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Sam Dobson Writes: August 2012

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Comfort Food

I love the motto "no bad days". It's positive and determined, but I must call bullshit on anyone who declares this their motto. While I would love to be optimistic and believe that there are those out there who truly never have bad days, it's just not feasible. Even the guy who always considers his glass half full has to have a bad day every now and then, whether or not he advertises it on Facebook.

I do my best to stay positive, or at least I am constantly scolding myself to try, but I am no stranger to bad days. Even if bad days are sparse in your reality, you must at least have blah days. Blah days are those when you don't really feel like doing much of anything. You aren't necessary depressed, but you even the slightest bit of motivation and energy. All you can do is lounge, yet you have this nagging feeling of guilt about it. Sound familiar?

Anyways, most people turn to something of comfort in order to make them feel better on these bad or blah days. For most, it's comfort food, whatever that may be. Some people choose to plug their head phones into their ears and crank up the volume on their favorite comfort tune. Many turn to gossip magazines, if nothing else than to simply remind them that even the rich, famous, and fabulous have problems too. My comfort on a lousy day is a Friends marathon. I'm not talking about my besties, although they do a good job of cheering me up, I'm talking about the infamous 90's sitcom. I have all ten seasons (thanks to the countless times I have put them on my Christmas wish list) and on the worst of days I slip into my pajamas and crawl into bed and watch my Friends.

Every time the "I'll be there for you" intro song comes on I imagine my boyfriend cringing. He doesn't get why I find the sometimes cheesy dialogue comforting, but he knows it's been a rough day if I'm knee-deep in season 6. It's probably the distraction that helps. No matter how many times I've seen each episode, I still laugh my butt off when Phoebe says something bizarre and Joey does something stupid. I can always count on my Friends.

If that sounds a bit crazy, I urge you to consider what you do to make yourself feel better. Is it a bottle of wine or a gallon of ice cream? Either way, your irritations are usually gone by the time you've reached the bottom of the bottle or carton. These comforts are a necessary tool for survival. Bad (and blah) days are normal and in order to get through them without pulling our hair out, we need a little help. It's nothing to be ashamed of, as long as said help doesn't turn into some nasty addiction. I am proud to say that when my bad day is done and gone, I have no problem putting Friends back in the DVD cabinet. So don't feel bad when the only people who can help you today are Ben & Jerry. Don't be ashamed that you rather disappear into your iPod rather than talk to a single person. And if you ever need a little a pick me up...

I'll be there for you,


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

When I Grow Up...

Happily married to a sexy, yet kind, man. Mother to two beautiful, well-behaved children. Not only a graduate, but well on the way to becoming a successful editor-in-chief. Owner of a modest and modern beach house and enjoying plenty of vacations. Sounds fabulous and too good to be true. This is what I had envisioned for myself when I was a teenager and hopeful; "When I am twenty-five I'll be married, have kids, and be successful". What a dumb ass. I am now twenty-five with no husband and no kids (not that I am any where near ready for kids). I have graduated, but so far, to no avail. There is no fabulous career in the making; I am still struggling to simply get my foot in the door.

Life seems so possible when you are a kid. We can be anything we want to be, right? I'm pretty sure I wanted to be the first woman president when I was ten years old. Not that I want that job anymore, but I certainly don't have the credentials or the fake personality the job requires. It's a weird feeling, the moment you start to realize life isn't going to turn out quite the way you thought it would. It suddenly hits you that you actually have to work for everything (unless you are born into a wealthy family and you are spoiled beyond repair).

What got my mind wandering down this dreary road? One night I was minding my own business, just browsing Pinterest (not unusual in the slightest) and I came across yet another eCard:

I laughed to myself, thinking how true this was, when my boyfriend asked me why I was laughing. I showed him the eCard and suggested we play a game of MASH. We had fun picking out different ridiculous jobs and extravagant cars for each other. After the giggling and poking-fun, I started to think about how my life is far different than I had imagined it would be. While I did feel a slight bout of depression coming on, I decided to ignore it and focused on what the world would be like if all our lives turned out just how we imagined they would as kids...

There would be an insane number of princesses and cowboys. No one would be poor and we'd all have pet monkeys. Candy would be the most important food group and there would be no such thing as sickness of any kind. A day of work would consist of climbing around on the jungle gym at your local park. Every vacation would lead to Disney Land where Mickey would personally invite you back to his place for a mug of hot cocoa.

And then we get older and our visions of the future start to get slightly more realistic. We dream of becoming a famous pop star or a Nobel Prize winning rocket scientist. We will have a chance encounter with Justin Timberlake and he will, of course, fall in love and propose. Our houses are big and fancy; the thought of being poor is nonexistent. We live happily ever after. Of course these are obtainable goals, just highly unlikely.

I would argue that my current vision of what my life should be like is not unrealistic. I guess I'm just taking the long way around. It's not a straight shot, as I hoped it would be. I have to work for what I want. That's why we go into debt getting a decent college education. That's why we grit our teeth, put a smile on our face and do the grunt work. That's why we continue to be hopeful on questionable first dates. We work hard in hopes of obtaining the life we want. This is why we can be proud once we have accomplished it. We did it for ourselves, by ourselves. Who knows, maybe one day you will have that pet monkey or that fabulous ice cream taste tester job!

Future Editor-in-Chief,