Tuesday, April 28, 2015

madam secretary.

So I am completely and totally in "I'm so ready to be done school and graduate" mode. How convenient was it that my best friend and I stumbled upon Madam Secretary?! Just what I needed to ensure that all my final homework and projects are complete by... tomorrow. CBS All Access reeled me in on a free week-long trial and I'm hoping that I'm able to catch up on the 20-something episodes in the next week so that I don't have to pay $5.99 for a month's worth of viewing. But, it's a $6.00 risk I am willing to take.

This. show. is. SO. good.

I'm only five episodes in right now, but I am obsessed with Tea Leoni as the lead. Her character, Secretary of State, "Madam Secretary" Elizabeth McCord is one hell of a kick ass woman. And if there's anything I love, it's a show that redefines the roles of women in power (Scandal, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt... ). Feminism has been at the forefront of my mind and the media's for quite some time now, and I am full on loving it. 

McCord is inspiring in the role. She takes on a Chief of Staff and President who don't always accept her opinions and courses of action. She even goes so far as to completely undermine the President in a certain situation and take it on her way-- and it works out swimmingly. In a field dominated by men, she's strikingly refreshing. She stands her ground, trusts herself, admits to her mistakes, and embodies everything that (by my definition anyway...) a power woman should be.

One of the best parts in my opinion? The relationship McCord has with her husband Henry. It's not every day you'll come across a man who's completely comfortable being with a highly successful woman. More often than not, it's a woman on a man's arm-- not the other way around. Henry is a professor at Georgetown in religion and ethics, and he supports his wife and his family in a proud and moving way. When McCord is busy dealing with national security crises, he's home consoling his 15-year old daughter who's boyfriend just broke up with her... via text. And when McCord and Henry stumble into their first fight of the series, the night following their fight she brings it up. He starts to say he forgives her, and she responds immediately by saying, "No I wasn't apologizing about that." And once all is forgiven, it's Henry who ends up saying, "If you're asking me to be the man beside the woman, I'm in."

Take a peek:

Just watch the first two episodes, and tell me you're not hooked! (p.s. If you can catch up on the series in a free trial of CBS All Access, I salute you.)


Monday, April 27, 2015

how to be happy with yourself.

The first year and a half of my twenties has probably been one of the more difficult times in my life. When you're in college, the stakes are high, the competition is higher, and all at the same time, you're tasked with trying to define who you want to be. I remember being 15 and thinking that by 21 I'd have it all figured out. I'd have graduated college, found a job, fallen in love with not just someone, but with myself and my life too. Two and a third of those things have happened, but like any twenty something would probably find, learning to love and be happy with yourself is one of the hardest things to do.

We live in a world where social media makes it so damn easy to compare. You can compare yourself to your peer who just got into a fancy Ivy League grad school; you can compare yourself to your classmate who has three job offers coming their way; you can compare yourself to the lucky bastard who's brave enough to go travel the world and defy societal pressure to get your shit together immediately following college. But, as I've known for some time, comparing yourself to others gets you nowhere. You can really only compare yourself to who you were a day ago or a month ago or a year ago-- and try to stay sane.

Which brings me to my three points. There are three things I try to remind myself when I'm having a "my god you suck at everything and anything" day. And trust me, they happen often!

how to be happy with yourself.

1. The only person you should ever compare yourself to, is you.

Like I said above, the only way to see how far you've come in your life is to look back on who you were in the past. Who were you before you went to college? Before you got your heart broken? Before your life turned upside down and you had no idea how to handle it? Recognize that there is no short cut to happiness. Like any relationship, you have to work for your happiness and nurture it. Do what makes you smile, spend time with who makes you laugh, and learn to be comfortable with who you are.

2. Don't sabotage yourself, be your own best friend.

I haven't met a girl who hasn't muttered the words, "I look like shit." And it's a fact of life. There will indeed be some days that you just look like shit, but I also strongly believe that how you feel about your appearance is a direct reflection of how you're feeling internally. Our minds are easy to manipulate, and they're not always as tough as we give them credit for. They're not immune to negative thoughts about your surroundings, your friends, your family, etc., and they're not immune to negative thoughts about yourself. Actually, most women tend to find they're privy to negative thoughts about themselves. Mistakes happen for everyone. Off days happen for everyone. One of the quickest ways to sabotage yourself emotionally is to ignore your emotions. You wouldn't ignore your best friend if she called you up upset about something, so don't ignore yourself either. Give yourself time to feel and honor your emotions, but don't let them control you. Counter negative thoughts with positive energy.

3. If you wouldn't say it to someone else, don't say it to yourself.

Have you seen this ad yet? You can watch it below, but it really hit home with me. I know for a fact that there are few people sassier than a frustrated or angry woman, but what scared me the most about this ad is that the things we would never say to another person we feel completely comfortable saying to ourselves. It's hard to look in the mirror every day and tell yourself you're beautiful when all you see is a pimple the size of Mount Everest forming on your chin or the slightest muffin top. We all have things we don't like about ourselves, but at the end of the day, we've only got ourselves. Our goal in life should be to empower who we are as individuals and as women, not to tear ourselves down because of an unattainable image we hold ourselves to. You don't have to look like the girls in magazines; not even the girls in magazines look like the girls in magazines! Think kind thoughts. If you wouldn't say it to somebody you love or even a perfect stranger, then don't say it to yourself.

This one's a good one too. Gotta love Dove.



Monday, April 6, 2015

carve your path.

As 20-somethings, we're all sort of inherently led to believe that we are nothing special. We've had internships that have made clear we're the bottom of the food chain, we've had arguments with our parents over our independence (because who knows anything better than we do?), our confidence more often than not comes off as ignorance, and our superiors look at us like we have so much to learn and not even a clue.

Senior year of college is a particularly difficult time for all of us "young adults." I've been referred to as a "young adult" since I was 15, and I'm starting to question when being a "young adult" really ends and being an "adult" begins. I suspect it's when you graduate college and get a real job, start working the 9-5, and save up the dough. But for those of us moving back in with our parents after graduation, actually for those of us in general, all of our crutches are not yet gone. Because of all these factors that contribute to the unending confusion and curiosity that plagues 20-somethings, the path we're supposed to embark on post-graduation is more unclear than ever.

I'm among the lucky ones with a job after graduation. Only, I prefer not to refer to my getting a job as luck (and I prefer that other people do the same), but as a reward for my hard work over nearly a year and a half at the company I work for. commando has been a part of my life for well over a year now, and what started out as a gig folding underwear/kind of being an intern turned into a full blown internship in sales and public relations, and has since turned into a job as a social media and digital marketing coordinator. I'm incredibly relieved and excited for what my future at the company holds.

I will say I am lucky in that I know the company I'm working for is one that I genuinely love, and it's filled with people that I genuinely enjoy working with. That, in itself, is another weight off my shoulders. But I was meeting with the COO of the company while discussing my offer, and I thanked her for being my support at the company over my time there. More specifically, I said, "This wouldn't have happened without you." And her reply? "No, I helped get you in here. You did the rest."

I know I've definitely had some help here and there along the way. If there's anything I've learned from my internship (and trust me, there's a lot), the biggest thing I've learned is how to take constructive criticism! Less than two months ago I had no idea what I was doing with my life. A part of me had always hoped that my internship would potentially lead to a job, but I never expected anything. I've realized over the past month that I've been carving my own path this whole time though. Hard work carves a path. Perseverance carves a path. And a little bit of faith also helps. There was never a clear path for what I wanted come post-grad, but in the middle of all the confusion and anxiety, I made one for myself. So if there's anything young graduates can rest easy knowing, it's that there's a 99% chance you're already carving your path, the right path for you. You just don't know it yet.