LONELY

Loneliness

We’ve all been there. We put on a brave face at parties but all women – whether it’s stay at home moms or girls who work a forty hour week and have thousands of Facebook “friends” – we all feel lonely at some point.

Part of what makes us humans is our desire for connection. We are social beings that need human interactions to feel wanted, loved, and appreciated. Not to get too philosophical, but I’m pretty sure that Aristotle guy was on to something when he wrote about it thousands of years ago.  (Google: Humans are social beings – Aristotle)

Loneliness isn’t a situation it’s a feeling. And when I’m feeling lonely (I don’t know about you) I also feel unpopular, unwanted, always wrong and ugly.

There are usually a couple reasons I get the lonelys:

1. Somebody Hurts You –  When the people closest to us hurt us, it cuts deep. And it’s all downhill from there. It starts the cycle of feeling that you can’t trust anyone, nobody understands you, you’ll never have a good friend, and you’ll never really connect with anyone.

2. Embarrassment – If you claim that you don’t get embarrassed, you’re lying. We’ve all been embarrassed at some point. I feel like an isolated weirdo when I’m embarrassed in front of people I respect or love and all I want to do is go under my fuzzy green blanket and sleep for forever.

So, that’s all good and depressing. So, how do you stop feeling lonely? How do you pull yourself out of an isolating funk that just won’t quit? I’ve got a few ideas but I’d love to hear some of yours.

1. Do Unto Others – Whether I want to admit it or not, loneliness is a very selfish feeling. “Nobody loves me.” “I am so alone.” “Nobody wants to be my friend.” One way I’ve found that helps get my happy juices flowing is to do something for somebody else. It doesn’t have to be anything crazy. Bake cookies for someone, do the dishes for your roommate, donate soup to a homeless shelter. Anything! Get outside yourself. You might be surprised how you feel afterwards.

2. Sing. Sing really, really loud – Don’t even try to pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about. (I keep a hairbrush in my car. Can’t sing if you don’t have a mic, right?) Bump up the jams and sing like you’ve got pipes like Aretha Franklin. It’s okay to laugh at yourself. You may even find that you’re smiling by the chorus. Baby, you’re a firework.

3. Time out – Take a deep breath. Heck, take an hour and try to objectively look at why you feel lonely. Realize that you won’t always feel like this. Think about those times you felt truly loved and appreciated. Write them down if the mood strikes you! As Viola Davis says so eloquently in The Help,”You is kind. You is smart. You is important.” I know it’s hard, but try not to forget it.

Side note, it’s okay to cry. I’m pretty sure some scientist said that you are actually getting rid of toxins when you have a good cry. Let it out. Pope John Paul II said, “It’s better to cry than to be angry, because anger hurts others while tears flow silently through the heart and cleanse the soul.” This guy knows what he’s talking about.

I will be the first one to admit that all of these are easier said than done. But just try it. Have other ways to break out of a lonely funk? #BBBLoneliness

CRAYONS

Get Creative!

Think back to when you were a little kid…I know, I know, its like trying to see a pin prick of light when you’re at the bottom of a well…Now ask yourself, what did you spend most of the day doing? Playing. And what did this play entail? Singing, dancing, writing, hunting for treasure…you remember?

Somewhere along the way, time spent daydreaming and playing became less and less, and time spent doing ‘more important‘ things became more and more. That’s not to say that as adults we don’t still get a good dose of fun, but when is the last time you reveled in the joy of pure creativity?

But you cry, “I just stepped out into the big wide world and its stressful! I ain’t got the time!” Staying on top of new job, maybe trying to establish roots in a new city, just really figuring out life…being a successful professional and person requires a lot of energy, a lot of time, and a lot of worry. Some might say let the creative types in the world be creative and leave me to my conventional life.

Before you proceed ask yourself: Am I often stressed out? Do I have a hard time feeling confident? Does my brain feel like a bowl of pudding?

While there are many causes for disgruntlement and even sadness in everyone’s life, part of it might just be that all work and no play is making Jane a very dull girl. Humans are meant to constantly expand their minds and make a creative contribution to the world in one form or another. For each person this takes on a different form, but the bottom line is that creativity make us much more happy and productive people.

Creativity reduces stress — it redirects focus away from the million responsibilities and worries of everyday life. It gives you a chance to kick up your heels and do something genuinely enjoyable, not just physically but also mentally and emotionally. Creativity gives you confidence — it allows you to make or do something for the sense of pure satisfaction it brings. It gives you a peace of mind and heart that comes from fulfilling passion, and the conviction that you have enough nerve to do something great. Creativity gives you a healthy mind — it forces you to go outside your routine and challenge all those little neurons to make new connections and learn something new.

Challenge: spend one hour a week doing something creative that challenges your imagination. Even if you don’t consider yourself to be a creative person, there is a creative aspect to who you are. Below are a few creative types and suggestions.

 

  • Performer: Act! Community theater anyone? Dance! Ballroom, Latin, Tap, like a crazy person! Tell a story! Read up on some tall tales.
  • Musician: Sing! By yourself, in a quartet, in a choir, heck even karaoke. Play! A new instrument, pick up an old one.
  • Artists: Write! a poem, a story, in a journal, on a tree. Create! A drawing, painting, sculpture, anything really.
  • Academic: Learn!  A new language. A new interest. Visit (or listen to)! A lecture, a class, a planetarium, a museum. Tackle! A crossword puzzle, a book.
  • Tactile Artist: Cook! Garden! Knit!

And this is just the beginning of creative possibilities. What is your favorite way to play?

Delicious-Soup-copy

The Importance of Being Earnest… In Dining

Everytime I drive down my street at dinnertime there’s a particular house that really should be banned from having an open front door. The scents which waft from behind that black screen have a sultry linger in my car the rest of the block.

By the time I get home from work I’m usually not in the mood to experiment with my culinary palette and typically fall into habitual recipes or leftovers… And I like cooking! So what about those gals that are afraid of the flame, or detest the chopping and stirring? Ladies, let us unite in a worthy cause…we can step up our mealtimes! Writer and advocate for feminine force, Virginia Woolfe once said “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” Feeding yourself is important! Don’t scrimp on your major source of energy and health. But – you justly ask – how not to spend our entire paychecks?

There’s one tip that’s golden and will save you in a pinch, or a waistline’s cinch: Keep staples stocked. Whatever is healthy for you, won’t break the budget, and that which you often use KEEP THEM IN YOUR KITCHEN! Bread, milk, eggs, cheese, salad, nuts, and fruit are great starters.

Be educated and smart about what you eat so that your skin vegetables (oranges, melons, etc.) can perhaps forgo the organic sticker price while your eggs and milk that more directly affect your hormone levels should get some cushion. Clip those coupons, find the deals, split things at Costco, BUY SEASONALLY, and definitely keep up on the trends so you know you’re prepared for a price drop.

Phase two is USE EVERY PART. The Native Americans were famous for their entire use of an animal in skin, meat, claws (gross, I know, but resourceful), furs, etc.  This week’s challenge is to see how many meals you can make from a cooking a whole chicken including broth and meat. Use some of your vegetable trimmings in a fully-loaded egg hash the next morning.

And while you’re honing your resourcefulness for one, you might be brave enough to stretch that table to include friends. Reign in a dinner party either potluck, dutch, or donation style.

You’re allowed to be elegant…in fact you should! You’d be surprised what the dollar store, thrift stores (Goodwill and Amvets are my favs), and garage sales will offer in terms of eclectic or traditional dishes, tablecloths, candlesticks, even candles!

A nice board game, a creative twist on drinks, and great conversation is good for the soul. Hospitality is a dormant art who loves to be engaged! A clean house will make everyone feel comfortable, an internet radio station is great for background noise or themed-cooking, and your own enjoyment will bring gentle healing to the bullet holes of the busy day.

There is so much benefit in being intentional with our dining. Food is a source of communion with ourselves, the natural world, and each other. Bon Appetite!

NATALIEHEADSHOT1

Natalie Scicolone, Assistant to the Fashion Editor of Marie Claire

Name: Natalie Scicolone
Occupation: Assistant to Zanna Roberts Rassi, Marie Claire Senior Fashion Editor

B: How did you start working at Marie Claire?
Natalie: I actually interned at Marie Claire my senior year of college. I didn’t think I got the internship – I stressed myself out to the extreme, but they just told me keep an open mind, and I ended up interning here and absolutely falling in love with this industry and especially Marie Claire. When I graduated college I moved back to the city, and it took me a few weeks, but something opened up at Marie Claire and I interviewed, and I couldn’t be happier as Zanna’s assistant.

B: What did you go to school for?
Natalie: I originally went to school for journalism but then switched my major to retail and fashion and also minored in business and sales. It’s kinda the same realm.

B: Did you learn more in school or on the job?
Natalie: I definitely learned more on the job. Stuff that I do in this job you can’t learn in school. I mean, school gave me a great base for being professional, and I obviously learned a ton and I applied myself…I was constantly learning at school, but what I do here is completely different and things that no one can really teach you.

B: How long is a normal day for you?
Natalie: It is a lot of work – nothing like The Devil Wears Prada, though, because Zanna is an absolute angel. I’m the luckiest person alive to be working for her. But I enjoy working. There’ve been times where it’ll be late and Zanna will find out I’m working and she’ll be, like, “Go home!” So, it is a lot of work, but then again I love it so much that I don’t really think of it like that.

B: Have you ever cried on the job? (Or had to leave, cry, and come back. :))
Natalie: I probably shouldn’t admit this, but definitely. Anyone who tells you they haven’t cried is totally lying. We were packing for my first cover shoot with Zanna and it was during Fashion Week. There were so many things going on, and as soon as everyone left for the night, I was in the fashion closet by myself, and I just had this little breakdown. But sometimes it takes that breakdown and I snap out of it. Sometimes you just need to get it out of your system.

B: How do you get through your worst work day?
Natalie: Honestly, I just remind myself that this opportunity is such an amazing one and I feel so lucky and blessed to have it. Even on the worst day I remind myself that this is only something I could have dreamed of a year ago. Reminding myself of that really helps me snap out of whatever mood I’m in and makes me focus.

B: You work for a pretty bougie magazine, and I’m sure that requires dressing pretty classy everyday. Do you have a favorite wardrobe staple for always looking your best?
Natalie: I have this big obsession with denim shirts. I don’t know if people would consider it a staple but it’s definitely my staple. I have to remind myself that I don’t need a denim shirt in every shade of denim.

B: What’s the one piece in your wardrobe you couldn’t live without?
Natalie: It’s hard to name one piece! I can’t live without my shoes and my jewelery. Especially live-in jewelry – things that I get that are nice and I keep on all the time.

B: Do you have any tips for girls who want to look like a fashion editor but can’t afford designer pieces?
Natalie: It’s all about being really creative and open. There are so many pieces from runway that trickle down into mainstream that we see at our favorite stores like Zara, H&M, and Topshop. It’s about going out and looking. Guaranteed you are able to put a look together for under $100 if you take the time to really search. I think it’s definitely more available than people think!

B: Do you have any advice for other young women as they leave college and are looking for a job?
Natalie: I feel like I could write a book! I think interning is really important. But besides that, one of the most important things is that it just takes one person to give you that chance. And when you get that chance you have to prove to them that they made the right decision. It’s about that one person saying, “I believe in her. I see something in her. I think she can do this.” So, when you get that chance, you really have to own it and not let it go.

B: What’s the best part of this time in your life?
Natalie: Everything! I think the best thing is that this is a time in my life, or in anyone’s life, where we are so young that we can be or do or go wherever [we] want. This is the time when you get to make a name for yourself and it’s up to you how you do it. It’s refreshing to know that if you got an opportunity in London, there would be nothing stopping someone our age from doing it! Now’s the time when you can actually just go and not look back.

B: What are you struggling most with right now?
Natalie: I think that if I had to classify a struggle I think it would be being away from my family and closest friends. That gets hard. But then I remind myself I’m in New York
City, I’m 23 years old… you know? That helps me get past that. But sometimes you just want that home cooked meal.

B: Who’s your biggest cheerleader?
Natalie: My mom. She is the most supportive and inspiring woman known to mankind. I moved here without anything lined up and I feel like most mothers would be like, “Oh, no, you’re not doing that.” But she completely stood by me and I can’t thank her enough for being a cheerleader for me.

B: What’s your dream gig?
Natalie: To be honest, I’m still figuring it out. I don’t think I necessarily have a dream gig. At the moment, what I’m doing right now – being Zanna’s assistant – is my dream gig. I can’t even express how happy I am and how much I love working with her and for her. I’ll figure the rest out as I go.