Laissez-moi être Parisien

IMG_4238I wanted to post this picture. Because I am terrified of terrorism in a place I stood just months ago. Because it feels good and right and like we’re doing something (even though I know we’re not) when we all “stand together” and post photos and get #prayforparis trending. Because I still think of that immeasurably perfect city every single day since I have left and I am sad that its spirit has been crushed so deeply. Because…this was an excuse to post another picture from my trip this summer. I wanted to post the picture, but I couldn’t. What am I thinking, using this tragedy as an excuse to post a photo? It’s not like I don’t believe in the solidarity of it all, I do! But something felt wrong and it felt wrong before the articles started popping up, before love and support turned into the realization that there is never-ending work to be done. I thought, What about everything else? What about the constant violence in the Middle East? The racism at Mizzou (and SO many other campuses)? THE TERRORIST ATTACK IN BEIRUT? I thought this not with anger, not with frustration, but with sadness. With defeat. Why not, post the damn picture. And then I logged into Facebook. Now I am too flustered to be as articulate as I want to be about this, but I won’t be silent anymore for fear of not sounding as informed or intelligent as I want to be. I have to say: Of course Paris got more American media attention. I don’t need to tell anyone reading this why that happened. But friends who are posting things like, “America is making a mistake showing selective solidarity,” please just hear me out: stop blaming your Facebook friends. THIS IS THE MEDIA. There are a lot of reasons this attack feels different to Americans. Plainly, it is a western civilization. Their daily lives are very much like ours. We have romanticized their culture to an extreme extent and many of us have travelled there on more than one occasion. The media is covering it like it happened in our own country. This is very, very important to how we feel after terrorist attacks. The media clearly controls it all and has failed us time and again. My issue with their coverage of this attack is not of the attack itself, but of their complete neglect of other world issues happening at the same time. I realize this is also your issue, Poster of Those Articles. I agree with you, but feel that you are missing the point. We should not be shaming each other for posting pictures of the Eiffel Tower in wake of this tragedy. American citizens cannot be expected, by other countries and by their peers, to go up in arms—which for us means changing our profile pictures—about a tragedy we don’t know about, or have to squint to read scrolling along at the bottom of the screen. What we can and SHOULD expect is fair and reasonable global media coverage. We should also recognize how overwhelming the expectation to address every single world tragedy is, and respect and support one another’s attempts to deal with them. Thank you very much for reading, au revoir.




Reasons Girls Cry in the Bathroom #1: Sex Insecurities

iconiAnthony Green once sang, “Can’t you see that everybody goes through the same thing at different times”, and that’s always stuck with me (for reasons other than his beautiful voice). If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve already felt these feelings, are feeling them now, or are going to at some point. Well, I think we can help each other out.

When I started this blog, I felt like there were a lot of real, important social issues that people my age weren’t talking about openly. I’m not talking about societal issues—we talk those to death. I mean the everyday problems that we convince ourselves don’t mean anything but actually affect us in a very real way. I decided to share some of my stories and questions because sometimes I feel completely alone in my feelings and doubts about life. I also really hoped that my small act of bravery in vulnerability would inspire others to be more comfortable sharing their own real lives. But, as it turns out, that is all way easier said than done; it’s so much more fun to post baking recipes and top twenty favorite romance movies. And while I’m over the moon that you all have been reading and enjoying my light-hearted posts, I realized I haven’t been living up to what I promised myself and you. So even though sharing my deepest, sometimes silliest insecurities sounds scarier than watching The Shining alone in the dark, I’m going to try it.
I have a few concerns about this: 1) I don’t. know. where. to. start. I have so many topics I want to push out into the blogosphere (is that still considered a neologism? If not I don’t wanna use it) that I can’t choose which one to rant about first. And 2) I don’t know where the line is! The last thing I want to do is make people uncomfortable. I’m no Lena Dunham–I can’t just talk about balls and anal sex and people will be all like, “She’s so bold and classy”. But on the other hand, I really believe that being uncomfortable can lead to self-reflection and broadening views. So maybe I do want to make you uncomfortable? I haven’t decided yet.

With that said, I think I’ll start with the most uncomfortable topic for me, which is sex. I am a well-functioning 21-year-old girl—I am having sex. I don’t think that will shock anyone, but if you are say, my grandmother, my dad, or my boyfriend’s mom, can you please stop reading now? I promise it’s in both of our best interests.

I want to be very careful not to sound sexist; I am fully aware that men have insecurities and their own set of societal pressures attached to sex. That’s a wholllle other post. And those issues are very real. But right now I’m coming to you from a woman’s standpoint. And honestly at this point, I just really don’t think men realize that they play a very crucial role in our insecurities.

Here’s what I’ve been considering:

Maybe girls are so insecure about sex because guys are dicks.

I know, super sexist and rude. Obviously I’m being dramatic. Obviously it’s not anyone else’s fault but the individual’s if they are insecure. But what I’ve been thinking about is the fact that we are constantly blaming the media for women’s poor body images, and ignoring some other significant factors.{Don’t get me wrong: the media is revolting; anyone who photoshops out Jennifer Lawrence’s moles is Satan in my book. All I’m saying here is we’re failing to consider how our partner’s feedback is affecting us.}
For some reason, men have no problem sharing their critiques with the women they hook-up with:

You’re a bad kisser”, “You look gross when you do that”, 

You’re boring in bed

 “You just don’t like to do anything fun”,
“I’m glad you’re finally getting over our little crush”,
“All the other girls I’ve been with have been good at that”.

Like, I’m sorry, WHAT?! Did you just say that out loud to me? I cannot fathom why you thought that was an okay thought to share. Seriously, women at least have the decency to talk about your grossness behind your back! Okay obviously that’s not ideal and we should all just keep it to ourselves, yaddy yada, but if I’m being realistic, our way is the far kinder alternative. Yes, I have laughed at guys who think they are sex gods when I know from three friends that they last as long as it takes for my Keurig to make a Chai Latte, but the point is, bless their hearts, they still think they’re sex gods. Because we’re nice to them! I’m not saying men aren’t aware of their shortcomings (no pun intended but I’m leaving it because it’s great), I just mean that they’ve dealt with their insecurities in a healthy way and were able to reassure themselves because they had a source of praise throughout their doubts. a.k.a. the girls they hooked up with that didn’t tell them how bad they were.

I don’t want to disappoint my feminist friends out there and make it seem like all the power is with the man, because of course it never is. We are way too smart for that. So my question is: what can we do to deal with these comments? Can we prevent them? If my tactics worked I wouldn’t be writing this post, but from my experience there are a series of natural steps that occur post-mean comment:

  1. All of a sudden you can’t breathe and need some space, pronto. Wait for the nausea to settle (hint: exactly one bottle of wine and a heated bitching session with a friend should do the trick).
  2. High-tail it to Fascinations the next day and pick out some goodies.
  3. Make him wait like three days to see whatever you bought from there, that asshole.
  4. Blow his freaking mind.
  5. Once he’s swooning and back to being sweet, you are allowed to let yourself do two things: explain to him calmly that he hurt your feelings, if you didn’t already tell him when you were mad (if you’re me, you did) and seriously consider the possibility that you played a role in that comment being made. It was super rude and not okay, bottom line. But it’s also important to figure out why he said it if you’re going to move forward in the relationship.

His feelings are valid too, even though he didn’t express them in an acceptable way. Was he exaggerating? Probably. But try to get to the root of the issue. If you’re like me, you know in your gut what he was talking about. Maybe those four go-to positions just get the job done, so why should you switch it up now? Life is so freaking tiring. Sex is so much exercise. Seriously, I know. I have to remind myself every, like, three months that sex is actually fun and not something I have to do. But that’s not because a man is doing anything wrong, it’s because I have low levels of testosterone in my body and I have a million other things to think about on a daily basis and because I’m out-of-shape. That was really hard to admit to myself for a while and even harder to say to the internet just now. I am extremely terrified of feeling this way! Based on T.V. shows, I feel like I should be having steamy romp sessions every single night. Or at least bitching to my friends about how I don’t get it every night. Here’s the thing: I do have steamy romp sessions, I want steamy romp sessions, just not all the time! Maybe even like, a couple times a week would be ideal. But I feel like saying that to a man is like kicking him hard below the belt.

Seriously, if I’m the only girl who feels like this way please tell me so I can quickly remove this post and keep pretending that I’m Samantha Jones. To be real though, it really is about testosterone levels. I won’t get into it, we’re all aware of the difference between men and women, but basically men are giant balls of testosterone and we’re much more sophisticated organisms but they have big forearms and cute laughs so we kind of just have to put up with them.

Maybe this isn’t the best system, and if someone has a better idea PLEASE share, but for now I basically think men need to zip it or take a couple shots of sensitivity. We’re girls—we already have 10,000 insecurities about our bodies, how good we are compared to other women, the ultimate struggle between sexy and slutty—it’s a lot. Not to mention the fact that we spend obscene amounts of money on underwear to impress you that you end up just taking off within five minutes. You’re supposed to leave it on! This was 78 dollars! Anyway, the point is the last thing anyone needs is a heart-wrenching comment said without thinking, that I absolutely promise you will be remembered for the rest.of.our.lives. Men: I want to understand what you like, I want you to be comfortable talking to me, but there is a difference between asking for what you want and being a dick.

So if you’re reading this and thinking, “This girl is a disgrace to women”, please do me the kindness of letting me know so I can hide under the No-Internet rock. If you’re thinking, “YES oh my gosh this is my life”, then you are now my new best friend and let’s please go out for drinks ASAP. If you are reading this and thinking, “Awkward–I’m one of those guys that said that to you!”, then I just pulled off a mini-Taylor Swift and I’m pretty stoked about it. Hey, at least I’m not famous and no one’s getting paid to investigate your names or anything. Although that would be super cool.

2014 Still Feels Like The Future

IMG_3920Happy 2014!

I feel like I haven’t talked to you guys all year!

Okay, I’ll just stop.

Can I just say that the only thing more annoying than everyone talking about their New Year’s Resolutions is everyone talking about how much they hate New Year’s Resolutions? I mean, I get it—the end of December is full of, “I’m going to work-out every day” and “I’m starting a savings account”, and then by February the same perpetrators are posting pictures of high bar tabs and plates full of pizza. It’s entirely discouraging and sometimes it’s just easier to buck the tradition and stick to what you know.

Well that’s all fine and dandy if your life is perfect, but most of us aren’t there yet (or ever will be). And that’s okay–let’s not be jaded and cynical at 22. The clichés and obnoxious Facebook posts force us to forget the point of New Year’s Resolutions: setting goals & starting fresh. I wasn’t planning on setting any resolutions for myself this year—I didn’t wanna be “that girl”—but then I found this list and was re-inspired:

this year

A bad habit I’m going to break:

A new skill I’d like to learn:

A person I hope to be more like:

A good deed I’m going to do:

A place I’d like to visit:

A habit I would like to develop:

A book I’d like to read:

A new hobby I would like to try:

A person I’d like to get in touch with:

A new food I’d like to try:

I’m going to do better at:

*I originally found this list on Pinterest and loved the idea, but replaced some of the points with ones I thought were more realistic. 

I love this list because it’s so specific. It cuts out the unrealistic expectations we set for ourselves and enables us to narrow down some real changes we can make.

Here is my list:

A bad habit I’m going to break:

Biting my nails

A new skill I’d like to learn:

Cooking healthy food with small servings

A person I hope to be more like:

My mother and my step-mother, for different reasons. They are both my best friends and are both amazing at everything. My mom, because she is always striving for better–do better, travel farther, spend money wiser, be healthier. My step-mom, because she is the absolute best at showing her love. She makes everyone in her life feel so special and loved and makes it look effortless.

A good deed I’m going to do:

Volunteer for The Polaris Project, an organization that helps raise awareness and prevents Human Trafficking.  

A place I’d like to visit:

Everywhere! Realistically: -Pinetop for the snow

-Rocky Point for Spring Break

-Vegas! …for Vegas.

-San Diego to visit my step-sister.

A habit I’d like to develop:

Exercising at least twice a week. Trying. So. Hard.

A book I’d like to read:

SO MANY, but at the top of my list is Lauren Graham’s book, “Someday, Someday, Maybe” and my old Social Psych professor, Douglas Kenrick’s, book, “Sex, Murder, and the Meaning of Life”.

A new hobby I would like to try:

This! Blogging! 

A person I’d like to get in touch with:

My cousin has been in jail for a couple of months now and I have yet to get in touch with him for logistical reasons. I will be making that happen in the next few months.

A new food I’d like to try:

Authentic Lebanese food! My brothers are part Lebanese and I’ve always wanted to have a full-on Lebanese meal.

I’m going to do better at:

Listening. I love talking to people and listening to them talk, but I tend to jump in and give my two cents more often than I should. I am learning the value of sitting back and listening and am working on that every day. 


I hope this list helps you set some realistic goals like it did for me. I’ve been reading about so many fun ways to keep resolutions from fellow bloggers! Techniques that really stuck out to me were framing a list of your resolutions to hang by your bed, and setting up a reward system. I plan on trying both!

If you decide to use this list, please put yours in the comments! I would love to read them!

Whether you have big goals for the upcoming year or small changes you’d like to make, don’t be discouraged if you fall off the wagon by February. Wagons are super slow, you can totally just hop back on.

Happy New Year, friends!


The Purpose of Blogging

ImageSocial media is the epitome of lush. It’s over-the-top, constantly trying to be shinier and more exciting, and so damn entertaining. I make a habit of brutally judging girls’ blogs, but at the same time, I’m totally interested in their ootd (the first time I saw that tagged on someone’s blog post I had to google it. Not a proud moment). Like, please tell me more about the process of getting your hair soft. And where can I buy your sweater? Oh, you told me in the caption. Phew, thanks for that. At this point I’ve seen so many girly, fashion blogs that I’m really only interested in the themed ones: Post-Grad Life. Kill Yourself Because I’m 23 and My Wedding Was Perfect. Nail Polish and Puppies. You know, the good stuff.

But what you don’t see is people blogging (or instagramming or facebooking or tweeting, etc.) about their real lives. I don’t know about you, but I have yet to come across Pictures of Crying Girls in the Bathroom or I Failed This Class Three Times. We’ve grown up learning how to display our lives in a way that makes others see us the way we want to be seen. In some circumstances this is a good thing, but it comes at a hefty price: we are lonely. Not all of us and not all the time, but collectively. What lies behind social media is someone in their pajamas, alone in their room. Habitually hiding parts of ourselves online so easily transfers into hiding them in real life. I’ve fallen victim to this phenomenon myself, always wanting to appear poised and perfect and presentable. But for what?

The truth is, people see through the face you put on for the world pretty damn quick. And if they stick around, that means they like what they see under the surface. So I’m here to say, let’s stop. Post that picture of you and your mom even though you haven’t hit the gym in a while. Blog about the real parts of your life, not just your nail polish color and your super cute lunch date (although please include those too). I don’t want to read about how you got the first job you applied to, I want to read about how you’ve been getting over your break-up and are finally doing better. I want to read about your parent’s third divorce and whether or not you believe in God and what music you’re into right now.

So that’s my goal. I want to break out of this photo-shopped 21-year-old girl molding and really talk about real life. I want to be someone who is comfortable with imperfection and complexities. I want to encourage you to share your real life with me and the people who look at your Instagram and read your tweets. I promise we will all love you more, and for the right reasons. 

So thank you for giving me a place to talk about MY real life and a place to hopefully be reassured that I’m not the only one who wonders if this is what it’s really all about.

In the wise words of Taylor Swift, “We’re happy, free, confused, and lonely, at the same time”. Oh, and if you aren’t okay with some TSwift quotes, you might as well just get off my blog right now.