Hey Blog Readers!

Hello!

For all of you who have recently found or recently followed my blog let me take this time to sincerely thank you! It’s been a great last few months getting the opportunity to write anything that pops into my little inspired head and sharing it with all of you. That’s why this Wednesday I am happy to celebrate 1 year of having this blog! With almost 1000 views this month and finally having 100 followers I can safely say this is more than just a “phase” blog, it has become my passion project and a huge part of my growth this year in life.

To celebrate God, I Hate My 20’s one year anniversary I’ll be posting an exclusive interview up here about me and my writing and other good stuff as conducted by my good friend Jessica. Additionally, I plan on focusing more solely on the content in this blog outside of the Thought Catalog articles I’ve been working on lately. I started this blog because I felt like no one was being 100% honest about the struggles and realities of being in your 20’s and I would like to continue to do that without having to think about my audience at large.

Anyway, as I’m sure most of you know my signature sign off by now is “tks for reading” so I’ll leave it at that and hope you all continue to read my slightly off awkward humor and emotionally full articles. Any questions leave them in the comments!

-Chels

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I’m Not Sorry I’m Falling For Someone New

fall-in-love-spells1This was an extremely hard piece for me to write but I wrote it. I think we can all relate to that moment when you decide to share your feelings being the scariest moment of all. I shared mine and then decided to share them with all of you as well. Hope you like! EDITED (the pervious version has since been edited and this now matches the TC version) 

I wasn’t expecting to like him this much. I’m single for the first time in forever and focusing on myself and then here he comes with his huge heart, sweet brown eyes and equipped with his sexy spanish then all of a sudden I’m thinking about how awesome it would be to wake up next to him in the morning and that scares me half to death. It was just suppose to be a casual thing – fleeting, a nice story to write about when it all ends in the way that summer romances often do, but half way through our 1st date I instinctively knew it wasn’t any of those things at all.

Being vulnerable about my feelings freak me out and it’s hard for me to write about this (when it’s so easy for me to write about everything else apparently). When I am honest with myself, I realize it’s because I’m so nervous about what everyone else will say about my feelings for him. “That was fast. You should really be enjoy this time in your twenties, alone.”

I feel like responding to them with that it’s not exactly an easy fairy tale ending we’re looking at here – we’re not just suddenly “together”. I’m scheduled to leave for Denver in a few weeks and I’m happy about it, there isn’t any illusions that I’m suddenly in love and staying here (this isn’t a Disney movie). And I am excited about being single, while he isn’t exactly ready to roll out the red carpet for me in his life right now either. Our feelings for one another don’t change the fact that our lives our independent, complicated, and layered. We get that right now he’s doing his thing, and I’m doing mine but it doesn’t bother us. We don’t need to have a tight hold on each other to be okay because we know that when something just feels right you’re not worried so much by the labels or the “how do we make this work” questions. It works because it does. We don’t need a label. It’s simple.

Maybe that’s why I like him so much. Everything with him is easy. Even in the moments where we inevitable have miscommunications he calms me down just by saying my name in this half teasing, half whisper that makes my heart melt. He inspires me and challenges me and calls me out on my shit without being hurtful or condescending. He reads almost everything I write, and in encouraging me to write this piece – because he understands how important it is for me to turn my emotion into creativity – I fell a little harder.

But I was still so apologetic for it anyway. Right now I’m enjoying everything about him, here in the present and my goal is to create a balance that allows him access to my life without the ability to become my life. Should I feel sorry about that? I’m open to all the possibilities that this might lead to and am fully aware that maybe it won’t lead to anything, but in a time when our generation is all hook-up’s and selfish me, me, me attitudes I’ve found a genuine connection with someone that’s worth building on. That’s rare! I don’t want to be sorry about that before anything even begins – not out of fear of failure, or worse, out of fear of judgement.

So, no, I’m not sorry about this one. I’m cautiously optimistic because he makes me really, really happy and aren’t we all waiting for that one person who makes all the dating rules we read about seem obsolete? Isn’t the most selfish thing I could do right now is blindly follow where my heart leads? We’re building a friendship – a foundation that feels right, and it feels good, and I deserve it – I don’t owe anyone an explanation or an apology for that. The only person who need to know what happens next and how I feel about it, are him and I – and I have a feeling he knows exactly where I stand.

An Open Letter To The People Who Comment on Articles

I wrote this piece after another one of my pieces was just crucified in the comment section yesterday. It’s not so much an open letter to people who comment on articles as it is a love letter to the many many writers I love on Thought Catalog who I know can identify with this piece.

You know who you are. You’re the ones who call us out on how bullshit all our list are and how terrible our grammar is. You hide under the fake domain names you think are clever and try to provoke us by saying our writing sucks, among other, less appropriate wording.

We try not to take it personally — hell — most of us subscribe to the motto “let your haters be your motivators,” but we’d be lying if we said it didn’t sting a little sometimes. We understand that commentators aren’t the enemy, we want you to read our stuff, debate it, point out the fallacies in our assertions if that means having an open dialog about things that are really important to us. Yet outside of that the fact remains that this is us, on a page, just looking for people to relate to the same way that you are. We want to know that we’re not alone going through this human experience, that even with our different backgrounds and geographical locations we are somehow connected.

We probably articulate and express it differently than you would to your friends — maybe we hide a little too much behind the humor and the “17 ways” so that it palatable for those who can’t seem to click on a link without gauging how long it will take, but we’re all the same. From our Tinder experiences, to our sexual experiences, to dating, to family, to heartbreak, to loss, to even the unimaginable things we share with you — they hurt but we explore them by putting them on paper — then into the world. To open yourself up like that, to be vulnerable and exposed isn’t easy. Then here you come, with another jab at how we’re all “hacks,” “copy cats,” “too shallow to write anything of substance,” and some days we are really sorry you feel that way, but other days we just do’t give a fuck what you think. Because we write for ourselves too, to save ourselves to try to make sense of it all.

If we only wrote for the people who comment at the end of our articles we’d be empty.

I’ve seen commentators rip apart an article of someone who’s just starting out writing before and it broke my heart. Writing is an art, it takes practice and not everyone is great at it right away. We have parents, and siblings, boyfriends, and friends who read our stuff too, but you’re not thinking of them when you write how we’re “dumb as shit” in the trolling way you do. Trying to see what drama you can create in an already too dramatic world. Destroying something you don’t even know how to create is something I’ve never quite understood. Words have an impact and no matter how big we get as writers, it still means something to us that you spent your energy trying to bring our ideas down rather than merely telling us why you disagree and leaving it at that.

There are great commentators too. Their words of support and shared stories make me smile all day long. Doesn’t matter how many times we hear it – “so true!” is our favorite compliment. Every retweet, share and like isn’t the validation we need but rather the currency we accept for taking the time to express a generations worth of emotion and feeling into paragraph form day after day. Being appreciated for something you love doing, well there isn’t a greater feeling in the world. And for you to share how you identify with us, some person you only know through words on a page — that is noble and brave too. Those comments from people that have watched our writing and, consequently us as people, grow is nothing short of amazing.

In the end you don’t all have to like us or agree with us to get what we’re saying. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, here more places than others because, “all thinking is relevant” on Thought Catalog, which is why you get to comment on so many subjects and pieces of pure ecstasy in the form of writing. I write here because of that, but long before and long after that part of my contribution has ended I will read and comment with the utmost respect for what has been born here. I guess it’s up to you what you decide to do, but even if we say nothing know we hear you, loud and clear.

7 Things We Should Stop Judging Parents For

19d30ce0e8d8092d05843f92dcacc35cAfter only two weeks of nannying a 6 year old (yes, only 2 weeks) I learned a lot about parenting and now I officially have #NoJudgement

1. Lying to their kids
I use to hate the saying, “do as I say, not as I do” because even at a young age I was pretty sure that was the very definition of hypocrisy, but now that I’ve spent most of my waking moments with a child under the age of ten I have discovered that sometimes it’s ok to lie a little. Obviously it’s nothing to be proud of, but just because I binged watched all of Orange is The New Black in 3 nights does not mean you can watch Disney Channel all day, everyday. Kids are inquisitive creatures and they don’t really need to know that you did in fact sneak kale into their stir fry. It is okay to lie in these instances.

2. Letting their children leave the house looking a hot mess

After the 4th time of telling them to put their clothes on you really don’t give a shit if they come out in hot pink leggings and a green sweater even though it’s 99 degrees outside – honestly you’re just happy they’re dressed & ready to go. I use to think parents who did this were of the hippie variety – the type that wanted to teach their kids self expression and what have you, but now I know it’s that they just stopped giving a fuck as long as it covered all their parts and wasn’t on backwards.

3. Letting themselves leave the house looking a hot mess
Ditto goes for the parents. It’s easy to think, “couldn’t she have at least brushed her hair before coming out in public” when you’re not busy trying to wrangle a small human into clothes and making sure everyone has everything and goes pee and eats and etc, etc, etc. Shit, you’re lucky if you leave the house with a half-assed ponytail and a somewhat clean t-shirt. Unless you want to start getting ready to leave the house several hours before departure you kind of have to just grab what you can and pray there’s no spit up on it (see item below).

4. Having a messy car/house/purse/everything
In your head you think you’ll have time to clean and organize everything but then when you realize it’ll just get trashed within 5.3 second of having cleaned it you kind of just throw up your hands and learn to live with the chaos. Not to mention that all cleaning must take place between the hours of 10pm and 7am and as we previously discussed those are sacred hours reserved for your Netflix addiction so you still can sound like a normal human being when at the park with every other adult.

5. Leaving their kids at practice/ a play date in order to go run errands
As a society we demand that parents watch their kid every second of everyday or else we label them as “bad parents”, but you are kidding yourself if you think the first time you have an opportunity to get in at the Apple genius bar at the same time as their swim practice you’re not going to drive like a bat out of hell to get to the mall while your little nugget is safely in the pool with their qualified instructors. This is the only time parents have. I mean have you seen the hours at a dry cleaners?! What parent can pick something up between 10am and 5pm without a little creative thinking.

6. Losing their shit on their kids in public
We’ve all seen it, that one mom in Target that we half feel sorry for and half want to call CPS on – but just you wait until you’ve had no sleep, your house is a mess, you’re hungry and this damn kid won’t stop asking you to buy unnecessary toys for them. It’s enough to make the most sane person go crazy! One day we were at the mall and the little girl I’m watching would not stop touching all the merchandise even though I had told her FIVE TIMES to stop. The 6th time I saw her do it I was so mad I probably would have shaken her (I mean I knew she could hear me, she’s not deaf!!!), but I didn’t instead I turned around and yelled, “if you don’t stop that right now we are going home and so help me God you will not come out of your room again until it is dark.” I wasn’t serious, but she thought I was, which was all I needed.

7.Posting too many pictures of their kids online
Yes, I know, little Jimmy is adorable and the rest of us without kids think we need our Facebook news feeds to stay filled with drunken nights and over sharing statuses, but lets get real – most kids are cute as hell. They’re so cute that every time the look at you with their big wondering eyes you just want to snap as many pictures as possible and tell the whole world how you created this little person. It’s annoying but we should really stop giving parents a hard time about this. It’s their greatest accomplishment and it’s way more fun to look at then hearing about your dumb promotion for the 6 millionth time.

That’s Just Your Opinion: Anne Gus

Finally, I’ve been wanting to go all in on this article for a WHILE. 

Screen Shot 2014-06-11 at 5.31.15 PMPiece: If You’re Not Comfortable With Having Casual Sex, You’re Not A Real Woman

First appeared on: Thought Catalog

Author: Anne Gus

WTF: Yes, you read that title correct. When I first saw this article tweeted out about 2 weeks ago I almost didn’t believe it was real either . Then I read it – mouth agape, trying my best to decide if this was a real thing. Then I went on to check out Anne’s other crazy ramblings and have deduced she’s merely a contributor featured to get people amped up in a discussion and viewing more TC pages. It has to be, there is no other rational explanation. Let’s just set aside the fact that she’s basically saying those who aren’t sexually promiscuous are also not true feminist, she’s also saying that they’re prudes, which in my opinion is the worse G-rated thing you could call another female in this day and age. She doesn’t even hide the fact that she feels immensely superior to women who claim to “want sex to mean something” she’s straight up bashing them for allowing their emotional needs to cloud their physical ones with no mercy. She also makes a pretty glaring stereotype of Asian girls that I won’t even touch here because there is so many other things to worry about with this girls sanity.

The Evidence: “Newsflash: This is the modern world, we are modern women. Modern women are sexually liberated. We are supposed to have as much sex as possible with as many strangers as we can, because we can!” [[ Nope, that’s not what sexually liberated means. Yes, we CAN do that but feminism is about empowerment and I can’t really see having lots of meaningless sex just because you have a vagina as empowering per say.]]

“[Aside to all girls]: OK, so I know like sometimes you get feelings for a boy after sex, but KEEP. THIS. UNDER. WRAPS—don’t let anyone know this, especially not white men; it makes feminists look bad.” [[This is the most contradicting statement I have ever read. Keep your feelings to yourself because expressing your emotions makes feminist look bad?! Are you fucking kidding me? This is just- #ICantEven]]

“Everyone knows that real, empowered women sleep around and don’t get attached, so why do you seem, like not even ashamed to not be comfortable with casual sex? Women are supposed to enjoy hook-up culture just as much as men—and we do—I swear.” [[At this point I just knew it was a joke. I knew it. No female thinks this. Even porn stars don’t think this. If you want to know what REAL sexually empowered women think about sex and intimacy check out the Showtime documentary Aroused and then get back to me. It’s really really good.]]

My Opinion: As much as I hate this article and the propaganda she’s spewing out all over it, there is a discussion to be had here. I think her assertion that women DO enjoy sex and are only pretending to be turned off by men with massive sex drives is, in fact, annoying. Women have sex drives that are equal to and sometimes rival mens and denying that fact to seem more “lady like” is doing a slight disservice to feminism. There isn’t anything wrong with being open about sex, desire and intimacy but we need to build environments where those types of discussions aren’t judged and women aren’t vilified or “slut shamed” for their own wants & needs. However, obviously I disagree entirely that women who are looking for meaning in sex are somehow bad examples of womanhood. You can have both. You can want sex and meaning, there isn’t anything wrong with that. In fact, I think all sex has meaning, I think where women often get it wrong is that it doesn’t always have the meaning you want it to have. Contrarily, I think men are pigeon hold into the idea that sex doesn’t mean anything to them, and that it’s just about putting their dick into the next pretty young thing, something which is short changing men and not allowing them to be vulnerable, multifaceted human beings with feelings and emotions all their own. This whole article is just a mess. A mess. Eww and she’s from Boston, way to play into the stereotype Anne. Gross.

Changes

IMG_4096Happy Monday Blog Readers!

I was planing on doing another “That’s Just Your Opinion” piece today but instead I’m going to talk about my writing on this blog (and somewhat on Thought Catalog) instead.

As some of you may know I’m in the middle of one of those soul crushing, you’re the devil, I never loved you at all –  type break up’s that we all inevitably go through somewhere in our twenties and it is not pretty. Some of that fallout is my fault due to this and some of it is just due to the nature of breaking up with someone after 2.5 years. It’s been a rough. Yet, I have always been about “living my life out loud” and using my writing to sort through my own feelings and emotions about things that I think other people can relate to. That was the point of this blog. I wanted a platform to honestly talk about the good, the bad and the ugly of being your twenties and I can’t really be true to that if I sensor myself when crazy shit is actually taking place in my life. That being said I am FULLY aware that leaves a lot of people in my life at a disadvantage. They didn’t sign up for this. There have been a lot of innocent bystanders and some not so innocent bystanders and some collateral damage due to my actions. That’s something I have been working on and will continue to work on in the future of this blog and in the future of my published work. What I can say is that I have always been a very emotional and intense person and in my youth would take that and become extremely destructive with it. Nowadays, I take all those emotions and intense feelings and turn them into things other people want to read, something constructive, something that helps other people have a voice. That’s huge for me. Nothing makes me happier than feeling like I can articulate my own feeling and simultaneously a lot of other peoples as well.

As we approach the 1 year mark of my blog I’m definitely trying to make some changes. My hope is that in the fall I will be starting two new series in the same vain of “That’s Just You Opinion”, that will occur on a monthly basis on this blog. Additionally no names or specific details will be given anymore in my article unless otherwise stated and cleared by the person being written about. My life, will remain an open open book, but I am closing the chapter on having that include the people I love and want in my life. I don’t want to burn bridges or create tension where there shouldn’t be and I want the new people coming into my life to feel comfortable experiencing things with me without having the fear of waking up one day to it plastered all over social media. This is my platform but it doesn’t have to be anyone else’s.

As always, you can find me on twitter @chelsellen & on Instagram @seechelsrun and please feel free to email or leave comments about whatever you’d like towards me. I read almost as much as I write and apparently I never sleep anymore so I’ll do my best to respond.

Have a great week & TKS for reading!

xoxo’s

Chels

Don’t Over-Think It

6a00d83451d48a69e201310f4a30bd970cHello, my name is Chelsea and I’m an over thinker.

That’s the first step right, admitting you have problem? It’s not really a problem so much as one of my most tragic personality flaws that I assumed would go away as I got older but has just changed in its appearance now that I’m safely in my twenties. Most all of my family and friends have always known this about me and are use to my frequent phone calls and texts mulling over a conversation or situation until they finally can’t take it anymore and just tell me to shut up and stop over thinking it. It use to hurt my feelings when people would snap at me to stop over thinking, I mean I can’t help that I’m constantly trying to understand peoples feeling and motivations while simultaneously trying to understand and articulating my own. It doesn’t bother me that much anymore when people point it out, in fact I appreciate those who do as it bring me back down to the reality that sometimes people mean exactly what they said, nothing more to it.

Yet, the misconceptions about over thinkers always bothered me. Over thinking, in my opinion, isn’t a trait so much as a result of two feelings meeting – lack of confidence met with a sudden rush of instinctual self-doubt, which means I tend to stop over thinking when my levels of self doubt wane or my confidence rises again, simple as that. Of course, people argue that everyone feels those two emotions concurrently from time to time but not everyone is an over thinker and I would tend to agree because some people aren’t thinkers at all. However, if you’re a sleeping, eating, breathing, average human being you’ve been taught to occasionally think critically about things, situations and feelings going on around you and sometimes that leads to over thinking.

If you’re wondering what that means for people like me when we’re presented with conflict or love interest I can tell you it’s hell. Nothing torments and over thinker more than a situation they can’t read, like arguments or flirting. Anything that can be up for interpretation is like gasoline for us and if not diluted with other things to preoccupy our minds can overwhelm us easily even if we don’t have any strong feeling or emotions tied to the situation.

But, just like any personality flaw you learn to deal with it and do your best to adjust your behavior accordingly. For me that means limiting my conversations with people if I’m feeling especially down on myself or unsure of how to articulate my own thoughts. It also means only being completely honest with people I know are patient and understand and can quietly listen to me while I process whats going on. Here’s a small list of Do’s & Don’t my best friends have developed over the years that have helped me to be less of an over thinker and might help you or the over thinker in your life too!

DO encourage them. Getting their confidence back up is the easiest way to shut down a long thought process and keep it from getting out of hand.

DON’T let them back track their thoughts. Over thinkers will talk themselves out of anything. It’s a defense mechanism. Lowering expectations helps to ease the self doubt and is an easy way out for thinkers like me.

DO remind them that not everything needs interpretations. People like me overthink because they’re trying to match their feelings with what’s being said and those are sometimes at odds. Not all words = feelings.

DON’T say “stop thinking about it.” For obvious reasons you don’t want someone to feel bad or guilty about having something on their mind, it’s not their fault. Allow a safe space for them to talk about it but if they start talking in circles gentle guide them to a conclusion rather than just shutting it down.

DO say things like “sleep on it”. I’m always worse thinker when I’m tired.

DON’T let them use their own personal connotations to determine a literally translation. Every over thinker has trigger words. For example, I tend to over think things when people use the word “sure” because to me “sure” connotes passiveness. I know, in my mind, that “sure” is just an affirmative word that means yes, but my feeling around what I think it means when I’m lacking confidence and feel self doubt can cloud my judgment.

DO reinforce what you said. Especially if your the subject of the over thinking. Again, it comes back to the lack of confidence that what you said and what you meant are two separate things. It seems childish but reinforcing what you said again helps an over thinker to hear it for what it is, just a bunch of words.

DON’T bullshit them. That’s just mean spirited and probably how they became an neurotic over thinker to begin with.

DO (this again is for the subject of the over thinking) be extremely direct and explain your thinking. Statements like “I think….” and “I feel…” take the guessing game away from over thinkers and puts the power right back in your hands. If you tell them exactly what’s going on they have no choice but to take it at face value. Not to mention it might help you to better articulate your own thought process better too.

Some days I get frustrated with over thinking everything, I’m a confident person and don’t normally doubt myself so why does this happen to me? However, with the right tools and patience I’ve leaned to deal with it and focus some of that energy in other things, like writing! I am also lucky to have great people in my life who know that I’m not crazy just because I spend more time pouring over the meaning of things more so than others, it’s just something else they love about me and that I’ve learned to love about myself. 🙂