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Navigating a Long-Distance Relationship

August 10, 2016

At the end of March, my partner-in-crime/better half/biggest fan/etc was offered an amazing opportunity to move to California for the summer doing work that puts his talents to good use. If you know me in real life or follow my personal social media presence, this isn’t news. I haven’t been able to shut up about it for the past few months. While he took his time making this decision, for me it was a no-brainer—take the damn job! We talked it through and, although it wouldn’t be the fun summer together we wanted, we were both confident it was something we were equipped to handle. My love for this person is bigger than a four-month period and while I miss him like crazy, I’ve instead decided to focus on the fact that the current situation is fleeting while my feelings for Devlin certainly are not. He left at the end of April and these past almost-three+ months have proven to be a learning experience, to say the least.

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Let me say this: this post isn’t about survival. The working title for this post was ‘how to survive a long-distance relationship’ but as I wrote it I realized that that puts a negative spin on a situation that already can feel negative. Instead, this post is about focusing the energy felt from these feelings of sadness and loneliness and turning it into something productive. It has been incredibly easy for me to feel sorry for myself this summer and only see the bad. Sometimes, I need to feel sorry for myself but when I look at this summer as something I need to survive, it just sets me up to feel like there will be no good moments, just bearable ones. This also isn’t me trying to give anyone ‘tips’, but rather my own personal journey in navigating a long-distance relationship. I am sorry to say this isn’t going to be an easy-to-read listicle. I tried writing that post because it’s easy but it wasn’t genuine (and when talking about feelings, something I’m already really really bad at, I think it’s important to be genuine). This post is intended to help navigate the very real and very valid feelings associated with not having your partner with you by your physical side (important to note: if they are truly your partner, you don’t need to be in the same city/state/coast/country to be there for one another).

being alone sucks friends

There are people in this world to whom the reality of a long-distance relationship is much more permanent who could probably provide a great deal of wisdom on this topic but I already feel like I’ve learned so much about myself throughout these three months. For the first time in my life, I am living alone and am learning how to live with myself. It’s easy to binge watch every Netflix Original series on a day off but easy isn’t productive. I let the dishes pile up in the sink without having someone to hold me accountable and I’ve learned that dealing with a two-week old sink of dishes is way way way worse than just putting the damn dishes in the dish washer at the end of the day. I also very quickly was hit with the reality that the person I lean on for emotional support more than anyone else wasn’t physically there with me but that he could still be there emotionally. Within the first week of Devlin being gone, our kitten Franklin got very sick and had to be put down. Franklin was my first pet and we had adopted him just seven months prior. This wasn’t something we were expecting to have to deal with so soon, and certainly not something we expected to go through apart. I learned to lean on my friends and other people in my life who care about me for that physical support. I also learned to work through some of these feelings on my own.

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I’ve learned that It’s okay to feel sad/lonely/lost/etc. Like, it sucks. Yes, it’s important to see the good in every situation, it’s totally okay for me to take a minute and say “hey, I’m lonely right now, and this fucking sucks”. I don’t ever want this to consume me, but it’s also a feeling I’ve found is very important to acknowledge.

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I’ve also learned that it’s also okay to feel happy and have fun. Your world does not stop because your partner is not next to you. At first, I would feel this sense of guilt for going out with friends and having fun. I started to process that guilt and I realized I was feeling that way not because I actually felt guilty about enjoying myself but because I wanted to share it with Devlin. I wanted him to be there when I was doing something fun to enjoy it with me. I would see something that would’ve made him laugh (or would imagine some commentary he would have on a situation that would would crack me up) and I’d get upset he wasn’t there to experience it. It was incredibly important for me to remember that my life is multifaceted and enjoying my summer is 100% allowed!

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It helps to have something to look forward to. I took a trip to the Bay Area this summer and for while I was mentally counting down to that. Then, Devlin came out to visit. I also always look forward to our FaceTime calls at the end of the day, or a phone call while I waited for the bus. And of course, I look forward to non-bae related things. This entire summer I’ve looking forward to all of the awesome 30th & Weldon stuff going on this summer—the launch of our store, the amazing events we attended, our feature in the Baltimore Sun, and the two events we’re hosting (BMORE Babes & Sunday at the Mill).

The ability to take time to myself at home is not something I’ve gotten to do before. and like I said before, at first it was this incredibly lazy “I’m going to watch TV until 1am and not do the dishes and have laundry piles all over the house and order takeout 4 times a week” but now it’s turned into something much more positive. Although not spotless, I have started to take the time to clean and organize the apartment. I have taken the time to make cold brew and do some real cooking and meal prep. I’ve been reading (what? me?! reading??) and have been journaling. I’ve spent a ton of time on doing a lot of back-end work for the business too (which is important, because *maybe* one day this can be a full-time thing so the more time I put in the better).

daria alone

While it hasn’t been an easy summer, it has definitely been an important one. I’ve learned a lot and will continue to learn every day. I’m so grateful that this has an end date and truly celebrate folks who deal with distance in a relationship on a much more permanent basis. It has been a summer of ups and downs but it has also let me appreciate my relationship so much more. I’ve spent more time on the phone than I ever have (I’m looking at you, nights of 5 hour phone calls).

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For any readers who are currently going through this or have in the past, how do you navigate a long-distance relationship? I’ve got about a month left and am still learning—I’d love to hear from you.

Thoughts

Top 10 TV Moms

May 8, 2016

In honor of Mother’s Day, I probably should write a nice, sappy post about how my momma is my best friend and I look up to her and I wouldn’t be the person that I am today with out her. While all those things are certainly true – I’ll save it for the Hallmark card I bought for her **at the last possible second** and you can check out my post from last year if you want to learn a little more about her crazy ass. I love you Mom 😘

Instead, let’s pit the best fake moms out there against each other in a battle of mother-badassery – TV moms! I thought this would be pretty easy until I sat down to write it – there are so many dope moms on TV. Some are funny, some are lovable, some are inspiring, and some are just downright crazy. All are awesome. So here’s my mildly biased, based solely on my personal opinions list of the Top 10 Moms on TV.

In no particular order:

    1. Morticia Addams – The Addam’s Family

Lorelei Gilmore – Gilmore Girls

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Claire Dunphy – Modern Family

Bobbi Wexler – Broad City

RuPaul – Rupaul’s Drag Race

Kitty Forman- That 70’s Show
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Danny Tanner – Full House

Jill Taylor – Home Improvement

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Claire Huxtable – The Cosby Show

Roseanne Connor – Roseanne

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There you have it  – my top 10 favorite TV Moms (and mom-ish? I wouldn’t dream of leaving out Momma Ru!) For all the puns and laughs, there’s just as much advice, kind words, and encouragement, just like my real mom. Who’s your favorite TV Momma? Let me know in the comments!

Thoughts

Serial: Season 2 – Thoughts? Feels?

April 3, 2016

So Serial Season 2 is over.

If you didn’t know it had started, was still happening, or ended wouldn’t surprise me all that much. The water cooler chatter has been decidedly low; in fact, I barely have anyone at work to talk to about it because no one seems to be listening. If you’re a binge listener who has been waiting for the season to end to listen, apologies but ~*spoiler alerts ahead*~ (sort of?) so you may want to go do that before you read on. Don’t worry, we’ll be here when you get back.

If you’re just joining us after being kryrofrozen for the last 10 years and don’t know what Serial is – it is a podcast of a true story told week by week, changing and adjusting as it unfolds. The first season was a massive hit, telling the story of Adnan Syed and his conviction in the murder of his high school ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee, back in 1999 in Baltimore. Maybe it was a little hometown pride (not exactly the right word – recognition? Just liking hearing street names I actually know?) but I was totally hooked. I still follow the process of Adnan’s story, and have listened through the season more than once.

Then Season 2. The story of POW Bowe Bergdahl, captured in 2009 in Afghanistan and held for five years by the Taliban. His return, in exchange for five Guantanamo Bay prisoners, was at first widely celebrated, then quickly turned against him. Labeled a deserter and a traitor, Bergdahl was eventually charged with two crimes following a military investigation. Until this point, he hasn’t spoken publicly about his time in captivity, or to any press at all.

Through recorded interviews with filmmaker Mark Boal, it is finally Bergdahl’s time to speak. Why did he walk off the base? What was his captivity like? How did this escalate to a national security issue being debated by presidential candidates? Koenig and her team attempt to pull back the curtain – trying to understand both the man behind the media frenzy and the war none of us seem to know very much about.

According to an interview with EW.com, producers Sarah Koenig and Julie Snyder say that season 2 was downloaded more times by the end than season 1 did when it wrapped, and that they still expect many more from the binge listeners (or those who didn’t to wait two weeks between episodes – another series first.) But no one seems to be talking about it – no think pieces bouncing around the internet, no Facebook sharing of updates and spoilers (at least not on my feed.) So was season 2 successful?

Sure, I don’t have the real numbers or stats to tell you if it was a “true” success, I can only speak to my own thoughts and impressions. Serial claims to be a true story, told week by week. If that is the only parameter they work within, then sure, consider it a success. They told a story, albeit a much more complicated and disjointed one. It almost felt that they bit off more than they could chew this season, when they started to realize they would need to dive into foreign policy, Afghani politics and geography, and the military mindset to even begin to explain what has transpired in the last 5+ years. I believe the real magic of the first season was the characters – Adnan, an obvious choice by the police but with no physical evidence to convict him, the mysterious and polarizing Jay, the alibi who was never called in Asia McClain. Season 2 had almost too many characters, yet you couldn’t connect to any of them. Bigwig military people whose rank I don’t fully understand, anonymous intelligence agents, various soldiers with southern accents and uneasy answers. Even Bowe, who Koenig never (on record) spoke to, I never felt like I really got to know or understand him. The desperation in her voice when she tried to understand why Adnan couldn’t remember his afternoon or her disbelief that Adnan’s counsel never called Asia when she heard her story – Koenig’s ability to interview and ask exactly what we’re all thinking was mesmerizing. No offense to Mark Boal, but hearing him eating his lunch or washing dishes during these lengthy interviews with Bowe just doesn’t hold the same magic to me.

Season 2 was somewhat successful in telling a story. Or at least as much of the story as it could. There is no ending, as Bowe is currently awaiting his hearing in August, and the story of the war in the Middle East is simply to big and complicated to be told this way. I heard Bergdahl’s reasoning for walking off base, I heard why his platoon mates felt betrayed and upset. I heard from his friends what kind of person he is and from his leaders what kind of soldier he wasn’t. So the research is there. In fact, Serial seems to be the only group (including the Army) to determine if any solider was killed during the search for Bergdahl – a no, unless you count that they were on duty and deployed at the time. But I don’t feel any more certain I understand what happened to Bowe, why it happened, or what is going to happen going forward than I did before I started.

All in all, Serial season 2 was not my cup of tea. It felt very much like classic sophomore season syndrome: much like your second year of high school you try to rebel against your youthful image and change drastically so people will respect you more. In reality, you ended up with a class picture in a Hot Topic tshirt and too much black eyeliner, and go back to being a normal human by the time spring break of junior year rolls around. Hopefully for all of us, Serial season 3 decides to be human again.

Thoughts

10 Thoughts Everyone Has While Watching HGTV

March 6, 2016

During the same week in February, I had my wisdom teeth taken out and moved to a new place, which subsequently did not have internet until the following week. What do these have in common, you ask? The combination of the two resulted in me spending a lot of time in front of my television with only what was on TV to work with – ugh. No Netflix, no DVR, nada. It was like 1994 all over again. So how did I cope? The next best thing to a Netflix binge – the HGTV binge. This channel gets us. They play the same show, all day long, and it is great. If I could get them to ditch commercials (and the Property Brothers) it would be perfect.

So I re-discovered my deep love of HGTV. I say re-discovered because if you haven’t spent significant portions of your life watching House Hunters you’re probably not a human from this planet, but Fixer Upper and Flip or Flop and Beach Hunters were new to me. (Been out of the game awhile I guess, but it’s like riding a bike.)

During this trying time, I think I had some of the same exact thoughts over and over again. After doing so in-depth research – i.e. checking Twitter, I realized I was not alone. So I’ve come to the conclusion that HGTV has the best sociologists on the planet working for them and could probably find a way to make us all think the same and take over the planet, but they’re probably just too busy with a surprise plumbing problem to do it. (Thankfully!) So I’ve put these thoughts down on figurative paper, as they say, and included GIFs & Tweets because duh.

  1. “You picked the wrong f*cking house, idiots!” – including  but not limited to “way over your budget, not in the right neighborhood, and its the ugliest one”

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    House Hunters has a way of infuriating like no other. I know there’s a lot of shadiness about how we get to what we see on tv (spoiler alert: they usually already own the home they pick) but that makes it no less infuriating when people are stupid.

  2. “Hallelujah, they found Shiplap!!” – also “more goddamn Shiplap?”

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    Joanna and Chip Gaines are little shiplap magnets, sniffing out every last damn home in Waco, Texas for the stuff. It’s a gift, and they are the shiplap fairy godparents.

  3. “Are they really brothers? …or are they a couple?”

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    I know I’m not the first person to have this thought because its the first thing that comes up when you google them. & that’s science.

  4. “OMG plumbing issues? They’re gonna blow their profit! Idiots picked a dud.” *makes $50k flipping house* “Dammit.”

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    Flip or Flop knows how to play to your nerves. Stressing you out with surprise foundation issues and a $3000 fix. But they still put in $20k custom cabinets and somehow come out on top. Tarek is some kind of wizard,  I tell ya.

  5. “Oh, poor BBs.. The waterfront condo in Belize doesn’t have 3 full baths, only 2.5? The private beach isn’t big enough? WHATEVER WILL YOU DO?”
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    I just need those lucky son-of-a-b’s on  House Hunters International to be a little bit more grateful for their absurdly fortunate lives, for pete’s sake.
  6.  “You can get WHAT for $200k in Texas?” *Immediately goes to Zillow and starts plotting move.*
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    The worst part about realizing you live on the East Coast – when you see people getting 4 bedroom, 3 bath homes on 2 acres for what a row home that needs work will set you back in Baltimore. But then they do a California episode and you feel immediately better.
  7. “Maybe I should try making my own (insert outrageously difficult DIY project for your skill set, budget, etc.)”

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    HGTV makes us all falsely optimistic. Best case you just have a extensive Pinterest board of said DIY projects; worst case you actually buy a beat up old dresser, a can of paint, and a barn door and give up shortly after.

  8. Chip and Joanna do something cute and talk about how much they love each other. *CHUGS BOTTLE OF WINE AND CRIES*
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    #relationshipgoals
  9. “Ew, I hate mid-century modern / craftsman / center-hall colonial”

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    After a few hours, everyone is an architecture and design expert.

  10. “Why is this couple even together, they hate each other?”

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    Let’s get really real rn, we only love these shows because you can freely judge people and their life choice, both personal and home related. Watching long stints of HGTV basically makes you a certified contractor, designer, and marriage counselor, right?

Really, there are so any more. You seem to quickly become an expert on the housing market in Fargo, ND and know the cost of a good kitchen upgrade in Columbus, OH. We’re all little home flippers, from the comfort of our couches, right? I gotta go though, there’s a House Hunters marathon starting…

 

Thoughts

Galentine’s Day 2016: Photo Booth

February 11, 2016

Thanks to all who came to our 2nd Annual Galentine’s Day Party at Blue Pit BBQ & Whiskey Bar! Check out photos from the event below or on Facebook. Stay in touch with us for more events—we plan on hosting something similar soon (and of course some other fun stuff is in the works…)

Photo booth by Colorless.