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Data and Other Stories

If you've spent any time with us {here or in real life} you already know that my husband and I are pretty different. While nearly 30 years of being in a relationship has smoothed out the rougher edges, we see things through unique lenses. Sometimes this is really aggravating. Occasionally, when I'm operating from my best and highest self, I learn things from him and apply them to problem areas. Since my husband doesn't fancy himself a guru, he generally finds it humorous when his straightforward words become my light bulb moments.

Here's an example. A few weeks ago while describing some work issue (he's the director of quality for a glass recycling company), he mentioned conducting various tests to figure out an issue. "What do you think it is?" I asked. He said, "I don't have to think about it; I just have to follow the story the data tells." We were in different states at the time, so he didn't see me fall out of my chair. Two weeks l…
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Do What You Want.

Through my mid-20s, Happy by Clinique was my signature scent. When I got pregnant with P, my body chemistry changed and all of a sudden, the scent of Happy made me nauseated and gave me a headache. Markedly unhappy. I stopped wearing it. It wasn't a bad perfume, but it wasn't right for me.

Thinking about this, I had a light bulb moment. Sometimes people (really good people) just aren't our people. Maybe our energy and theirs don't mesh. That's okay. We don't have to be friends with everyone. We don't even have to have great relationships--or any--with people who share our DNA. Let me drop a truth bomb on you: You alone are responsible for your mental health, and if that means removing people from your life: Remove. Those. People. From. Your. Life. You don't need anyone's permission to safeguard your sanity. Don't give your energy away to people who aren't helping you reach your highest good. Wish them well and let them go. And, if someone h…

Just one more thing before I go...

Since I posted that blog a week ago, I've had people argue, unfriend, mock and block me. You guys...if you don't know me, I like people to like me. So for a recovering approval addict, that's tough.

Still, it was worth it. Because despite that garbage, I had many people reach out in confidence to share their stories. And you know what: No one named names. No one wanted to put some asshole from high school on blast. No one's goal was to destroy any man's life or career or family. People wanted to tell their stories and have someone say, I believe you. You didn't deserve that. Brene Brown writes that shame can't survive being spoken out loud and met with empathy. It's true. No one deserves to live in shame.

Now, the other side. Some men I know support the judge. Some people reached out to me to say that their dad, husband, father or another man they love was falsely accused. I see men around me reacting in fear: This could have been me. I see women aroun…

Why Didn't I Report It?

When I was 17, I went with friends to a party at a boy's house from another school. I drank too much and passed out. I don't remember much about the incident, but I woke up with my friend screaming at a boy, pulling me up and dragging me to the car. She told me that she came looking for me and found me passed out. The boy had his penis in my face. I don't remember it. Thankfully.

I never told my parents who would have said, "How stupid could you be? You shouldn't have put yourself in that position." They would not have said, "No one should put his penis in your face without your consent."

A few months ago, I saw a picture of that boy on social media. He's a man now. With a beautiful family. He probably doesn't remember that night. I wondered: What might have happened if my friend didn't walk in and tell him to get his dick out of my face? Were there were other girls whose friends didn't come looking for them? Did they ever tell anyone…

Save Yourself.

It's been almost a month since we took our only son to college. A month seemed like a pleasant, arbitrary number at which point I would have gotten past crying, worrying, and sadness. After a month, I'll be able to walk into his room and not feel like I'm going to throw up. By the time a month has passed we'll have settled into some sort of new routine. And in some ways we have.
But here are some other truths:
I still miss him every day.
Saying goodbye fucking sucks every time.
I worry and sometimes wish he would come home and go to a closer college.
He has changed dramatically in a month.
He is far braver than I knew.

Also a month ago, Brad and I had a conversation about my not wanting to do something because it scared me. Brad said, "Baby, we can't not do things because they scare us." Au contraire, mon cheri. I have spent most of my life firmly planted in my comfort zone, and it has worked out pretty well actually. But lately some nagging things indic…

Scars Are Cool

"Not everything happens for a reason, but there's something to be learned in every experience."--Rachel Hollis, Made For More
The least helpful--and arguably cruelest--thing you can say to someone suffering the loss of a loved one is, "Everything happens for a reason." Really. It's been 21 years since my brother's addiction and depression pushed him to the point that he took his own life. I'll never not be sad about that. I'll never believe that happened for a "reason."

However, I believe the experience of losing him in such a profoundly tragic way taught me things I would never have learned in another way.

When I started going to counseling a few months ago, I told my therapist, "I think I've dealt with all my childhood stuff, so we can just skip over that." Mercifully, she didn't laugh at me; in hindsight, I imagine she hears that a lot so she's probably prepared. Nearly as soon as the words left my mouth thing…

Go Ahead. Feel It.

I woke up this morning feeling...blah. Maybe it was a hangover from too much peopling. Maybe it was the realization that we are down to one month until my son leaves for college. Maybe it's the fact that today's my dad's birthday, and he's not here. Maybe it's a combination of all those things and more.

This morning, when my firstborn life coach asked, "How are you?" I said, "Okay." This is our code for "I'm actually wallowing in a dark place of self-pity or loathing, writhing in guilt, shame, or some other yucky emotion, but far, very far, from okay." She said, "You're allowed to be frustrated and pissy," and sent me an article. Because she's amazing and has a gift for finding the right words even when she didn't write them. I'll share the article* with you, because it was really phenomenal, but there was this one section that really struck me: think yourself in circles whenever you feel an unwelco…