2018 was a year of many revelations. (Yes, saying “revelations” instead of “realizing stuff” makes me the intellectual Kylie Jenner.) It was a rapid-fire year of watching our favorite celebs make engagements, break engagements, have babies, and get cheated on by f*ckboys. (What I like to call “the big four.”) In between worrying that these celebs are growing up too fast and worrying I’m not growing up fast enough, I realized I was forgetting one important thing. (No, not refilling my anxiety medication. Good one though.) I realized I was spending so much time judging and measuring everyone else’s process in life and feeling guilty about my own that I could barely remember what I actually wanted. All I knew was what I thought it should look like.
So, in the spirit of slowing down, letting go, and re-focusing on getting happy from the inside out, here are four things to stop giving yourself (and other people!) sh*t for in 2019.
Feeling Only Okay About Your Job
One of the more toxic elements of Instagram is that everyone on there (everyone successful anyway) seems to be a fully self-made entrepreneur who lives their best life every day, is grateful for every morning, and answers only to themselves. While that obviously sounds delightful, you have to keep in mind that you have no idea how those people got there, and how truthful they’re even being about the joy they find in their careers. Similarly, the friends you compare yourself to and feel like sh*t about—whether they’re pursuing creative goals or just pulling in a fat paycheck—all likely have their own unique doubts, fears, and misgivings about their jobs. That’s the nature of work, and the nature of life in general.
So, am I saying you should stay at your sh*tty desk job forever, because everyone’s probably unhappy about something? Try again, b*tch! If you hate your job, or even just don’t love it, you can absolutely add “get a new job” to your 2019 resolutions, and go after that mother*cker. But please stop beating yourself up because you haven’t yet landed the perfect gig, or even figured out what exactly that would look like. (Although if this describes you, you should definitely give When’s Happy Hour a read.)
And here’s a secret no one on Instagram will tell you. It’s okay to not be totally obsessed with your job. It’s okay to want a life that isn’t only about the hustle/grind/whatever people are calling their 24/7 jobs these days. You do not have to wake up on Monday mornings eager to “get that bread” if you are happier working a moderately fulfilling 9-to-5 and spending the rest of your time with your loved ones. The world will not end, and you are not a bad person.
Feeling Only Okay About Your Body
This will all be thematically similar to the last section, so I’ll keep it (kind of) brief. On Instagram, everyone either has a perfect body, is a “Before” rigorously working toward an “After,” or is making a “bold” and “courageous” statement by weighing more than 98 pounds and being happy that way. Like with your job, if your body makes you actively unhappy then I absolutely encourage you to do something about it. But I also encourage you to think critically about that question. In a world without Instagram, would you be unhappy about your body? Does your body affect how you view yourself every second of every day, or only after you’ve scrolled through your feed? What makes you happier: a warm chocolate-chip cookie, or a DM request from a “promoter” with 200 followers after you post a selfie in a crop top?
Now, I’m also not saying that wanting to lose weight or achieve new fitness goals or whatever is always bad/shallow/for the ‘Gram, but just because we all live our lives on the Internet doesn’t mean we all have to look like swimsuit models. And being a work-in-progress—or just accepting that your body will never be the best, most accomplished, most celebrated thing about you is totally fine. Staring at your body every night and hating yourself about it? Not f*cking fine at all.
Not Having A Go-To “Squad”
This is really for my post-college and beyond readers. In college, you’re surrounded exclusively by people of your own age and every article targeted at you is about the trials and tribulations of the group chat. Pre-gaming is basically a sacred ritual, and the bi-weekly group shot causes more drama than a season of Riverdale. Post-college, you find out a few things about those girl groups. Like that half of them have terrible personalities, drinking problems, or a b*tchy streak that used to be cute and aged poorly. Regardless, I often find myself feeling guilty when I see articles memes referencing a group chat that I no longer have. Or wondering when I became such a loser that my birthday dinner was under 20 people.
But here’s the thing: I have never loved my friends more than I do at this stage in my life. Genuinely. The friends that I have are people who I know I can rely on, who I can talk to about anything, and who I personally consider to the coolest, smartest, and funniest people on this f*cking earth. Do I wish more of them lived in the same city, knew each other, and regularly attended Sex and the City style brunches with me? You bet I do! But I’m way over befriending a group of people I don’t really have much to say to—just so I can stop feeling guilty and lame when I see pics of Kendall Jenner’s girl squad.
This is the only squad that ever mattered anyway:
Taking A While To Orgasm
Okay I’ll be real. This was the first category I thought of, and the one I was most eager to write. (It is also directed primarily at the ladies, to be clear.) It is about to be 2019, and I am thoroughly over people feeling guilty or ashamed of taking longer to orgasm. The planet is dying, our President is a moron, and society is so fragile that a change to Instagram’s swiping feature literally almost killed us. It’s the f*cking apocalypse, and women all over the world are still faking it or saying “I’m good” when they are not good because…Honestly, because of what? Sure, you’re asking your partner to do more work. But that’s not a problem when you’re asking them to go in for the 300th pic of you in front of some wall art, so why is it a problem in the bedroom?
More likely, it’s because men have systemically engrained the idea that women don’t really need to orgasm in order for sex to be finished, so it feels bad or overly vulnerable to ask for it. But like so many things men have said over the years, this was a bad and wrong idea. Women of the world, repeat after me: sex takes as long as it takes you to finish. (Sound selfish? Too bad. Men and women alike have been saying it about men since the dawn of time.) You should never, ever feel guilty that it takes you a while—like putting pizza rolls in the oven vs. the microwave, the better product just takes more time. Let 2019 be the year of no longer accepting things just because men have been calling them true for centuries—the world will be a much better place for it.
I hope you got some joy out of this article—it truly felt cleansing to write it. I want to reiterate that “not feeling guilty” does not equate to “not doing anything about it.” You have the same goals and the same drive whether or not you make yourself feel like sh*t about where you are. This year, give yourself the gift of not feeling guilty about where you are in life. If hating on yourself burned calories, earned money, or gave us orgasms, we’d all have perfect lives. But it doesn’t, and we don’t, and guess what? It’s f*cking fine. Happy new year!!!
Images: Giphy (4); Unsplash / Leighann Renee
Now that the ice of winter is thawing, our hearts are starting to do the same. Kind of. It’s almost wedding season, which means we’re constantly being bombarded with engagement photos and reminders that we need to spend more money on other people instead of ourselves. Ugh, boring. On the one hand, weddings mean a lot of work, which is suboptimal. You have to put in a lot of exhauting hours of online shopping to make sure that you’re not photographed at this wedding wearing the same thing you wore to last week’s wedding, and you will probably have to pretend that you enjoy the company of your friend’s weird, drunk uncle for at least 15 minutes until you can find an excuse to run away to the bar. It’s taxing.
On the other hand, weddings mean open bars and new profile pics, so things aren’t all that bad. If you’re dating someone, going to a wedding means cute pics of you and your SO in formal attire, and at least one awkward drunken conversation about if/when you’ll tie the knot yourselves. If you’re single, weddings open a whole new world of opportunities for you. Do you want to fly solo and see where the
unlimited free tequila shots wedding vibes take you? Or do you want to invite a potential future bae and test out his partying abilities? Bringing a date is obviously the safer choice that also guarantees you will get laid, but when is it appropriate to take the risk and go stag? Let’s break down the pros and cons of this very important wedding season decision.
Pro: You Might Actually Meet Someone Chill And Hit It Off
It might sound fun to bring one of your guy friends with you and make him spend $$ on a suit just so you don’t cry about dying alone, but if the groom has hot single friends, you’ll already be taken in their eyes. Starting every convo off with “Oh Frank? we’re not dating, he’s just my backup” isn’t exactly chill. Bringing a date you don’t actually care about
may will definitely hurt your chances of meeting a cool bro who you could, potentially, learn to care about. Or at least have a fun one night stand with, which is a lot more fun than explaining to everyone who asks that your “date” isn’t really a “date” and is more of a “gay BFF.” Unless he’s flaming, nobody will believe you anyway.
Con: All The Groomsmen Are Probs Already In Relationships
There’s a good chance most of his friends are already married or close to getting married. Unless your friend is marrying the most responsible one of his group, he’s probably not the first of his bro group to consider committing. Meaning your chances of meeting your soulmate at this wedding are as uncertain as whether or not Beyoncé used a surrogate for Blue Ivy. There is always a chance that you could show up at the wedding alone, spend the wedding dancing alone, and then leave alone, which is probably the most depressing possible way to spend a wedding. Just a thought.
Pro: Nobody Will Tell You That You’ve Had Enough To Drink
Who needs self control at a wedding? Where there’s vodka, there’s a way. Not having a date at a wedding means that you answer to no one, and can do basically whatever the fuck you want without some “more responsible” person side-eying you. Who the fuck needs that?
Con: Eventually Everyone’s Going To Couple Off
You can’t dance to “Twist and Shout” by yourself for the whole party. Even though you’re definitely going to dance to “Twist and Shout”. What a great song. Whether it be the people who already came coupled up or the friends who have been waiting all year for a good excuse like a wedding to finally hook up, you’re probably going to be watching some intense coupling going down from all corners of the reception. Not to mention the whole “celebration of the bride and groom’s eternal love” thing, which can be pretty exhausting for those of us who living that perpetually single life.
Pro: You Don’t Have To Match Your Outfit To Anyone
Basically, you can wear whatever color looks good on you. No need to spend hours trying to teach your guy friend the difference between cerulean and azure, or making sure that he got a real suit and not some Men’s Warehouse bullshit. You can just focus on you, and making yourself look fly AF. Something that you probably know how to do pretty well by now.
Con: The Photobooth Is Not As Fun When You’re By Yourself
Damn. Is there anything sadder than a single person taking “fun” photobooth pictures alone? I’m honestly crying just thinking about it. Having nobody to pose next to is probably one of the biggest downsides of not having a date. Who wants to ask someone to take cute pictures of them standing next to their place settings alone? On the bright side, maybe the ring bearer will take a pic with you. Or maybe the bartender will take pity on you and make your drinks super strong.
Pro: You Can Stay As Late As You Want Or Leave As Early As You Want
If you want to Irish Exit, you can ghost TF out of the wedding. If you want to stay and shut down the night, you don’t have to worry about someone else’s 6am call the next day with Tokyo. Going alone to a wedding means that that wedding is officialy all about you. Oh, and the bride. Her too.
Con: You’ll Probably Find Yourself Wondering “What Did I Do Wrong?”
At some point between seeing your friend walk down the aisle (or if your friend is the groom, watching him stand at the altar) and the priest saying “you may now kiss the bride,” this is bound to cross your mind. Look, weddings are emotional. You’re going to get emotional. As you watch that white train glide down the aisle, you’re going to flashback to your failed relationships and wonder what could have been. Should you have just married Brian from the second grade? He’s a lawyer now. You could be married to a lawyer. Fuck.
Pro: You’ll Remember How Happy You Are That You Didn’t Stay In That Shitty Relationship
You’ve managed to date and dump multiple men without ever making the mistake of legally binding yourself to them and now you can thank the universe you’re single. As you watch your friends commit for life, you’ll breathe a sigh of relief that you didn’t commit to that ex who froze his jeans because he didn’t want to wash them. And even when the two of them are up on the alter being all in love and shit, you’ll comfort yourself in the knowledge that she drunkenly told you the sex was “meh” at the bachelorette. Ah, isn’t it great to be single and not dating a fuckboy? The world is your oyster.
Con: What If You Run Into Your Ex Or A Guy You’ve Previously Hooked Up With
If your friend circle is wide, there’s a decent chance you’ll see someone that’s been inside you at this wedding. And seriously, is there anything worse than stuffing your face at an oyster bar only to turn around and be face to face with your college ex and the Instagram model he’s dating now? At that point you’ll probably wish you brought a date, even if it was just your gay best friend.
Pro: You Don’t Have To Bring Some Hookup Who Your Friends Haven’t Met
Sure, Chad buys you iced coffees and bagels every few weeks or so, but if he’s not your boyfriend, you’re both going to have to answer a lot of dumb questions. Like “when’s it your turn” or “why is Chad flirting with that bridesmaid?” Better not risk having to see him in a suit and developing feelings that aren’t there. Leave your questionable hookups where they belong…at 3am as a last resort.
Con: You’re Going To Spend A Lot Of Money On Your Outfit And Hair
If you’re going to shell out hundreds of dollars at TopShop and Drybar, you will at least want a source of constant attention to make it worth it. Sure, the bride is always the most beautiful woman at the wedding, but the point of having a date is having someone to lean over during the ceremony and tell you that you look better. Every self respecting wedding guest needs someone to give you attention while everyone else is giving the bride attention. It’s honestly the only way anyone could make it through.
Going stag to a wedding has a lot of potential benefits, but you should only do so if you know for sure your other friends are doing it too, and there are hot single groomsmen. Otherwise, you’re just a loser.
Valentine’s Day aka Singles Awareness Day is here, and if you’re feeling anxiety over having to watch couples kiss while getting your latte in the morning, we’ve got you covered. If watching disgusting displays of love isn’t your thing, because honestly whose is it really, just avoid doing any of the following this today and you’ll be good.
1. Going To A Speakeasy
Any bar that is remotely classy or cute is not where you want to be on Valentine’s Day. Basically if the bartender calls him/herself a mixologist—or worse, artist—you should avoid it at all costs. Go drink somewhere as unimpressive as possible.
2. Ice Skating Or A Wintery Romantic Activity
Sorry, but who goes ice skating on a Tuesday evening anyway? You probably won’t have much problem avoiding this, but stay away from any activity that could be a date from an Archie comic.
3. Going Out To Dinner Literally Anywhere
If you go out to eat anywhere but your mom’s house, you’re literally going to be miserable and surrounded by couples. Yes, even Chipotle, because even fuckboys gotta celebrate Valentine’s Day.
4. Looking At Your Ex’s Social Media
This isn’t 50 Shades of Grey, there’s no need to torture yourself. Put down the Instagram and make yourself a cocktail (not alone, though—we’ll get to that in a sec).
5. Going To See 50 Shades Darker
Speaking of 50 Shades, stay away from the movie theater altogether on Valentine’s Day. Especially this movie glorifying an abusive relationship. You might start missing the fuckboys of your past and forget they were literally the worst.
6. Going To The Mall
You might think the mall is a safe space where you can retail therapy your way to peace, but you are wrong. The mall is the worst place to be on Valentine’s Day because every store will find a way to promote the shit out of the holiday to get you to buy stuff. Even a shoe store is going to find a way to make their sneakers about love.
7. Swiping On Dating Apps
It’s like how getting a match at 2am lets you know the person is shady AF: If you match with a bro on Tinder on Valentine’s Day, you’ll just look like you were swiping through your heartbreak…because you are. Answering messages on Valentine’s Day is probably fine, but avoid swiping for new matches or you’ll just look thirsty AF.
8. Going Through Your Old Relationship Photos And Wondering What You Did Wrong
When a relationship ends, it means you dodged a bullet, almost every time. It’s easy to look at old photos and think you had things better, but the truth is if it ended it was never going to last to begin with. Logic. Plus, your ex probably sucked, which is why he’s your ex.
9. Drinking By Yourself
You might think it’s cute to pour yourself a glass of Chardonnay and watch 13 Going on 30 in the fuzzy socks your mom sent in your Valentine’s Day care package, but three glasses in you’re just going to realize you made a terrible mistake. If you’re going to drink, drink with friends. That way, it’s not technically considered alcoholism.
10. Getting A Present For Your Casual Hookup
Valentine’s Day is for couples that have exhausted all their excitement and need a lame holiday to pretend they’re still in love. If you’re just falling in love or dating someone casually, put the candy hearts down. There’s no reason you can’t go on a date or hook up on Valentine’s Day, but don’t spend a dime on someone that isn’t going to take you as a plus one to their best friend’s wedding.