Handicapped? Really?

One thing every single young chronically ill person will tell you about is the incredibly frustrating battle that comes with having an invisible illness. We are constantly trying to regain normalcy in our lives, but also have to roll with the punches through the symptoms our illness brings along for the ride. For example, I can’t do many of my favorite activities anymore — let alone even just be outdoors in crazy heat — however, I don’t like being different and asking for help, even when I need it.

Today I went to my alma mater to run a quick errand. I wasn’t feeling particularly great, but I told myself that it would only take five minutes and to suck it up and get it over with. I mapped everything out in my head and went to my usual parking space. It’s one of two handicapped visitors spaces, both of which are always available. I sat for a minute to prepare for my walk up the hill and grumbled in my head about how I wasn’t up to my heart racing today so to just take it slow.

As I began my miniature hike, my heart began to thud swiftly and hard (for those of you who don’t know, when POTSies even just go from sitting to standing our heart literally beats as fast as someone running a marathon… No wonder I’m always so tired!). I walked slowly and carefully up the hill and focused on each step so I wouldn’t trip — that’s just because I’m Krista and a little bit clumsy — it has nothing to do with POTS.

I smiled at two young police officers when I looked up, and as I passed by them I heard one say to the other, “Handicapped? Really?” with a snicker.

My heart stopped — then went back to racing even faster than before. For a split second I was shocked, then brushed it off as my imagination. I always feel embarrassed when people can tell I’m different, and I hate having any sort of extra attention. This makes me feel like people are staring sometimes, even when they’re not really paying too much attention. I had a gut instinct, though, that I needed to turn around when I got to the top of the hill. I wanted to make sure my car was going to be OK in the visitor’s spot and that I didn’t need a university parking pass to be there. Despite having parked at that spot a hundred times, you can never be too careful at my alma mater.

Sure enough, they were smiling and looking at my bright blue sticker with a little black device.

Great, I thought to myself, now I have to trek back down the hill to see what’s going on. 

I wasn’t in the mood to deal with confrontation, but I know how crazy our school was about ticketing, so I wanted to make sure I wouldn’t have any trouble when I came back from my meeting. Deep down I knew it was because of the way I looked, though, that the officers rushed down to check my credentials. I quickly realized that I hadn’t been imagining things with the officer’s remark, and that if he was gutsy enough to say that while I was right next to him, he might be confrontational when I chatted with him about my disability.

“Excuse me, can I help you?” I asked.

“We’re just making sure your pass matches up with your car,” one of the officers replied with a grin. “We know people often take advantage of these spots.”

“I have my DMV card, hang on,” I replied shortly. I wished I had called him out on making a snide remark earlier, but I honestly didn’t think a trained police officer would have been that loud and unprofessional about being so snarky. At least if you’re thinking that about me, keep it to yourself and your partner, don’t bring me into your little joke.

I didn’t smile as I showed my pass. Not smiling at someone when I’m interacting with them is actually one of the hardest things for me to do, but I felt frustrated that I was having to deal with this when I already wasn’t feeling great.

“Okay, good,” he replied. “Thanks. We just didn’t want you to be using grandma’s parking pass to get a better parking spot,” he said. “You know — so we can protect people like you who really need it,” he corrected himself.

Honestly, this part of the interaction bugged me a little, but I don’t fault people for saying goofy things like that anymore. I understand that it isn’t normal to see a 26-year-old who is disabled but looks healthy, and a lot of people haven’t even really had to interact with someone like me before.

The thing that bothers me about the whole ordeal was the way they went about everything. I completely agree that they should check to make sure I’m actually handicapped. People who use the stickers but don’t need them should absolutely get in trouble. The way they went about it was wrong, though. I shouldn’t feel like I am doing something bad by using a handicapped parking space when I need one, and I should feel comfortable using the resources that help make my life a little more normal. I already feel embarrassed enough when I have to park in one of those spots at Trader Joe’s and make three trips back and forth to carry $20 worth of groceries to my car without hurting myself. I hate that people stare at me to try and figure out why I am in that blue space, and I hate going grocery shopping with my mom and having people think I am a jerk for making her carry everything to the car by herself. I don’t want to feel like the people who are supposed to be protecting me are also going to give me grief about being a weak twentysomething.

I realize that the police officers were just trying to do their job, but I also know enough people in that field to know that there is a lot of sensitivity training so that they can be professional while they are on the job. I would have had absolutely no issues with them checking my pass — even right after I left my car — however, making me feel uncomfortable by being snarky loudly enough for me to hear was completely uncalled for. In hindsight after talking to a few people about it, the officer more than likely wanted me to hear his comment, as he waited until I was 200 feet from my car and right next to him, and thought he was catching me in the act of something I shouldn’t be doing.

I didn’t write about this to shame the police officer or have a pity party for myself. This is just such a perfect example that you never really know what someone is going through unless they tell you. I look fine, and if you stuck me next to a dozen other twentysomethings you would never guess that I was the sick one. I hope this story helps people be more gentle towards other human beings, as you never know what someone else is dealing with.

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Another reason I wanted to write about this to raise awareness about invisible illnesses is because not everyone with a chronic illness is as bold and open about their problems as I am. A few years ago when I first got POTS, my mom had to be my advocate because I couldn’t even stand without getting incredibly sick. People who are going through things like that should not have any extra obstacles that could easily be avoided, so I think it’s important for me to speak up about my experiences in hopes to better the lives of others who are chronically ill and don’t have someone to advocate for them. A good lesson from all of this is to be kind to everyone you meet, and never make assumptions based on the way someone looks. I am going to be writing a letter to the police department so that they can hopefully be better equipped to deal with others who are like me on campus.

Looking at The Bright Side

Resilient. 

This is my word of the past 4 years.

Today I was given a very important reminder to be thankful for what I have, and not sweat the small stuff. 

My laptop broke very unexpectedly last week. It was really frustrating 1) because all of my writing is on there 2) because it took months of working to be able to afford a new one and 3) I need it for work. 

I had the same laptop for almost 6 years and it just wasn’t doing it for me anymore, so I had to invest in a new one. It’s been so nice writing on something that doesn’t freeze or delete my documents, so I’ve been grateful for the little laptop since the day I got it just over a year ago. 

Right now as I’m building my business I can’t afford to treat myself to luxuries. I’ve had more bills than I’m used to as I take over some of my own life from my family, and I have relied heavily on technology for just about everything in my day to day. Needless to say, for a split second I felt super sick when I heard my laptop was d-e-a-d. 

Here’s the thing, though. In my short 26 years I have experienced a lot. I’ve lost the use of my normal body (very significantly in the first year with POTS), done a deployment with a loved one, and watched people I care about deal with difficult health problems. This has all drastically changed my perspective of what’s really important in life. Yes, I have material needs to be able to keep working toward a better life for myself, but thankfully the loss of a laptop — though super-inconvenient and frustrating — is such a tiny thing in the grand scheme of life. It’s not a person or a pet, and it isn’t something my heart is heavily attached to. 

I’m still figuring out what my next move is going to be (goodness knows I can NOT keep writing on my phone like this, ha!), but I feel at peace that everything is going to be taken care of. Today being “resilient” is going to be easy because it’s just remaining positive when I want to feel a bit frustrated. It isn’t anything serious that’s going on, and just a minor test of my patience. I think I have a plan of what I’m going to do, and I’ll keep y’all posted when I find the silver lining — if nothing else, at least it’s just a laptop

September Already?

Hello friends! Ugh so as you’ve noticed I’ve been very inactive on here lately. My computer just decided it wanted to stop working completely, so I have to go take it in to hopefully get it fixed on Tuesday. 

In the meantime, I’ve felt bad about neglecting my little space of the Internet, so I’m going to go into unchartared territories and blog from my phone for a few days. My writing is different from device to device because of the way I dictate, but just hang in there with me and it’ll go back to normal soon. 

This weekend has been so busy, but fun! I’ve played a bunch of games, spent time with friends, and watched Big Brother with my family. I’m pretty exhausted, so I might even hit the hay early tonight. 

Don’t you kind of love parts about adulting? Like, in college I would’ve hated a night in, but now I honestly don’t even really enjoy going out to bars or clubs anymore. Part of that is because of my POTS flareups, but another part of me thinks I might just not enjoy that anymore anyway. It’s a part of growing up I suppose! 

Anyway, feel free to tell me what you have going on this weekend. Follow me on Instagram — @singleinthesuburbs — and keep up with me there until I can get this up and running again. 

xx 

Acts Of Service

Acts of service is one of the more difficult Love Languages for me to write about, as it’s the lowest on my list. This is interesting, though, because I speculate that a lot of people who are incredibly close to me have this as one of their top LL’s. Ever since I realized this I’ve tried to be really cognizant about the things other people do for me, as well as amp up my acts of service in their lives, too.

Did you know that sometimes when you speak the wrong love language to someone that they don’t necessarily register it as being something coming from the heart? I learned this when I began to realize that one of my favorite ways to show love — through little gifts and letters — wasn’t necessarily what was making everyone in my life feel loved. After paying closer attention to what others need I have tweaked the way I love, which in turn has changed my heart to receive all 5 love languages a little better. I used to brush off acts of service as things people felt they had to do for me, but now I take note of even the smallest actions people do from their heart.

One act of service Robert thanked me for today was getting up early to take Jax outside and keep him in the living room to let him sleep in. I actually didn’t think Robert would have even really noticed, but it made my heart warm this morning just knowing he would get the rest he’s needed.

Ideas to implement this LL:

  • Run an errand for your loved one.
  • Play chauffeur and drive your loved one somewhere they need to be, but can’t get to on their own. Lots of my friends and family do this for me often, as I can’t drive much longer than 10-15 minutes at a time, so I’m very familiar with this act of service.
  • Do some of the chores your significant other hates so (s)he doesn’t have to. This is difficult because fine motor skills (ie: loading and unloading the dishwasher) can add to the pain in my arms, and so my parents have taken a bigger burden with chores in the house. I’m so thankful and try to help out in other ways, since I’m currently trying to work to get stronger so that I will hopefully be able to serve others with this again one day.
  • Fill up their car with gas. This is such a tiny act of service, but it’s one I’ve grown to really appreciate. I can’t pump gas with my arm pain, but even before I got sick my dad always tried to fill up the girls’ tanks to keep our cars in tip top running shape.
  • Cook them a meal. I know I mentioned cooking in the “gift giving” Love Language, but it can also be categorized as an act of service. This is a great way to show someone you care about them and want to spend time with them. Even sending a packed lunch to work is a really sweet gesture.
  • Don’t complain when someone asks you to do them a favor. I cannot emphasize this enough, as I have had to swallow my pride the past 4 years and learn to ask for help. I already have a really hard time asking for the things I need, but it’s really made it harder when someone tells me how difficult the favor was to do. For the most part everyone has been so incredible about pitching in, though, and I remember so many of the sweet things people have done to help make things a little easier on me. I couldn’t feel more grateful, and I hope to be able to love with some of the acts of service that are hard on me in the future.

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Acts of service can be difficult to spot, and easy to take for granted. People who love this way, though, will show it in everyday life. Whether it’s doing home improvement projects, cooking a meal, or simply doing the laundry, acts of service are often the little pieces of love woven into the little pieces of your day. They are often even combined with other Love Languages, such as physical touch through a massage, or gift giving with a homecooked meal. What kind of acts of service do you notice in your life?

Love Letters

The second Love Language I want to talk about is “Words of Affirmation.” I was really surprised to find that it is now #3 on my LL list, with a pretty big score of “6.” It seems very self-explanatory, but I wanted to share how you can use this LL to enhance your relationship and show your partner love. Words of affirmation are perhaps the easiest to do, as it only takes a matter of seconds to write out a tiny text about how much you love your significant other — and it can be done from halfway around the world, too!

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Ideas to implement this LL:

  • Say “I love you” often. I don’t think these three little words can be overused if you’re with the right person.
  • Telling someone they are handsome or beautiful is important in a romantic relationship, but it’s also important to remember words like “kind,” “thoughtful,” “funny,” and “smart.” Do you guys remember the scene in He’s Just Not That Into You when Scarlett Johansson (Anna) and Kevin Connolly (Conor) play the game with 4 different categories: smart, sexy, funny, and cute, and have to choose 2 for each. Conor mistakenly chooses “sexy and cute,” to which Anna replies with, “Nobody wants to be all in one column!” People like to know that you find them attractive in more ways than one, which is why we shouldn’t neglect the looks or personality column when giving words of affirmation.
  • Remind your significant other that you are there for them, even when things are hard. Especially when things are hard. Something I’ve always told my best friends, family members, and significant other is that we only have to take turns being strong. As long as one of us can offer a shoulder to lean on, the other can try to get back on their feet. Some days I’ll feel sick and weak and need extra help getting through the day, and others my significant other might need a boost. As long as we’re in this life together and offer each other love and support, we can get through anything.
  • Write your bae lots and lots of love letters. Letters are amazing because even when you’re away you are able to leave a little piece of your heart with someone. If you asked me what my 5 most cherished possessions were, my box full of letters would be on the list — along with Robert’s dog tags and jewelry he has given me, Paws — the stuffed dog I’ve had since I was a baby, my journals, and pictures of my friends and family. I have an entire box dedicated to the deployment, which holds memories from before Robert left, a stuffed bear he won me, and all the letters he’s ever given me. Letters are a great way to remember feelings at different times in your life, which is why I like them so much. I try to write my loved ones enough letters to keep a little “diary” of our different stages in life, and anyone who knows me will tell you I am terrible for the environment because of how much I write.
  • Going off of my last point, I think snail mail is a great way to send your partner words of affirmation. Whether they live 700 miles or 7 minutes from your house, getting a handwritten note in the middle of your day is sure to make it a lot brighter. Don’t forget to write more than just a “to,” and “love,” though. People who cherish words of affirmation tend to look less at what Hallmark has to say and more about what you have to say to them.
  • A text or little post-it note is also a fantastic way to use words to show love. Any of my old roommates will tell you I’m obsessed with the post-its, and I think most of them have taken that habit with them to new friends and roommates.
  • Write a song or poem about how you feel. These are gifts your partner will treasure in their heart forever.
  • Words of affirmation are great for special occasions, but life is so short that I believe you shouldn’t save important things like words for a special date. Use them every day, and watch how your relationship grows and blossoms with other love languages following the words of affirmation.

Words of affirmation are great to compliment any love language. Attaching a note to a gift, saying “I love you” after a kiss, expressing how much you loved a date, and writing a little thank you letter after your partner did something kind are all fantastic ways to use words of affirmation in everyday life.


What do you think about words of affirmation? How else could you tell someone you love them?

Come back tomorrow for tips on using another LL. 🙂

Money Can’t Buy Love

But it sure can show love!

The first Love Language I want to touch on is “gift giving” because although it seems incredibly simple and is arguably the “easiest” of the five, anyone with this as a top LL will tell you otherwise. It’s not at all materialistic or about the amount of money you spend. Gift giving as a love language is never about money; it’s all about the time you put into thinking about your partner for picking out something you know they’ll love.

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I would definitely argue that nurture plays a large role in developing your Love Language as an adult. Ever since I was teeny tiny my mom has always loved surprising me with little goodies and treats. When I was a kid I would sometimes crawl into bed at night and feel something fuzzy against my feet. I peeled back the covers to find a little stuffed animal with a note attached, telling me that I was special and incredibly loved.

When I reached high school she still loved me this way and often left little cookies and notes scattered in the kitchen for me to find when I got home from cross country practice. I still have some of those cards to this day, and I have a really hard time throwing away letters because they are one of the most special things to me.

Even at 26 I will sometimes come home to find a little tube of lipstick or another fun cruelty-free beauty item on my bed. It makes my day every time, and the notes always give me a smile and my heart joy, too. Just knowing someone is thinking about you when you are away is a really special feeling.

Since I feel well-versed in gift giving, I wanted to come up with a little list to help people who might not be fluent in this love language yet. Just because one of the LL’s isn’t important to you, doesn’t mean it isn’t to your partner! It’s great taking this quiz and knowing your significant other’s results, as it can be hard to use LL’s that feel foreign to you. Working on speaking your partner’s language, though, can be a really rewarding task. I highly recommend reading the 5 Love Languages book if you haven’t! It teaches how to love on a whole new level.

Ideas for Guys to implement this LL:

  • Flowers. This is the answer to so many of life’s relationship problems. If you get in a fight flowers are great to say you’re sorry, but they’re also amazing for anniversaries, birthdays, sick days, and even “just because.” When gift giving was my top love language I used to always say that someone could go outside and pick me a bouquet of dandelion weeds and I would still find the gesture incredibly sweet. As I said before, it’s not the price sticker on the bouquet that we find so charming, rather it’s the sentiment that goes behind the gift that really matters.
  • Bring her favorite dessert home. This is one of the most underrated things, but I’m going to give my mom props in this post for always bringing me a new dark chocolate bar to try. She keeps my “chocolate drawer” (Yes, this is a thing in my household) stocked with my favorite Trader Joe’s 73% dark chocolate, and often brings home little treats from trips to the grocery store or when she goes to the neighboring town that holds the best gluten-free cupcakes around. The chocolate is great, and it always makes my heart so happy that she thinks of me even when I’m not around.
  • As a special treat girls love jewelry, but we know it’s expensive. Robert happens to be the best guy I’ve ever known about picking out beautiful jewelry. I’m always wearing something that he gave me, and it makes me smile and think of him when he’s not around. When we first started dating I wondered if this was Robert’s LL, as he always seemed to have a new little present for me. Two favorite stories come to mind with Robert. First, was a journal he bought and gave to me on our fourth date. It was a really beautiful leather journal — the kind I had always dreamed about getting, but could never justify buying for myself. I wrote in it the entire time he was deployed, and I just recently finished the last page. The second was actually a really goofy gift. I told Robert about someone calling me a mean name on my blog when I first started writing it, so he got me a book called, “Insults And Comebacks: Lines for All Occasions,” and told me to flip through it the next time someone got nasty with me. I’ve never actually used it for that purpose, but it made me laugh and cheered me up — and prepared me for the very few nasty comments I got during the Tom Brady YouTube video going around (Listen, I’m sorry I don’t watch football and had no idea I was “interrupting playoff season — I was just trying to do something nice for someone I love!). I still keep this book on my desk as a reminder that I am loved by the people who truly know my heart, and to write about things that scare me, even if I know everyone won’t be a fan. I’m still working on that.
  • Leave a sweet note on her pillow. This melts any girl’s heart, and whether she goes to sleep before or after you, it’s great to fall asleep with a smile on your face or wake up to a bright “good morning” from a loved one.
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My dad recently got my mom the most beautiful bouquet of red roses for their 30th anniversary. This made my heart so happy, especially when I heard that he actually went into DC to find the best florist around, and asked for a specially made bouquet.


Ideas for Girls to implement this LL:

Since I feel very familiar with gift giving as one of my love languages, I’m going to use all personal examples. Please feel free to sound off other ideas in the comments! I am always looking for new ways to love, and would appreciate your tips.

  • “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” There is a reason this is such a popular idiom that is thrown around — because it’s so true! I am going to make a massive generalization and say that 95% of men love to eat. Bringing him his favorite dinner, surprising him with a treat, or packing a Snickers or Almond Joy (Yuck! That’s Robert’s favorite and I always feel funny buying it; I wish we were friends when we were younger, as he would have been the best person to trade candy with after a giant Halloween haul… “Here, I’ll trade you all my Almond Joys for your Peanut M&Ms and Junior Mints!”) in his lunch is a fantastically simple way to show him he’s on your mind. Add a note for extra sweetness!
  • Guys are so darn hard to shop for — at least the men in my life are — because they seem to buy the things they want. Pay close attention to what might be old or worn. I gave Robert a gift from Tom Brady and the Patriots on his 30th birthday this year (Oh gosh, I need to tell this story soon! I can’t believe I keep forgetting), but it was so darn hard to figure out what I wanted to buy him this year. I treated him to dinner and gave him a present 4 months late because no matter where I looked, I couldn’t find anything that screamed “Robert” to me. I ended up realizing the answer was right in front of me when he pulled out his worn leather wallet to pay for a toll to Boston. In that moment I smiled widely and decided that I needed to get him a nice new leather wallet. Not only would he think of me because he would see it every day, but he deserved to have nice things that were used as often as a wallet. I think this is hilariously enough one of the proudest presents I have purchased, as it took me such a long time to come up with it.
  • An experience can be a great gift to give a guy who is difficult to shop for. Whether it’s tickets to a football game or concert or an impromptu date night, he’ll be excited that you took the time to come up for a special day just for him. This is a great gift for guys who really value quality time as another love language.
  • Jerseys, event tickets, and video games are all nice presents, but they can be expensive to do on a really regular basis. Instead of getting frustrated and giving up, get creative and make little surprises that he’ll love. Whether you go back to my #1 tip about food and decide to bake his favorite food or put together a nice picture frame for his room, you can always get creative with your presents.

For girls and guys:

Let’s mix 2 love languages and add a pinch of “Words of Affirmation” to gift giving. Cards and letters are incredible everyday gifts, as they hold a little piece of someone’s heart inside. I have an enormous box next to my bed that holds some of the most special letters I’ve received from friends, family, and Robert. I call this box my “happy box,” and will sit on the floor and read a handful when I’m feeling lost, sad, or just want to smile a little before bed. Several of the letters have become worn from use, but they are some of my most prized possessions. Each card couldn’t have cost more than $5, but the words painted on the page are what really hold value for me. This is the perfect example of gift giving not being about the money spent, rather the thought put into the gift that really matters.

Lastly, pay attention to the things your significant other loves. This is the easiest way to choose a gift, whether it’s a food or drink or a gift from their favorite store. People who have gift giving as a primary love language don’t care so much about the item you give to them as they do about the thought you put into the present. Instead of spending a lot of money on something just for the heck of it, feel free to choose several small tokens of love to spread out through the month. Giving to your loved ones won’t just make them happy, but I find that giving the perfect present makes my heart even more joyful than receiving things.


This is my first post about The Five Love Languages cheat sheet. Come back tomorrow for tips on using another LL. 🙂

The 5 Love Languages For Dummies

If you’ve followed this blog even just a little bit you’ll know I really value the 5 different love languages. I think they can be a game-changer in any relationship — romantic or otherwise — and if you know how to use them correctly they can make the world a much brighter place. Loving someone in a way that speaks to them will make your heart warm and fuzzy, and helps people you care about feel like they are important to you.

I know that every love language doesn’t come easily to each person. My heart has always been one that feels strongly, and I’ve found as I’ve gotten older that every love language is really important to me. I feel fluent in all five, and I wanted to share some fun little ideas of different ways to love someone using their love language. This week I am going to be focusing on the 5 different love languages. Please feel free to comment other ideas that my readers can use for each love language, and take a minute to discover what your own love language is by taking this quiz.

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The last time I took it my top love language was quality time, followed closely by physical touch. My love language score is really interesting because instead of heavily leaning on one thing, I seem to really enjoy a nice balance of all five love languages. I didn’t have a hard time choosing between the options for the quiz, yet I still had very balanced results.

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This is kind of crazy because my entire life has had “gift giving” towards the top — and it’s still one of my favorite ways to show people I love them — but ever since Robert and I started dating things have shifted a lot. Don’t get me wrong, I still love little presents and surprises and really cherish every little thing he gives to me, but I am kind of floored that other ways to love have taken precedence over that. My favorite thing in the world is spending time with him, and if you can add holding hands and a few of the other love languages into a date with him that’s my little taste of heaven.

My heart feels warm and fuzzy when any of these languages are spoken to me, so I’m stoked to write about each of the different LLs this week. Stay tuned, and I would love to hear about what makes you feel loved in the comments!

Are You Still Friends?

Friendship is a two way street.

This is a lesson it took me years to learn, and to this day it can be a hard truth to swallow.

I talk to so many people who are frustrated about friendships that die when they stop putting in all the effort, and I can definitely relate. I’m love to communicate and find that keeping in touch is easy enough if you want to reach out to someone with a text or phone call every so often to see how they’re doing. Old friends tell me that they’re glad I’m good at keeping up with them, and I am happy to, as I genuinely care about how they’re doing and what’s going on in their life.

There are those friends, though, who never reach out if you don’t say something first. I don’t always think this means you need to cut them out of your life or even that they don’t care about you — some people are just incredibly busy and don’t have casual friendships as a top priority. I do think this often means they cannot still have a top space in your heart, though. You can care deeply about a friend who doesn’t put in effort to your friendship. You can still want the best for them and support them, but it’s important to make sure your heart knows what distance to keep the friendship at to realize your own worth.

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Here’s a good comparison. Would you want to date someone who never texted you first or gave any sort of affirmation that you’re an important part of their life? No! You deserve to be a priority in people’s lives, and if they can’t see how much you’re worth there will be other friends who will.

If some of your current friends don’t recognize that you are valuable enough to keep in touch with, there will be others who will. Just like the men who are waiting to date a girl like you, there are people out there in the world looking for a friend just like you, too. Keep each of your friendships as a treasure in your life, but if you feel frustrated about a lack of effort in a close relationship, spend your time on someone who will put time back into you. You are worth investing your time in people who are investing in you.

Today’s lesson: Not everyone has time to spend on a wide range of people and that’s okay. Don’t take it personally if you begin to realize some of your friends aren’t putting any effort back into your friendship. It likely has nothing to do with you and everything to do with their schedule and priorities. This is a really hard lesson to learn since it can feel so personal, but once you realize that there are other people out there who want to use quality time as their love language, finding the right friends becomes just a little bit easier. There are so many people in this world who would love to have your friendship; you just need to find the right humans to invest your time in.

Wait Up

Why are incredible people who are so ready for a relationship sometimes single for a lot longer than they’d like to be?

This is a question I don’t really have an answer to. I can tell you, though, that finding the right person is worth the wait. That you’ll never regret deciding not to settle. I know deep down to my core that being the most amazing version of yourself is the best way to continue making a difference in the world, and that your future partner in crime will absolutely love you for it.

Wait for the man who has been praying for you. He’s dated around, he knows what he wants, but he just hasn’t met you yet. I know it might sound goofy, but I have been praying for my future husband since I was a teenager. I knew whoever I was going to end up with must be pretty special if I’d eventually fall for him, so I wanted the best for him — even before I was a part of his story. I didn’t think of specifics when I thought about my future spouse, but I did think of life experiences. I hoped that before he met me he would have traveled a little, dated around, and gone on a few neat adventures that he could one day tell me about. I hoped that he was making good decisions and thinking of me on occasion, too.

There is someone, somewhere who is praying for you — or at the very least to find you. Prayers for your future spouse often include just actively looking for them, but I would like to encourage you to take it a step further and start praying for him. Pray for his well-being, for his relationships, and pray for his heart. Pray that he is learning more about himself, bettering himself, and learning how to have an empathetic heart. The way he is living his life today and what he’s doing for his future will one day be a part of your story, too.

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I know it can be difficult and frustrating when you’re still single looking for the right person to spend your life with, but remember that even though you might not be able to control when you meet him, you can still pray for him and hope that wherever he is in this world that he is building the best life he can and being respectful of your future relationship. Your future spouse is learning lessons about life, and finding out what he isn’t looking for in a relationship and getting another step closer to you. Prayer is always an action you can take when you feel helpless in a situation. At the end of the day, God has control over the things that seem uncontrollable anyway. Isn’t it comforting knowing that He is working for your best interest, even when it comes to finding the person you will one day marry?

Dating can be difficult when you’ve done it for a long time and haven’t met that special someone. Human hearts are created to love and be loved, and I believe many of us are wired to desire that one incredibly special relationship, especially as we get older. If you haven’t found your person yet remember that there is someone out there just waiting to meet you and looking for the amazing qualities you have to offer. When you feel down or frustrated about the way dating is going, try to look at the big picture and realize that your twenties will likely just be a very small part of your entire life. You might feel confused, lost, or frustrated sometimes, but one day you’ll be able to share these feelings with someone you know will be around for the long haul and look back on them as just a very normal season of life.

Big Brother Bullies

Ugh!! I don’t usually use this blog to write about entertainment, but anyone who’s talked to me the past few months knows I’ve been obsessed with the show Big Brother.

Tonight’s episode really bothered me, though, and I feel compelled to speak out about it.

I am 100% anti bullying. I don’t tolerate it on my social media, and I believe bullies are incredible cowards. That being said, I am disgusted with the way Big Brother is handling the bullying that’s going on in the house. This game is supposed to be filled with lies, deception, and manipulation — that’s how most of the contestants have won the $500,000 in the past — but to allow what is happening in the house to keep going on is really pitiful. I believe CBS is using what’s going on in the house to boost ratings, and the thing that really bugs me is that it’s the perfect opportunity to address the bullying epidemic that sweeps every corner of the Internet. Big Brother reaches hundreds of thousands of people, and many of those watching are teenagers and young adults.

When I watch reality shows I always try to remember that the cast on them are real people with normal jobs, and aren’t used to being in the spotlight, so I try to cut them some slack. That being said, I absolutely cannot believe what I’ve seen this season.

The definition of “bully” is,

“A blustering, quarrelsome, overbearing person who habitually badgers and intimidates smaller or weaker people.”

Jessica isn’t small or weak, but she sure is on the outside right now. I honestly don’t understand how an adult human being can feel good about themselves when they gang up on someone who is already isolated and nonthreatening.

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Credit: Big Brother CBS

The thing people don’t seem to remember is that they’re being taped 24/7, and their friends, family, and employers can see everything play out on live television. I wish one of the contestants would use this incredible platform to address the bullying that’s going on in the house and explain to others that this kind of behavior is absolutely not okay. Ever. Even in a game show when you’re playing for half a million dollars.

Big Brother, I wish I could write you a letter and tell you how wrong it is to keep airing this and acting like this behavior is acceptable. By not stepping in, you are taking an action and allowing people to live in an incredibly hostile and mean-spirted environment. I believe this is a great time to address the behavior in the house, and bring in someone to speak to the adults on the show about how they should conduct themselves with their fellow competitors.

At the end of the day, for all contestants but one, this will end up being just a game, and giving up your character for 500K still isn’t worth it in my opinion. I’ll be interested to hear how these contestants feel about their behavior after they leave the house and think about the way they treated others, and it saddens me that this isn’t being used as a teachable moment. I honestly think some of the people on the show don’t quite realize how cruel they are being — or even that they’re witnessing something that should be stopped — and ironically many of them will come back to some pretty nasty comments on their social media accounts because of the nasty things they’ve said or done. I disagree with the way Internet trolls are approaching the situation as well, and I hope something is done soon to bring more awareness to the way each and every human being deserves to be treated.

End Rant.