B.S B.F

Hi There,

Happy New Year, my Readers! I hope you all have had a fun and restful holiday and are ready for your best year yet. I don’t know about you all, but I have such a good feeling about 2019. It is going to be a big and exciting year. Which is why I am so happy that the first post of 2019 is in the original format that I have envisioned for this blog! It just feels like the right way to kick off the year.


Dear Stephanie,

I have a friend who is generally a good guy. However, I hate the way he treats his girlfriend with extreme selfishness, and lack of respect and consideration. For example, if they have plans, he will blow her off without even telling her, leaving her hanging and not even thinking about how she feels. Other times, he has called her degrading names to, in his words, “put her in her place” or to end a discussion. And this is only what I see. I would think it could be worse behind closed doors.

All women deserve to be treated much better than that! I have no romantic interest in her, but I do think she is a good person who deserves to be treated as such. Outwardly, she seems to be ok with the way she is being treated. I know he’s my friend and is good to me,  but I want to tell her that she should break up with him because she deserves better. Would you tell her to leave my friend? Should I tell my friend that I think he should be better? Should I just mind my own business since they are adults?

Thanks,

Conflicted


Dear Conflicted,

Thank you so much for writing in. It is so confusing and frustrating when you see someone you know and love, treating someone he says he loves  doing the exact opposite of what you would expect. It is disappointing, and yes, there is only so much you can do. However, I am sorry to say, your friend is an loser in the relationship department. He’s a selfish, emotional predator who has found someone who he thinks is weak and also thinks  he has permission to treat her however he wants.

I understand your desire to get involved. I would feel the same way. However, based on what you have written, it does not appear that your friend’s girlfriend is in immediate physical danger—even if experiencing emotional abuse. I would not approach her but would approach your friend. Let’s hope and pray that she has her own set of friends that are looking out for her. They should be the ones who should be speaking to her and giving her the support and encouragement necessary to find her voice and her backbone to move on to better relationship.

I DO think you need to tell your friend what is up. He might not like it, and he might get mad and he might not even want to be your friend anymore. However, how can you be friends with someone who treats his loved ones like that? In time, his selfishness will start to affect you, too, or maybe it already has, but you ignore it because you don’t live with this person? In the long run you might be better off, and you still planted a seed that he needs to be a better person to his girlfriend and in general.

It’s likely he is just a big idiot and doesn’t even know how awful he is? He’s gotten away with it over and over again and just thinks it’s acceptable or normal?  If that’s the case the he might be thankful for you opening his eyes. Or just he doesn’t care and knows the way he is and will continue to manipulate his girlfriend if she allows it. If he doesn’t care, then tell him that he is abusive and should not use her and abuse her as he is. He should let her be free so that she can meet someone who respects her and cares for her the way she deserves.

Regardless, whatever you are going to do is not fun, but your heart is in the right place. You are looking out for a person and even your friend, who seriously needs some personal growth. Hopefully they both get the wake up call they need and you can be proud of who you friend is.

With Love,

Stephanie

How to Get S.M.A.R.Ter

I am getting S.M.A.R.Ter this Year.

Coming up with a New Year Resolution is never very hard. We almost always a have a short list in the back of our mind of what we want to change about our lives or ourselves. Which, makes picking something to work on in the new year pretty easy.

The hard part is sticking with the resolution. People come in hot and are burnt out by 1/15. I have been guilty of it. I might even be guilty of it this year. Who knows? However, I do know that this year I am going to try and set better goals. Still the same goals as last year (or even the year before. Oops) but “SMART”er. I am determined!

I am honestly not sure how old I was. I was either a senior in high school or in my freshman elective writing course where we focused on setting goals. We learned about setting smart goals for ourselves and our future for both the long term and the short term.  The SMART acronym first showed up in the November 1981 issue of Management Review. “There’s a S.M.A.R.T. way to write management goals and objectives.” was the title and it was written by George Doran, Arthur Miller, and James Cunningham. I was taught that in order for a goal to be smart they have to be the following:

S – Specific – Clear and concise.
M – Measurable – You are able to track or measure your progress.
A – Attainable – Challenging but realistic and attainable.
R – Relevant – Goals that are relevant to your life in the short term or long term.
T – Timely – There is a target due date.

SMART goals work because they create an action plan and hold you accountable to realistic standards. When you have a goal that you can meet that is much more motivating to follow through, compared to when you have a goal for yourself that you could likely never meet. Additionally, when you know exactly what you want to do and when you to need to achieve it by, it is easier to stick to the plan and by your goal.

You can take any goal or New Year Resolution into a Smart goal. For example, a common resolution is – “I want to lose weight.” Or “I want to get healthier.”

To make those goals smarter it should be something more like this. – “I want to lose 20 pounds by 6/30/2019.” Or “l want to be healthier by exercising 2 times a week, for at least a half hour for the first 3 months of the year”.

These goals are Smart because they are specific about what you want to achieve. They are both measurable and trackable by weight lost or actions taken They are attainable because in goal 1, it’s not losing 10 pounds in a week but 20 pounds in a practical and healthy amount of time. For goal 2, it is realistic because it it a manageable amount if time to commit to when start off with a new life style. Lastly they are timely, they both have an initial end date. Which is more manageable than setting a goal for the rest of your life. When you reach the deadline you either decide to keep going with the original goal or adjust accordingly to meet the needs of your lifestyle and what you want to achieve.

This year for my own New Year Resolution, in an effort to be kinder to the planet, I want to reduce my non-recyclable waste by 50%. Currently, I take my trash out about twice we week, by the end of the year I would like to be down to one bag a week.

Now go forth come up with SMART goals for the new year and let me know what they are below! I am rooting for you.

With Love,
Stephanie


New Page Alert – Resources

Hi There,

I have just added a “Resources” page to my blog because as you all know I am unqualified but interested and invested in your emotional  health. The problem is, I am just about the farthest thing from a certified healthcare professional. So, if you are here looking for advice on anything that should require a professional’s input, please see the start of this ongoing list of resources I’ve put together  for you to get the answers and help you need on a wide array of topics.

Please comment below on any resources that you feel I should include or exclude and let me know which topics or issues you would like me to add or expand on. I am rooting for all of you.

With Love,

Stephanie


Alcoholism

Domestic Abuse

Depression and Suicide

Drug Abuse and Addiction

Eating Disorders

Sexual Abuse


I Am Back and I Am Anxious!

Hi Guys,

I am back after way too long and I am anxious. I am not anxious because I am back, I am back because I am anxious. I have some tips and advice on how to deal with anxiety and after thinking about this post for almost a year I am ready to share with you all ( Maybe 2 of you?).

So that being said, I am the most anxious person that I know who is not on some type of medication. I do think I could benefit from some sort of pharmacology. Instead I’ve chosen to rely on several coping mechanisms that help me keep it together right when I feel like it is going to fall apart. Do you ever feel this way?

My anxiety started when I was in college, or at least that is when I started to notice it. Which I feel is pretty normal with all of the new experiences, new responsibility, more responsibility, and independence. I didn’t want to let my parents down, and I didn’t want to let myself down. While I was anxious during this time, I still loved it. I just thought it was part of adulthood to feel this way. That it was normal. I am learning more and more every day since then that what I am feeling is not 100% normal or healthy, but that I am not alone.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), nearly 18% of Americans have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder by a medical professional. Knowing that there are 40 million people who feel something similar to what I feel makes me feel a little better when I feel the most crazed.

Knowing I’m not alone has also helped me find the list of tools below that work for me.  I can’t tell you how many times I googled at 3:00am “how to sleep when you are anxious.” Over many sleepless nights and days where I could hardly eat, and my heart felt like it was going to explode, I have come up with the below list that helped me find my balance, bring me some peace, and use my anxiety to my advantage whenever possible.

Make a List

When I am feeling the most overwhelmed I am thinking about my job – such as what needs to get done, when it needs to be done and how it should be done on a Never. Ending. Loop. That is just going faster and faster and faster. When I start to feel these emotions come on, I make a list on paper or in an email of what needs to get done. I try to do this before going to bed so I don’t have to wake up in the middle of the night. Immediately seeing it in writing makes me feel like: 

A. I took an action and got one step closer to my goal, and

B. Makes the tasks at hand look much “smaller” and more manageable. My brain goes from “ OH MY GOD, I NEED TO COMPLETE A WHOLE LINE SHEET, CHASE UNPAID INVOICES, ORDER SAMPLE YARDAGE IN 6 COLORWAYS, AND GIVE A PRESENTATION IN THE NEXT MILESTONE MEETING.” to “Ok, look at that! I have only 4 things I need to get done. You got this. Now let’s get some sleep so you can kick major ass.” Once the list is made, I either tuck it in my bag for work the next day or email it to myself. Afterward and I can take a breath and sleep easy knowing my plan for the next day, week or month has been set into motion.

Realization

This is always easier said than done, but it’s simply looking taking a step back and being rational and realizing that you have been in a similar situation before or a under a similar amount of stress and that you came through it. This very rarely brings my heart rate completely down, but it allows me to believe in myself, and believing in yourself is the first step in kicking butt. It has more power than we realize. If you don’t think you can conquer something, you are not going to. It’s gonna kick you in the ass unless you kick it harder in the ass.

Communication

Communication is key for most things in life. It is the most effective way for someone to get what they need and want out of life. However, speaking up can be hard especially when talking about anxiety and your mental health. There is a negative stigma attached to anxiety or perhaps worse, even doubt from the people around you that you even have the right to feel anxious. It can make it feel impossible to get the support you need. Remember: You are entitled to your feelings; to be you. You owe it to yourself to find someone you can speak to. For many it may be a medical professional, but a supportive and trustworthy friend or family member is who I seek out. When I am feeling the most stressed I speak with my boyfriend or call my Mom. (God bless all Mothers, especially mine!)

These chats are mostly monologues on my end, but that is ok. In most cases I just need to be heard and get whatever it is off my chest. Getting my stress out in the open and formulating thoughts and opinions out loud to someone who cares about me is enough for me to get my head straight and feel more in control of my anxiety. Other times, it’s an honest tough chat where they are like “Ok, Stephanie. We love you and your feelings are valid, but come on. You are smart and tough and of mental fortitude. You got this because you have done it before and you can do it again.” Having someone who believes in me helps more than any list I could write. Humans are not islands; we need each other to survive. Whether you are anxious or not, everyone needs someone they can talk to.

Exercise

This is probably the oldest trick in the book and it is every doctor’s first suggestion when it comes to mental health, but it works. According to the ADAA , in some cases exercise can be as effective and as long lasting medication in reducing the effects of anxiety. With regular exercise, one’s symptoms can be significantly reduced over time. Which is pretty amazing, because anyone can do some type of exercise no matter what. I am personally not crazy about going to the gym and picking things up and putting things down, but I do enjoy low impact forms of exercise that can be done whenever and are low cost. For me, my exercise of choice is yoga and walking. The most basic. Yoga calms and centers me, allowing me to separate myself from work. As for walking, I don’t know, I love it. I could walk all day and just take in the sights I see. It’s both a mental and physical exercise. I also do my best thinking on a walk. Before work every day I try to get in at least a 20-minute walk. I get my thoughts in order and in a business focused mindset to prepare myself for the day.

Practice Gratefulness

Practicing gratefulness has the same effect on the portion of that Wellbutrin or Xanax does. Off and on I keep lists of things that I am grateful for. My family, my friends, my boyfriend, that I have a job, that I get to live where I want to live, that I get be myself, my health and the list goes on and on. I have so much to be grateful for. When I can think about the good things in my life it gives me the boost of encouragement to get on top of the anxiety and outside of my head.

As you all know, I am not a doctor so the above tips might not be the best or recommend by a professional but they do work for me. When I practice the above tips regularly, I feel healthy, calm and on top of things, especially on the worst days. They give me freedom from my own thoughts. If you have any tips of your own that relieve your anxiety, please leave them below. I would love to learn more and, I hope this helps you.

With Love,

Stephanie

Something Old, Something New

Dear Stephanie,

My mother is buying my wedding gown–and wants me to buy a second-hand wedding dress. I just don’t want to. I know it is practical but it feels less fun and less special. It is the most important and special day of my life and I want to wear something that reflects that.  I know it’s just a dress but how do I handle this?

Sincerely,

I want what I want


Dear I want,

Thanks for writing in, and congrats that you have found someone that you love and they love you,  and you want to spend your life with them!! It’s pretty amazing because not all people are so lucky.

So, a second-hand dress is not what you had in mind for “something old”, is it? ; ) I  can 100% relate to you and your feeling of wanting a brand new special wedding dress of your own. I will want the same thing one day when I get married. Now aside from being happy for you, my first reaction was, “Well, you can’t make your mom pay for something she doesn’t want to.” Wouldn’t life be so much easier if we could get whom ever to buy whatever for us?! If you want the brand new dress of your dreams I have a few options that I think will help you decide on how you want to proceed.

  1. You could just buy your own damn dress. Problem solved. Then you can buy exactly what you want. It won’t matter what anyone else thinks about the price, new, used or otherwise. If she feels upset about that, say that you would rather she buy your veil, shoes, or lends you your “something borrowed.”
  2. Your mom is probably a very practical women being that she wants you to buy a second-hand dress. So, I am sure she can handle a practical conversation about money. Have a discussion with her letting her know that you would much prefer a new dress not second hand because it is your special day, but that you also understand she has a budget. You could suggest that if your new dream dress falls within the budget: great! If not, then you would like to pay the difference. That is a reasonable and fair compromise.
  3. Do some research. There are some amazing places out there where you can find a brand new designer dress for only a couple hundred dollars. Check out the The Bridal Garden. I am certain they will have the dress of your dreams at the price point your mother’s dream.
  4. Finally, consider getting a second-hand dress…. I know this option is exactly what you do not want to hear, but hear me out. You will only wear the dress once. One day and never again. Right? Also, while this pains me to even say as a person working in the  fashion industry, it is still true… Who cares what you wear? (Yes, you do. I know. But hear me out) It will not make or break your marriage. It’s just a really beautiful dress that will be fun to wear but will not guarantee the success of your marriage and future happiness. Or even how fun your actual wedding day will be. So save the money and put it toward your honeymoon where you can cultivate exciting memories that you can draw on when life gets a little hard. Because let’s face it.. It always does at one point or another.

So with that, I hope you find the option that works best for you. No matter what you choose you will be radiant. It is a state of mind more than anything. I wish you a life time of happiness, joy and health with the love of your life.

 With Love,

Stephanie

SocialPost_6195962_facebook

 

Less Money, More Problems

Hi There Everyone,

Sorry for the long pause between posts. I have taken some time for myself to enjoy my family and friends and relax a little during the holiday season. I hope you have all been able to do the same and are now ready to finish off 2017 strong and ring in 2018 on a high note.

So without further ado let me get back to giving you my solicited advice…




Dear Stephanie,

I’ve been working at a small privately owned company for about 3 years now and I have been compensated well thus far. I recently had my yearly review and felt it didn’t do justice to how my year actually went. This past year, I worked even harder and more hours than my previous years, because the company is growing and I’ve had to take on more roles than normal. Everyone in the company gets a generous bonus; but I felt my actual yearly wage increase was extremely low, and was not even close to what I got the previous year percentage wise.

I’m extremely disappointed and know I deserve more, but I’m scared to bring it up to my boss because I don’t want to be a complainer and seem ungrateful.

What should I do?

Thanks,

Overworked Under Paid


Dear Overworked ,

Thank you for writing in. This is a tricky one for me because I know in the same scenario I would be unsure of what I wanted to do and how to proceed in a professional manner but still look out for myself.

However,  my gut reaction when reading your question is that you know your worth and what you bring to the company so you should speak up and ask to meet with your boss on why you deserve a larger raise and why you were expecting one. I think that there will be two outcomes, and both positive.

  1. The best and ideal scenario – You get a bigger raise. Woohoo!!
  2. The good and positive scenario –  A constructive and informative conversation where you learn more in depth on why your review when the way it did and why you were compensated as such.

I would say the trick to achieving either of these outcomes is to go into the conversation leaving you’re feelings at the door. You need to come into the meeting prepared with facts and numbers. By that I don’t mean the number of hours you are working, but instead the quantitative results of your work in those hours. For example, you came up with and implemented a new procedure within the company that saved them X amount of dollars or you developed and brought to completion a  new product/ ad campaign/ service that brought in the company in X amount of dollars.

Do you see what I am getting at? You need as many of these relevant examples as possible to make a strong case on why you deserve X% raise over the percentage that they already offered you.

If the dollars are not available for a further increase in salary, be strong and continue to ask how you can further improve as an employee and what is needed and expected from you in order to get the raise you are looking for. Sometimes, no matter how hard we are working it is not quite the exact way your company needs you to work. Creating an open dialog in this conversation will insure you’re moving in the direction the company is going and needs you to move with them in order to get to both their and your end goals.

Now go forth an pick the right time for this conversation, when you and your boss do not have urgent matters to attend to but sometime in the near future so it is still relevant.

I would be surprised if your boss would find you ungrateful. Instead I am sure they will be impressed that you are brave enough and believe in yourself enough to get the compensation and answers you deserve.

We are all rooting for you!!

With Love,

Stephanie

SocialPost_4539412_facebook

Stealing Time, Not Christmas

Dear Stephanie,

There is one thing I procrastinate on until it is just TOO late, and that is holiday gift giving. It is already too late, and I am only asking you this now! I always end up looking too late, buying things I am not the most happy with, and usually overspending. It isn’t that I dislike gift-giving, but I NEVER prepare early enough to feel like I am getting the best gifts that I could be. Any advice on how to better plan this? How to start earlier? How to feel less rushed at the last minute?

Thank you,

The Grinch


Dear Grinch,

I think this might be me writing in from the future, because I struggle with this every year without fail. I am sure I will for the foreseeable future as more people are added to my list. Adulthood! Yay! (I actually love being an adult and gift giving is the best. I’ll have to tell you sometime about the best gift I ever gave. I made not 1 but 4 people cry. 2 of the 4 criers did not even receive this awesome gift. That’s how good it was.)  So, I am not sure I can tell you how to get better at this, other than starting before Thanksgiving but who does that? I can however, tell you how to deal with it now. You have to start with an urgent plan of action.

Make a List and Check it Twice

First, make a list if you haven’t already, of all the people you need to shop for. If you know what you want to get them, note that next to the person. If you don’t know, list a few things you know they like for some inspiration. Knowing what to get someone is half the battle. Once you have this outline, you will have a day or two to think about what to get for the people you are unsure of.

Look at Your Options

There are so many places and ways to shop. As a millennial, I personally prefer shopping online. You might think that is a risky move, with shipping times and what not, but fear not. Most websites have guaranteed Christmas delivery right up to the 20th!!  You can also visit more stores in an hour online that you can in a day in person, and you will need that kind of mobility in a time like this.

My personal favorite way to shop is Amazon Prime, free 2 day shipping and the world at your finger tips. This is great for all the gifts you can buy right now. If you order today, you’ll have all your gifts by Friday. What could be better?

Get Creative

Half of the fun of gift giving is the chance to be creative. The hard part is being creative in a pinch. A creative gift option that I love is subscription boxes. There are boxes for everything from practical to exotic, and it keeps giving for as long as you choose. — Is your boyfriend is always running out of razors or never has shaving cream? Get him a subscription box. You mom loves to experience new cultures but hates to fly? Get her a subscription box. Your sister is beauty obsessed? Get her a subscription box. Your dad loves salami? Get him a subscription box.

See what I am getting at? There is a box for everyone and all of their interests. This is also a good gift if you procrastinate even further, because it can be explained better as to why it’s not there on time like “Oh, they only send at the end/beginning of the month, sooo you just wait!” As a along as you have little something for them to open you can get away with not having the “real” gift.

Anther, creative option I love in a pinch is getting people experiences. Like tickets to their favorite concert, or to something they would not normally do, like go to the rodeo or treat them to a spa day. They will love it and all you would have to do is print out the tickets or voucher. Quick and easy but a great gift you would be proud of giving.

No matter what, the old saying “It’s the thought that counts” rings true more then ever during the holiday season. Happy Holidays and Good Luck!

With Love,

Stephanie

dSC_XMAS_201709_Gifting

Dating in the Digital Age: Online Dating in 3 Steps

Dear Stephanie,

I’ve never gone out with someone I’ve met online and I am going to take the plunge. What’s the best way to go about it? I’m not really new to dating but am new to blind (sorta) dates.

Sincerely,

A Novice Swiper


Dear Novice Swiper,

I am so glad that you wrote into me with this question, because I can relate. I actually met my own wonderful and amazing boyfriend who I love very much on Tinder, of all places!! Prior to meeting him, I went on my fair share of “blind” dates ranging from really bad to really great. Online dating sometimes still seems weird and mysterious, but when you break it down it is actually just 3 simple steps.

Step 1: Picking the Right App or Website

The first step is to pick a website or app that “aligns” with what you are looking for. As I mentioned above, I used Tinder, and while it worked for me in the long run it was not the very best place to find a serious relationship, in the sense that it is regarded as a hookup app. Because of the app’s reputation and the way people were using it, I ended up meeting a lot of people who were looking for much different things than I was; and as a result I went on some pretty bad dates and wasted a lot of my time. However, when I did eventually swipe across my beloved, he really stood out to me because he was clearly looking for the same thing I was. So all that to say, in the spirit of saving time, pick an app or website that approaches dating and meeting people in a way that you relate with. No matter what you choose, I am a firm believer in “what will be, will be” and I think you will meet your person eventually and no matter what app or website you use.

Some apps and websites to see what works for you:

Step 2: Building your Profile

We all have a photo from a few years ago that we love because we look so damn cute in it!! You might think that is the BEST photo to put in your profile, but you are wrong. Even if you look largely the same, you will still look a little different. AND nothing starts a blind date off on the wrong foot like meeting someone who doesn’t look like what you expect. Unless you somehow now look better…That may sound shallow but it’s true. Everyone deserves to be attracted to their partner. The problem with dating apps and websites IS that is largely based on physical interest first. Then the more important parts of attraction and relationships follow. When you arrive at a date excited and expecting to meet one person and then you meet an older, balder and heavier version its hard not to feel a little deceived. There is nothing wrong with being older, balder or heavier just be who you are now not who you were a few years ago. So extend the same curtesy to your future dates and upload honest and real photos of yourself. I can guarantee your dates will be more fun and foster more meaningful connections, because it is already starting out truthful and there is a mutual attraction.

As for the photos you do post, be sure to show your who you are. We live in such a visual time ( which is why blogging is so hard) and people absorb so much information from photos. In your photo selection pick the photos that make you feel confident and show who you are: your personality, interests, favorite past times, sense of humor and what your idea of fun is. You are trying to paint a whole picture of who you are.

As for your bio, I went for a minimalistic approach and I had a lot of luck posting a John Belushi quote that I thought was funny and that I related to. I believe it gave anyone who came past my profile an idea of what my sense of humor is like, which was something I wanted to convey. Others like a more verbose profile where they go into detail on what they are looking for and all their likes and dislikes. That’s not a bad thing, but when I was using an app I rarely read a whole profile if it was super long. (Because we are so visual or was I just lazy?) I would just rather match and talk to the person to learn those things about them. If I were you, I would think about how much or how little I would want to read about each potential match, then base the length of your own profile on that.

Also, there are a few good apps mentioned above, that have you answer some questions and then they post the answers as your profile making it super user friendly and concise. Hinge is one of them. Check it out.

Step 3: Date Night

Look at you! You matched with someone, they seem nice, interesting and funny!! You also find them to be attractive and they appear to not be serial killers. Bonus!! So you’re excited and a little nervous about the drink you’re getting with them. Don’t be! They are in the same boat as you and certainly feel the same way. It’s human nature.  Just be yourself and try remember that while you want to make a good impression, that this is JUST a drink, or coffee or whatever. It might turn in to something or it might not. Go in with low expectations and a sense of humor because no matter what, you’ll have a story to tell, good or bad. Also, your sense of humor will help you deal with the annoying parts of dating.

Now, be prepared to repeat step 3 a few times. That’s ok and part of the process. Enjoy! Being single can be just as fun and exciting as it is to be in love and in a serious relationship. Embrace this stage of your life.

With Love,

Stephanie

IMG_5753
Me and My Dude. Sometimes we time travel.

Leaving the Nest

I received the below submission as comment on a previous post:

“I have a question! Next Fall my daughter is going away to a University. I’ve been preparing her for over a year now on how to live alone without a parent and what things to watch out for, yet I still have a lot of anxiety over her move and being without me. We will be 3 states apart and it is really hard for me to let go. What tips do you have on letting go and not freaking out when I say good-bye….. ”

SocialPost_3130526_facebook


Dear Reader,

As you may, or may not know, I am not the expert on sending daughters off to college. So, I consulted the authority on this matter…my own mother. She has successfully sent 3 daughters off to college. I thought she might have some valuable insight, having lived it 3 times over.

If her insight isn’t what you needed to hear, I just have to say it was what I needed to hear this weekend. It gave me a boost for the week, I did not know I needed. Since our quick chat, I have felt continuously thankful that I have a mother that is so self-aware, wise, selfless and encouraging.  I know not so many people are as lucky as I am. However, dear reader, I think your daughter must be as lucky and me and my sisters have been.

My Mom expressed that she felt similar emotions to what you are feeling about the impending move and separation. That worrying about the “What if she can’t or won’t?!” is perfectly normal, but instead try to think about the “What if she can and will?!”. She said that positive outlook really made a big difference for her. She was able to be excited about our futures and be excited with us for the next step, instead of dwelling on something negative. Personally, I always feel the most excited and prepared when my parents are also excited for me. Their approval and belief in me gives me an extra boost of confidence when I might normally feel unsure.

From my perspective, I feel that it is human nature to fulfill the roles people assign to us. People who are labeled as”losers”, have been told over and over again they are a loser, they are lazy and are good for nothing. The same goes for people who are confident, successful and happy. They are built up by those around them. We start to believe and embody what the people around us think and say about us.  Since your daughter already has the tools needed to succeed, keep on encouraging her and reminding her of how great she will do on her own. Of course, there will be hard parts to college, but going in believing that she can handle it, that she is aware and that she will succeed will give her the upper hand in most situations.

In terms of letting go and how hard it can be,  my mother suggested, to be so thankful that you were able to raise a healthy young woman who can be on her own. That you can “let go”. There are many parents who wish that their child was capable of such an accomplishment. But on the day of the move, tears are inevitable! Do your best to keep it together, because it is not your daughter’s  responsibility to make you happy, but it is your responsibility to make sure she doesn’t feel guilty about pursuing her dreams.

All in all, you gave her the tools she needs, now believe in yourself that you succeeded in raising her right and share the joy and excitement that will come with the future.

With Love,

Stephanie

Keeping It Cool

Hi Stephanie,

While out for a very late night snack over the weekend my boyfriend got a call from someone named Liz. And then another, and another. Finally I asked who Liz was and with an eye roll and a sigh he said she was an ex girlfriend who “still calls sometimes”. I’m not really *worried* about it but would like to discuss it while we’re both a little more sober. At the same time I don’t want to make a big deal out of nothing. Is it worth bringing it up?

Sincerely,

Trying to be a “Cool” Girlfriend

SocialPost_3130476_facebook


Dear Girlfriend,

Thanks for writing in! First, I want to say don’t worry about being the “cool girlfriend”. Of course being a reasonable person is important, but sometimes the cool persona needs to be set aside so you can stick up for yourself and protect yourself. If you’re focused on being the cool girl all the time, are you ever truly being yourself?

Secondly, I would feel the same way, of not wanting to be worried about these calls, because I trust my boyfriend, but my antenna would definitely go up because the circumstances are a little odd. Late night, multiple calls, ex-girlfriend…I would hate it, no matter how cool I am or wanted to be.

Only you will know if you can really trust your boyfriend, but I do think it is a good thing that he was upfront and honest about it when it happened. I would try to let that bring me some ease. That being said, from what you wrote and the fact you even wrote in, says to me that the whole situation still bothers you. So yes, it is worth bringing it up. If you don’t talk about it, it will fester in your mind and turn in to something bigger than it is and lead to mistrust between you and your man.

I don’t think it will be a super uncomfortable conversation. You already know the hard stuff, and you know he’s annoyed by her calling him, which is a good thing. Since you’re not trying to make this an episode of Maurie, I wouldn’t make it a big sit down conversation, that will add a lot of pressure that I don’t think is needed. When you’re running errands or some other low key thing, ask what you want to know regarding this scenario and let him know that this bothers you and that you would prefer if she did not call him late in the night, at the very least. I am sure that you just want confirmation that there is nothing going on between them.

Please let me know how this turns out! I hope for all the best.

With Love,

Stephanie

P.S – I hope you all had a wonderful and Happy Thanksgiving.