Making Up for the Break-Up: 10 Hard-And-Fast Rules

Break-ups are hard. I don’t know what it is about them that makes one question everything. Like why am I in DC? Why did I go to grad school? Why do I have so much student loan debt? Why am I still single? Why did I give up everything for a job I only semi-love?

I just went through my second hardest break-up in two years. Didn’t really know it was going to be hard until two weeks later when I spent eight hours of the day crying. Seriously, isn’t there a limit to how many waterworks one can produce?

But I guess it’s hard when you come to depend on someone for certain needs – a certain happiness so-to-speak – and then that happiness is taken out from under you and you’re left with a stark image of yourself in the mirror. Seriously how was I ever not single?

Anyway one thing I have learned from break-ups is as much as your friends and family may be tired of hearing about your failed single life, they kind of get it, and they’re totally there for you. And since I may be single for a long time now (okay just my pessimistic self speaking here), I might as well come up with some fun rules to get me back on the road to recovery and feeling excited about being free again.

So the next time I decide to end things for my own benefit (I’m being optimistic here) I’ll try to keep the following in mind: Continue reading

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What’s It Like Living With Depression?

Personally I know when the depression is about to hit. I can feel this immense amount of sadness for no apparent reason, and I suddenly don’t have any purpose to my life. I just go through the motions and want to cry at every little thing. There’s no reason for me to be sad. Maybe there was a trigger? Maybe there was a moment that just led me down a bad path?

But usually I can prevent those triggers. Usually I can prevent myself from going down that path. But sometimes it just happens. Sometimes you can’t foresee it, and your mind goes to dark places. It starts to reason things it would never reason before. And it starts to believe in the insecurities you’ve worked so hard to overcome.

You know it’s not true. You know your rational mind doesn’t justify it. But you can’t help but feel this way. Usually when I get to this point I just detach myself from the world and push everyone away. I don’t even want to talk about it. I’m thankful I can at least write about it. That I want to write about it. Because I haven’t felt this way in a while.

I thought I had found some defense mechanism to keep myself from getting to this point. But depression is a lifelong battle. No matter how hard I try it will always be there, itching to get back under my skin. And it could be hormones right now that’s making me so glum and down. I don’t know. But I know there’s no getting out of it, not until the fog lifts.

The best I can do is go through the motions, keep myself active, keep myself moving, and sleep through the worst of it. That’s always been my defense mechanism. I don’t know how else to overcome it. When I try to explain it to others, they don’t understand. And I’m tired of trying to explain. So I just take a step back for a while. And hope when I come out on the other side they will still be my friends. Continue reading

Evelyn Sophie: Independent Woman

I would feel better if you were a man and as independent as you are.

I stand in line at Reagan National, waiting to board my Southwest plane to Dallas. It was 40-degrees when I left my apartment this morning, but I dress plainly in jeans, my favorite color blotted flats, and a pink vintage t-shirt. In the fluorescent light, passersby can see my pale pink bra underneath. I fold my black jacket in my arms while my backpack pushes against the bar separating me from the boarding line to the gate attendant behind me.

A middle aged woman with blond waves next to me looks down at my right hand and smiles.

“Oh that’s interesting,” she says, pointing to my mood ring, now an Ohio River green. When I bought it in a thrift store in Louisville, I picked it out for its design (and I have always had a thing for mood rings – the bracelet on my left hand, which I stole from my mom, always emanates two mood stones with a pearl stone in the middle). I didn’t realize until later that the ring’s intricate silver design was in the shape of a dolphin. Who doesn’t love dolphins?

“It’s pretty,” she clarifies. I smile and say thanks. I acknowledge my normal reception to her intersection into my life. Usually I’m awkward, uttering a mild something or try to force a half-smile. But I’m finally leaving this DC life and heading towards the 80-degree, sunny weather of Dallas, where distant family also reside. I am happy even if tired from a 7 a.m. Saturday wake-up call. Continue reading

Breaking Badly

Recently, in a lot of the shows I’ve been watching or books I’ve been reading, I come across men taking advantage of women, whether that be physically or emotionally, and even in supposed entertainment, it infuriates me. No matter how many times I see it and no matter how much we’ve “evolved,” I will never be de-sensitized to this treatment. It is not okay, and it will never be okay.

I admit in recent years I’ve focused more on my relationships with women. I attended a leadership conference almost 10 years ago (hard to believe), and the biggest threat to women in leadership positions then was other women. And instead of banding together, women competed against one another for that one spot.

I vowed to never do that, but yet here I am, involved in more than one organization with a white man at the top. And I am fighting women to climb higher. But my roommate recently told me of how one of her favorite stand-up comedians joked about how he didn’t understand why women kept dating when men were their number one threat. All men had to worry about was being rejected.

And I admit now that I’m back on the dating scene, I’m suspicious of even the more enthusiastic kind. Why are they so excited after a first date? What’s their real end game, I ask myself? This is silly, I know, but maybe smart? I am very overprotective of my single, independent state. I feel like I lost that in my last four-year relationship, and now I covet it more than money. Continue reading

Insights From Wine and Water Bugs

“Are those water bugs? Where did they come from?” My friend asks as we watch the one-inch black bugs scurry across her back patio.

They appear to have no direction and disappear beneath the ivy next to the glass frog statue. The air is cool but humid, and we both sip on our glasses of Sauvignon Blanc and contemplate our relationship statuses.

We are both in our late twenties and single, having just ended long-term relationships. Everyone around us seems to be getting married or having kids. And even though we know that’s not what we want, we can’t help but feel like we’re missing out on something.

“I just don’t know if I want to try again, you know? I’m just tired,” my friend says, shrugging her shoulders. I agree and place my wine glass in front of me. My friend’s dog whines at us from behind the adjacent gate. Continue reading