Three Words To Change Your Life

I am a big, BIG listener to and lover of podcasts. I nanny during the day, so — while I can do baby talk and love hanging out with my best 13-month-old pal — sometimes I need a little more stimulating “conversation” during my weekdays. Podcasts might not provide the back-and-forth of your typical conversation, but at least I can get a laugh or learn something interesting throughout the day.

I subscribe to funny ones, like My Favorite Murder (you might not think murder is comical, per se, but the hosts somehow tell these real-life horror stories in an unabashedly fascinated and, yes, humorous way); inspirational ones, like The Skinny Confidential: Him & Her (Lauryn Evarts is the creator behind the blog, The Skinny Confidential, and the banter with her husband, Michael, on their podcast is all at once informational, relatable, and hilariously real); and mindless, fun ones, like Straight Up with Stassi (she’s my favorite Bravolebrity and always has interesting guests and behind-the-scenes stories that I live for).

The latter is what I was listening to a couple weeks ago on the treadmill when I was happily surprised with a more serious topic than Stassi normally goes into. In this particular episode, she brought on a life coach who gave advice on working through anxiety, not letting others’ opinions get to you, and a simple method to understanding your place in the world. The life coach said that sometimes we get bogged down by other people’s expectations, and even our own expectations about how we think our lives should be going or how we should be dealing with things. (Raise your hand if you’re thinking, YEP, because I sure was.)

And then we get disappointed when life doesn’t go according to plan, or when we fall short in some way. So, she explained that we should all have a phrase to come back to when we’re feeling lost or out of sorts, no matter if it has to do with your personal life, work, relationships, or even just being stressed out in traffic. This phrase should be your home base, your reason for what you do and how you act in every situation and every second of the day.

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How to Be Less of a Controlling Assh*le

(Speaking from experience.)

The other morning, I woke up and started getting ready: washed my face, brushed my teeth. I walked back into the bedroom to get dressed, and John was still asleep. It was 7:30 on a Monday, so I woke him up thinking surely he needed to be doing something. I proceeded to make coffee and breakfast tacos, and then shouted to John from the kitchen that I’d made breakfast. No answer. I texted him a picture of the tacos in a stance of stubborn passive-aggression. No answer. After a few minutes, I was fuming at the thought of this breakfast I had so thoughtfully thrown together getting cold. I went to the bottom of the stairs and called his name.

“John? I made breakfast!” (How sweet of me.)

I could hear in his groggy reply that he had still been asleep, but he hopped out of bed and came downstairs. We talked a little about our days ahead, and I asked what his schedule was like. His first class was at 11-something, and then he had another class that afternoon and a group meeting.

“Are you gonna workout today?” I asked. He said yeah, probably, but it would most likely be that afternoon.

My mind started crafting this story about what he’d do as soon as I left for work in a few minutes. The fictional story went that he would sit on the couch for a couple hours until his class, watching golf, drinking coffee, scrolling social media — and suddenly I was so mad at him that I could hardly look at him as I said goodbye for the day. As we parted ways, I pushily, irritatedly suggested maybe he should just get his workout out of the way this morning. And he did. As soon as he acquiesced so easily and kindly, it clicked almost instantaneously that I have a problem.

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The Irony in Getting What You Want

Once upon a time, I interned at a magazine in its editorial department. It was my senior year in college, which I like to think was just yesterday but, in reality, was nearly three years ago, and I was pretty sure I was winning at everything in life. I interviewed fun entrepreneurs and interesting professionals, wrote several articles a week, and was certain I was the next Diane Sawyer (print edition).

I wanted to work for the magazine more than anywhere else after I graduated — so badly that I even applied for the receptionist position, which made about no money and obviously had nothing to do with journalism. From my whopping seven hours a week spent in the office, I was positive the people and atmosphere were everything I could ever dream of in a first job environment. (Clearly seven weekly hours is enough to tell something like that, right?…)

It all seemed ideal, except for this one girl.

She was a full-time employee, and I worked with her on a couple fact checking assignments. I knew her job vaguely revolved around fact checking and data analysis within the editorial department, and I can clearly remember watching her walk down a hall one day with a sullen look on her face, a norm, and thinking to myself, I would hate to have her job.

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4 Things I’ve Realized Since Moving to Nashville

We’ve been in Nashville for just more than one week. This time last Tuesday, the moving crew we’d hired to unpack our Uhaul had already wrapped up their end of things, and John’s parents and my mom were heaven-sent as they helped us start ripping open boxes and finding places for everything to go.

Piper blending in with her new surroundings.
Piper blending in with her new surroundings.

The kitchen was especially tricky—my mom offered to pay the movers if they stopped bringing in kitchen boxes (and that was after we’d already pared down our combined kitchen stuff prior to moving). I’d estimate we had about 15 in all devoted to the kitchen. Yet, somehow, they made it work and, most importantly, fit. I say “they” because I can take no credit for any of that magic our moms worked in there; if it had been just John and I unpacking ourselves, I can guarantee there’d be at least nine kitchen boxes yet to unload.

Having grownup grownups there (I know I’m an adult but parents seem like realer adults) was such an amazing thing. Plus, they all got to meet for the first time since John and I began dating about two years ago. It was a long time coming, and I’m relieved that both of our parents know now we come from good people, something I’m sure they believed, but it’s nice to have had everyone meet finally.

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