Honesty Shouldn’t Be Convenient

You should value honesty all the time because it will always benefit you, even if you don’t realize right away.

This article was originally published for The Odyssey on December 11, 2017.

I’m an incredibly honest person; this can be both good and bad, depending on the situation. No, I don’t go out of my way to be mean to someone, but I’m not afraid to say what I think, even if the truth may hurt. People usually either really enjoy my honesty or they absolutely hate it. They perceive me as a bitch who doesn’t care about anything, which isn’t true. Here’s the thing though: honesty shouldn’t be mixed up with self-interest. If you value honesty at all, you should want others to be honest with you all the time, not just when it’s convenient for you.

Many people think that in a close relationship, people should enable one another and support each other’s decisions, regardless of whether they’re wrong or right. I think if you’re willing to ride or die for someone, that’s one thing, but you shouldn’t enable them or lie to them. A healthy relationship, whether intimate or not, means that you both feel safe and secure in being honest with one another. If you don’t feel comfortable being honest, there’s an issue that should be fixed.

We live in a world where people are very two-faced; it can be hard to recognize how someone truly feels. I’ve been lied to way too many times to turn around and treat someone the awful way I felt after being betrayed. I know it’s hard to trust people but honest people are often the most trustworthy because they have no motivation to lie.

Honesty shouldn’t be convenient; it’s not something that should be utilized when one party is comfortable and then cut out when that party becomes uncomfortable. Honesty is meant to benefit both sides of a situation or circumstance, but perhaps in different ways. Wouldn’t you rather someone be upfront and real with you rather than saying one thing, only to turn around and say something else?

If you would rather have someone lie straight to your face so that you can preserve your feelings or self-interest, you may need to reevaluate yourself and your expectations. That’s not a healthy dynamic.

You shouldn’t value my honesty for entertainment and then turn around and act like I’m this terrible person for telling you the truth later on. Just because you’ve changed your perspective given the circumstance doesn’t mean that I’m a bitch. But sometimes you need to be a bitch to get shit done and almost always you need to be honest to communicate effectively in every circumstance.

You should value honesty in someone no matter what the circumstance; it takes bravery to stand up and say what you truly think about something. Even if you think the truth doesn’t benefit you, it probably does in some way. Just try and keep that in mind.


12 Reasons Why I Won’t Find Prince Charming Anytime Soon

It’ll happen when it happens.

This article was originally published for The Odyssey on December 6, 2017.

I am at a point in my life where many of my friends are in long-term relationships. Many of those same friends wouldn’t mind spending the rest of their lives with their current significant others. I have always been the single friend who gives everyone else advice, and while I’m a little tired of third-wheeling, I don’t think I’ll be in a relationship anytime soon. Here’s why:

1. I am terrified to make the first move.

When I see a cute boy, I pretty much keep my mouth shut… forever. I’m not likely to ask them to even hang out as friends, nonetheless on a date. I will never make the first move… I have zero confidence.

2. Commitment is kind of scary.

Not to sound old-fashioned or generalize, but commitment isn’t what it used to be. People are usually never satisfied these days, and it’s scary to see something so good go south so quickly.

3. Sometimes I expect too much.

From both myself and others. I get upset when I don’t receive the results I expected, too. This would be a factor in a relationship that’s hard to work with.

4. My mental health hasn’t been great lately.

I cried over not being able to successfully cook ground meat yesterday.

5. Feelings are dumb.

Feelings can really blind you from seeing something for how it truly is.

6. Dating apps will never be my thing.

I’m never gonna be able to message first. I’m never gonna wanna hook up and I’m never gonna be smooth enough to interact with boys on Tinder.

7. I have zero time to relax.

My schedule is jam-packed with schoolwork, regular work, and other commitments. I don’t even know when I’d be able to make time for a possible date.

8. I am not a patient person.

I’m working on it, but patience is so not my strong-suit.

9. I don’t know how to flirt.

?????Is there a class for this??????

10. I don’t go out enough to meet someone.

The parties I do go to are with friends and friends only.

11. I’m incredibly awkward around boys.

Palms sweaty, mom’s spaghetti awkward.

12. I’m not actually actively looking for anything.

It’ll happen when it happens, right?


You’re Actually The Worst If You Have One Of These 12 Terrible Tinder Bios

You’d be rich if you had a dollar every time you saw these bios. Like pay-for-college-tuition-rich.

This article was originally published for Swoon on October 23, 2017.

If you’ve never used Tinder, consider yourself lucky.

Anyone who has spent even five minutes on the app can tell you that it’s mostly a waste of time. You either find people who have their life story in their bios, or they have the same quotes from the same television shows that everyone is tired of hearing about.

If you had a dollar for every time you saw these 12 bios on Tinder, you’d have enough money to pay for college, probably.

1. “Favorite Food: Milksteak. Hobbies: Magnets. Likes: Little Green Ghouls. Dislikes: Peoples’ Knees.”

I like “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” as much as the next person, but this is the worst. Nobody likes peoples’ knees! It’s not funny anymore!

2. “Bears, beets, Battlestar Galactica.”

You probably don’t even know what Battlestar Galactica is. FOH.

3. “Some people call me _____, but you can call me tonight.”

This line is so old it’s not even smooth anymore; just crusty.

4. “Not (insert legal age here), 17.”

Listen, I know it was the bee’s knees to make Facebook profiles when you were 13 and say that you were 21, but this is downright terrible.

5. “Just looking to meet people/make friends.”

Okay, I know I’m a wildcard for looking for a relationship on the app, but friends?! LEAVE.

6. “Anything you wanna know, just ask.”

Okay, I would, except, you never answer my messages.

7. “Looking for my tinderella…”


8. “‘You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take’ – Wayne Gretzky – Michael Scott”

I don’t think this has ever been funny. I can’t be the only one.

9. “I don’t message first.”

You probably don’t message back either.

10. “Just got out of a long-term relationship and-“

Okay, we haven’t even met yet. I don’t need your relationship history.

11. “I enjoy long walks on the beach.”

Swipe left.

12. “‘One hell of a guy.’ – New York Times. ‘Outstanding gentleman.’ – Washington Post. ‘I wish I could be more like him.’ – Ellen.”

Can’t you just introduce yourself like any normal person?

In A World Of Lydia Bennets, I Am An Elizabeth Bennet

I’m 20-years-old, a junior in college and I have never been in a relationship.

This article was originally published for The Odyssey on September 6, 2017.

I have always felt very drawn toward “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen. The book, the movie adaptations (including “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies”), the sequel adaptations (like “Death Comes to Pemberley”) and even The Lizzie Bennet Diaries own a special place in my heart. I used to think it was because I loved period movies, like “Gone With the Wind,” “Little Women” and “Mansfield Park.” But, no, I’ve discovered through many of the adaptations, that my true love lies with none other than Elizabeth Bennet.

It seems that in today’s world, everyone is in a rush to be in a relationship. Everyone seems to be in a rush to be with someone, settle down and stay with that one person forever. If you ask me, it sounds a little too good to be true. The relationships our parents and grandparents once had aren’t readily available like they used to be. Young people today are often baffled by how many options there are in modern dating, and most feel opposed to settling down. Modern dating is large loop of dissatisfaction it seems.

I’m 20 years old, a junior in college and I have never been in a relationship. I’ve never even come close to being in a relationship. At times, it’s been frustrating. I’ve wondered if there’s something wrong with me, or if I’m in the wrong place or some similar. I’ve often wondered if perhaps my time is running out, since most of my friends have found someone they like so much that they’ve been with them for several years now.

Though it can be frustrating and annoying to be in my boat, I feel almost more comfortable with it. It’s not that I don’t want to be in a relationship, it’s just that I know looking for one is a wild goose chase in today’s world. Dating apps like Plenty of Fish and Tinder either draw in creeps and perverts or guys who don’t want to date, only hook-up. Trying to meet people through blind dates or friends often follows a similar pattern.

It’s taken me a couple of years, but I’ve decided to stop looking for love altogether. It’s not that I’ve given up on it, or anything, but I just think that if it’s meant to be, it’ll happen, one way or another. I think that’s why I identify so strongly with Lizzie Bennet; she had a similar opinion about marriage and settling down.

Though the plot of every “Pride and Prejudice” adaptation includes Mrs. Bennet attempting to marry off her girls to rich gentleman, every version also includes the headstrong Lizzie who refuses to settle for just any man. In “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies,” she has a conversation with Charlotte at the ball where Lizzie says, “I shall never relinquish my sword for a ring.” Charlotte replies and laughs, “For the right man, you would,” and Lizzie replies, “The right man wouldn’t ask me to.” I feel as though this theme runs throughout all the “Pride and Prejudice” adaptations and also my life.

I am interested in many things. I have many passions that fall in a great many of areas. I like writing, literature and publishing and editing, and although this is the preferred field of study, it may not be the one I embark in after graduation. I am also interested in stage managing and the technical side of theatre, and if perhaps there are no jobs in either of those things, I’d say I’m pretty well-versed in the area of event planning, as well.

I honestly think that throwing a boyfriend into the mess of my life, which includes all of these passions, my ambition to work with people and the struggles I endure with my mental illness, would be a little bit crazy. Maybe the Universe is waiting to hand me ‘the one.’ Or maybe, the Universe is attempting to wait until things cool down before I can and have time to meet any ‘one.’ Either way, I’m completely fine with waiting.

I’m in no rush to date, meet people or settle down. I’m 20. I have the rest of my twenties and maybe even some of my thirties to worry about those things. Meeting a man is at the bottom of my priorities list. I want to graduate college with a degree I want to pursue, find a job in one of the areas I’d like to pursue and settle down in an apartment of my own with a sense of some kind of stability.

If you’re unaware of the “Pride and Prejudice” book or any of its adaptations, you should know there are really three important characters in the Bennet family that are relevant to the big-picture.

There’s Elizabeth “Lizzie” Bennet, who is in no rush to settle down and is willing to wait for the ‘right’ man, rather than settling down in a marriage where no love is present, is the main character. There is also her older sister Jane, is a beautiful woman, not otherwise engaged, who knows the importance of love in a relationship but also realizes the value of and need for wealth in her time period.

Finally, there is Lydia, their younger sister, who loves to chase the soldiers around town, loves flirting and adores the idea of being someone’s wife. Her naivety is something that sets the family back more than she can comprehend.

I don’t really care about wealth in today’s age; I’ve always had to hustle and grind to get what I want in this world, and I would rather someone who has had a similar upbringing rather than someone way more privileged than me, so that crosses Jane off the list. I feel as though there aren’t many Jane-like people in today’s society, that more people are ready to settle down rather than wait and more people are looking at class differences to marry advantageously rather than not.

So that leaves Lizzie and Lydia. In a world of Lydia Bennets, I am an Elizabeth Bennet, and proudly, at that. I’m in no rush to meet a man and I am in less of a rush to marry and settle down. I could never be a trophy wife; I work too much and I don’t think that’s the sort of thing I would want to or think that I could ‘shut off’ per se.

I want to thank Jane Austen, Seth Grahame Smith, Hank Green and Bernie Su for creating such relatable Elizabeth Bennets. Without these characters, I would feel lost in the romantic world, not knowing quite what my options were. The “Pride and Prejudice” universe has always offered me comfort that my ‘Mr. Darcy’ is still out there. And maybe, just maybe, he’s waiting for me too.

13 Phrases You Need To Stop Saying To Your Sensitive Friends

If there’s one thing sensitive people are, it’s this: completely aware.

“Everything changes once we identify with being the witness to the story, instead of the actor in it.” – Ram Dass

This article was originally published with The Odyssey on June 12, 2017.

Here’s to all the sensitive people who are tired of being shut down for “caring too much.” I’ve been told pretty much my entire life that I’m too sensitive. Anytime I express any sort of discontent or anxiety toward a situation, my family, friends, and surrounding peers do not hesitate to judge the way I react. When someone in your life is acting what you believe to be “too sensitive,” offer them a hand or a shoulder instead of invalidating their feelings. Here are 13 things to stop telling the sensitive people in your life, and what you can do to help instead.

1. “You need to calm down.”

If we’re upset over something seems irrational to you, do not stoop to invalidating our reactions instead of offering comfort. Different experiences evoke different emotions. Simply offer us an ear or a hand, and most of all, be there for us.

2. “You’re freaking out over nothing.”

It’s not ‘nothing’ just because you aren’t ‘freaking out.’ Our emotions are strong and often take the wheel of our reactions. No matter how small the situation may turn out to be, it has obviously affected us and you shouldn’t judge us for caring so much.

3. “I’m just not going to tell you anything anymore because you’re way too emotional.”

You know what the worse thing you can do to an already emotional person? Make them more emotional by not only invalidating their feelings but also exhibiting regret for having to deal with their sensitivity. If you are thinking of cutting back on communication, perhaps consider the sensitive person’s triggers and work diligently to avoid them unless absolutely necessary.

4. “Stop being so dramatic.”

Often people who are sensitive or over-sensitive are not acting dramatic to inconvenience you; they are simply so in tune with their environment and surroundings that they are adversely affected. Sensory overload is a real thing and telling a sensitive person that they’re being ‘dramatic’ is rude. Try re-centering the person by speaking gently to them, or perhaps find a way to remove them from the stressful environment.

5. “Just stop.”

If sensitive people could control their feelings and reactions toward certain things, they likely would. Sometimes we know why we react the way we do and sometimes we don’t. Do not be insensitive.

6. “Why do you care so much?”

Often times, we don’t know why we “care” so much, and sometimes it’s not even that we “care” at all; we are just very connected to our surroundings. Anything could affect us negatively, causing an influx of emotions, that may or may not be warranted. Instead of questioning the person, be present and tangible for their sake.

7. “You worry too much.”

Sensitivity to our surroundings is often something we cannot help but express. Anxiety and nervousness are common side effects to sensitivity and those are traits that are uncontrollable as well. Instead of ostracizing sensitive people, attempt to ask us if you can help in any way. Offer a distraction if possible.

8. “You’re making everything way more difficult than it needs to be.”

Sensitive people have a difficult time processing and handling their thoughts, moods and emotions sometimes. We “make” things difficult because our sensitivity is inconvenient and difficult. Sensitive people can become overloaded with simple tasks because they get ahead of themselves and overthink. You can appeal to the feelings of the sensitive person by offering a solution or an alternative to our problems. Believe me, as much as you’re feeling inconvenienced, we’re definitely the ones being troubled.

9. “It sounds like you just want attention.”

First of all, wanting attention isn’t a negative thing — some people need more attention when they’re not getting enough, and we shouldn’t judge them for it. There is no need to feel ashamed for wanting more attention. Second, sensitive people often feel the emotions of others and depending on the strength of the empathy, they may need more attention. There’s nothing wrong with that.

10. “The world doesn’t revolve around you.”

Not saying that you should neglect your own feelings and issues to focus on the sensitive person’s — if you’re feeling neglected in a friendship, definitely address this. However, sensitive people often experience emotional overload often — and while they may know how to handle it — everyone needs a little help sometimes. Remember to put yourself in the other person’s shoes and ask them to do the same for you.

11. “You overthink everything. Just suck it up and deal with it.”

If only it were that easy. Any situation could impact a sensitive person, whether it’s an apparent trigger or not. Something that seems irrelevant to you could feel like a tsunami to a sensitive person. As always, be courteous and be cooperative. Try to understand what the other person is thinking. Don’t brush them off.

12. “It’s all in your head.”

Maybe it is, but just because you can’t see what we’re struggling with doesn’t mean I’m not struggling. Do not erase people’s feelings. When someone says they’re struggling or they’re hurt, you don’t get to speculate and say that they aren’t. Offer yourself as a positive and tangible being or remove yourself entirely. Sensitive people often have enough doors leading to easy negativity — they don’t need a bridge to close and personal darkness as well.

13 . “You’re way too sensitive.”

If there’s one thing sensitive people are, it’s this: completely aware. At first, learning you are sensitive can be a trying journey, but people know their sensitivity like the back of their hands. Sensitive people are and will always be more in touch with their personal and environmental emotions than any other type of person. We know we’re “overreacting” in your eyes. We know we’re “inconveniencing” you. We know we’re “being difficult.” Despite all of this, we can’t change who we are or how we feel. Sensitive people often carry the weight of the world on their shoulders or at least the weight of the emotions of the world; they don’t need negative friends on top of that weight.

It’s Not Giving Up, It’s Stepping Back

Know that even if someone important to you does depart, that they may return. If they don’t, however, know that you’ll be just fine because you can stand on your own two feet.

What to realize when someone “leaves you” due to your mental illness.

This article was originally published for the The Odyssey on March 6, 2017.

We’ve all seen that picture that circulates the internet with a few words written on a photograph that reads, “Please don’t leave,” or “Please don’t leave me.” I’ve heard many people relay those same words to me as they beg me not to ‘leave them behind’ due to their mental illness. I wish they would realize that I’m not leaving them behind; I’m simply taking a breather. When someone ‘leaves’ you for reasons surrounding your mental illness, understand that they’re not giving up on you; they’re simply taking a step back.

Mental illness can be a very powerful and draining thing. Enduring it alone is difficult and many people believe they cannot survive without the support of others. This is true in some cases. The problem is that there will almost always be someone who ‘leaves’ due to the circumstances surrounding your mental illness, and you can’t give up just because that person is no longer around.

I don’t really like to use the word ‘leave’ or ‘leaves’ because I think that usually correlates with someone disappearing. Generally, you leave a place, not a person. You are not an object. You are not an island and your mental illness isn’t shark infested waters. A better word for your situation is likely ‘step back’ or ‘give in’. Giving up and leaving are generally not what a person does when they can no longer bear the weight of your mental illness.

Your demons are dark, no matter what kind they are and no matter where they originate from. They are dark and heavy on your soul. They try to eat you alive. That’s what creates depression, anxiety, and other types of mental illness. When a friend or family member that was once close to you decides to remove themselves from your life due to a circumstance surrounding your mental illness, it is not your fault. Let me repeat that: it is not your responsibility to keep someone from taking a step back.

Friendship is fluid. Family can even be fluid, though many don’t think so. Demons are scary and powerful. They will try to drag anyone and everything down with them into the pits of darkness. They are incredibly toxic. When someone close to you forfeits their relationship with you, it’s because they’re trying to get as far away from those evil demons as they can.

Many of us shoulder our own demons, and if someone takes a step back from their relationship with you, it’s likely due to the fact that they cannot handle both your demons and their own.

It feels personal, but I promise, in a real friendship or a real, genuine relationship, it isn’t. Friends are not generally equipped to handle those types of things. They aren’t registered therapists or psychiatrists, and no matter how many times they lend you an ear, they simply aren’t trained to help you in the way you require.

Understand that those who can no longer face your demons are not giving up, they’re taking a step back. In the bargain that is their mental health and your relationship, they will and should put their mental health first. Just as you aren’t to blame for your mental illness, you’re not to blame for your friends departing.

As long as you have not hurt those friends or family members on purpose, or manipulated them in any way to get what you wanted, you are not the problem. If you genuinely did not hurt someone and they step back, it is not personal. Know that, however, if there was manipulation and ill-feelings involved, that your relationship may not return, and sometimes that’s for the better. It is not someone else’s job to fix you. It is their job to hold your hand while you fix yourself.

Think of your relationships as one of those bridges that lifts up its ends to allow the ships to pass through. The ships represent time. You and that person are just lifting up your sides of the bridge. It doesn’t matter if you don’t want to, the bridges cannot pass through if you do not lift your side up. Many ships will pass through. Sometimes, even after the ships have passed, your friend may not wish to put their side of the bridge back down. That’s okay, too. Sometimes it’s not meant to be.

After realizing the reason for your relationship’s hiatus, you have to remember that you are not alone, no matter how lonely you feel. Everyone has to put their mental health first, but that doesn’t mean that yours no longer matters. Your mental health and mental illness are just as important as anyone else’s. Know that you cannot give up just because someone you care about took a step back. You have to take a stand up for yourself and fight tooth and nail for your life. If life was meant to be easy, we’d all live forever.

You have to learn to be your own anchor. You have to prop yourself up and fight against all the negativity coming at you. Be your own ray of sunshine, and perhaps you’ll be a ray of sunshine for others too. You are meant to be here. You have a purpose even if you haven’t realized it just yet. If you weren’t meant to be on this Earth, the Universe would have picked you off long ago.

You are meant to be here to change the world, even if it’s someone’s world. Realizing that will help you in your process of healing. Know that even if someone important to you does depart, that they may return. If they don’t, however, know that you’ll be just fine because you can stand on your own two feet. You are strong. You will always be strong. Continue to be strong, if not for anyone but yourself. No one can drag you down but you, remember that. You are your own anchor.