at planning things for myself, but in my adult years I’ve realized that that’s the only way you’re often really going to have any sort of plans, and it’s no fun just sitting at home or not having anything special going on.

This year instead of planning a party, I just planned a few little meals with smaller groups of friends, which should be a lot of fun. Last night I went out to dinner with my family to celebrate my mom’s and my birthday (Hers is the 2nd!), and today I woke up and Skyped with Robert while I opened his present — which was a Petzi! I’m pretty stoked to use it, as I often wish I could text Macy when I’m away from her. Do any of you ever feel like there should be a way to text your dog? This is probably as close as you can get to that!

Screen Shot 2016-12-03 at 5.32.26 PM.png
Macy’s eyes always say, “Don’t leave, Mom!” when I put my coat on to go out.

This afternoon was super fun too, as my best friend Audrey came over and brought a million gifts (including the BEST new Urban Decay lipstick palette, which I will have to do an entire blog post on), then we went to Starbucks to chat and drink peppermint hot chocolates. I already feel so spoiled today and I still have a little dinner to go to tonight, and then a brunch with some of my great girl friends tomorrow!

Last year’s birthday was kind of tough for a lot of reasons, but this one has already been amazing, even if it were to end now. This taught me a very good lesson that if you want to do something fun, just plan it! You don’t need someone else to ask your friends to get together or whatever; I felt kind of rude at first asking people to celebrate my birthday with me, but after the fact I’ve realized that in the exact same way I love celebrating my friends,they’re happy to come together to celebrate me, too!

I’ll definitely write another blurb after this evening and then brunch tomorrow, too, but as for now I’m gonna go rest up a little bit. POTS kind of has my head spinning!

The Single Best Dating Tip For Girls

Keep your friends close.

I bet y’all never saw that one coming. I know, I know — it doesn’t seem like it has anything to do with dating, but let me elaborate.

Time and time again people get a new significant other and go into the vicious cycle of getting starry eyes that are only for their SO, set into reality, realize they do, in fact, need friends, and trying in a half ditch effort to have fun with other girls again.

There are a few solid reasons I strongly believe in staying close in your friendships, rather than dropping them only to pick up again when it becomes convenient.

First, trust is a key component in any relationship, even with friends. By remaining close when you get a new boyfriend you are showing her that you’ll be there for her through thick and thin — and in turn, she’ll be there for you when you need someone as well!

Screen Shot 2016-10-06 at 11.18.35 AM.png

Second, if you think about it realistically I hate to burst your bubble, but many relationships in your teens or early twenties don’t work out for the long run. I know, I know, there are plenty of high school sweethearts. When you look at the numbers, though, more people go through breakups than marry their first love, so the odds are not ever in your favor. They could be with a friend, though! There isn’t a limit to the number of friends you are allowed to have, even if there is a cap at “1” for a boyfriend. Don’t throw away something beautiful like a forever friend for a boyfriend who may or may not be there for you in the long run.

Third, girl time is sacred! There are certain things you just can’t have as much fun doing with your boyfriend… Some of those include shopping for the perfect cocktail dress, getting mani pedis, helping your girl swipe through her Bumble account, and gushing about how cute your boyfriend is. Let’s be real, we love our guys, but they can only take so many compliments before getting a big head about it! 😛

I can think of a hundred reasons I need my girl friends no matter what season of life I am in. The friendships I have mean the world to me, and I would never give up any of them just to get a guy. An added bonus to this is that your guy will love that you are independent and have your own things going on. It’s so healthy to stay balanced and have some activities separate from your man… After all, your crazy adventures apart will make for some great date conversations.

Today’s lesson: When my ex of 5 years and I broke up I was SO relieved that I hadn’t given up my friends for a romantic relationship. From day one of us dating I made the decision to have a great relationship in addition to the other relationships in my life, rather than in place of my friendships. Although many of my friends thought my ex and I were going to last, we didn’t — but my friendships did, and I was so thankful for every single girl who helped me get through my first bad breakup. It would have been so much harder being by myself and having to rebuild my relationships again… Plus in those 5 years I was still able to cherish so many great memories with friends that my ex was not involved in! Instead of only remembering him when I look back on my college years I have a million other wonderful memories too — many of which are shared with some of my current best friends.

Stuck In A Rut

One thing I love about having this blog is how many stories I get to hear about my readers’ dating lives. It’s wonderful seeing so many blossoming relationships, and I feel honored when people trust me with their dating problems or to give good advice.

Something that comes up a lot is overwhelming discouragement with the way dating is going. In some cases girls who come to me say that they struggle because they don’t get asked out IRL very often, thus do not have a wide variety of prospects. Others say that every date they do go on seems to end in disaster — or even just a lack of interest — and that they fear they’ll never find anyone.

I have some encouragement to offer, though. There is someone out there for everyone. I am not saying that everybody in the world is going to find a significant other or get married — though I think if you want someone in your life you’ll manage to find a special person eventually if you’re really willing to put in the work to find them — but I think we often worry that since we haven’t found someone yet, that it’s never going to happen. That is a very slippery slope, my friends!

Some people in this world do have more matches than others. Certain personalities seem to have more choices than others, but that doesn’t mean if you haven’t met the right people to date yet that you never will. In the meantime, here are a few tips I have come up with to better yourself while you feel somewhat stuck in a rut:

  • Focus on your friends. Shifting some of the time you might spend dating towards nourishing some of your good friendships isn’t something you’ll ever regret — whereas pouring all of your free time into dating and away from your close relationships might be. Some friends are forever, whereas most of the people you date will likely only be in a very small part of your life. Friends are the people who will help you through heartbreak, be there for you when no one else is, and happily pick you up when you’re feeling down. Strengthen these relationships and make time for “friend dates” to have fun while you’re looking for Mr. Right on the side!
Screen Shot 2016-08-30 at 11.45.06 AM.png
We have all felt like this Pug at some point in our lives — though none of us can possibly be quite as cute as he is!
  • Volunteer. Spending some of your free time sharing your gifts and talents with the world is a really beautiful thing. I have also found that when you volunteer your time to help other people, you end up getting even more out of the experience than the people you are helping. Making a difference in the world is an incredible thing that isn’t as difficult as people make it seem. After all, even if you just touch one person’s heart, you are changing their world for the better.
  • Learn something new. Ever since I became single again I have made a point to learn new things and make myself a more dynamic person. I learned some new magic tricks to add to my repertoire, I am working towards my Masters in English, and I started listening to podcasts (Freakonomics has made learning about the economy simple, which also led me to one of my other favorite podcasts, Question of The Day). These are all things I am doing solely for myself and I appreciate the time I get to focus solely on the things I want to do, as one day I won’t have as much free time for myself.
  • Form new friendships. Making new friends is really rewarding, especially when they end up becoming close ones. I have also found that meeting new people often means you eventually meet their friends, and you never know when someone might decide you are a “perfect match” for one of their friends. Dating is all about networking, so although this shouldn’t be your motive for making new friends, it can certainly be a bonus!

Today’s lesson: Positive thinking is so important, and getting too discouraged with dating won’t solve any of your problems. Instead, take a deep breath, relax, and work on bettering yourself and the world around you! You will never feel like you wasted time if you’re becoming a stronger, more empathetic, and kinder person. Making a difference in the world will not only impact the people around you, but it will change your life for the better as well.

Thriving During Your Breakup

We all hear tips about “surviving your breakup,” which is sometimes necessary in the very beginning when wounds are fresh and still open. After you take a little time to mourn the loss of your relationship, though, it’s time to get back on your feet and realize you are not only going to still make it in this world, but you are going to kick ass.

Hopefully you have a good squad to help you get through this rough time, but I decided to make this small list in case you need someone to remind you that everything isn’t just going to be okay — it’s going to be great.

1. Realize that although it hurts and you might miss your ex, this was the right decision. Something wasn’t working in your relationship, whether it was on your end, on his, or both.

2. Which leads to the realization that this was not the person you were supposed to spend the rest of your life with. Do you know what this means? You just made room for someone even more amazing and incredible! It may take time to find them, but I definitely believe there are several people who would work with each person. That was certainly not your one and only chance to find love.

3. There are so many other people in your life who love and care for you. Share your time and experiences with them awhile before looking for another relationship. Always remember to keep these people in your life whether you are or are not dating someone. Friends can be forever, while boyfriends aren’t necessarily always going to be around.

Screen Shot 2016-08-10 at 12.33.14 PM

4. You get to spend your entire life with yourself! When my ex and I broke up I went to my room, looked in my mirror through my tears and smiled because I realized that although he didn’t get to have me around anymore, I still get to be with myself — for forever! Learning to love yourself while you’re single is so important so you can feel okay even if things end with a SO.

5. You. Will. Be. Okay. Take a deep breath and realize that although you feel all kinds of broken that time does help you heal. I seriously thought my broken heart would never be fixed, but here I am almost a year later feeling so much better than I did in a messy relationship. The time I used to spend feeling sick thinking about my ex when we were together I now fill with experiences, friends, and love.

I tell every single one of my friends that if I of all people can get through heartbreak, anyone can. I have very strong feelings, whether they’re up or down, and I used to think dealing with a breakup would just about kill me. But it didn’t even come close. That breakup was one of the toughest things I ever had to do, but I have come out the other side stronger, wiser, and more compassionate than I was before. Now I’m enjoying my life, and open to meeting my real Mr. Right.

Dance To Your Own Beat

This past weekend one of my best friends and I went to a fair in our town. There were rides, games, food stands, bands, and perhaps the most exciting — a silent disco.

Since I have POTS I’m not able to go on rollercoasters or anything that will make my adrenaline and heart rate spike so much, and we weren’t very interested in the bands playing. We are always excited about dancing, though. For those of you who don’t know what a silent disco is, it’s pretty simple. Basically you check-in and get a pair of headphones with a volume control and 3 stations. There are 3 DJs located at the front of the club, each playing their own mix. You can change channels to find a song that you like, and your headphones light up with whatever color the DJ you are playing is wearing.

Screen Shot 2016-06-13 at 3.05.44 PM.png

One of the most hilarious parts of the silent disco was the crowd of people who showed up for it. It was for people 18+, and we were literally the only twentysomethings in the mix. It seemed to be mainly high school kids from the area dancing, but there was also a healthy mix of people in their 40s and 50s.

I quickly realized how much guys my age (25) have matured since they were 18. The kids were crazy! They were flailing their arms about like they were on fire and bumping into everyone on the dance floor. Their way of flirting with us was making fun of our music choices (Sorry that I enjoy hearing throwbacks from the Backstreet Boys and Britney) and attempting to “bump butts” with us. I started to feel old as I was annoyed with this behavior.

Overall the silent disco was a blast. We danced until my knees started to hurt too much to keep standing and vowed to do another one again before next year. Even just sitting on the side and watching everyone dancing to a different beat is hilariously entertaining.

Kohr’s Older Brother

As I mentioned in my last post, my friend and I were on Tinder looking for a double date while we were at the beach.

Luckily for us the Serial Killer that was supposed to meet up with us didn’t end up working out, so we moved on to the next one. We ended up chatting with someone in the police academy who was actually really polite and said he would be respectful of our wish to just meet up for ice cream. We sent him the same address we were going to meet the last guy at since both of us were dying for a Kohrs cone at that point. He said he could be there at 11:20, but once again his friend “canceled” at the last second. It’s cool, we thought, we just want to make one new friend by the end of the trip.

This guy seemed like he’d have some good stories for us, so we threw on our matching sweatshirts in true bestie style and headed to the boardwalk.

We waited a few extra minutes for the guy and began to get grumpy. He was supposed to be here fifteen minutes ago — maybe he was standing us up!

“I can’t wait any longer,” I promptly exclaimed. “I’m just going to get my ice cream now and we can just sit and visit with him while he eats his dessert when he gets here.”

Audrey agreed with me and we purchased our cones on our joint credit card. That was when hilarity ensued. There weren’t any seats at the Kohr’s, so we walked across the street to the benches by the Hilton hotel that was about 70 feet from the shop. We had a direct view of the cashier, so we could see when our date showed up.

We people-watched and chatted until Audrey suddenly exclaimed “IT’S HIM!!!”

I whipped my head back to look at the shop and saw a bald man with a scruffy brown beard charge angrily up to the cashier. Before I could even analyze the situation a bus stopped in my line of vision.

bus
That darn bus!

“Are you sure?” I asked. “I didn’t get a good look, but that guy looked like he was quite a bit older than us.”

“No, but I don’t have my glasses on,” she replied. “It looked a lot like our guy, though.”

We waited anxiously for the bus to get a move-on. By the time it pulled out of the stop the man had finished his purchase and was strutting out of the shop with his cup. He seemed to have a new spring in his step, and hurried happily across the street with his ice cream. He was coming for us.

We squealed nervously as he approached. There were a million thoughts running through my mind at this point.

How did he see us from all the way across the street? Why is a 50-something man on Tinder pretending to be 25? Why didn’t he wait for us? Why didn’t he message us that he was here?

He turned the corner into the pavilion area where we were hidden. Audrey and I froze.

I parted my lips to say hello, but he continued to walk toward the hotel doors. He did a double take on his way into the lobby, and to this day I am not sure whether it was because he was actually the man from Tinder or just thinking, “What the heck is wrong with this girl?” because of the startled look I had on my face.

Audrey looked over at me with her spoon in her mouth, floored. “Was that…?”

I shrugged, stunned. He was at least a vague shadow of the man in the pictures. What were the odds someone else who looked like that just happened to get a midnight snack at the same custard shop as us?

What do you think? Did we see the same guy we matched with on Tinder or was he just an older doppelganger? We sent our match a message and never heard back from him — I suppose he will always remain a mystery to us.

Virginia Beach

My best friend had an extra day off work recently so we decided to take a trip to the beach to kick off summer. Since we live in the DMV we picked Virginia Beach, as it’s a bit livelier than the family beaches in Delaware and we figured it would be a fun place to go out dancing and collect stories.

We left around nine on Saturday morning, as I have a million routines to do when I wake up to take care of my POTS for the day. It’s funny how being caught in traffic with your best friend isn’t really a chore — we talk every day, yet we still always have something new to catch up on.

Screen Shot 2016-06-01 at 10.34.10 PM.png
This kind of texting happens back and forth daily.

We chatted for about five hours until we were finally at the beach! I’ve touched on my illness here and there, but for anyone who is just tuning in or doesn’t quite understand some of what I deal with, I cannot lift much more than 2 pounds at a time without facing a lot of pain for days after. This meant poor Audrey had to be the bellhop with our bags and kind of take charge carrying the heavy things to the beach. This information will be important to take note of for a story I’ll tell later on.

We stayed in a pretty standard beach hotel that was right on the boardwalk. I’m not sure how many of y’all have been to VA beach before, but there are some kind of sketchy areas there… Our hotel happened to be right on the brink of sketchiness which made for some interesting moments.

Now that I’ve kind of set the scene, you can see what my posts will be about this week and whether you want to come back to hear more — like my ~simple~ lesson on how to be a gentleman, our attempt at a “Tinder Takedown,” and how goofy and fun best friends can be. This week’s to you, beautiful Audrey!

Screen Shot 2016-06-01 at 10.53.46 PM.png
If you know me even a little you probably know how important I think friends are. After all, they’re the ones who will stick around whether or not a boyfriend works out!