Tag Archives: Love

Self Love

I meant to write this post in February, the month of love. But I got distracted. Moving on.

February is the month of love but I bet you instantly think of Valentine’s Day, couples and chocolate. But shouldn’t it start with self love? That’s what I dedicated my February (mostly) to and here’s what I learned.

Mornings at the gym set the tone for my entire day. I absolutely need sleep if I want to be nice (and probably productive too). I feel better if I eat right but that does include carbs.I get a headache if I don’t drink enough water. Destressing after work includes watching my shows including sobbing during This Is Us. I catch people’s energy. Silence scares me. So does formally joining a dating website. People’s lack of accountability drives me nuts.

My biggest realization on this self love journey? I’m a fixer, a helper, a person who is the first to offer to help. I don’t say this to be self-righteous. I share this with you as a reminder to myself and because I’m sure many of you feel the same way. I love helping people and it certainly feel good to do good. But at what point does that stop and you start becoming resentful?

Harvard Business Review’s “Big Idea” in January was called Beat Generosity Burnout. In the article, the authors share how selflessness at work (and I’d argue personally too) leads to exhaustion. It’s a fascinating read that completely resonated with me. At some point, when all you do is say yes, you reach a breaking point. You throw your hands up and say no mas!

As the article points out, there are several ways to prevent yourself from getting to this point. For me, it all comes down to boundaries. I tested my theory out this past month and for the most part, it worked. When I chose to do things based on how I was feel and my priorities, I’m happier. I got clear on my boundaries by writing down what is important to me. I also realized that each day is going to go exactly my way. It’s okay to put others first when you choose to do it versus being forced. When I did choose to help, it felt even better than before and I was more present while with the person or project.

Self care is fundamental yet we all try to be superheroes. Taking care of yourself – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually – is the only way you’ll be able to help others. So it’s not selfish, it’s the first step in loving yourself fully.

 

 

 

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A Reminder for all my Single Ladies

It’s February 11th, which means we’re three short days away from Valentine’s Day. On this day, single women (maybe men too) pretend to hate the holiday, claim their independence and wear black. They tell themselves and the world that they don’t need anyone to take care of them. They celebrate with their girlfriends and refuse to entertain the idea of happily ever after. I’ve been guilty of this behavior but how is acting like this serving us?

For starters, I know I am making several generalizations. I am basing all of this off of my personal experiences and am not trying to bash fiercely independent single ladies, especially since I am one. You go and own that independence and keep doing you. My point is more about Valentine’s Day and love, which some cynical singles denounce. Do we really think that’s worth it? Probably not. If you believe in the theory that by putting good out there, you’ll receive goodness, then bashing men and relationships is pointless. Take your armor off girl and be vulnerable. All men are not created equally.

There are good men in the world. The sample of the population you’ve dated or dealt with is only a small portion of the whole. You’re also not allowed to base your attitude towards men on your relationships with any male relatives. I promise if you look outside of those populations, you’ll find good, strong, happy men. I work with several of them – colleagues I’ve had the pleasure of working with that are good men. Smart, vulnerable, funny, respectful men. They do exist I swear.

Case in point, my friend Alicia’s fiancé Andrew. I’ve only met Andrew once but based on my friend’s overall happiness, I can tell he’s a good man. And there’s proof! Check out the video below that shows how Andrew proposed to Alicia: with awarding winning photographers capturing several different shots that Andrew made into a stop motion video. Also pay attention to how Andrew starts the video…more evidence that when a spark of magic occurs, people show up differently.

 

So my single ladies (or any cynics out there), I challenge you to think differently about relationships, love and the upcoming holiday. Be open, put the positive vibes out there and you might be surprised at what you get in return.

Since I’m putting the ask out there for others, I should be practicing what I’m preaching. I created an online dating profile today. I’ve considered it in the past but now I’m really doing it!

Love & Other Drugs

Social media was flooded with two types of posts this past Saturday: people believing in love and people jaded by love. On one side, there were pictures of flowers, chocolates and jewelry. On the other side, cynical quotes tagged with #singlesawarenessday. So many emotions, so little characters, all for one day!

Valentine’s Day doesn’t phase me; it’s just another day on the calendar. If you’re not in a relationship, then maybe you should focus on the good relationships you do have – your parents, siblings, extended family and friends. Most think of love in terms of a romance, with a significant other. But there’s so many other types of love out there, why limit Valentine’s Day to a celebration of just romantic love?

SATCOne observation: most millennials are good about broadening this definition of love. Generally speaking, we’re not a generation hyper-focused on getting married and having babies. I’m not going to pretend that I know why or that I’ve done research that shows why. My best guesses are we’re more focused on bettering ourselves, finding a career that makes us happy versus makes us money and giving back. Also, we saw how our parents did it and might not want that for ourselves. Or maybe Carrie Bradshaw did have it right, that our girlfriends are the true loves of our lives.

I don’t want to generalize and say all millennials are waiting to get married or have babies. That’s not the truth. What I am saying is that there’s something about the 20 something female that is different in this generation versus past ones. The dating game has changed with the advent of Match.com, Tinder and the like. Also, the ability to Google anyone and anything might hurt our cause versus help it. Maybe technology has helped us create this barrier, this layer of protection, so we can somewhat hide behind a computer or phone screen. It makes us less vulnerable.

I’ll admit dating does intimidate me. I don’t like to be vulnerable and put myself out there. But, as the real lovesaying goes, no risk, no reward. I waver between understanding that statement and wondering if real, true love is sought after. If it’s meant to be, won’t it find a way? Or should I be searching for it on the Internet? I don’t have an answer yet but I do know I’ll figure it out in my own way on my own time.

Either way, however you look at it, wherever you are in the dating game, have an open mind and heart. I’m going to try and suggest you do that same. You know I want to hear your thoughts on this topic! Share away!

Family Fridays: Love You More

I wonder if my dad thought he’d get away with having a birthday and not getting a blog post. Who is he kidding! My own personal superman stands well over six feet tall and has a demanding presence. But, when you have a conversation with the man I call dad, you see how he is a gentle giant…or when in a bathrobe, Tony Soprano.

twinsI am fortunate enough to both look exactly like my dad and share some of his personality traits. He has taught be so much about life and family. Here’s the most important life lessons I’ve learn from my dad.

1. Respect: Since we were old enough to talk, my dad practically forced us to call family friends Mr. and Mrs. Please and thank you had to be used in order to receive anything. You call your grandparents often, never miss anyone’s birthday and show up for Sunday dinner. While we all, including my dad, catch an attitude sometimes, he raised us to respect others and ourselves.

2. Generosity: My dad has the biggest heart of anyone I’ve ever met. He literally would give you the shirt off his back. He will come to your games, help you financially and put your happiness before his own. He loves to make people happy, a trait I know I inherited from him. I have his big heart too, always willing to do for others before myself. Both Dad and I care too much, become over-invested and end up disappointed because not everyone is like us. It certainly is a learning process.

3. Sports: I can remember listening to WFAN, the fan radio station from about four years old until now. Thanks to my dad, I understand terms like power play, ERA and safety but also can throw a baseball, and do well in fantasy football. He had me at games, teaching my players’ names at only a couple of months old. He also instilled in me a love of sports, mainly softball. You could find Papa Crispino in the outfield with his cigar and sunflower seeds, keeping my stats. No man was prouder when I hit my first home run freshman year of high school. Through playing sports, my dad taught me never to quit, to give up and to always be a team player.

4. Music: Obsession with Billy Joel? Thanks Dad. When the fan wasn’t on in the car, Billy Joel, Kiss, Thedad Partridge Family or Barry Manilow were on the radio. River of Dreams was my dad and mine’s first song that I completed mess up the lyrics to. I even made him sing Celine Dion at my Communion party. My dad taught me to appreciate good music, the classics and sing as loud as I can with the windows down.

5. Love you more: Since I was about five, my dad would end every phone conversation with “love you more.” He still does it all the time. He also means those words like no other dad does. He loves me (and his other three children) more than life itself. He is extremely proud of me and says it to everyone often. Despite being severely overprotective, he has showed me what unconditional love is and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Below, I share with you the song “Cinderella.” I’ve never considered myself a princess, but I’m sure my dad does. I don’t know if I’ve ever asked him to dance, but at any and all parties we go to, he makes sure to squeeze in a slow dance with me. Even superman likes to dance sometimes.

Motivation Mondays: Love Never Fails

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. . .And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love” – 1 Corinthians 13:4-13

I am nowhere near religious, but I did grown up Catholic. From 7-12th grade, I went to Catholic school, attended church regularly and made all of my sacraments. While I should absolutely go to church more, I do believe in a higher power who has a plan for each of us. Recently, I was in church to witness my good friend’s wedding. It was not only beautiful but a moving experience.

Tori and I have been friends for three years now and I was honored to be a part of her special day. I was excited to help plan the wedding andeven more trilled to watch her marry her best friend. I have been to weddings before but for some reason, I felt completely different when this wedding was over. It moved me to tears and restored my faith in love and marriage.

Tori & I with another friend

Tori & I with another friend

I will be the first to admit that I’m a guarded person when it comes to relationships. It’s just my nature; I know I have to work on it. Having divorced parents also does not help the cause. Please note, I do not blame my parents in any way, shape or form. They have done a great job raising us and I would not have my life any other way. That being said, there are tons of psychological studies that show people with divorced parents are just wired differently. I must admit, it makes sense to me. When you don’t have a living, breathing example of marriage in front of you as a child, what are you supposed to think or feel?

Happy couple

Happy couple

However, watching two young adults profess their love for one another and promise to spend their lives together suddenly made a light bulb go off in my head. It should not matter what your circumstances were growing up. The fact is everyone is an adult and should make more of their situation, good or bad. One day, I’ll know when it will be right to get married and will have faith that it will last.

I am not going to say love never fails. People change, circumstances become different and life gets in the way. Everyone must give it their best shot. That’s the whole point of getting married anyway: to commit yourself to one person forever no matter what. That’s a pretty big deal. I am so lucky that I got to be a part of Tori and Byron’s wedding and know it made an impact on me. Sometimes with a little faith, one event can totally change your perspective. Let it!

 

Introducing The 30 Days of Truth Challenge

Right before the holidays, my friend and mentee Amber emailed myself along with our other two friends, asking us to participate in the 30 Days30truthdays1-300x297 of Truth blogging challenge. In short, you are given a prompt for each day and must answer it openly and honestly. Since I never say no to Amber, I figured why not try it out. I plan to incorporate multiple prompts into one post but will continue blogging about other topics. So this may take more than 30 days. Here goes nothing!

Day 01 → Something you hate about yourself.
Day 02 → Something you love about yourself.

I think it is too appropriate to put these prompts together since what I hate and love about myself are connected. I hate that I’m a constant over thinker. I cause myself too much stress wondering if the decision I made was right. I think it is my lack in self-confidence that leads to my continuous over thinking. I tend to feel like I’m always doing something wrong, disappointing someone and the list goes on. At work, I often contemplate if I did an assignment right and occasionally jump when my email goes off, afraid to look and see an irate email. Mind you, this has never happened so clearly it’s in my head. In my personal life, I wonder the wording of every text message, fearful I might aggravate my parents or friends. I honestly care too much about what other people think…because I am always trying to gain approval…thanks to a lack of self-confidence. Pretty full circle, right?

keep-calm-and-love-thyself-5Solution to the problem? Manage everyone’s expectations from the start of the job, conversation or whatever else. Accept the fact that I am good enough and whoever doesn’t think I am can take a hike. Realize nothing will ever be perfect. Figure out what triggers my lack of self-confidence. Have confidence in my decision-making skills since I’ve gotten myself this far without a real catastrophe. It’s a work in progress.

Now on a more positive note, what I love about myself. I love how much I care about people, projects and causes. I am invested in every single important person in my life.  If it or they matters to me, I give it 110 percent and will figure out a way to make it work. While there are times when I care too much, for the most part what I invest, I get back tenfold. When people see you are invested in them or their project, they tend to become equally as invested in you. Caring too much can lead to my over thinking but I wouldn’t change this part of my personality entirely. Like I said yesterday, 2013 is about balance for me. So, I am learning to balance my caring nature with the reality of caring too much and the negative things attached to that possibility.

A huge thank you to Amber for introducing me to the 30 days of truth blogging challenge. You should go check out her blog because it’s fantastic. Additionally, our other friend Lauren started her 30 days of truth challenge today too. Great minds think alike! The quote below sums it up.

“If I love you, I will carry for you all your pain, I will assume for you all your debts (in every definition of the word), I will protect you from your own insecurity, I will project upon you all sorts of good qualities that you have never actually cultivated in yourself and I will buy Christmas presents for your entire family. I will give you the sun and the rain, and if they are not available, I will give you a sun check and a rain check.” – Eat Pray Love

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