I Had An Anxiety Attack in A Beauty Supply Store

Hello Lovely,

I want to start this post by acknowledging that admitting this could be misinterpreted and may even be damaging to my career. But I honestly found so much therapeutic power in documenting this breakdown. You should know that for over ten years I have struggled with generalized anxiety disorder. But this past Tuesday was just embarrassing. For the past month, I haven't been able to decide what to do with my hair and it's been starting to stress me out. You may have seen various photos of me in different wigs. While wigs can be so fun, what they really are sometimes is a sign that I have no idea what to do with my hair. But a part of my hair care regimen dictates regular hair treatments and I was overdue.

Feeling pressured I told my hair stylist to pick a style and went with the first thing she suggested, crochet. I've never had crochet braids before but I figured it shouldn't be too bad. Problem is, I couldn't decide what type of crochet hair I wanted, and I honestly don’t know much about weave. Eventually I decided I wanted a "Afro twist out" look. So I drove around for two days, going to five different stores. In the last store I picked up 5 packs. At the thought that it would cost me $50 I started to second guess if it was worth it. I held the hair up to my face, but I just couldn’t picture it. All I saw were faux locs, box braids or Havana or Sengalese twist (none of which I wanted). Without much options, I began to feel trapped, which led to, you guessed it, an anxiety attack.

I immediately called one of my best friends, crying in a beauty supply store wanting to just curl in a ball on the floor and hope no one saw me. My chest hurt and I became angry with myself for being so indecisive. I dropped my first choice and considered leaving the store and returning with someone else to help me make up my mind. I called my hairstylist to ask her a million questions about the cheaper Havana twists before deciding, it would work. I waited to cash out, breathing deeply as I hoped no one would notice that I had been crying. But when I got home and told my mum what happened, I started crying all over again. My chest got tight all over again and I just wanted the floor to swallow me. I couldn't make a simple decision and I felt stupid for it. It took me talking to two different people, crying, eating a cupcake, sipping red wine hot chocolate and writing an entire thread just to calm down. Worst I feel like I failed myself for not being more in control.

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I SHARE THESE STORIES + PERSONAL BITS BECAUSE I KNOW HOW HELPFUL IT CAN BE.

If I were a reader and were going through something like this, I know it would help to read that someone else had gone through it too and reading their words would help me to feel a little bit better and to know that I wasn’t going through it alone. I share the less shiny, unfiltered moments of my life with you here because I think it’s important to be real with you and talk about the lows just as much as the highs.

Anxiety is not easy because I never know when something will trigger it. Someways it's big things, some days it's little things like me thinking a little too long about what someone said to me. Yet I'm super calm in most crisis situations and never overreact at work.

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SO WHAT NOW?

I got my hair done last night. My hairstylist was super encouraging during the process and I felt the weight lifted off me as she worked. Anxiety is something I deal with everyday. Luckily I know most of my triggers and I’m able to stay away from there, but it’s really hard when things you couldn’t plan for happen. I continue to reach out to various support groups and write in my self-care journal, which is so much fun to use!

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If this post helped you or spoke to you in anyway, please feel free to drop a word of encouragement in the comment section below. If you need advice for dealing with your own anxiety, feel free to fill out the form above and I’ll be touch.

How Travel Can Support Your Addiction Recovery

Today's guest post comes from Henry Moore of FitWellTraveler.

Travelling during your addiction recovery can be challenging but rewarding, giving you a wider perspective than you experienced during your addiction, and many rehabilitation centres encourage travel during the early stages of recovery from substance abuse. According to one Goalcast author who healed through travel, “I went from being the only important person in my life during my days of addiction to someone who realised that I was just a tiny, virtually minuscule part of this world. Talk about taking the pressure off.”

If you think a getaway could help you heal, consider these tips on staying sober away from home and getting the most from your travels.

Get Some Perspective

While visiting other areas and cultures can broaden your perspective on life - and its challenges - be mindful about when and where you plan to vacation while maintaining your sobriety. Obviously you’ll want to avoid Napa Valley wine tours, Germany in October, Daytona Beach during spring break, and possibly even countries where wine is served without prompting, the way restaurants set out water glasses for customers here. Instead, focus on planning activities and outings and set up some night-life fun that doesn’t involve getting hammered.

Travelling For Self-Discovery

Take some time during your travels to reflect on where you’ve been, where you are, and where you see yourself in the future. Many of those who overcome addiction feel that they’ve been given the opportunity to rebuild their life for the better. Ask yourself what you’d like to change, what you want to continue, and how you eventually want to spend your days.

You may also choose to keep a travel journal during your journey. While you might mention any particularly hard won triumphs over temptation, your journal needn’t focus on your sobriety. Record your thoughts, insights, and interesting cultural facts you learn. You may also choose to note exceptional meals, interesting people, and favorite places. To add some visual flair, pick up inexpensive postcards during your trip to tape into your journal’s pages.

The Freedom To Travel

You probably spent months (possibly years) putting off your travel plans or planning around your substance abuse. Places you’d liked to visit were bypassed if they didn’t serve alcohol or fit into your lifestyle. And while substance abuse may have severely limited your travel options in the past, it is now easier than ever to plan a sober getaway with the help of a number of substance-free travel organizations. If you’re planning to use a travel agent, consider contacting Sober Vacations International, Clean Getaway Travel, or Travel Sober to see what packages they have available.

Escape Temptation

Being away from home will help you avoid the people and places that can trigger temptation but travelling alone can create the feeling of being cut off from your support system in times of crisis. To keep your temptation in check while you’re away, Psychology Today suggests using technology to stay connected. “It’s unnerving to be suddenly un-tethered from your usual support networks, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take support with you,” writes psychiatrist David Mack on Psychology Today. “Apps, many of them free, can be downloaded that offer inspirational messages of encouragement, daily reflections, and tips for staying sober.”

Healing On The Go

There are a number of other steps you can take to ensure a healthy vacation, whether you go alone or with friends or family. Call ahead to your hotel and request that the mini-bar be cleared of any alcoholic beverages. Research high-crime areas that may translate into the availability of drugs and avoid them during your trip. Make any wait staff that serves you aware of your alcohol-free preferences. Refrain from wandering the city at night without a clear destination and avoid areas known for its ‘nightlife’.

While temptation is bound to follow you no matter where you travel, experiencing new places, people, and cultures can broaden your mind and put your addiction in perspective. Traveling solo can also build your confidence, something that is paramount to abstaining in the future and will serve you well in building a new substance-free life.

 

Henry is the co-creator of FitWellTraveler. The site blends two of his favorite subjects (travel and health) to provide readers with information about how to get the most out of both. He enjoys travel, running, cooking, baking and reading. He believes travel can change you, and good health preserves you. He combines both in his work on FitWellTraveler.

Why Millennials are Swearing off Dating

Hello Lovely,

Have you ever hung out with a guy or gal and everything seems to be going swell until they say, "I'm not looking for a relationship right now." That line has easily been decoded to mean, "I don't want a relationship I just want to mess around." I've met some interesting people since ending my last relationship and learned a lot about the current dating scene. I even met a guy who had the opportunity to get back together with his ex-girlfriend but chose not to because he wanted to sleep around some more. Dating as a millennial can make people as replaceable as the latest iPhone. So why aren't millennials dating or getting serious about who they date?

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1. We realised the Disney fairy tale is a lie

Our parents fed us a huge lie and we fell for it; until now. With the spike in divorce rates there's been a new level of awareness for what you don't have to tolerate in a relationship. We believed in happily ever afters because of Disney, however, Disney is based on morbid fiction, but got sprinkled with magic pixie dust to make us see the beauty in the world. The problem is, no one is that charming in real life. Most of us are actually the villain. It's hard to hold onto that fairy tale when all around you are single parent homes and moms and dads who hate each other.

2. The rules of dating have changed drastically. 

Remember when you had to send a note to your crush looking like this? 

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Then there was the awkward movie date and a whole bunch of rules and bases you had to pass before that person even became your significant other. We took dating more seriously back then. We planned weddings in primary school and swore to be together forever.

Now you don't really need to know anything significant about the person before jumping into bed with them. Dating can now literally be defined by Netflix and Chill. No one holds the door open any more, goes to restaurants or even calls. Courting has become a series of texts and dick pics. Have you noticed guys don't even try to dance with girls in the club any more? While there's been a lot more emphasis on being relaxed and letting things happen organically, it can be a little confusing to navigate. Does putting out early push him away or keep his interest? And no matter how many guides they write on this stuff, there's really no one-size-fits-all. Dating is about trial and error making it way too complicated for people who have "more important" things to do.

3. We're too career driven

Thanks to baby boomers, it's a lot harder for us to be taken seriously in the workforce. We were constantly told as kids to stop focusing on boys/girls and get an education. My mom always taught me that two people shouldn't be "unequally yoked" and I need to be so successful that no man can ever say, "If it weren't for me you wouldn't ______________". So that's been my approach to dating ever since. I pushed myself to get a Master's Degree and now I'm focused on fixing up my resume. I've even begun looking for new supplemental courses to take to increase my market value. Why? Because life isn't cheap. Housing is expensive and the average cost of living is ridiculous. It's worse when we're trying to travel so that we can "see the world" like everyone is telling us to. So we have to be educated, well travelled, and fiscally responsible before we can even begin to think about settling down. With this kind of focus, it makes it really hard to pick a mate.

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4. Seriously, these are our choices? 

The microwave generation has done a lot of amazing things, the least of which is the invention of reality TV and social media. When you're able to see what everyone is thinking with a single swipe, it makes it easier to eliminate people from your dating pool. Typically, our generation has two types of people: the career driven person who understands that it takes hard work and dedication to sustain a family, and the instant gratification person who sees nothing wrong with earning a living from their living room. The career driven person is usually too busy to date and can sometimes seem out of touch, while the socially driven person seems too lackadaisical and not serious about life.

The recent culture shift has also put a huge strain on traditional values. Do we honour a traditional relationship or is it okay to "go Dutch"? Women have been forced to step up and provide for themselves at the expense of being labelled, bitches, control freaks and insubordinate. Yet our men get away with being dead beat dads, unemployed and still living at home with their mom. But don't forget, men are supposed to be the "head of the household". So it's back to that "unequally yoked" theory.

5. "Don't catch feelings, catch flights"

I've heard this cliche more times than I can count! Somehow, it's become the cool thing to just not show any kind of emotion. God forbid you see someone you like and actually pursue them. Even if it was just a random hookup, it's assumed you "caught feelings" just because you text them the next day. No, it's called being a decent human being. There's a post-modern trend to simply forgo labels and live in the moment. One of my best friends actually chastised me for calling myself a "hopeless romantic". I was angry about that because I never said it was a bad thing. I have no problem being a hopeless romantic and someday I know I'll find someone who's a hopeless romantic like me.

I met a guy who said he doesn't kiss. What are you afraid of? She'll suddenly think you're totally in love with her and want to get married just because you romanced her a little before getting her into bed? People, it's okay to show emotions and and it's okay to form attachments (as long as that's what both parties want). We weren't meant to do life alone so stop acting like you don't need anybody.

These are only 5 reasons why Millennials don't "date" any more. If you have your own reason share it in the comment section below. I'd love to hear from you!

Many people have found love and even got married using free dating websites, so keep at it! 

We Love Dates is a dating website that caters to many different niches. We Love Dates is free and gives people the opportunity to find likeminded people in their age range and location.

If you're an adult looking for an adult dating website, try this one: http://www.nostringsdating.net/uk

Looking for lesbian dating? Try this one: http://www.dateLesbianSingles.co.uk

Over 50 and looking to date? Try this one: http://www.older-dating.co.uk

And if you're looking for gay dating try this one: http://www.dategaysingles.co.uk/

Why Getting to Know Your Neighbours is More Important Than You Realise

Hello Lovely,

While I was in London, I got a phone call from my mum telling me that our neighbours house had burned down. She said everything happened so quickly there was nothing they could do to help. Panicking, I asked her whose house had burned down and immediately began my process of elimination with the only neighbours I knew. The name my mother gave was so foreign to me. I had never interacted with them. I couldn't point them out in a line up. I couldn't even tell you what colour their house was. I genuinely knew nothing about these people. And that's what made me feel bad. Yes it was terrible that they had just lost their home and all of their belongings, but when I had no idea who they were, that made me realise how important it is to know my neighbours. If your house were on fire, wouldn't you want your neighbours to stop what they're doing and help you? I was reminded of how helpful my neighbours were after Hurricane Matthew. Natural disasters aside, there are many benefits to to getting to know your neighbours.

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1. You get access to information and resources.

Your neighbours can sometimes be the best people to go to when you need something. I'm not talking about the stereotypical cup of sugar. Maybe you need a contractor and your neighbour is a contractor. Looking for restaurant recommendations? Your neighbour may know the best spots. Neighbours hold a wealth of knowledge on where to go and supplies. From extension cords to feminine care items. 

2. Your neighbourhood becomes safer.

Neighbours look out for neighbours. If your neighbour has a phone contact for you, they can call you if they see someone suspicious hanging around your house. Many people rely on their neighbours to “keep an eye out” when they’re travelling or at work for any suspicious people or activity on their street. You don’t need be technologically savvy to do this; all it takes is a simple hello once in a while to foster a small connection, which can form a later sense of being part of a bigger “family.” And in case of emergency, it is much easier to go to someone you know rather than a complete stranger. And if you really trust your neighbour, you can leave a spare key with them in case you ever lose yours.

3. You receive support and help.

While I was living in Miami, I hit a fence. My neighbour noticed my bumper hanging one day and fixed it for me. When I came outside and saw it was fixed, he told me he had fixed it. He was close to my aunt whom I was staying with so by extension, he took care of me as well. I was even able to ask him son to wash my car for me for only $5,

And if that’s not enough reason to meet your neighbours, consider this: When I was in high school, my Spanish teacher met a guy on an online dating site and called him up one day. While on the phone, a plane flew over and they were surprised that they both heard it so vividly. When they stepped outside, they learned that they lived on the same street for years and never knew each other existed. They even had the same last name (no relation). They’re now married. So it just goes to show, you never know where your next “hello” will take you.

Have you met your neighbours? Is it important for you to know who lives next door?

How to Know When to Move On

How to Know When to Move On

Whatever the situation, we’ve all been faced with this decision...Maybe you’ve just fought with your significant other about the same shit for the thousandth time and you’re genuinely concerned that you may end up on a real-life Orange is the New Black. Whatever the situation, a decision needs to be made and it’s probably to move on, but how? Your metaphorical suitcase may already be packed. But where are you going? What’s your plan? Maybe you’re still deciding. Well then, this, is for you.

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Coffee Talk: Let's Talk About Hobbies!

Hello Lovely,

I’m the kind of girl that loves to stay busy, but gets burnout very easily. But I can’t sit around and do nothing. Even in my tiredness, I still have to be doing something. I’ve learned long ago to chalk it up to my superhero complex and short attention span. So when things get a little stressful, I like to unwind with various activities to take my mind off of things for a while. I’ve picked up a lot of skills from these activities and the more I stick to it, the stronger I get. Some of these skills have proven useful in my career, and some are just for me to enjoy. Today we're gonna talk about the private ones (which means the obvious ones like photography and baking need not be mentioned). The ones that make life better and help me to decompress at the end of a long day.

1.     I’m not so secretly a Sims addict

My internship hasn’t left me with much time to play the sims, but as I’m nearing the end, I have more personal time again. One of the hobbies I’ve gone back to, is playing The Sims 4. Now when I say addict, I also mean collector. I have the Sims Complete Edition, every expansion pack made for Sims 2 – 4, as well as stuff packs and game packs. My custom content folder is 1.02 GB in size with 839 items. Not to mention the Sims 2 on PlayStation and the Sims 3 on Wii. I’m sure I’ve lost you somewhere in all of that bragging.

The point is, I enjoy playing the Sims because life is stressful and unpredictable, whereas in the Sims, it’s the only place I have complete control. I can create whatever fantasy life I want. I know it may sound a little sad, but this game really has its therapeutic aspects.

2.     I love to dance

Shake your bom bom! Anyone who knows me, knows I love to dance. Even at work, whenever they play music I really like, I jokingly go into hiding because I don’t want to risk losing my job by dancing in front of the kids. A few years ago, I learned how to salsa, bachata, meringue, and tango. In my mind, I could totally be a contestant on Dancing with The Stars (you know if I were a celebrity). Dancing makes me feel sexy and as long as I’m on the dance floor, nothing bothers me. I even did pole dancing for about 3 months and was getting pretty good at it!

3.     I’m trying to earn a green thumb

I’ll be the first to admit that everything I touch dies. Early this year, I was able to regrow rosemary and lettuce but they both died because I kept forgetting to water them. But this time, I plan on doing it right. I have planted Oregano, Sweet pepper and mint so far. I am also trying to regrow the rosemary. I bought Miracle Grow potting soil, I water once per day, keep my plants in the shade and wait. It’s really only been about a week, but I am hopeful this time around. I’ll feel so proud of myself if my veggies actually grow! My plan is to be self-sufficient for flowers, vegetables and herbs by the end of the year.

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4.     Painting is starting to become fun

I never thought of myself as a Picasso, but I’m starting to understand that this painting thing isn’t so hard. I don’t know why I was so afraid of it. I recently painted a wood pallet that I plan on turning into a bar for my patio. Up next is painting some more wood pallets that will then be the sofa. I’m also looking into ways to make my own wall art on a budget because canvases are so expensive. It’s so much fun to create my own work that would normally cost so much money.

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5.     I love fashion design but I’m not IN LOVE with it…

Once upon a time, I pursued fashion design. But once my Master’s degree began to consume my life, I just didn’t enjoy sewing any more. Even now, there are so many projects that inspire me but I’ll always find an excuse like the weather or I don’t want to ruin the fabric. I like being able to say, “I made this” but only time will tell if I ever return to this hobby.

Hobbies come and go over the years. I love the idea of always having a "current obsession". If you're in the market for a new hobby, here are a few tips to help you choose the right one for you…

1.     How much money will this hobby cost you?

No matter what, hobbies will cost you money at some point. Whether it’s the initial investment or continuing fees, ask yourself this, “Can I afford to do this?” Some DIY hobbies look cheap and easy, but depending on where you live, supplies and other resources can run a hefty bill. My suggestion. Try before you buy. If you're thinking you might like to try rock climbing, go with a friend and use their equipment before you dive in and commit to joining a gym or buying supplies. Use your mom's sewing machine and see if you like sewing before you buy your own. This may seem like a no-brainer, but I've definitely been guilty of making those impulse buys only to watch it later collect dust. Giving yourself freedom to explore different options is a great way to feel like you don't have to stick with something you end up not loving. Then there’s the time it would take to complete each project.

2.     Is this hobby more for down time or time consuming?

Just because the girl on YouTube said this is an hour long project doesn’t mean that it will take YOU an hour to complete. She’s an expert, you’re new to the game. With practice you’ll eventually be able to do this faster, but ask yourself, is this something you can learn quickly? And once you get the hang of it, is this a once in a while thing or something that has to be done on a consistent basis? Look at your schedule and figure out how much time you realistically have to dedicate to a new hobby. We are all busy, especially during certain seasons of life. So be honest with yourself about what kind of time you have to devote to a hobby and don't over-commit or try something that you just realistically can't accomplish. A hobby is something you should do for you and should make you feel good about yourself, not constantly sad that you aren't achieving as much as you think you should or are unable to really enjoy it.

3.     Finally, “Do you, boo”

Your hobby should match your personality. If you know you’re lazy, who are kidding by suddenly investing in running gear? Your hobby is your “you time” to express yourself. Don’t worry if it’s not perfect. Your hobby should allow you to forget about that crappy day and give you a renewed feeling.

What about you? What hobbies are you in love with right now? What helps you relax?

XoX,

Currently: Dating

Hello Lovely,

I'm not ashamed to admit that after a little over two years I made the decision to end my relationship. It wasn't so much the distance as the differences I could no longer overlook. After a very heated argument that we've had more times than I can count, it's like a light switch went off in my head. I just couldn't do it anymore. It had nothing to do with whether or not I loved him. I loved him dearly, but it just wasn't working. We weren't working. And we weren't going to work either. In that moment, I knew for sure that had we gotten married, I would've divorced him. So I did what I had to do.

I was fine with my choice. I know I made the right decision. All I had to do was move on. So I did. And I'm proud to say that next month, I'll be making my final presentation for my master's degree. I can't believe this moment has finally come! It took a lot of sacrifice but I did it!

 While this is a personal blog, I am very cautious of what I write and share. But whenever I experience something I feel is worth sharing, I want to share that wisdom with others. I've compiled them into mini chapters, so to speak, all based on my personal experience with dating. So this is what 2 years of a long distance relationship coming to an end, culminated with 3 months of dating availability has taught me about dating and myself:

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1.     Picky is not necessarily a bad thing.

Any time a guy asks me what I look for in a partner, I always lead with, “I’m picky.” I’m not ashamed of this. My pickiness is not unrealistic; and by leading with what I want it lets the “unqualified” know not to bother. Why waste time with someone who only wants to waste your time? Letting someone know you have standards that are non-negotiable creates an opportunity for respect and allows you to weed out the undesirables. Only weak people are intimidated by standards.

2.     Forgiveness is important

OMG! Who am I for even saying this? I am the master of holding grudges! I recently started dating someone who acted unforgivably. We stopped talking and it actually hurt me. But last week he reached out to me to apologise. I’ll be honest, I was ready to forgive him so I felt relief after we talked it out and now we’re friends again. That’s because I had to accept the advice two of my best friends gave me:

3.     Nobody is perfect; including yourself

People are going to mess up; it’s a part of life. There are no perfect boyfriends, just real ones. It’s still up to you to decide how much imperfection you’re willing to deal with, but remember that you yourself are also a work in progress and there are going to be things your partner doesn’t like about you.

4.     Always date your best friend

But none of that would matter if you date your best friend. That was my biggest regret in my last relationship. We got into a relationship after only two weeks of knowing each other. Take the time to really get to know the person you’re about to spend the rest of your life (or the next three months) with. Loving your best friend is much easier than loving someone you’re still getting to know. You won’t know everything about your partner, but it’s much more fun when this person has unconditional respect for you before romantic relationships become a topic.

5.     Listen to the warning signs

I can’t stress this enough. There were so many red flags in my last relationship; as early as one month in. even when I met him, I didn’t feel the butterflies I thought I would but chose to ignore that. There will be warning signs in any kind of relationship, some are minor but you know when it’s a biggie. Listen to your heart. If something feels off, it probably is. Address these issues head on so that everyone is clear moving forward.

6.     Pick your battles

Not everything is worth fighting for. Sometimes you just know that something will end in an argument or worse a fight. The warning signs are there and in that moment you have a choice. Fully commit to this sinking ship or walk away? If you’ve already made it clear where you stand on something minor, no need to keep nagging your partner if they don’t get it right. For example: your partner getting stuck in traffic and being late to a date, vs. your partner always ignoring your requests to do something that makes you happy.

7.     Be intentional

Someone can’t give you what you want if you’re not clear about what you want. Be upfront, honest and intentional. Go for what you want and don’t be apologetic. As long as you’re true to yourself, no matter the outcome, rest in knowing you made your needs and wants clear with no crazy mixed signals.

8.     Games are for kids

This ties in with the above note. No one likes the guy at the bar who takes your number then takes a week to call. And worse, he doesn’t call back for another 3 weeks and the only reason he did call was because you initiated a drop call to get his attention. While I already counted three strikes against him from the initial meeting (my friends though I was too harsh) it turns out I was right about him so it didn’t hurt me. No one has time for games so I simply didn’t make time for him.

9.     The ring didn't mean a thing

Last year when I went to St. Croix to meet his mother, I told him bluntly that I could spend over $600 on airfare to meet his mother and still leave him if I continued to be unhappy. When we did eventually break up, he threw in my face that I was throwing away two years of blah blah blah. While this may have been my longest relationship ever, no matter how long you’ve been with your partner, dissatisfaction in one area will lead to dissatisfaction in other areas of your life. You don’t have to stay if your needs aren’t being met intentionally. There’s only so much anyone can put up with.

10.  Change is good but don't change too much.

Everyone changes in some way during a relationship. Your partner can encourage you to be the best you possible but remember no matter what changes you make in life, don’t lose who you truly are. Don’t change so much to make someone happy that you can’t remember what makes you happy.

There are days when it really hits me that my long-distance relationship is over and for a few seconds, I get an empty feeling. I’ve never been a fan of the dating process because there are so many jerks out there. But with friends that are more like family, I feel more confident in getting back on the dating scene.

I hope my experiences help with whatever decision you’re facing or need to face. What is the best dating advice you’ve ever gotten? Share it in the comment section below.

XoX

How To Be a Boss Without Being a Bitch

Hello Lovely,

I’ve never thought of myself as a boss. Sure I see myself as a leader, but I never liked the title “boss”. It could’ve been due to the narrative I heard as a child that “bossy girls” are bad and no one likes them. Another part of it is I believe that leaders are meant to inspire, while bosses simply order you around without concern for your wellbeing. Lately I’ve been loving how women have reclaimed the boss title and now many women are proud to be called a “Girl Boss.” However, being a girl boss means that sometimes you’re going to have to say or do some tough stuff that may rub some people the wrong way. Yesterday was one of those days for me. As the creative producer in my church, I had to give some tough feedback to fellow volunteers. If you ever find yourself having to make hard-hitting decisions regarding employees, co-workers etc. here are 3 tips to help you to be a boss without being a bitch.

1.      Revise your language

The way you word a sentence marks a clear distinction between boss and bitch. You want to make a point, not alienate a crowd. Now is the time to be direct without being overly critical. Your tone should be even, not harsh; so that the person knows you’re coming from a good place and not on a Prozac withdrawal.

2.      Be constructive, not destructive

Okay, so they messed up. Like really messed up. And maybe you’ve tried to help them in the past but they’re insubordinate and insist on going off script. This is where your language can either help or hurt. Body language plays a role in this too; watch how you hold yourself. That lets the person know what you think about them. Remember you want to inspire them to do better, not kick them while they’re down. If there are any strengths you can point out, include that. Maybe their performance is being affected by personal struggles. Give them some pointers so they’ll know how to improve. If this is the last straw for you and there’s no room for improvement, let them know what it was about their performance that was so disappointing for you and how it has affected the team and the company. Even if you’re terminating this relationship, the constructive criticism will help them in future positions (if they take anything you say to heart).

3.      Learn how to trust

I added this point for myself. This is an area I am genuinely struggling in. If I know something needs to be done, I tend to not tell someone else in detail because I assume they won’t do it the way I want it done. I always struggle with letting go of control and trusting that my team really can do the job. The best way to ensure your vision is brought to fruition is to train those around; this will eliminate the need to micro-manage and correct anyone.

Being a Girl Boss is all about being true to yourself. We all have struggles and we all have moments where we cross that fine line into bitchland. The key is to know when to reel it all back in, re-evaluate and always knowing how to accept when you yourself have messed up. Because no matter how important what you have to say is, no one is going to hear you if it comes out wrong.

XoX,