Why Female Friendships are Actually Important

Today is Valentine’s Day. Or, as I’m choosing to celebrate, “Galentine’s Day.” My house is properly decorated with pink streamers, red and pink paper lanterns, and sparkly silver wall coverings.

I went to the grocery store yesterday to get all the ingredients I need to make my single’s soiree one for the books! Pink champagne (the good shit), jumbo sea scallops, asparagus, arborio rice, ghee, oh – and a hot pink Capri Blue (Volcano) candle. Cause I obviously want my home to smell like Anthro. Always. Obviously.

You could say I’m a *wee* bit excited for this evening. Perhaps, the most excited I’ve been on a Valentine’s Day evening – ever. I also happen to absolutely LOVE throwing parties. Especially ones where I get to cook. That are in my home. In which people actually show up. (Major perk for having GOOD friends btw – is that they show up and don’t bail or no-show on you!)

This year browsing social media, talking to friends, family, co-workers, I find myself more happy than ever to celebrate those who love. Celebrating relationships of all kinds. Whether they are friendships or romantic relationships – love is a powerful, universal emotion that affects so much of our life. From wanting more of it, to denying it, to withholding it, to giving it. It is human nature to seek companionship and to give and receive love.

Do you remember when it seemed like the “cool” thing to brag about only have male friends, because women were “too much drama.” I do. I’ve always had a few girlfriends here or there, but when I was younger I was more of a tom-boy, had lots of brothers (who had lots of male friends), therefore – I was consistently surrounded by men/boys… who I thought were my friends.

Sure, there are those men who will ACTUALLY be your friend. But it’s been my experience that it is RARE to find a male friend who truly remains your friend. There is either some unrequited attraction (by them, or you), you’re not taken seriously enough when something is bothering you and you need to talk, you get drunk and hook up and then it gets awkward, they embarrass or tease you after learning things about you in a public place (yep, that’s definitely happened to me). I believe that having male friends is important to being a well-developed individual, it’s nice to be able to bounce ideas off of them. Their brains work differently than ours, so sometimes it gives you a chance to get some perspective.

HOWEVER – there is NOTHING that can replace having some seriously amazing, supportive, badass girlfriends.

With that in mind, I decided to put together all the reasons why I think having female friends is actually important, should be prioritized and celebrated. Let us dig in:

  1. Empowerment & Understanding – Once you find a (some) seriously amazing girlfriend(s), you won’t be subjected to negativity or bitchiness. Instead, you’ve got this amazing powerful group of women who inspire and empower you to achieve your potential. All while having your back and understanding when things get in the way. You’ve got your own personal cheerleaders who aren’t afraid to have differing opinions on highly-sensitive subjects, but also “girl talk” about the hot guy who you keep running into at the dog park.
  2. Find Your Tribe – As I’ve kind of hinted at, you don’t need a massive gaggle of girlfriends to be fulfilled. Truthfully, props to you if you can find enough girlfriends who you like, trust, and manage to get along with each other as well. It is HARD to find/make friends when you become an adult. When you’re younger, relationships grow so much more organically – probably because you’re surrounded by so many options, at minimum 5 days per week. As we get older, we have less and less opportunities to meet new people and then somehow turn that new person into a friend. It takes vulnerability on both parties and a big risk on someone’s to reach out to make that connection happen. But guess what – your group of girlfriends doesn’t have to look like “sex and the city”, maybe it looks a little more like “the office.” <– glamourous girls versus the awkward family photo group.
  3. Every Relationship Requires Work – and guess what, most often than not, if you find a good girlfriend, she’s willing to put in the work. It’s a see-saw type of relationships, rarely will you ever be on the same page giving the same amount or taking the same amount. When one person is lacking, the other gives more and vice-versa. AND GUESS WHAT ELSE – It’s okay to tell your friend, “I need more from you.” And she won’t call you needy. HA! Yeah, girlfriends are awesome.
  4. Role Models – I don’t know about you, but I try to surround myself with strong, powerful, independent, vulnerable women. Women I look up to. Women I want to be like. I’ve got friends teaching me how to be open and honest in romantic relationships. I’ve got other friends teaching me how to stick up for myself and not get pushed around. I’ve got other friends who are helping me put a budget together (or maybe just telling me to quit shopping before I go broke). The point is, you should surround yourself with women who embody qualities you admire and strive for (cause guess what, they’ll rub off on you!)
  5. Affection is not sexualized – I know, this seems weird to put on here. But did you know you can hug, kiss, and smack your girlfriend on the ass and she won’t think you’re trying to pick up on her? Weird, right? Also – when i’m talking about affection, i’m referring to a more open-hearted style. Where they show up with ice cream or “magic pizza”  when you’ve had a really hard day because your mom got diagnosed with cancer, or you’re tired of the bully at work who won’t stop picking on you, or maybe that guy you really liked ghosted you. The really amazing girlfriends won’t make it a competition of who was hurt more by whom/what. They’re there to listen or maybe to just sit in silence and binge watch Netflix with you. Regardless, that’s some serious love.

So in the spirit of Valentine’s Day – I say… “Happy Galentine’s Day” to my girlfriends. I am so grateful for each and everyone of you and the difference you have made in my life and imprinted on my heart. I see a little piece of you in me and that makes me SOOOOOO happy!

Cheers ladies, happy love-day. Embrace your friendships, relationships, parents, whomever you’ve got – love on them today, make sure they know it!


What Matters Most

Oh hey, 2018.


What a crazy year, 2017 was. I know I’m not the only one who feels that way. You’ve got people who experienced so many different milestones in their life. People were either fighting for segregation or coming together to fight mutually shared obstacles. So many personal struggles were broadcasted through social media. So many people felt personally offended by others. So much love and hate was spread. So much violence and sexual assault was brought to our attention.

We witnessed powerful acts in 2017. Regardless of how you feel about the year, everyone can agree that it was powerful.

I took a brief hiatus from my blogging, I’m sure you were all wondering where the hell I went. Especially when I was enjoying it so much. There was just so many things I wasn’t able to share at that time, that I can finally share now!

I made the decision in October to step out of my shadow and try something new. The great thing about pushing yourself and seeing what you can do is that 1 of two things can happen. You either succeed (and then, WOW! talk about a self esteem boost), or you fail (and now you know what you need to work on). I had the privilege of interviewing for over a month for a company in Atlanta, GA. I completed several rounds of phone and video interviews, completed several projects, and was flown down there to meet their team in November. I was offered the job the following week. The position was with a video marketing group, working as a project manager.

Obviously – I have ZERO experience in this. Which I made 100% crystal clear. After busting my ass to complete things (after a LOT of google research, like.. really – wtf is a production booklet? a storyboard? HELP ME GOOGLE!), nailing my interviews, falling in love with their team… I was offered the job, and declined.

Yep – you read that right, I declined the position.

This was not me testing the waters to see if I was capable of reaching outside of veterinary/human healthcare… this was not me yanking around a company’s chain for my own personal satisfaction. I was not on a mission to make myself feel better. I honestly did not thing I would be offered the job, and I told myself that even if I wasn’t – what an amazing opportunity to branch out and try something new.

I declined the position for lack of flexibility with pay. Over the last year and the things I’ve had to go through in my career I’ve learned one thing that stands out. It is EXTREMELY important to KNOW YOUR WORTH. If you’re unhappy with the dollar amount that’s being offered to you, ALWAYS negotiate. If a company is unwilling to negotiate, walk away. Really though, WALK AWAY. The most power you will ever have when you are offered a job is the initial process once it’s been offered to you – after that… who knows what happens.

Not an easy decision. I had already contacted and filled out an apartment application, contacted family members once the ticket/hotel was booked for me to go down there… My lease in Seattle was ending the week of Thanksgiving… everything was just pushing me to this point of – shit or get off the pot.

But I chose to stay. So here I am, still in Seattle.

I wrapped up the quarter with a 98.05% in my psych class. Beating myself up for not getting 100%… but sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. I’ll choose to look at this as a winning scenario. I managed to work full time, plus my side jobs, AND kick ass in my class. So… cheers to that, girlfriend.

I was in a deep sadness watching so many of my close friends move away this summer. I had an overwhelming feeling of loneliness that kept me so shut off and introverted I had a hard time recognizing myself while getting ready in the mornings. I have taken that sadness and turned it into something I can work with. I reached out and have managed to make and maintain new friendships. If I’m staying in Seattle another year, I better make some damn good girlfriends while I’m at it.


I’ve been able to make some incredible memories with this shining diamond right here. Butter & Todd’s future BA veterinarian, miss Audrey. What a difference she has made in my life. We met while working at a veterinary clinic together while she was home from Vet School 3 years ago. After I lost my job at the clinic, we became even closer. She is my red wine & magic pizza babe and I am so blessed to be friends with her.


This sassy girl…. how lucky did I get when she stalked me on facebook to let me know I left my debit card at her coffee stand… and then me, in all my awkwardness replies, “thanks, wanna be friends?” – the rest is history. It’s rare to meet someone you look at and go, “WTF.” to everything they say, because they’re a mirror image of yourself. Laughing over so many of the same experiences and mistakes we’ve made while having a blast and spending too much money on shit we don’t need. You are an AWESOME surprise and I am SO glad my coffee stand girl crush on you turned into one of the best friends I’ve got here in washington! ❤


Ooooooh. Lil. Lil. Lil. Lil. WTF would I do without you? Within 48hrs of starting my new job you had already friend requested me on Facebook. You enrich my life SO much. I have learned a ridiculous amount from you in the short time we have been friends. You are magical. I couldn’t imagine a better desk buddy or classy girls night partner in crime. Thanks for supporting me in all the decisions I make and listening to all my dating/family/friend drama. You are seriously sunshine on my otherwise cloudy days. ❤


Sometimes we make friends who we don’t get to see very often, but when you do, it’s worth the wait! Tay tay, Totty, and Whit – so happy I was able to spend time with you ladies as we close up 2017. So proud of everything y’all have accomplished! Taylor moving off to Sacramento and pursuing her dreams of being a veterinarian… Tess – holy crap, you’re pregnant! Couldn’t be more excited for Baby Barkley. And Whitney – I’m so glad you continue to call me for last minute Toaster sleepovers. I look forward to our get togethers more than you know and I miss working with you so much! ❤


Cheers to so many new and old friends. What an odd group of kids who all came together just because I asked them to. Meeting Sam & Tyler and having them open my eyes to some shit I had been unable to lift the fog from – I will be eternally grateful. Mollie (and I guess Jan, too) – I’m so happy to see you with someone who loves and adores you, you deserve it! I can’t believe how much you’ve grown since I met you so many years ago when we both worked together at VCA. Marissa – I’m going to miss you so much, but I’m also SO excited for you to start your new career! Ebony – on your way to the sunshine, you have opened my eyes to a new way of thinking and I am so grateful to have you as a friend!


And last but certainly not least, the best Christmas present I’ve had in YEARS! B – I am SO proud of you and everything you have accomplished. It’s hard to believe we just celebrated out 11yr “friendiversary” on New Years Eve. If there’s one dude I can count on other than my papa – it’s you. Thank you for such a fun week and I can’t wait to see you again soon!


I was so spoiled with all these wonderful people during my blogging hiatus. My cup is literally so full it’s spilling over with love. Sitting back and looking around I am more grateful than ever for my home in Seattle, the incredible friends I am making and the distances people are willing to travel to come see me.

While there is still a lot of adventure barreling towards me in 2018… I am more prepared than ever to handle anything that gets thrown at me.

Let’s do the damn thing.


P.S. – To Nina, Ilana & Cara — don’t think I love you any less because I didn’t post a picture of you on here or give you a shout out. I was simply enjoying the new friends I have made since this summer & loving on those who came to visit this holiday season. You guys know I love you. ❤

It’s okay to be stubborn

In my last post I discussed how I was employing a life coach, Markie & a therapist, Karen, to help me work through a few things.

One thing I’m learning in these AHH-MAZING sessions is that:

  1. I’m not as crazy as I thought I was.
  2. I love talking to new people.
  3. I’m apparently really good at judging people based off of their appearance/brief summary.
  4. I don’t like paying for friends.

I just got off a call with Markie tonight, this marks our 3rd session together and I can already feel this great bond/connection forming. After some brief google stalking I found out she’s the same age as me – which surprised me as much as it didn’t.

I’ll admit it, I’ll admit it. I judge books based on their cover.

The thing that appealed to me most about her was her brown hair and glasses. She looked like she could be my cousin. I saw her and said, “Oh! I pick her. She looks like someone I’d want to be friends with!” And… lo and behold, our professional “friendship” formed. (And I’m paying for it.)

I spilled my guts out to her in our first session (while holding some things back), in our second — I dug a little deeper. Today, we came full circle discussing the last few sessions and reviewing some “homework” she had assigned me.

I love homework. It makes me feel like I am taking an active role in my mental health and learning how to have a more positive and constructive relationship (not only with myself, but others as well).

She had me create a “Thought Record,” where I describe an event, which was then followed by a thought, a feeling, and an action.

You may be wondering why she assigned this specific piece of “homework” to me.

Well… I asked for it, kinda.

You see, one of the things I’ve been trying to work on is recognizing emotions/feelings and how I respond to them.

Like I’ve said previously — It’s VERY easy for me to get carried away. I often over stay my welcome OR drink too much on dates OR become inappropriately vulnerable while meeting new people. This exercise is supposedly allowing me to visually see the break down between events/thoughts/feelings and actions. I had only 4 days between our chat Wednesday up until today to put together some things as they came along and I discovered that I put more emphasis on the negative things that happened to me. Majority of which proceeded to secure the same emotions, “helpless, frustrated, discouraged.”

Uhh… WTF?!

My events were very basic, but they triggered something in me which is why I decided to explore it further.

  1. My mom’s doctor appointment, which turned into an ultrasound, and then a mammogram… and then THREE radiologists being puzzled and basically just saying, “hmm… we don’t know. Let’s monitor for now.”
  2. A scary, confrontational, vulnerable discussion with a guy I’ve been dating. He’s moving on Friday and it stirs up all these strange feelings for me.
  3. A confrontational, emotionally-charged conversation with my best friend that followed the discussion I had with the guy I’m dating — which triggered more emotions for me.
  4. Being forgotten about — or the plans being forgotten about. That sucked.
  5. Watching my friend and her ex interact in the presence of a man she’s currently dating in a completely inappropriate way. Her ex proceeded to get fucking hammered and embarrass the shit out of himself, while she took it upon herself to be his caretaker (WHY!?).
  6. Waking up late today. FML. I hate being rushed. I hate being late. I just hate sleeping through my alarm in general. It makes me FEEL… stupid and inadequate.

So there you have it – my list of events from 7/6-7/9. Ta-freaking-Da.

The majority of these events made me uncomfortable in some way or another. Whether it was feeling helpless regarding my mom’s diagnoses, or feeling heartbroken over a guy I happen to really like who is moving. They made me uncomfortable. I hate being uncomfortable. It’s gross. Ew.

The conversation/experience I had with my therapist was slightly different. She didn’t send me home with homework, but she did ask me to dress more comfortably next time I came in.

You see, she specializes in a practice called yoga psychotherapy. Which, for those who know me, speaks to my soul. Yoga = soul mate workout. Combined with the benefits of therapy? Oh yes. Bring. It. On, Baby! Let’s DO THIS!

It’s amazing how much you can cover in an hour with someone you just meet who knows just the right questions to ask to keep you talking (A common thing I’ve noticed with Markie AND Karen is that I hate saying goodbye, I want to keep talking, at the end of our sessions I have this incredible rush of endorphins and just can’t stop smiling. It’s like leaving the best first date, EVER. I LOVE IT!). We covered topics ranging from my parents divorce, my relationship with my dad (we BRIEFLY touched on the one with my mom), my work history and getting fired from my clinic, my relationship with Mark & the few I’ve dated since then, as well as what I want for my future. What my future looks like and how I plan on getting there/achieving my goals.

I felt so uplifted and inspired afterwards that the hour + drive home didn’t irritate me as much as normal. I felt like I was finally starting to build a support team who could help walk me through the next few days, weeks, months, or even years.

Everyone I meet… there’s some strange connection that draws me to them. For example: Markie — she looks like me, someone I would be friends with. So I picked her. Don’t regret it for a minute. Karen — I didn’t know it at the time, but during our session she told me I share the same birthday as her husband AND she has had the same issues with her relationship with her dad, as I have. She didn’t elaborate, because she’s a professional, but it’s nice to find these connections with people who I feel are easier to relate to. I’m sure it makes their job a little easier too.

I am stubborn.

Ask anyone who knows me and you will hear that’s one of the first adjectives they use when describing me (along with: loyal, compassionate, domesticated, and strong… but who’s counting <3).

I always looked at this word, Stubborn, as being a negative trait, until recently.

Stubborn doesn’t have to be bad.

Stubborn can actually be good.

It means that I don’t give up. It means I go after and fight for what I want. What is right (at least, to me). It keeps me grounded. It keeps me in check. It reminds me of my purpose and is a driving force when I want to give up.

All too often I believe that calling someone “stubborn” is used as a negative descriptor, when in all actuality, it should be viewed as something positive/negative = aka: both sides of the spectrum.

Sure, we can be stubborn about bad things… but we can also be stubborn about good things.

Knowing the difference is the hard part. I honestly believe that comes with age, experience, and maturity… something I’m collecting everyday.

Having humility to listen to advice and the respect to reflect on it.

Reflection is key. If someone is willing to share their advice with you, listen. It’s coming from a good place, people don’t share/give advice from a negative heart — remember that.

YOU DO NOT have to do what they tell you to do though.


You are perfectly capable of making your own decisions.

At the end of your life, it’s just you in that lonely grave, or urn, or however you wish to be disposed of. And you will have to be happy and content with yourself, the person you created, not them — keep that in mind when making your life’s decisions — YOU deserve to be happy, and sometimes that means not doing exactly what everyone else is telling you to do.

(Also — a lot of people will give you conflicting advice, which is really just confusing. I highly recommend seeking outside counsel when appropriate! But that’s just my experience, you certainly don’t have to listen to me. I mean, shit, I’m a whiny 29-yr old who is just starting to get her shit together… WTF do I know.)

Anyway, the wine has started to go to my head and I believe it is time for some Netflix and Chill — with my dog, and cat, and in my underwear. YAAAASSSSS.


Until next time, my dear followers.


Step Nine

I was reminded today that once again, Mercury is in retrograde.


For those of you that AREN’T total astrology weirdos… Let me BRIEFLY explain to you what this means.

“Many people fear Mercury Retrograde, believing that this little planet is responsible for communication breakdowns, delays and technical difficulties. While Mercury influences all of these things, if he causes delays or issues, he often has a very good reason.

Mercury is the messenger of the Gods, and if he causes any delays or issues in your life, it could be because he has a message for you.

It is very important to pay attention while Mercury is retrograde, as you don’t want to miss the helpful messages that the Gods may be trying to deliver to you.

If you do notice typical Mercurial issues, take a moment to pause, reflect and see if perhaps it could be a sign that you need to change directions or look at things differently.

With the energy of the new year still in full bloom, this April 2017 retrograde will be mainly focused on grounding and creating a secure foundation so you can move forward with ease and confidence.

When Mercury slows down in April, we are all going to be guided to go within and work out what is really important to us and why we want to take the path that we have chosen.” — courtesy of foreverconscious.com

Get that?

Basically, the planet Mercury rules our communication – it is important to THINK about things, but necessarily to ACT upon them, just yet.

I can always tell when Mercury is in retrograde.


Well, usually my friend Cat will be like, “Well, nothing is going right. Mercury must be in retrograde again.”


But really, you can FEEL the shift in energy. You lose the words you need to effectively communicate how you feel about things. How to explain what you want and need. It sucks.

Why do I bring this up?

Because I am experiencing a few things right now that make me roll my eyes at this whole “Mercury’s in Retrograde! Be careful!”

So let’s get down to business.

Step 9 – Making Amends.

I received an e-mail earlier this week while I was in the middle of work. Thank god for my Apple Watch that HAD to alert me of this message. It was from a former room-mate and friend. (For purposes of this blog, we’ll call her “LB.”)

“Hey Jack,

I would really like to get together with you in person to sit down and talk if you are up for it.  I am available most Saturdays.  Please let me know if you are interested.  I hope all is well!

It was as if I had seen a ghost.
You see, I haven’t heard from LB since July 2016. We have a very intense, tumultuous past. Riddled with good times, learning experiences, growth, and then some REALLY effing horrible, terrifying times. She called me up in July and told me she couldn’t be my friend anymore.
I had called and text her a few times since then – knowing full well that I had been blocked, but did it anyway.
I had text her family & ex-husband in an attempt the message would reach her that I cared for her and was hoping she was doing well.
So when I received this e-mail, you can understand now why I was shocked.
I knew in the back of my head that something was up. This was not going to be a, “Hey girl! Long time no see! How are you?” small talk conversation. I knew I would need to prepare myself for some major “truth-bombs” so-to-speak.
I was right.
One of the reasons our relationship fizzled out had a lot to do with her recovery. You see, LB has a checkered past of drug and alcohol abuse. I just happened to come into her a life at a time when it was a priority in her life – which is why things were so effing crazy.

“Make direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.” – Alcoholics Anonymous

So there I was, testing out the new Urban Decay eye shadow pallet at Ulta, waiting for 6 o’clock to hit the nose to walk over to Red Robin and meet with my old friend, LB.

“Well hey there, stranger!” accompanied by a hug.

My friend had found me. She had come in to pick up an eye shadow primer which happened to be in the exact same aisle I was standing in.

She made her purchase and together we walked over to Red Robin, sat in the bar (to avoid the 20min wait for a table for 2, and ordered two unsweetened iced teas (well, she asked for splenda, I drank it unsweetened.)

“I am here to accept full responsibility for my actions during the course of our friendship. I am so sorry for what I put you through and the things I did to you. You are the reason I am still alive and I will never be able to repay you for that. I have been selfish, judgmental, and jealous. What can I do, or can I do anything, to make it up to you.”

Yep – knew it. She was here to make amends.

Honestly, I didn’t care what her reasons were, I was just grateful to see my friend. Looking happy, healthy, and sober.

It’s no surprise to me that this meeting came now. At such a pivotal moment in my growth and personal development. I needed this just as much as she did.

There will be those who will be happy for her. Happy I went. Happy it went well. Then there will be those who will tell me I must run for the hills. That she is poison. That she will drag me down. That I have grown so much and should not look back now. Then there is me – who is happy I went, happy she is healthy, and putting my practice of letting go of the resistance and trusting that the universe will guide me into making the right decisions. I must stop stressing on trying to “make the right choice” and allow the universe to guide me and trust my intuition.

I left our encounter feeling 10lbs lighter.

I hadn’t even realized the weight of the pain on me until it was gone.

Thank you, God!

I consider myself to be “lucky in love,” when I least expect it. Some how these incredibly men fall into my lap (don’t be gross!), when all I’m expecting is a drink and maybe some good conversation. I never go into a date expecting much more.

Honestly, if the conversation is bad – I call it quits right away, come up with an excuse to leave, and then never speak or see them again.

I dove into the dating world again a few weeks ago on a wild whim. I got lucky, again.

I enjoy being introspective and learning from my past. It’s humbling and terrifying at the same time to know what I can be capable of as well as what scares me the most.

Being fearlessly and wonderfully loved.

Learning to love yourself is one thing. I think I’ve pretty much got that down. I think.

Learning to accept love is a WHOLE different obstacle.

I accept love freely from my girlfriends. Whole-heartedly.

I accept love freely from my clients. I adore them and am so grateful for the connections I have been able to make because of my profession. These relationships inspire me – every. single. day.

I struggle to accept love from a significant other. I WANT to. Don’t get me wrong. I really do. I know that once I do, magic happens. I know this because – once upon a time – I was capable of this.

So when someone tells me how much they like me. How much they like spending time with me. How they enjoy getting to know me and can’t wait to see where it goes — this FEELS good, but I just don’t quite trust it.

I want to trust you, I just don’t think I should.

So how do I re-train my brain to accept this love?

Um – I don’t know.

So if you were looking for the answers, I don’t have them.

All I can do is put one foot after the other and remember to check myself.

Meaning – don’t build walls out of fear. Don’t be scared of everything. Remember nothing good every came from fear. That the majority of our worries don’t even come to fruition.

“I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.” – Mark Twain

Until next time,




Learning to stand up for myself and not be a push over is a struggle for me. Trying to please everyone, not hurt anyones feelings, make friends with everyone, support everyone, love on everyone, never thinking about myself, etc – is a struggle for me.

Shit – that sounds terrible.

Let me start over.

Some days I feel like an asshole.

I forget to call friends back, I don’t pick up the open shift at work to help my team, I’m constantly “too busy” to make plans with just about everyone, I ignore phone calls from friends and family because I just don’t have the energy to talk to them. Hell – sometimes I don’t even want to take care of my pets anymore.

See — Asshole.

Does anyone else get really frustrated when you’re writing/talking about something that’s going on in your life — and the other person makes it all about them?

How suddenly you thought you could voice your opinion, feelings, whatever — and then you’re left apologizing because you were inconsiderate of their feelings.

Ugh. This happens to me all too often.

The effort it takes for me to restrain the shit I want to say — is EXHAUSTING. Seriously. Some days I just want to let it all out. I want to scream at the bitch who sticks her nose in business that’s not hers. I want to curse at the client who would rather euthanize their pet than spend the $300 for diagnostic testing. I want to slap the lies out of the mouths of former lovers. I want to burn the houses down.

Sounds pretty terrible, right? Guess that’s why I just push it all down, hold it all in. Just like everyone else. We keep going.

So what happens, when you decide not to?

Okay, I’m not talking about burning the houses down — I’m just referring to, what happens when you take a deep breath – let it out – and then deal with the consequences.

I can count a handful of times in my life where I have allowed this feeling of … we’ll call it “Assholism” to take over.

More often than not it’s after one too many drinks where my brain starts working overtime and I just can’t keep my damn mouth shut.

Ask any of my friends or former lovers – they can attest to this.

When I drink – I’m emotional.


**Calls mom**

Me: (crying)

Mom: Have you been drinking?

Me: No

–next day–

**Calls mom**

Me: Sorry mom, I was drinking last night.

Mom: I know sweetie, hope you’re feeling okay today, everything ok? I love you.

More often than not, my Mom is the first person I call when I need to “get it all out.” (Sorry, Mom… I love you! :D)

There are a few things I didn’t realize when I started writing this blog.

  1. The direction it would end up taking.
  2. The people I would upset along the way.
  3. How I would feel about upsetting them.

I honestly had no idea what I would end up writing. As you can probably tell – since it starts out talking about my meeting with a business coach, me bitching about being broke, airing out dirty family laundry, complaining about psycho friends, and long distance friendships.

I still have no idea the direction of this blog. But I suppose when I wrote my introduction, I did say that I was offering a viewpoint of how I deal with “all of it.” So – I suppose me being a disorganized “all over the map,” kind of writer suits me & my ADD self.

Several conversations I have had since I started this blog have revolved around how I hurt someone’s feelings in one of my blog posts.

Shit – there she goes again, Asshole.

It’s not my intention to hurt people along the way. However, that is a consequence of how I write. I’m going to upset people, hurt their feelings. I’m shining a light on things I generally don’t talk about.

A spoke with an old customer of mine the other day and asked if he had read my blog. He had asked what I was writing about — I said, “it’s mostly just me getting nitty, gritty, down to earth, and uncomfortably vulnerable.” I didn’t expect their response to be:

“I hope you’re okay, Jack. You were always so happy, bubbly, and over flowing with love. I hope that hasn’t changed.”

I understand that the viewpoint I’m currently writing from is one most people don’t see from me. I’m generally an extremely private person when it comes to how I ACTUALLY feel about things. You may hear me complain or bitch about one thing or another — but to have a conversation about what’s really going on in my head — is one I save for Todd & Butters (cat and dog).

Apologizing to people about my blog, hurts. It hurts because I’m upset that they missed the whole effing point.


It’s about me finally finding a platform and way of connecting and FEELING.

It’s about me finally letting it FLOW.

It’s about me finally not being scared to share the raw, vulnerable truth.

It’s about changing my life. It’s about learning from the past and pushing forward.

It’s about learning how to communicate my feelings more effectively and learning to be less censored when sharing my feelings.

I have always seemed to put up a wall, a barrier, when discussing my feelings. I was afraid of the consequences that would come from being honest. Trust me, usually when I open my mouth to share what upsets me — bad things happen.

Let’s talk a quick jog down memory lane, shall we?

  • Cussing out my grandma on my high school graduation night because they chose not to attend because I did not give my Dad one of my free tickets. (ugh – I STILL feel like a dick for this. ugh.)
  • Writing an e-mail to my step-mom and CCing the entire family about how much I disliked her and how lucky her father was that he was dead so he didn’t have to deal with her anymore. (kind of feel bad for this — but, at that point in my life, I absolutely despised my step-mom and what she had done to my Dad & my family).
  • “I’ll get you a cake for that fucking pity party you’re throwing for yourself because I left you.” — yep, I said that on a national radio station to an ex-boyfriend. (Nope, don’t feel bad at all. I only feel bad because it made me look like a total bitch.)
  • Countless nights of me getting wasted and letting my room-mate absolute HAVE IT (sorry, Charlotte – I hope you don’t remember it..). Telling her how manipulative she was and how she created drama to get attention and feel special. (ugh, I’m an asshole).
  • Telling a former lover what a piece of shit he was because he was scared of being with me and would avoid me after dates. I told him he was some fucked up solider dealing with PTSD and didn’t know how to love anyone or be close to anyone. (shoot me now? please?)
  • Screaming and crying at a former medical director at a hospital I worked at because she was a spineless bitch who had absolutely no purpose or real direction and just followed whatever hospital manager we had in the clinic that day. (I had already put in my notice – still, a dick move, I made her cry).

I don’t think I have anger issues, lets just make sure that’s clear here for a second.

I do however, have issues with appropriately communicating my feelings in a HEALTHY way.

Enter – blogging.

I’m truly hoping this helps me learn how to communicate more effectively so I don’t have to be an asshole whenever I open my mouth to share when I’m upset.


Needless to say.

This is not about YOU

It’s about Me.

This IS Me.


Until next time.


Not what I expected

I was born September 6, 1987.

My parents just barely over the legal drinking age. Wait, never-mind. My mom had just turned 20, my dad was 24.

I was brought up in this world with everything a kid could ask for. My parents adored me, my grandparents smothered me, I had aunts and uncles galore.

I was constantly surrounded by family.

As the years went on I acquired MORE family, 3 little brothers in tow.

Ryan, Taylor & Jacob.

We fought, like any siblings do – but no matter what, I was raised in the spirit of, “When your mom & dad are dead and gone – your siblings are all you have. So you better learn to love each other and get along, damnit!”

This was usually said between dodging my mom or dad’s hand as it attempted to slap one of us in the back seat of the car after fighting with one another…  Ryan was probably breathing on me, jerk.

The ideas, dreams, and expectations I put on myself were created based off of my environment.

All the women (there weren’t many, … soooooo many boys!) in my family were married at 19, didn’t work, and pumped out babies.

So naturally, when I was 13, the idea I carved out for my life looked a little like:

Married by 19-20.

Children around 21-25.

Be good to your husband, take care of your family, then you die.

Wow – #goals.

As I got older, those bullet points changed. Mostly because I grew out of them.

At a certain point I was 18, single, a full-time student, working full time and barely able to support myself, let alone children. I must have been crazy to think I could actually accomplish those things I dreamed up in the past.

I would meet guys and think, “OMG – If I want to have kids and settle down, he must be the one.” Shortly followed by, “He’s annoying. I can’t do this. I don’t like him.” Shortly followed by, “I’m just going to be alone forever. Screw it.”

I allowed myself to dream. That’s all it ever was. It was never something I attempted to make a reality. These standards I set for myself were just unrealistic for where I was in life. I started to hold my success based off of the ever pressed “check list” which would become:

  • Go to college
  • Get a good job – good benefits – preferably a corporate gig
  • Meet “the one”
  • Get married
  • Have kids
  • Raise kids
  • Obviously stay married and have the most wonderful love story of all time
  • Retire
  • Buy a vacation home on a tropical island and sip adult beverages out of a coconut until I die.

Well – that’s not really the way it’s worked out for me, and I need to be okay with it.

There is a BIG difference between lying down and accepting the cards life has dealt you and then choosing the life you want to live, grab that machete and blaze your own trail.

I had constantly felt like a disappointment. I self medicated with things that would distract me. I spent so much time in search of these distractions that I had not even realized all the time I had wasted.

It is extremely difficult to hear things like,

“You will never be successful because you didn’t go to college.”

“You’re not getting any younger, Jack, maybe you should settle down.”

“Do you want to have kids?”

“When will you grow up?”

If you choose to measure my failures and successes based off of this scale, then yeah – I screwed up. I should have just settled for the boy, gotten the ring, had the kids, and been done with my life. Followed that “dream,” which – turns out – wasn’t really my dream at all.

We set expectations on when things will happen and if they don’t happen in that timeline, then the opportunity has passed and we must move on.

You’re right. I’m not getting any younger. Time feels like it’s moving faster than ever. But why do I need to try to live my life based off of someone else’s expectations of me? Why do I need to attain goals set by someone else?

I have spent the better portion of the last year “working on myself.” 

Let me explain what that means to me.

I have read countless books, participating in group discussion, reached out to coaches, connected with strangers, and learned why I am where I am.

It would be so easy to blame my single, workaholic lifestyle on my past. But I can’t keep using that as an excuse.

My nature to self sabotage my relationships stems from example and experience. It has always been easier for me to trust women than men. I find a girl I vibe with, and I instantly want to spend time with her. It feels SO GOOD to have that connection with someone who I feel I can trust and open up to. It is far more difficult for me to have that in romantic relationships with men.

This may or may not come from having divorced parents, watching how my grandpa treated my grandma when I was younger, or simply being lied to on a regular basis by men I have dated.

I don’t know. I probably won’t ever know. But that’s not the point.

I set up blocks that prevent me from accelerating through life. That prevent me from obtaining and reaching different goals. These blocks are slowly starting to identify themselves, which allows me to learn more about why I am the way I am and how to change.

People can’t change. Bullshit.

Sure, I have allowed others to influence how I feel about myself and where I am in my life. Who hasn’t? You would be lying to yourself if you said otherwise.

Giving them all the credit for where you’re it though… that’s just an excuse you create for yourself when you’re unhappy.

Acknowledging where you are, why you are there and where you want to go. What makes you happy. What makes you sad. What makes you angry. What makes you motivated and inspired. These are the big questions.

I am the most disorganized, organized person I know.

My car is usually free of debris except for a makeup bag, lunch bag, and dog hair that floats around when the windows are rolled down.

My home looks like I have a live-in maid. I an obsessive compulsive with cleanliness. I find it’s easier to control my environment than my life.

My work life has become all-encompassing where it required 60-70hrs per week to complete everything that “must be done.”

These are things I can control. This is why these things stay organized and exactly the way I want them to.

Disorganization comes in when I start thinking about all the shit I want to do but haven’t done yet. This is where I use distractions so I don’t have to actually DEAL with the problem, the blocks.

Friendships that end for no apparent reason. Was there a reason? Am I just so self-centered I don’t see why they ended? Did I not try hard enough? Did I not listen? Did I forget something? Was it my fault?

Romantic relationships that end due to self sabotage. Was the grass greener on the other side? Was I settling? Was I looking for reasons to leave? Was he the one? Did I screw up?

Getting comfortable in a “job” not “career”? Do I deserve more? Should I be doing more? Will I be able to get a better paying job without a college education? Did I screw up my whole life by not going to college? Will I ever have more or be more than what I am today? Should I just settle and accept this is my life and this is what I’ve chosen?

How do I handle these things? Am I doing it the “right” way? Is there a “right” way? Or am I just continuing to create distractions from allowing me to face my fears and problems head on?

That’s a lot of questions. Questions I can’t always answer. Sometimes I don’t want to answer.

Then there’s the added pressure of just being a damn woman: marriage and kids.

If I don’t pick a partner soon, I’ll never be able to and I won’t be able to have kids = what kind of woman doesn’t want that? What’s wrong with you?

The funny part is – we put the majority of these expectations and pressures on ourselves based off of our environments and social stigma.

I rented this super nice apartment because I want to be surrounded by nice things. It doesn’t make me narcissistic because it makes me feel good when people come over and tell me it’s nice. I like it. I spend the majority of my time at home when I’m not at work. I earned it.

I bought a Lexus. Sure, I could have bought another cheap-o car but I wanted to feel like I bought something with my hard-earned money that made me feel like I was actually doing something with my life. It wasn’t the most expensive car, it gets amazing gas mileage and it’s exactly what I want and what I felt I needed. When people said, “A Lexus? On your pay? How the hell did you manage that?” <– that’s just rude, so STFU and mind your own business if you’re not going to congratulate me on buying a car.

I’m still single (not married) and don’t have kids. This doesn’t mean I’m broken or have exorbitantly high standards. It simply means I’m not going to settle for any run of the mill Joe. It’s okay to want someone who matches my work ethic, integrity, passion for life, and allows the dog to sleep in the bed. Get over it. I’m not choosing to be single, I’m simply choosing not to settle.

Yes, I want all the things and more. I’m just going down my own path and learning at my own pace. Just because it’s different from yours or what you expect from me doesn’t give you the right to judge me or apply pressure for me to settle for something that isn’t what I want for my own life.

Getting here as been SO HARD.

Learning to accept myself, love myself, and appreciate the things I do have and work so hard for has not been a cake walk.

Life was not handed to me on a silver platter.

Sure, I am a white woman – so I am automatically more privilege than the rest of the world. I may have had things “easier” than some. I choose NOT to degrade myself or my feelings because my life has been different though. I choose NOT to deny my pain simply because someone does not validate it. I still FEEL this way and refuse to compare my situation to others.

I can still sympathize and empathize with others, sure. However, I make a conscious choice not to disrespect myself and the things I have gone through and the things I continue to go through.

I did not take the same path as many of my friends and family.

I decided to grab that machete and forge my own path. One that makes others uncomfortable and causes them to questions my decisions, of this I am sure. I did not check the boxes, I did not follow “the plan” I had originally set out of my life.

I have this beautiful friend who has this amazing quote tattooed on her arm.

“Man Plans, God Laughs”

I don’t consider myself a religious person, but I am a spiritual person. I do believe in a higher power and I know my life here on earth is not by mistake.

I find comfort that someone else has gone before me and that I will make it out to the other side okay.

This may not be what I originally pictured my life looking like, but it’s exactly what God pictured it to be.

In that, I find peace.

Until next time.

Xo – Jack

The 2000mi BFF

The more often I write in this blog, the more fluid my ideas become.

The more raw, unedited, vulnerable I allow myself to be.

The road I am about to take you on is unfinished, there are several pot holes, speed bumps, and traffic jams caused by accidents. There are beautiful scenic routes, new companions along the way, and a great playlist bumping through the speakers.

This is about the survival of long-distance and what the “forever” in “BFF” really means.

New Attitude Salon & Spa.

That was my first job. It was in this run down little strip mall in an area known as “Totem Lake.” The armpit of Kirkland, Washington.

I had applied here in a whim, it was my first “real job,” and I needed something close to school, my Dad’s house & my Mom’s house.

This was my “secret job,” where I only worked Thursdays and every other weekend. (It had to be a secret because my Dad forbid me from working. So days I spent with my mom, I worked.)

Can you believe they hired someone with such an annoying schedule?

It was my first taste of freedom, taxes, and retail.

It was here that I met, Ilana.

She was my complete opposite.

I was overly tanned, tall, and wore clothes that were too tight.

She was pale, petite, and wore clothes 2 sizes too big.

This fast-talking, techno loving, curly-haired, feisty red-head. She was wearing black gaucho pants, sky-high wedges, and a pink t-shirt.

She was 17, a senior in high school, had just quit her job at a boutique shop on the Kirkland waterfront and was hired a month after I had started working at the salon.

I was responsible for training her.

At first I was a little off-put by her.

I remember the first story she ever told me.

Her friend Casper had died. Wait, what? She had a friend named “Casper”? Huh?

She told me about how her boyfriend, Willy, and her best friends, Kim & Casey, would go to all these crazy underground raves and how she would dance all night.

This girl was unlike anyone I had ever met.

She scared me, excited me. I was so curious about this other world.

We got to know each other during our Saturday lunch breaks at Trader Joes. Where we would sit on the bench outside the salon eating blue cheese stuffed olives & grapes. Damn those olives were good.

If you asked me at the time, there is absolutely no way I could put my finger on it. But something about her just clicked with me. Maybe it was her love of hair products, how her ADD medication always spilled in her purse, her chipped nail polish and the way I had to remind her when food was stuck in her braces. I just knew something was special about her and I wanted to be her friend.

We had our “first friend date” at a Barnes & Noble. She came over to my mom’s house and I made shells & white cheddar… which she refused to eat, but I did anyway. We took my mom’s 1998 red, ford F-250 and drove off on our first adventure.

I knew she would become one of my closest friends when I realized I had just spent 6 hours with someone in a truck laughing, smoking cigarellos, and giggling over the Cosmo Magazine Kama Sutra books.

Months passed and our relationship continued to grow. She talked about how excited she was to go off to college in California and how she had these big dreams of being a pop star.

Graduation came and went. With summer came a second job for me at Starbucks and after 4 weeks of working both jobs, I quit the salon.

Ilana became my partner in crime.

Heading to Sephora to do our make up in big, bold, bright colors before we would head off dancing the night away.

She always wore pink. Pink dresses, skirts, tank tops, eyeshadow, you name it. The girl rocked pink.

I had never had so much fun. It was exhilarating. Dancing until 3-4am in our matching patent leather Demonias. She introduced me to a word I had no idea existed. I was having the time of my life.

We believed in each other so much and our friendship — that we ACTUALLY got a cellphone plan together. Seriously. Two 18yr old girls signing a contact with AT&T and getting the latest flip phones… we were so excited!

Things went down hill that summer though.

My mom discovered an adderall bottle in my purse with Ilana’s name on it. I remember being at a restaurant with my mom and my grandma having lunch when I got up to go the bathroom. When I came back – my mom was PISSED. Wondering if Ilana was selling me drugs. How adderall is SPEED and I’m using drugs.

I attempted to explain to her that Ilana offered me the adderall to help me at work since I was working the open shift at Starbucks (4am-1030am) and had been out late the night before consoling her over her boyfriend.

It didn’t work. My mom officially did not like Ilana.

Then, she left for school.

This girl… let me tell you about this girl…

We have always laughed that if she ever became famous I would be her personal packer. This girl can NOT pack to save her life.

Sitting up in her bedroom, surrounded by blouses, jeans, shoes, hair products, makeup… helping Ilana pack for school – it hit me.

She was leaving me. Just like everyone else. Like everyone always had.

I wanted a piece of her to stay with me.

I stole a camouflage mini skirt with hot pink trim. I stuffed it in my purse as she was running around trying to figure out what she was supposed to pack and jabbering about how excited she was and how much she would miss me.

This would become a common problem in our relationship. I constantly took things from Ilana to wear, keep, love. She had amazing taste in clothing and I just wanted to feel like she was still here with me.

I know… it comes off as creepy. Ugh.

Of course she found out. She was furious. I ignored her phone calls, texts, instant messages, anything I could do to avoid her – I did.

She of course told her mom, who then became furious with me.

And now… both of our mom’s disliked us. 

Eventually I packed up the things I had taken from her and dropped them off at her house… mostly so she would quit harassing me. I knew I had destroyed our friendship and it would never be the same.

Self sabotage is a theme in my life.

She came home for winter break and we attempted to reconnect. I missed her so much. We spent evenings strolling downtown Bellevue. Her eating salads, me eating pasta. It was the norm for us.

I would always tease her about how picky she was with food. She swore up and down it was because of allergies. I always made insensitive comments that it must have been because of her religion.

Each time she came home we would make a point to see each other. While she was gone, we did our best to keep in touch through MySpace and then the ever-growing Facebook. Attempting to stay in each others lives even though we were 3000mi away from one another.

Things became more challenging when I started dating, Ryan.

She despised him and he despised her. I was stuck at a crossroads. Continue my relationship with Ryan, or listen to my best-friend.

I chose to continue my relationship.

She knew it was unhealthy. She knew when we drove out to Duvall for me to meet a boy (while I was living with Ryan and his mom!), left her in my truck for 2 hours while I sat in his car “talking,” that I was headed down a destructive path.

I eventually began avoiding her calls again. Everytime she would call it would be to say something bad about Ryan.

Everytime I tried to talk to Ryan about it – he would talk about how much he hated her and thought she was a bad influence on me.

Our cellphone contract ended together after I lost my job and couldn’t pay. At $400/mo, it was ridiculous. We were constantly arguing over who needed to pay more. I just couldn’t do it anymore.

I couldn’t win.

I missed my best friend so much, but I thought I was in love.

The things you do when you think you’re in love, sheesh.

Ryan and I eventually broke up. At that point Ilana was studying abroad all over Europe. Learning and exploring. Changing her life for the better. While I felt left behind.

I had done it to myself though, why couldn’t I see that?

She moved back home after college and we had almost next to no contact. I had my life, she had hers. That’s the way things went for quite some time.

We MAYBE saw each other once or twice during the span she was at home. But it was nothing like it was before. Something was “off,” and neither of us knew what it was or how to fix it.

Maybe it was because we valued our mother’s opinions so much and being friends was more difficult that it was worth.

It’s REALLY hard to be friends with someone your mom doesn’t like. REALLY HARD.

A few months before she decided to head back to california she took a job at a social media company. I remember dropping her off for her interview in downtown Seattle. She was so adorable. So excited. Couldn’t wait to start her “grown up life.”

A few weeks later, maybe months? I honestly don’t remember how long it was. She called me telling me she had lost her job and didn’t know what to do and was thinking of moving to california to pursue a music career.

So she packed up her Toyota and off she went.

I couldn’t just let her go though. The same day she decided to move, I had booked a flight to Santa Barbara to see a friend. I had a connecting flight in San Francisco.

I missed the connecting flight to Santa Barbara.

Ilana picked me up at the airport and I became the backseat driver for a few hundred miles.

Things turned around after that. We were able to reconnect, briefly, and remembered how much we actually cared and loved each other.

As she drove away after dropping me off at my destination, tears rolled down my cheeks. She was off to start her life and once again, I felt abandoned. Here she was — doing exactly what she set her mind to — while I was still stuck in the same effing place. The rearview.

I decided not to give up this time.

She became someone I made an effort to contact almost everyday. I wanted to continue to be a constant in her life. We bounced ideas off of one another, bitched about dating, about work, our futures. I adopted Butters and she adopted Camden.

We were still living our lives, but this time we had made a choice to stay connected.

Relationships would come up and our friendship would take a turn. We wouldn’t talk as much, we weren’t as honest with each other. We both knew it.

We were lying to ourselves when we lied to each other.

We couldn’t face being totally honest with one another. We were a mirror to ourselves. If we were honest, we would have to face our demons, faults, and the story we had created.

Eventually it all came crumbling down.

It was time to rebuild our friendship, from ground zero. Time to start over. Start fresh. But, how?

We had come to a fork in the road. To continue with the lies and risk our friendship. Or to make a drastic change – one with the possibility of hurting one another, but for the benefit of our relationship.

So we leaped. With nothing to catch us. We jumped.

Our friendship turned into something most people don’t have. Most people couldn’t handle. It became BRUTALLY honest. We were no longer afraid of the consequences that came with being honest with each other. We had to have faith and trust that even when we were critical of one another — we still cared. That the reason we were so honest, was BECAUSE we cared. That we HAD to transform our friendship — otherwise we would not HAVE one.

Sometimes the things we say to each other hurt. Sometimes we have to take a week off and breathe and remember that even though we have made the agreement to be honest with one another — reactions still happen and we still say things that cause pain. That we still need time to heal from those things. It’s extremely important that we continue to be honest though, otherwise we are just like everyone else.


I am always amazed that we have made it this far.

I am always surprised when I look back and see what it took to get here.

So much hurt. So much pain. But always love. Always.

Long-distance friendships take so much work. Constant contact. Constant honesty. You have to make the effort to keep that person in your life.

Long-distance friendships are painful. When you’re all alone and all you want is your best friend by your side to help you get through things, but they’re 3000mi away and there’s nothing you can do about it. It hurts. It’s hard.

You have to want it.

I know that what Ilana and I have is special. I know that no matter what comes at us, we can tackle it together. I know that even when we go weeks without speaking – we still love each other and care.

She is constantly in the back of my head telling me, “Never settle, Jack. You were meant for more. Love you, Jack. Try harder, do better. You got this. I’m proud of you.”

The same goes for her. She hears, “Holy shit, Lan. Look at you go girl. You’re my hero. Now stop settling for those jerks and find someone worthy of your attention. You don’t need a man to feel fulfilled. You will find what you’re looking for once you finally do what you’re meant to do. Also, never quit singing. You’ll always be my LanBot.”

Our story is far from over. It’s been 10+ years and she still surprises me. I am grateful that I have a friendship that tests me and pushes my buttons and my limits. I give her credit for helping me become the woman I am today.

You ARE a friend for life. A friend, forever.

Until next time.