I found a strength I’ve never known

So, I read this book…


Ironically, I ordered it before my life took an unexpected turn for the worse, but I guess you could say I was anticipating (maybe even preparing for?) it in a way. And truthfully, this book was delivered just in time.

First of all, I highly recommend this read. It won’t change your life in one day, but it will make you start to think about changing your approach to certain situations in life. The most influential themes I took away from it are:

  • We all need to stop framing our reality based on other’s perceptions of us (and any other uncontrollable factors)
  • Weathering the shitstorm is usually a necessity
  • You really don’t know everything (so stop pretending like you do).

As it turns out, you can’t control other people. Chasing perfection and trying to control every diminutive aspect of your life is a recipe for disaster and anxiety. It breeds unwanted stress. You can’t expect to account for every possible outcome in a situation, yet that’s what I’ve found I always try to do. It’s always been the unknown variables that I don’t do well with. But at some point you have to realize, you can’t control the way other people are; you can’t make someone care about you, or even like you for that matter. And you can’t base your worth on any of that shit.

Others will care as much as they want to, and sometimes factors in their own life will affect that. And guess what? Most of the time it will have nothing to do with you. Which brings me to another valuable lesson I found in this book: it’s not always about you.

Last Saturday I woke up to a beautiful morning with no real plans for the day. I went to the gym, hit up the grocery store, and even got my car washed. I needed my next destination to be out in the sun, next to the water, in a bikini and preferably with a drink in my hand. Everyone I texted was either out of town, busy, or just flat out didn’t respond. All I wanted to do was go to the damn beach and no one was available to join me.

If you would have put this situation in front of me last month or even last year, my response would have been to just stay home and contemplate how lame I am, or retreat to my parents house where I could lay out, undisturbed, in their yard. I would sacrifice the idea of going to the beach because I didn’t want to go alone.

Last Saturday, I said “fuck it.

And guess what? I had a wonderful time. I didn’t need to, nor did I want to, depend on the accompaniment of anyone else as my only reason for going to the beach. This is not a testament to any new-found reclusiveness amidst the breakup, but more so, a new-found independence. Yes, it would have been nice to have a beach buddy. But it was not necessary and everything was still okay. No one was at fault for not being available to join me, and I was still able to enjoy the couple hours of relaxation and solitude.

This book showed me that I’ve been a little too self-centered through the hard times too. Everyone has problems. You have no idea what someone else is going through (you know, back to the whole not being able to know/control everything), and in no way should you assume that all the bad stuff is only happening to you. That is victim mentality and it is toxic as hell.

I was at my cousin’s wedding a couple weekends ago, and took full advantage of the open bar. I was approached by a family member who asked how my relationship was going, and I had a total drunken breakdown. I explained how horribly he ended it; how I never meant anything; how I’m going on 27 years old, and feel so lost and alone; how it feels like the rest of the world has found their forever person and I’m back to square one. She listened intently, with a slight smirk on her face. When I was finished and composed myself, she looked me in the eye, and you know what she told me?

“I am seriously so excited for you and this time in your life.”

Like, what? It didn’t hit me until [sobriety hit me] the next day — how significant those few words actually were. Even in simply reframing the way you view your own misfortune; acknowledging that yeah shit still kind of sucks, and yeah sometimes I still hurt, and some days will be shittier than others, but in the end I will be better for it. I got out of a bad situation. I am ready for this time in my life. Others would honestly kill to be in my situation right now. I’m young, independent, and ready to face whatever this world throws at me. Sometimes we need to weather that shitstorm to come out better and more appreciative of the things we do have.

And that’s why you should probably read this book, then give it to everyone else you know to read too.

Now here is some empowering music from my girl Kesha.


Here’s the problem.


I realize, all too often, my go-to response tends to be, “I’m not very political.”

I have a very laissez-faire attitude when it comes to the subject of politics. I shy away from answering questions about my own political ideology, I don’t challenge anyone about their own. Largely, I just never paid any mind to politics.

I also realize, that this response, is a quintessential product of my white privilege.

“White privilege” sounds like such a trite phrase anymore. People throw it around, people get offended by it, some are empowered by it, but what does it really mean?

I’ll tell you.

When I am pulled over by the police, my first instinct is to cry.

Not because I fear my life. Not because I fear the life of the loved one sitting next to me.

But because I fear getting a ticket. I fear points on my license. Car insurances rates skyrocketing. My good drivers discount becoming a distant memory.

And sometimes, crying actually gets me out of the situation all together.

That is the definition of white privilege.

That is my reality.

This is not the reality faced by minorities, people of color, or any other marginalized group.

I say I’m not political because politics have never been life or death for me.


If white people don’t start speaking out against this injustice, we are no better than the white supremacists marching in Charlottesville last weekend.

This whole “not my chair, not my problem” mentality we have, actually makes you part of the problem. Whether you’re aware of it or not.

I may have always avoided the topic because truthfully, I don’t identify as 100% Republican or 100% Democrat. But I do identify as 100% human, and I know right from wrong. It’s time we all speak up for what is right, and take steps beyond just talking about how bad things are. Let’s all be better.

August was never our month

Sometimes you have to say goodbye to the one person you thought you’d spend forever with.

No matter how much you truly care about someone, sometimes it just doesn’t work out. No matter how hard you fight for someone, sometimes there is nothing more you can do when they look you in the eye and tell you they don’t know if they love you anymore. Sometimes after you give all you have, there’s truly nothing left. Loving someone isn’t always enough.

Humans are often motivated by fear; the fear of the unknown, fear of change, the fear of ending up alone. And that fear can cause us to settle. To resent the very thing we are trying so hard to keep. How many times does the universe have to show you, if you struggle so hard to keep something, it was never really yours to begin with?

“Loss of control is always the source of fear. It is also, however, always the source of change.”
–James Frey

And then there’s the fear of facing the fact that maybe we deserve better.

When my grandma passed away at the age of 84 this past May, my grieving grandpa said something that resonated within me: “Sixty-three years I spent with her, and it still wasn’t enough.” That is the love I want. That is the love I deserve.

In the end, there is only one person you are absolutely guaranteed to spend forever with, and that person is you. So when it comes down to losing someone, we all eventually have to trust that we will make it through. And trust, that in taking care of the person you do have to spend forever with, you will welcome love back into your life.

I won’t let you giving up on me mean that I should give up on myself.

Just because you don’t love me, that doesn’t make me unlovable.

I will repeat these words when the thought of losing you makes me sad. I will repeat these words, over and over again, until they become my only truth.

I am going to be fine. I will get through this. And I will be better for it. I will find somebody out there who treats me the way I deserve to be treated, who showers me with the love you never wanted to show me. And in a few months, when you realize [again] what you lost, this time I won’t be there.


kc goes ape

I’ve been having a bit of a rough go at things lately.

This past Sunday, as the morning sun crept through my window, by 9am I already maintained that I would stay in bed all day. Birds chirping, cat purring and waiting to be fed, I had no plans for the day and I had no motivation for anything this Sunday had to offer.

Then my text tone went off, and my heart stopped.

I frantically shuffled around the bed in search of my phone. My heart sunk when it wasn’t who I was waiting to hear from: more proof that I was making the right decision for the day. Then I actually read the message I received:

“Do you want to Go Ape at 1:30?”

um. What did you just ask me?


Apparently there is a local zip lining/tree top adventure course located in the Metroparks in Strongsville — called Go Ape. Not exactly something I would jump at on a regular Sunday (let alone one where I’m feeling sad and unmotivated), but it felt like this was one of those times I just had to suck it up and agree to go.

We started with a quick, overwhelming lesson with a lot of information and all of it ending in “you could basically die if you don’t follow these rules.” So that was great. I would recommend going with someone who has done it before, just for that simple fact. There were 5 courses to complete (the first one being a small “intro” course); each beginning with a climb up into the trees, a handful of obstacles to get through, before ending with a zip line back to ground level. You have to book in advance, and lucky for us, this weekend was 25% off so we only paid $45 when all was said and done. It was a bit crowded, I assume because of the promotion, so there was a little bit of waiting time between obstacles and courses. But it was enough time to calm all of my nerves between the adrenaline rushes.

The website recommends closed-toe shoes, workout gloves, and tying your hair back. All very appropriate recommendations — after about the 3rd course my hands were hurting without gloves.

I never really thought I had a fear of heights — but being 50+ feet above ground, with only two cables keeping me from imminent death, I definitely had some involuntary hand trembling and knee shaking going on. It didn’t help that I kept looking down like a psycho. There were times I wanted nothing more than to turn back around and get on solid ground. I think I almost pissed myself no less than three times.

Overall, though, I have to admit it was beyond exhilarating. Actually getting through the courses took some strength and patience, but getting to that zip line at the end and the freeing feeling of it all — it was 1000% better than staying in bed all day. Everyone should do something that scares the shit out of them at least every once in a while. Lesson learned.


Check it out for yourself, you can book now at www.goape.com.

I always thought I would sink, so I never swam

Yes, those are Miley Cyrus lyrics. Don’t hate.

Sometimes we get so caught up in the lives of those around us. We see flashes of good fortune happening to friends and colleagues that we wish would happen to us. We get so invested in the milestones of others around us, that it creates an unnecessary pressure in our own lives.

Try not to let that happen to you.

Instead of spinning out all in your mind, thinking of all the ways what you want will never happen, and how it’s all happening for someone else… start believing what you want can be real. It will manifest itself if you believe.

Remind yourself every day that you can have everything you ever wanted. And be happy for the success of others, knowing you can have it too.

It’s easy to give excuses, to avoid a swim because you’re afraid to drown. It’s hard work to live your life everyday with positivity in knowing your goals will materialize if you are constantly working toward them.

Stop sabotaging yourself.

Don’t be that person that finds contentment in yearning for the success someone else has, never doing anything to get there yourself. Don’t spend your whole life just waiting for it to happen to you.

If you want it, you can have it.

It is as simple as that.

And don’t you ever forget it.



sun is shining, the weather is sweet

It’s June and it’s finally starting to feel like summer in Cleveland.
And here too is your friendly reminder
to lighten the fuck up.
No really, just relax.
Be kind.
Say hi to strangers.
Compliment people. Genuinely.
Watch the sun rise.
Let that idiot in the Subaru in your lane.
Tell people to have a nice day — and sincerely mean it.

For most of my life, I’ve always had this approachable aura about me. No really — in a crowd full of people, I swear I am always the one strangers are drawn to. At the gym, at the grocery store, even at the office. I’m always the one who gets asked directions. People always try to make small talk with me in the elevator. Things like that. I think I just have one of those faces that people know they can trust. Or something like that.

So what did this cruel, bleak, Cleveland winter do to me? It hardened me. It depressed my spirit. It made me snippy with people — even ones I like! It made me feel like if I could just master the RBF [resting bitch face] and look unapproachable, people will stop trying to engage with me. Surprise: it didn’t work. It just made me crankier when those people inevitably did try and engage with me. What an unfortunate way to go about your every day. 

Cue summer vibes: right on time. It wasn’t a conscious decision I made, hell, I didn’t even realize how negative I really had been until I started writing this. But something in me switched. It started with small talk in the copy room at work, with that lady that always traps you in conversation when you’re only half listening. I had a nice, quick conversation with her then I walked away. Then it carried onto the road. I am a petty, passive aggressive driver when I want to be (read: all the time). In the last few days I have been leaving earlier so as to not be in any rush, and letting the crazy people do their own crazy thing behind their own wheel. I realized there is no use in getting myself in a mess or all worked up just because the turd in the BMW wants to cut me off. Something so simple, yet it felt so freeing. New people in my class at the gym? Instead of judging them and/or silently scathing them for being in my personal space… Oh, here you go–you just need a light set of weights, a heavy set, and a mat. No, you don’t want to get that close to me, we move around a lot. You’re doing great!

Life is so much easier (and less stressful !!!) when you are nicer. Nicer to other people, and nicer to yourself. It’s okay to relax. Things will work out. It’s easy to say and to practice when the sun is out and everything is green and beautiful. I just hope this feeling of positivity carries with me throughout all seasons.

“If you want to lift yourself up,
Lift someone else up.”

How the Cavs broke the NBA in 2017

The switch.

I will be the first to admit it. I lost my faith during the regular season this year. Everyone kept talking about this “switch” the Cavs will flip come playoff time. The “switch” that will allow them to dominate after an okay regular season.  The “switch” that would once again send us to the finals.

I honestly didn’t believe such a “switch” ever existed. I didn’t think after the season we had, that we would even make it out of the Eastern Conference. We have arguably the best player to ever play in the NBA on our team, and if we couldn’t dominate the regular season, we had no chance to make it to the finals again, let alone win. I even bet a pizza on it.

And ladies and gentlemen, I am here to say…

I was wrong.

I was taught at a young age that practice makes permanent. That is to say, maintaining good habits during the practice is oftentimes more important than the practice itself. If you get lazy, that stays with you. There is only an added benefit to practice, so long as it is executed properly. Watching game after game of the Cavs acting lazy and tired on the court all season long, I was understandably worried.

The 80/20 rule.

The Cavs discovered this season that they can operate under the Pareto principle and still dominate in the playoffs. Oh, what’s that? You’ve never heard of the Pareto principle? You may know it as the 80/20 rule:

Pareto Principle

Some of the most successful people I know live by this principle. In its simplest form, it states that you put 80% of your time in 20% of your work. So, the regular season of the NBA has 82 games. It’s my firm belief that the Cavs (or more likely, just LeBron) realized that it is not vital to try and win all 82 games, and in fact, it is illogical to do so. We went 57-25 last season, compared to the Warriors’ impressive 73-9, and we still came out victorious. This year we were just 51-31, still making it into the playoffs, but earning a second-seed position. LeBron sat out 8 games this year, compared to 6 games last year. By contrast, Steph Curry only sat out 3 games in each of the last two seasons.

The Cavs are 12-1 this post season. They are the first team in the Eastern Conference to reach the finals with one or fewer losses in the playoffs since the 1995-1996 Bulls (and, the Bulls finished 72-10 in their regular season that year).

LeBron figured out how to rig the system in his favor. And, if you think about it, by employing the 80/20 rule, he isn’t really rigging anything, per se. He just figured out a way to get his team to work smarter, not harder. Isn’t that the true American dream?

Will it pay off in a championship again this year? If you had asked me a month and a half ago when we barely beat the Pacers 108-109… I would have said no chance. But now, I’m not so sure.

I guess we’ll find out soon enough… Game 1 of the NBA Finals is June 1st at 9PM. See you all there.


Dinner talk

A few months back the boyf and I decided to have an impromptu date night. Cleveland Chop it was, due to the fact that a) their happy hour is absolutely amazing, and b) I had a craving for a good steak that wasn’t going to hurt his wallet too badly. Highly recommend this place for brunch too, btw.

So, I place an order for my 8 oz filet and the boyfriend tells me we just have to order these steak “cigars” as an app. Okay, I’m into it. They come out, all deep-fried and delicious looking, and when I asked if they were too hot to eat yet, his response kind of took me by surprise…

“Just don’t ruin your dinner by burning the roof of your mouth on the appetizer.”

I mean, it’s a simple enough statement. Not waiting for that delicious cheese oozing out of a deep fried steak-um to cool off before shoving it in your mouth would definitely, completely ruin a good steak dinner. And probably a handful of dinners after that. The appetizer was good, but being too eager to try it may result in regret. It really didn’t hit me until well after the fact, but, in giving this simple warning, he inadvertently provided a very interesting perspective on life.

I think oftentimes we tend get too caught up in the moment. We are so trained to live in this instant gratification existence, that we don’t really consider how a split second decision could have lasting effects on us and those around us. Whether it’s in a relationship, through social media, or otherwise; sometimes we just get too impatient, too impulsive. We burn our mouths before the main course comes out.

Let this unexpected dinner talk be a lesson to everyone, to take a moment. Your course in this life is largely determined by a string of small, seemingly inconsequential decisions. You can always benefit from letting the damn food cool off first.

Something important happened this week on a TV show you stopped watching 10 years ago.

Seventeen years ago, a show unlike anything we’ve ever seen in the United States aired, and set an unprecedented standard for reality TV and game shows to follow. That show was Survivor. It put a bunch of real people, who didn’t know each other going in, on an island with nothing but their clothes on their back to fend for food, shelter, and a prize of one million dollars. Throw in a couple challenges (physical, mental, and ones of the critter-eating kind), and a tribal council where cast members vote each other off the island, and people couldn’t get enough. It was like one big social experiment that the public got to watch unfold. And if you were crazy enough to try out, you, too, could be a part of the experiment.

So, 17 years and 34 season later, the show still has a total cult following. I mean, I watched the first few season with my dad when I was a kid but eventually fell off. My dad still watches it to this day. But like any show that has had such a long run, they struggle to remain relevant. They’ve tried to combat this issue in a lot of different ways; bringing back people you love and people you love to hate, introducing hidden advantages to the game, the #blindside hashtag, and even bringing millennials in to the mix in a season called “Millennials vs. Gen X.” I’ll admit, that season did intrigue me. And it was on before new episodes of Criminal Minds, so I’m not ashamed to say I watched most of that season and got caught up in the hype all over again. It was nostalgic for me (and also kind of crazy that people still get so into the game). But, let’s be real — no one is spending the next day at work talking about what crazy thing happened on Survivor that night. They just aren’t anymore.

Until this week’s episode.

I only caught the last 15 minutes, and that’s literally all anyone needed to see of the whole episode. When Jeff Probst basically tells some one, “just bring me your torch,” without needing to vote… you know something just went horribly wrong for that person.

So a bit of background for those of you who stopped watching this show ten years ago… this is Zeke:


He was a contestant on last season’s Millennials vs. Gen X, and was brought back the very next season for Survivor: Game Changers. I liked him in the previous season. He was competitive but not a dick, built some good relationships but still screwed a few people over, and he added a lot of value to the show as one of the ‘nerds.’ One of my favorite parts about that season, was that Zeke even helped this 42-year-old cop from New York come out as gay on the show. I mean, he was a pretty cool guy. It’s no wonder they brought him back the next season.

Fast forward to Wednesday night’s tribal council, and this other guy, Jeff Varner (who I honestly knew nothing about going into this), in a last ditch effort to show others’ deceit within the tribe (and in hopes it would convince people that he wasn’t that bad), outed Zeke as transgender.


This wasn’t something that was scripted. This wasn’t planned. You could tell from how awkward the moment was on screen, that no one saw this coming. This was something that a desperate (probably very hungry) man let fall out of his mouth without even considering the ramifications. Without considering that the people in Zeke’s own life may not know. This was something he said because he didn’t want to be the one voted out and lose his chance at the million dollar prize (for the third time, might I add). This was word vomit in its most malicious form. This was a big eff-up.

The way Jeff Probst handled it was impressive. The way the other contestants handled it was commendable as well. But the person who mattered most in this situation was Zeke. Zeke was speechless at first (understandably so), and this gave the other contestants time to sound off and vehemently denounce everything Varner had just said. It simply was not Varner’s secret to tell, and the cast members made that known. Probst didn’t let him off the hook either, even when Varner immediately tried to back track his comments. It was heart-warming, really, to see Zeke’s teammates come together and support him. It was reassuring that, through this literally life-shattering moment, Zeke did not lash out in anger. Instead, he was calm and composed. It was a moment that was so much bigger than the show, and the symbolic gesture of not even having a vote was exactly what needed to happen.

You have to also consider, the episode was filmed 10 months ago, so CBS, Probst, and Zeke all had time to prepare and make sure they got this right. With as tough a situation as it was, I truly think they did.

No one deserves to be outed like that, but the courage Zeke exemplified by his reaction and by his willingness to start the conversation… it was, and is, inspirational. We need to have more talks like this.

When Bruce Jenner ceased to exist and Caitlyn Jenner rose from the ashes, my father was stunned. Confused, even. He had never even considered that as an option in someone’s life because he had never experienced something like that with anyone–celebrity or not. But he watched an entire season of Survivor with a trans person mixed in the group and didn’t even notice. He didn’t think it was weird, because he simply didn’t know. I’m interested to hear if his view of Zeke has or will change in the future, and this is the dialog that should be started by this. That is the root of the issue when someone makes a decision not to disclose their gender history: we, as humans, need to closely examine how we consciously and subconsciously react to finding out someone is trans. We need to figure out why someone’s personal struggle with gender identity makes us uncomfortable, and how we can make a shift from uncomfortable to understanding.

“On the whole, the world doesn’t treat trans people with much kindness. Even those who aren’t outwardly hateful crinkle their noses at you. When enough people crinkle their noses at you, you begin to think you stink.”Read the exclusive tell-all, written by Zeke himself.

Above all, major kudos to Zeke, for having a positive response to such an epic fuck up on someone else’s part. You, sir, are a true role model.