My Guest Post for The Confusing Middle

I was honored when Aaron over at The Confusing Middle asked me to write a guest post for him while he’s on vacay. Here it is! (Censored, because apparently “fuck” isn’t everyone’s favorite word).

Hey, kids… I’m out of town this week. Finally taking that vacation I’ve been thinking about for eight years. Anyway, while I’m gone some friends have agreed to write some guest posts for my blog. Today’s post comes from Alex. I asked her the question, what is one experience that has shaped the person you […]

via Sticking to Your Convictions — The Confusing Middle

As Featured on News Cult: A Letter to My High School Self

Because if I only knew then what I know now…

Dear High School Alex,

You really care too much. About what people think of you, school, fitting in, guys. I mean, you know none of it matters, right? You’re going to go to college, get a job and learn that life is ultimately pointless and the most you can hope for is a good relationship with a dog before you die—mainly because the dog will then be able to alert your neighbors of your death by barking incessantly because it has some bizarre intuition/after a while it will want food.

Let’s start with boys. First of all, stop trying to fit in with all the senior boys. You’re just a freshman. This is your time to try in vain to make new friends your age, and fail at different elective courses, and hate yourself even more when trying out for the soccer team. Don’t get distracted by these magical, dangerous, older boys. The only thing you’ll get from them is a sloppy drunken make out session and a huge gash on the back of your ankle from trying to climb down the unfathomably jagged concrete stairs at one of their apartments, which will be worse than any shaving cut you could ever give yourself. And that scar will never heal. So that’s some symbolic shit.

Fuck guys—don’t worry, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to be colossally disappointed by them later on in life. For now, focus on getting to know yourself. But lower your expectations—you’re going to change a lot over the 4 high school years, and then even more in college, and then even more when you go adulting. So just go with the flow, man. Roll with those punches. You’re going to want to be a perfectionist, but spoiler alert: perfection is a mirage. So quit taking your homework so seriously, and feeling like you have to take ALL the AP classes, and be in ALL the honor societies and get ALL the awards—you’ll never catch up to the cloistered, pretentious, God-fearing little goody two-shoes valedictorian who you’ll get into a debate with over abortion rights and she’ll cry, not because you said anything offensive, but because she’s a pussy who can’t handle intelligent discussion over the merits of religious moral authority.

In other words: there’s always going to be someone who wins more than you, so really stop trying so hard to catch up. That doesn’t mean you aren’t good enough, it just means you get to give less fucks. Which is the end goal. On our death bed, we want to give equal to or less than 0 fucks. So you may as well start early. And this goes not just for guys, and academics, but making friends, too. There are going to be those girls who seem just so effortlessly cool, and like everyone loves them, and their friends are part of this secret club where life is just more seamless and sooo creative. But let me save you some heartache—those girls are manipulative sociopaths, and that’s how they pull everyone into their web of lies. You won’t see this going in, and before you know it, you’ll be the fly—caught, helpless, while they continue conquering their prey.

And you are NOT a fly. You are not prey, you are not a victim, and you are not as uncool and in need of validation as you think. You don’t need these capricious foes. Yeah, it may be lonely, but at least you’ll be free. Free to be yourself, free to be unapologetic, free to not be made to feel less than. The girls who seem like they have it all peak in high school (it’s really too bad that you didn’t see Mean Girls until after you graduated). And then they all become fat secretaries. You don’t want to be that. You don’t need to be that. What you need to do is work on finding your own center, and grounding yourself in that, because if you think high school is bad, just wait for the rest of your life—it’s awful (cue all the psychology students’ concern for my mental health). But it will be a lot easier to navigate if, at the end of every moment, you have a strong sense of yourself to come back to.

This is all a long way of saying whatever. Fuck everyone and everything in high school. People who like high school are not our people. They’re like people who don’t enjoy pizza and do enjoy running—we just don’t get them. High school seems so permanent, but it’s really the most fleeting thing (outside of your skinny prepubescent body and Britney Spears’ sanity). You just have to get through it, so that as you walk across the stage at graduation, you can bid everyone ADIEU and GOOD RIDDANCE with your middle finger held high.

I won’t say good luck, because I hate when people say good luck (it just makes me hope they fall down a spiral staircase), so I’ll just leave you with see you on the other side. Where, I promise, the grass really is greener (I mean, I don’t know because I never leave my bed, but I hear it’s lovely outside).

Until college,

Present Day Alex

Featured on News Cult: http://newscult.com/letter-high-school-self/

As Featured on News Cult: Social Media: Let’s Discuss

Let’s just dive right in. Social media is the worst thing to happen since Hitler. From Facebook to Instagram to Twitter to Snapchat, it’s a fast-growing parasite. Everyone is on it–like fucking crack cocaine, or meth (whichever is more popular I don’t know I’m not Lisa Ling get off my back)–because it’s the easiest way to paint a picture of your life that looks a hell of a lot better than what’s actually going on with you. It’s the photoshopped version of your existence. But we all know that underneath it, you’re 80% cellulite, wrinkles and fat rolls. Join the fucking club.  

And we all play along with it too because we want to believe and prove that our life is really so awesome. But I think we all secretly hate social media at the same time. It’s like networking: everyone does it because they feel like they have to, when really they would rather go home, collapse onto the floor, pop some sleeping pills and doze off to the sound of The Real Housewives facing off on Reunion Parts 1-10, hugging a bag of Cheetos, any day. 

Why are we all partaking in this pathetic charade? Like, if you want to propose to your girlfriend, great (although tbh not great because we all know marriage is a disaster waiting to happen, whether in the form of divorce or pleasure-less, missionary position-only sex, if any at all, for the rest of your lives), but why are you broadcasting it to the world with 400 photos of the ring and endless public declarations of your love for her? How about you just tell her…? Like, frankly, we don’t give a fuck. And it seems kind of disingenuous that you need to brag about your engagement all over social media. It seems like you’re trying to validate it. Which makes us think it’s not really all that great of a situation after all. And that in reality, you’re one more squeezing-from-the-middle-of-the-toothpaste-tube situation from breaking up and her going back to her much sexier, more adventurous, bigger-dicked ex.

Or like soooo what, you’ve moved on from us and are dating someone new, congratu-fucking-lations, we get it, you’re super happy in your new relationship and she’s much skinnier and prettier and dumber and shallower than us and you’re putting it on blast to make yourself feel better about the fact that you’re a deeply unhappy, sociopathic piece of shit. B.F.D. Like… and? Here’s a thought: keep it to yourself. You’re not fooling anyone, least of all us. We’re FINE. We’re doing great without you–we’re taking lots of knitting classes and eating lots of mac ‘n cheese and getting to bed really early on a regular basis, so we aren’t affected by your sad display of fake self-satisfaction. Plus, you don’t see us bragging all the fuck over the Internet about how awesome the scarf we knitted is, or how impressive it is that we ate 5 bowls of microwave mac ‘n cheese in a row, or that we sometimes go to bed at 7:30 PM because we can’t face reality. So stop shoving all your B.S. vapid attempts at proving that you’re better off without us in our faces/social media feeds. NEXT.

How about we all just own up to our true selves and stop competing in this toxic contest to be the best, the most attractive, the happiest, the most content, the sexiest, the richest, the most cookie cutter? That shit’s boring. We’re all flawed beings, fumbling around just trying to make it. Where are the representations of that reality on social media? How about instead of picture perfect selfies, we start posting photos of what we REALLY look like when we wake up? How about instead of bragging about how expensive and meaningful and earth-shattering our wedding was, we talk about all the problems that need solving in the world, which are far more important than any show of material wealth could ever be?

In fact, I hope that one day we see you social media posers on the street because your jig will be up–you’ll be bickering with your latest fling about how she’s too “needy” and she’ll be at least 10 lbs heavier than the pictures depict, and before you can snap a concocted selfie, we’ll swoop in and catch a candid photo of what you REALLY are: a bitter, lonely, unsuccessful lamb with a receding hairline, dead-end job, and mommy issues. We’ll upload that all over the place. On REPEAT. We’ll post that shit to every social media platform possible, and pretty soon it’ll be in the Cloud, and nobody understands that motherfucker so good luck taking it down you’re gonna need some fuckin Steve Jobs resurrected from the dead black magic sorcery shit for that to happen.

Featured on News Cult: http://newscult.com/?p=71752

16 Things I Wish I Had Known in High School

Oh, to be 15 again. HAHAHAHAH JK. But to be 15 again and know these things–yes.

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1. None of it matters–your homework, the social politics, your AP Biology test, your standardized test scores–all meaningless. 

2. That SkyMall would go bankrupt. I would’ve actually taken it seriously at least once. It just feels like I missed an opportunity. 

3. Coffee is glorious. Would’ve begun my addiction to it much earlier on. 

4. There was more to the world than Old Navy. 

5. That Oprah’s talk show wouldn’t last forever–would’ve videotaped that shit. 

6. Guys in fact don’t mature. 

7. One day I’d have to start doing my  own taxes. And that would be the worst day of my life. 

8. The guys I thought were hot shit would turn out to be not that. 

9. Prom is futile–it’s an exercise in materialism, reinforcing outdated gender roles, and popularity contests for popularity’s sake. PASS. 

10. That gel would exist in the world of manicure options. 2 words: life changing

11. The girls I thought I wanted to be, or who I thought were cool, or who I wanted to accept me, were actually probably/definitely/most likely sociopaths. 

12. The competitiveness involved in sports teams was all a bunch of BS that I shouldn’t have let intimidate me into quitting. Like, if I hadn’t, by now I probably would’ve been the next Mia Hamm THANKS A LOT HIGH SCHOOL SOCCER FOR DIMMING THE BRIGHT SHINING SHIMMERING STAR I WAS (but also not really, because no thank you, exercise). 

13. It just doesn’t get better than ending your day at 3 PM. 

14. Appreciate the opportunity to be carefree and irresponsible. Because it’s only downhill from here (like in a bad way–so not downhill because it’s easy–so maybe uphill? But not like in a ‘things are looking up’ way).

15. It’s perfectly acceptable to tell the cunty Language Arts teacher who gave you a bad grade on your paper on George Orwell’s 1984 because she disagreed with your thesis on the book’s message, even though she admitted to NEVER HAVING READ THE BOOK AND HOW THE FUCK DO YOU BECOME A HIGH SCHOOL ENGLISH TEACHER WITHOUT HAVING READ 1984, and then when you protested this, she bragged about having never read Moby Dick either but still being capable of evaluating analyses of these seminal texts she had no firsthand knowledge of, to blow you, and/or suck a bag of Moby dicks.  

16. The girl who didn’t like you because you challenged her conservative views on abortion, and who exuded an air of moral authority and academic superiority, would go on to become a secretary. LOL. 

Featured on News Cult: http://newscult.com/retrospective-16-things-wish-known-high-school/