5 Tips to Help You Overcome the Challenges of Being In An Interracial Relationship

Alright guys, this one was hard for me to write. But I felt like I had to. I had to so that I can provide a voice for anyone else out there that understands what racism and inequality feels like through the lens of a partner. I’m talking about interracial relationships. Now let me preface this by saying that I do not want to talk or focus on politics and/or current events that have been happening. While yes the negative energy and constant disputes that fill up my social media feed daily urged me to finally speak up about something I’ve been wanting to talk about for a long time, I’m not here to have a debate. I don’t want to talk about who is right, who is wrong. I want to shine light on things from a different perspective. I want to speak on behalf of all the people out there that have had to deal with these issues indirectly by way of their relationships.

Until recently, I was in a long-term relationship with a wonderful man. He’s black, and I’m white. For those of who you know me well, I genuinely don’t see color. Okay, okay, sooo cliché, I know! But seriously. I just don’t get the whole racism thing. I can’t relate, and I’ve never been able to. But as I had assumed at the beginning of our relationship, dating him wasn’t a cake walk. And not because of the quality of his character, but because of the color of his skin. We had tons of people who supported it and didn’t think twice. But we received hesitation by others. I felt the personal sting of racism first hand, yet I knew better than to even begin to understand what it felt like for him. Nonetheless, it can be hard being the white girlfriend dating a black man in a world where hate and racism come so freely.

I’ve always yearned to be able to connect with women in similar situations as mine. But the more I searched for blog posts like this one, the more I realized how little is out there. If I touch home to even just one person with this post, I’ll be happy. I just want anyone out there that feels the struggle of interracial relationships first hand to know that I hear you! I got you. I’ll be a voice for the both of us.

So today I’m highlighting 5 simple, yet important tips from yours truly that will help you face the challenges of being in an interracial relationship:

1)      Don’t take it personal

Again, the topic of racism in society today can very quickly turn into a pretty nasty debate. People can be extremely passionate, on both sides. Try not to let the frustrations get the best of you and your relationship. There’s always going to be someone out there that doesn’t agree with your walk of life. Whether it be because of your political views, the fact that you work in healthcare, your religious/spiritual beliefs, the color of your hair, how you drive on the highway in the rain, or the skin color of your partner. People just don’t always agree, we know this. So try your hardest not to take a personal jab when someone expresses that they don’t agree with your relationship. They don’t agree with your “type” of relationship, not yours specifically. Just agree to disagree and move on. I promise it will make things better for both you and your relationship. Like Dita Von Teese once said, “You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches”.

"You can be the ripest juiciest peach in the world and there's still going to be somebody who hates peaches." Dita Von Teese

2)      Speak up, with class

While you shouldn’t take the judgement of your relationship personal, you also shouldn’t stay silent. Speak up for what you believe. But with class. This is something I had to learn the hard way. I struggled with this at the beginning of my relationship. I was a loose canon, so to speak. I remember feeling the rage radiating up my body anytime I would feel those judgmental eyes while out with my boyfriend in public. It infuriated me so much that these people felt the need to single us out without even knowing our first names. And boy, those looks of disgust truly hurt. My mama bear switch would get turned on so fast. I was ready to defend. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve yelled “What?! You’ve never seen an interracial couple before?! It’s the 21st century!” to complete strangers. But over time I realized that this really didn’t solve anything. I felt guilty afterwards. It felt like I was returning the judgement that they so freely passed on to me, which is exactly what shouldn’t happen. Stand up for your loved one, always. It’s vital if you are in an interracial relationship, for both partners. But stand up for them with a smile. Be confident in knowing that this is completely normal. We are all people that should respect one another until we have reason to feel otherwise. Sometimes it can feel like walking a fine line between standing up for your man/woman and totally judging the shit out of people who don’t understand your love for one another. When you are feeling discouraged by it all, remember how far we have come. Interracial relationships are more prevalent now than they have ever been before. There’s a mural in the neighborhood that I live in Austin that reads “ Love is the question, love is the answer”. I picture this mural in my mind anytime I let the presence of racism/inequality/hatred in America get me down. Can you imagine if we all just focused on that statement?

Image result for clarksville austin mural

3)      Be willing to break the chain

This can be a challenge, but I feel it is something that must be understood for people engaging in interracial relationships. If you think you won’t have hardships brought on to you by society, regardless of each other’s race, you may be wrong. Speaking from my own experience, I truly believe that people’s hesitation towards the interracial thing stems from how they were raised to perceive it. How they were brought up to view society’s’ melting pot of mixed culture, race, religion, you name it. Again, I’m not pointing fingers or saying that anyone’s view point on this matter is necessarily wrong. But if you are in relations with someone of a different race than your own, and you truly love that person, you believe in this. You believe interracial relationships are just as accepting, or should be at least, as relationships between two people of the same race. Would you support your child in a similar situation? Do you stand up for your fellow interracial couple friends? If so, maybe it’s time to break the chain. You aren’t arguing with anyone. You aren’t even disagreeing with anyone. You are merely deciding to be vocal about the fact that you have a different perspective on this whole thing, one that may differ from friends and family alike. Don’t be afraid of this. It’s no one’s fault, not theirs or yours. The only thing constant in life is change. You deserve to believe in what you believe in, and quite honestly, you should stand firm in that. Love is blind despite the world’s attempt to give it eyes.

#mixedcouple #interracialcupid  #interracialdating #weloveinterracial…

4)      Never let race define your relationship

It’s a small part of your complex union. It isn’t the sole defining purpose of your relationship. It’s a small part. Similar to two people coming from different upbringings, differing religious beliefs, political stand points, views on healthcare, involvement with family, etc. Most people have deal breakers when it comes to relationships. Race may be one of them for some people. Obviously it’s not for you and your partner, but drop it at that. Be proud to be in an interracial relationship, but don’t parade it around too much. It’s not the core reason for the connection between you and your partner. It’s a minor detail. Even though it may be a big deal to other people it, isn’t to you. So don’t let it be. There are more important aspects to a relationship. Like whether or not he’s into sports as much as you are—deal breaker if he ain’t! Does he like to travel? Can I tell that he treats his family with respect? Does he genuinely value the importance of education? And please tell me he’s capable of devouring an entire pizza every now and then just for the hell of it. These are just some of the things I think about when contemplating characteristics I seek in another person. Oh, and he’s black/brown/yellow/purple on top of everything else? Dope. You know what they say… sometimes opposites attract   If you’re like me, you never allow race to determine who you date. So don’t allow race to define who you are as a couple.

Image result for love sees no color

5)      Come from a place of love, not malice

One of my favorite Martin Luther King Jr. quotes reads “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that. To fight back with hatred out of anger is counter intuitive, people. Racism exists on ALL sides. While, like I said, I’m not going to get political on this, it’s important that we remember that the inequality that we see portrayed in this society is multi-factorial. It doesn’t stem from one group of people, one race. We can spend our entire lives trying to uncover “who came first, the chicken or the egg”, but for what? The past is the past, history is history. What truly matters is NOW. How are we treating each other today?  Like I mentioned earlier, remember that not everyone is going to agree with you. And regardless of how that makes you feel emotionally, try to be content with that. The best thing we can do for interracial relationships and the push for racial equality is to lead by example. When two people of opposite races come together as one, they are portraying that love trumps race. That they would rather love someone for who they are, not what they are. Even in the face of adversity? Absolutely. It shouldn’t be a competition on who is right and who is wrong when it comes to the subject of racism. If I lash back with a closed off, irate attitude towards someone who feels the need to judge me for being in an interracial relationship, than I am expressing a message completely opposite of what I intend to. That love is love, regardless of color. People are people, regardless of color. And like  MLK once said, “returning hate for hate multiples hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.”

So there you have it my loves. I hope this helped bring a sense of hope and optimism to anyone who is exhausted from the feeling of opposition. Again, we have come a LONG way. At the end of the day we love who we love, and that’s how it should be. In a world that can appear to thrive off of hate and separation, always do your best to find the silver lining ❤

xoxo, HG

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5 Tips to Help You Overcome the Challenges of Being In An Interracial Relationship

Hayley's Comment

Alright guys, this one was hard for me to write. But I felt like I had to. I had to so that I can provide a voice for anyone else out there that understands what racism and inequality feels like through the lens of a partner. I’m talking about interracial relationships. Now let me preface this by saying that I do not want to talk or focus on politics and/or current events that have been happening. While yes the negative energy and constant disputes that fill up my social media feed daily urged me to finally speak up about something I’ve been wanting to talk about for a long time, I’m not here to have a debate. I don’t want to talk about who is right, who is wrong. I want to shine light on things from a different perspective. I want to speak on behalf of all the people…

View original post 1,732 more words

18 Tips That Will Help You Get The Most Out of Your Vacation

Alright people, it’s been too. damn. long. I’m bacccckkkk. I know you guys missed me.

I’ve had a bad case of writers block over the past year (life, ya know) and I can’t wait to dive back into what I love. Writing about random shenanigans that make me laugh while, hopefully, making you laugh as well. I mean that’s why you are here, right? For those of you who don’t know me yet or my writing style, welcome and enter at your own risk. I march through life to the beat of my own drum, I’m an open book, I’m both hilarious and slightly annoying, and I hope “didn’t take life too seriously” is mentioned briefly in my eulogy one day.

Travel is my thing. It’s the only thing I can purchase that makes me feel richer. When I’m in a good place, it makes me better. When I’m feeling down, it brings me back to reality and sparks interest in my life again. I have really focused on priortizing it since graduating college, and have been privelged to visit 7 countries over the course of 3 short years. People always ask me how I do it. Why do I do it? How am I able to afford it? Do you ever work? Hahahah. So I wanted to share with you guys 18 core elements to my travel brain that help me let loose, embrace the journey, and just go. Enjoy!

1) Just book the ticket

Hesitation is probably one of the main things that keep people from traveling to new places. What if I can’t get off work? What if I can’t afford it? I don’t want to go alone. I don’t want to waste all of my vacation. Who is going to watch the dog? Hey guess what… if you just buy the ticket you are forced to figure those things out. And you will. The money will always come back. Everything will work out. Live in the now and travel while you are young and able. If you’re giving yourself a headache over constantly watching for the best airline price, download Hopper. It’s an app that allows you to enter your preferences (date, location, etc) for your trip, and alerts you when prices are lowest/best time to buy. Oh, and there’s travel insurance if you are worried about getting off from work. Bottom line is, life will figure itself out. BUY THE DAMN TICKET.

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2) Pack light

So I’ve learned the hard way with this one. I’m a girly girl at heart. Do I want a minimum of 3 different wardrobe outfits a day? Well, sure. But your luggage really does limit you. If you don’t believe me, try lugging around two 50+ pound bags in the Tokyo subway station during rush hour. Not cute ladies, not cute. I’ve been called high maintenance, and even I was able to pack 2 weeks worth of a Europe trip in a carry on. Message me if you need ideas on how to manage this. I got yo back like chiropract.

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More force, Mindy. More force.

3) Make a TENTATIVE itinerary  

I’m normally not a fan of itineraries, schedules, excel sheets, really anything that interrupts my Type B personality. However, to really maximize your TIME (this is an important one) and your experiences, you should really have a tentative itinerary to help keep you on track. I emphasize “tentative” because you never know when there is going to be a flash mob during Pride week in the streets of Vienna. A rainy day you didn’t plan for. An impromptu roller coaster ride with a group of Japanese high schoolers you just met. And heaven forbid you just want to skip lunch and go straight to happy hour after 15 hours of traveling. Be flexible while still knowing that you can reference Appendix B for ideas if you’re bored or have down time. (Oh, and having a Type A friend to travel with is a hot commodity. Yes I’m looking at you, Irina. )

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4) Do yo research

I’m talking more than just knowing the language and capital. How are the people there? Are you expected to tip? Is it rude to look at people directly? What’s the crime like, and who are you supposed to contact in times of crisis? Do you drink the water? Are you going to look like an idiot if you ask “Where’s the nearest Starbucks?” Be prepared for any unfamiliar place so you can walk off that plane feeling like a badass, prepared to dive into the culture and everything new. Or you can go in blind and look like a clueless Kim Kardashian ready to bring a whole new meaning to the term boojie tourist. Choice is yours my friend.

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5) See as many places as possible

The world is a HUGE place. Pretty sure my bucket list is more detailed than my professional resume. Sorry mom. If you are like me, you have an urge to see as much of the world as possible. Now, I’m not going to calculate to the second decimal point how many days/hours/weeks you will have for travel in your lifetime. But unless you are fortunate enough to travel freely whenever you want (shout out to all my wanderlust dreamers out there #lifegoals), you need to maximize each and every trip. I’ve seen 3 different cities in the Domincan Republic over 5 days, and I recently just got back from a 11 day Europe trip where I traveled to 4 different countries. It’s possible, I promise.

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Can we all just take a moment and admire how adorable Michelle Obama is? That woman truly has a swagger like no other.

6) Meet locals

There really is no better way to explore a new place. Don’t be shy. You don’t know these people, what is the worst that could happen?! Some of my best memories from traveling are those spent with the people I met while visiting. A tourist can’t show you all the hidden spots kept secret by the people who live there. A tourist can’t teach you traditional Greek dance. A tourist probably doesn’t know the best bar to go to on a Wednesday, and a tourist sure as hell can’t help you with directions. Don’t be afraid to stray away from the resort. Comfort is great, don’t get me wrong. But at the end of the day, there ain’t much you can take away from that all-inclusive life other than a full stomach, a sunburn, and a bad hangover.

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This is what Greece was like, y’all lol

7) Don’t book tours

You won’t need to after meeting some locals as described above. I only bought one guided tour during my Eurotrip this summer, and that’s because we had less than 24 hours in Portugal and needed the bus for easy transport. If you do your research and prioritize your “have to see” list, it’s so much more fulfilling to venture and do it on your own. Nothing screams typical American tourist more than a group of eager beavers walking single file while trying to figure out how to use the headset. “Wait, mine’s still on French! How do I change it to English?!”.  Ay, dios mio!

Cheezburger tourists leaning tower of pisa GIF

8) Extend your stay if possible

If you are able, just stay an extra day or two. There is nothing more thrilling. Travel  insurance is wonderful people. You’ll figure it out 😉 I was able to reschedule my flight home from Venice due to a travel strike. Which are common in Europe, by the way. I mean, I probably could have told Delta I wasn’t able to make it to the airport because I stepped on my PBJ sandwich and they would have worked with me. Not to discredit P Diddy, but..

I’m not coming home, I’m not coming home
Tell the world I’m not coming home

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9) Attempt to learn the language

Okay, okay, I didn’t say you had to be FLUENT. Relax. No one said you had to invite Rosetta Stone. The three things I make sure I learn how to say when I’m visiting a new place are “Hello”, “Thank You”, and “How much does this cost?”. It’s really not hard. It will make you look less touristy, it will make things easier for you, and it’s actually pretty fun. Plus, it makes you feel like a well-traveled scholar. Just trying to be like you, Ron Burgundy. Just trying to be like you.

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10) Get it on video

One word: GoPro. Make this term a verb when you travel. There are just certain aspects to traveling that can’t be captured in a picture. Film allows you to get the sensation of re-living the moment. Plus, video montages are fun to make and may just become a new hobby of yours. Hayley Takes Europe: Summer 2017, coming soon. 

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Disclaimer: this dude is way more of a badass than I am. I don’t even know how to surf.

11) Be flexible and willing to try new things

Guys, things are going to be different. If you can’t embrace that, why are you traveling there? Life is too short to remain in your comfort zone. If the people have been eating it for years, I promise it won’t kill you. Don’t be basic. Leave that shit at home.

 food GIF

12) Don’t count calories

Just don’t. Life is about balance. And it hurts my soul to think of anyone passing up a Margherita pizza due to fear of the caloric intake. Food is a huge part of culture. And I’m not just saying that because I’m a foodie! It makes me nauseous to think of dieting while on holiday. Just eat the damn pizza/gyro/eggroll/hamburger/gelato/paella/etc. You will most likely walk half of it off by the end of the day.  Nobody cares if you are strong enough to say “no” to dessert or another bottle of wine. Even Einstein is not impressed by your willpower at this point.

 try GIF

13) Sacrifice sleep

Seriously. You can sleep when you’re dead. Fine, you can sleep on the plane home. Okay yeah, that’s hard to do too. YOU CAN SLEEP WHEN YOU GET HOME. Let caffeine do what it’s been doing for centuries. Because what can you see/do/taste/drink when you’re sleeping? Not a damn thing. Don’t miss the sunrise/sunset, don’t miss the night life, don’t miss the early morning hustle and bustle. Try to let the little kid excitement inside you carry you through. Just whisper “Christmas morning” to yourself upon waking up everyday. Or mimosas and eggs benny. That always seems to work for me #basic

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14) Documentation is everything

Pictures. Videos. Emails. Hashtags. Journals. Snap Chats. All of it. Don’t let it engulf your every move and allow yourself to not live in the moment. But the only person you can get pissed at for not having enough pictures once you get home is yourself. Don’t worry about being overbearing on social media while you’re on vacation. There is no. such. thing. Most people love getting to live vicariously through you, or so I’ve been told. To any of you who disagree with me on this matter….bye Felicia.

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15) Use AirBnB for lodging 

Pretty, pretty please. Don’t visit a new place. Experience living in a new place. Cheaper, more efficient, more privacy, feels more like home, etc etc etc. Don’t stay in a hotel, especially if you are in a group. And don’t get all bent out of shape over the bad reviews. There’s always going to be bad apples. Some of us don’t really care that the bed sheets aren’t 1500 thread count Egyptian quality, Karen.

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16) Travel solo

At least once. Even if for a day. It’s just…. magical. Hard to explain it, just do it! You will learn more about yourself than you realize. You are forced to.

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Eat Pray Love version of Julie Roberts vibes all day errdayyyy

17) Don’t be afraid

Traveling is the perfect time to practice giving people and places the benefit of the doubt. It’s crazy how much people hold back due to the unfamiliar. Just drop any fear you may have and allow yourself to just be. Oh, you think it’s unsafe to be vulnerable and trusting in this new place? Have you ever thought how dangerous home is? Bet I just blew your mind, huh? You’re going on an adventure, so let it be one. Embrace it.

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18) Allow your trip to change you… to evolve you

I’m going to do my best to not sound like a sappy travel blogger gone Hallmark. But in my opinion, the importance in traveling for self growth is so underemphasized in today’s society. One of the biggest regrets I will ever have is not studying abroad. I urge you to go into a new place completely vulnerable and willing to be transformed. Allow the difference in language, food, currency, and people to teach you something. You don’t always need to be in control–that’s for your monotonous, routine life at home. It’s not always comfortable, and most of the times it may even be a little frightening. But if you allow it to, the journey will change you. Do this and I promise you will take something valuable home with you. And hopefully, you leave something good behind when you leave.

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So there you have it. A concise collection of some of my best tips on how to maximize your experience and your time while abroad. The more you maximize your experience, the more you will get out of it. Hence, the more willing your bank account is going to be in forgiving you for giving it an anxiety attack. Travel is absolutely about exploring a different place, but it’s also about exploration within yourself. When it’s all said and done and your trip comes to an end, home will still be the same. But hopefully something in your mind has changed. And that changes everything.


xoxo, H

The 16 most touristy things said during my vacation: Dominican Republic edition

    So it’s been a little over two months since I got back from my vacation to one of the most beautiful islands EVER. My best friend is from the the DR, and I was fortunate enough to finally go visit the motherland with her. Let me tell you, there is really no better way to explore a new place than with someone who has been there before. Or in this case, many times before. Shout out to Irina. Ok ok, also Ivana. And Galla. And Alexei, Daniel, Leidy, and Marianna. Real World Punta Cana 2016, what upppp.

    Just how I stood out like “Where’s Waldo” during our Japan trip (imagine a sea of slick black hair with a blonde lions mane courtesy of yours truly), this time was no different. I’ve been told I’m a great person to travel with, but I also could have single handedly defined the word tourist. So for those of you that have recently been or are thinking about visiting this kick-ass place, here’s some of the highlights from my trip. In basic white girl vernacular. Sometimes I’m funny.

1. “One of us will definitely get Zika”

Y’all, it’s real. And not just in a “people won’t stop talking about this shit” real, but in a “wait someone google the symptoms of Zika because I may have it” real.

Actually it was a mosquito - http://www.loonyhumor.com

    2. “Just divide by 45.”

So watching me try to figure out how to convert between USD and any other form of currency has got to be the most entertaining thing ever. Apparently you can just divide what you owe in Dominican pesos by 45 to figure out what you owe in USD. Thankful for a best friend that understands math. And for smart phones with calculators. Who knows how much those street vendors went home with after they met me.

3. “So is Drake here this weekend?”

Yup, #DominicanDrake is a thing. The guy literally just happened to be at the same part of the island during the same time we were there. Champagne Papi looking more and more like a bouncer at a Caribbean social club in the Bronx with each visit.

Can You Catch These Common Grammar Mistakes? (QUIZ)

4. “Buckle up and hold on tight. No, but seriously. Is there even a speed limit here?!”

Picture this. I get off the plane, finally exit the Santo Domingo airport after 2 hours spent in customs (the locals like to take advantage of tourist’s ignorance and cut them in line.. normally I would be angry, but I was actually impressed at their idgaf attitude lol), and get into a pickup truck with an 18 year old driver who is consuming an alcoholic beverage. Yes, while en route. I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve never seen any of the The Fast and the Furious movies, but I totally get it now. Honking is equivalent to a friendly “how’s it going” head nod in the dominican culture.

Night in the life of a night shift nurse

5. “I’ll have an order of the mangu. Ok, I’ll take two orders. You know what, might as well bring me three.”

Anyone that knows me knows that I frequently make love to my food, but this was an entirely new sensation for me. This was an obsession. I mean seriously guys, please don’t let me order mangu more than twice in one day next time.

Mangú (Dominican-style Mashed Plantain)  HispanicKitchen.com:

Or allow me to publicly proclaim my heart’s desires.

summerbreak  summer break summerbreak summer break

6. “So I guess they don’t believe in strict gun laws.”

After my wild ride transit from the airport, we decided to stop and get a beverage at a local gas station (insert Presidente emoji). Because, you know, that’s what you do in the DR when there’s a girl in the backseat screaming for dear life. This was my first encounter with gas station “security” which basically consists of men in uniform holding rifles who of course make me paranoid.  Try not to act weird, Hayley. Try not to act weird. Workin’ on it guys.

7. “Presidente for president”

Because alcohol > politics, and beer is pretty great no matter where in the world you’re drinking it.

8. “To the left to the left (kiss)”

It’s always fun when you go to a place and get to feel classy AF because you’re expected to follow the social norm with the hello kiss. Until you’re up close and personal with someone and immediately forget which side to go to. It’s to the left, people. I was fortunate enough to dodge a few close calls to the lips. I love your family Irina, but not like THAT.

colbertlateshow  love happy hello hug

9. “Run? I thought you said Rum”

Allow me to be cliche for a second and brag about how amazing Dominican rum is. No seriously, felt like drinking a cold Sonic slush  on a hot summer day. With booze juice that has the taste of, um, well basically nothing. #brugal

Time flies when you're having rum... beach cover up!:

Oh, and I need this tank. For obvious reasons.

10. “Oh you know, just chillin’ at Christopher Columbus’ crib.”

I don’t even know how to describe how crazy of a feeling it was to be standing in something that was built in the late 1400’s. But I couldn’t figure out if he would have put the pool table on the back porch or in the den. Feel like he was cool.

11. “I guess my hips do lie.”

Let me start by saying that I truly do consider myself a good dancer. I know how to get my hips moving. But after trying to learn the merengue and the bachata and miserably failing, I finally accepted the fact that my hips (at this point) can not move like THAT. Some of those guys can make themselves look like swivel chairs.

More #DominicanDrake because this shit is hilarious.

12. “Why is everyone clapping?”

When you fly to the DR from Austin there are usually 2 airports that you connect through. Either Miami or JFK in New York City. The flight out of JFK usually consists of mainly Dominicans with a sprinkle of the obvious “I’ve got my happy-go-lucky vacation for the next 7 days face on” tourists. Again, yours truly. Well, I guess it’s some kind of tradition for them to clap upon landing in Santo Domingo. I mean, full on applause. Cheering.  “Excuse me. Was there something wrong with the plane that I was unaware of? Are we celebrating life right now?”

reactions wtf things confused ryan reynolds

13. “One glass of Sangria is ENOUGH”

This should serve as a public health announcement. I don’t know what it is. I don’t know how they do it. But just believe me when I say, authentic dominican sangria is STIFF. Not like the “this is basically juice, I love how I can have 4 glasses and be completely fine” sangria that we have here. Just trust me. You really only need one glass.

14. “That’s cool that they got a table and bottle service for graduation week. Wait… these are high schoolers?!”

Man do they start ’em young. Set aside the fact that the drinking age is 18. These kids know how to PARTY. I’m talking escorted by a driver, black and white attire, handing out bottles of champs like it’s hot potato in the nicest club in Santo Domingo party. What a time to be alive.

but yeah i mean i feel you we see where you were going with that also theres no such thing as a head editor its hilarious to me that everyone thinks were all young

15. “Dinner before 8:30 pm? Hahahha, yeah right.”

Your dinner reservations are probably made for 9:30 pm but you’ll get there at 10 and start eating 30 minutes later. They love the night life, and think us Americans are crazy for eating our dinner while the suns still out. I knew I wasn’t the only one.

Another Period laughing comedy central haha hahahaha

16. “For the American…. that’ll be $100 USD. Oh, and you’re a citizen? That’ll be $1 USD.”

On our last day in Punta Cana, Irina was trying to find us a reasonable price on a snorkeling/boat adventure. All I know is that there was a lot of Spanish and after awhile the guy she was talking to started laughing and the conversation was over. I asked what she said and she responded “I told him to stop giving me tourist prices”. Somehow we ended up getting on the boat for free? Who knows..

white people friends female church

And this is what I imagined I looked like to them. Go white girl. Go white girl.

So there you have it. It’s always fun reliving all of the little inside jokes you created while on your trip. It’s totally fine to act like a tourist. As long as you can laugh about it. Oh, and I got a GoPro for this trip. I think I’ve found a new hobby. Check out the montage I made highlighting what it’s like to have an amazing time in the Dominican Republic!

Cheers! xoxo, H

A Tribute to Michael Scott, The Boy Who Lived

For anyone who has lost a close friend unexpectedly, you understand. You understand the feeling you get every time you wonder onto their Facebook page for the 50th time just to convince yourself it’s not real. And to quickly remind yourself that it is. You understand the confusion, anger, sadness, and helplessness. You’ve asked yourself numerous times “but why him/her?!” It just doesn’t make sense. And as this week (one of the worst in my entire life I may add) is slowly coming to an end, I’m starting to realize that it will NEVER make sense. And that it’s okay to learn how to live with that.


Dr. Michael Steven Scott was taken from us on August 3, 2015. That day will forever be a gloomy one for the rest of my life. Similar to how it was when Snape took Dumbledore’s life with his own wand. Yes, I just refrenced Harry Potter. You see, we would spend hours upon end discussing how much better life would be if we were at Hogwarts. And because of that, I will never read another J K Rowling masterpiece without thinking about my dear friend.

You know how they say “it’s the people you work with that make you either love or hate your job”. That was Michael for me. I met Michael during my first year here at Hunter Pharmacy Services. He too was a pharmacist. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adore everyone I work with here. But Michael was the first one that really took me in. He treated me like a friend before he ever treated me like a coworker. In the beginning it was mostly him mentoring me on how to be a good pharmacist, telling me what the nurses really meant when they would ask bizarre questions, proofreading all of my interventions before sending them out to make sure I didn’t make an absolute fool of myself, shadowing me during my “vulnerable, scared shitless new pharmacist” period. As we grew closer he allowed me to take off the pharmacist training wheels and practice on my own. This was great because it allowed more time for us to talk about where we wanted to go for brunch, what type of prosecco made the best mimosas, the newest/hottest shows on neftlix, and of course our beloved friend Harry. Michael and I would even go to his favorite place (Hanabi) at lunch for bento boxes just to get away from the office and gossip. We loved to gossip. Quite honestly, the hardest part about losing him is that I don’t have him to talk to about losing him. If he were here he would totally get what I mean.

After the initial shock and confusion, I’ve had some time to sit down and reflect about everything that has happened this past week. I’ve decided that even though it will never be easy to accept the fact that he’s gone, he would want me to LEARN something from this. Because in case you didn’t know Michael very well, he was quite the scholar. He would want me to use this experience and allow it to transform me into a better person, pharmacist, and friend in some way. So this is what I’ve come up with thus far:

Life is too damn short. For all of us. Whether it be a loved one, a family member, a friend, or a stranger. Not a single damn day is promised for tomorrow. It matters not your health status, your financial status, nor your common sense or way of life. Shit happens and none of us will ever be prepared for the unknown. So with that being said, why not live every day like it’s your last?! Okay okay, I know. This has obviously been said before. But now I get it. Don’t get me wrong, I in no way believe that people should walk around living their lives in fear that the end is near. Absolutely not. But to live and love with your entire heart, without questioning your intentions or desires. To go after your dreams regardless of the circumstances or the set backs that may come out of it. To react to people the way you truly feel you should react, whether it be with kindness, bluntness, or even malice. Just BE YOU. Because regardless of what the haters may say, there are a lot of people that think the sun shines out of your ass whether you know it not. And you shouldn’t spend a single day not being you in order to please others. Be genuine and soak up all of your strengths and flaws. You owe it to yourself. You owe it to your family. You owe it to the world to see how great you truly are. Michael was that way. He was going to tell you exactly how he felt whether you liked it or not. He was 100% Michael, 100% of the time. That is a rare quality in a person, and it is one that I will strive to gain from here on out.

Listen more, worry less. Since life is too damn short, take the time to really take it all in. Stop and smell the freshly printed paper (because that shit smells better than roses). Look away from your computer for a couple of minutes to engage in conversation. Find out when your coworkers birthdays are and plan to have goodies ready for them. Do office pranks. Rather than bitching at the fact that some doctor didn’t take your recommendation, laugh at the fact that he thinks so highly of himself. Focus on loving life more and all of it’s little details. And LISTEN. This one is especially important to me since I have ADHD and what not and SQUIRREL!

Set an example. This one is hard for me to talk about without having a full blown Schlitterbahn water park flow of tears. These last few days of reflection have made me realize that my next step from here is to be like Michael for someone else. To practice leadership through friendship. To do my duty as a friend, pharmacist, citizen by striving to mentor someone when they really need it the most. Even if that means through listening and/or offering your time to be a friend. We all have our shit. Hell, Michael surely had his. But that didn’t stop him from being a genuinely good guy and friend to me. He didn’t owe me anything, yet he really cared about my success. I hope that I can be half the friend and mentor for someone else one day that he was for me.

Snape was Michael’s favorite Harry Potter character, and Snape taught us that heroes can hide in the most unlikely of places. You were my hero Michael. In so many ways. I’m going to do my best to carry on your legacy of social chair here, and I couldn’t be more honored to follow in your footsteps. Because you know me. I solemnly swear that I will ALWAYS be up to no good. (Harry Potter reference for all you muggles out there).

❤ xoxo, HG

10 Life Lessons from Admiral William McRaven

With graduation approaching, I can’t stop thinking about how it’s only been a year since I walked across that stage and watched the world’s greatest fireworks show. With front row tickets I may add (go pharmacy!). The emotions are real you guys. It’s such an overwhelming time in your life. And believe me, your Forty Acres family will do everything in their power to tug at your heartstrings as much as possible.

Last year, Admiral William McRaven graciously agreed to give a commencement address at our university wide graduation ceremony. It had been 37 years since he had been in our shoes as a new UT graduate. He began his speech by talking about our slogan here at UT: “what start’s here changes the world“. Through his experiences in the military and basic Navy Seal training, he was able to formulate 10 key points to help us change the world.

“It matters not whether you ever serve a day in uniform. It matters not your gender, your ethnic or religious background, your sexual orientation, or your social status. Our struggles in this world are similar. And the lessons to overcome those struggles, and to move forward, changing ourselves and changing the world around us, will apply equally to all”.

Now bear with me. This isn’t one of those short Buzzfeed-like blogs. I decided to take a deeper perspective when writing for you guys this time around, because I think this one is important. I encourage you to read through to the end. And I hope that if anything, you are left with some courage and confidence for what your future holds.

1.IIf you want to change the world start off by making your bed

Every morning during training, the instructors would come into his room and inspect his bed. It was a requirement that they make their bed to perfection. Even though it felt ridiculous at first that such a mundane task was of the utmost importance, Admiral McRaven learned how critical it was. “If you make your bed every morning, you will have achieved the first task of the day”. Not only will it give you a sense of pride and encourage you to do other tasks, but it will also reinforce that the little things in life matter. Seems easy right? I personally believe that his message is in holding yourself accountable. It’s more than just tucking in your sheets every morning.

“And if all else fails, you will come home at the end of the day to a bed that is made.”

2. If you want to change the world find someone to help you paddle

Divided into groups, his class would struggle to paddle through the surf during the worst of the weather. Every paddle that was made was to be synchronized, with each member exerting equal effort. If they didn’t paddle in unison, they wouldn’t make their destination. “You can’t change the world alone. You will need some help. And to truly get from your starting point to your destination takes friends, colleagues, the goodwill of strangers, and a strong coxswain to guide you”.

Yes, it is OKAY to allow yourself to confide in others. The most successful didn’t get where they are today on their own.

3. If you want to change the world measure a person by the size of their heart, not by the size of their flippers

Admiral McRaven talked about how there was a boat crew of “little guys”, which they called the Munchkin Crew. No one was over 5’5”. All of them of different racial and cultural backgrounds. The taller guys would always make fun of the little flippers the Munchkin Crew had on their feet. However, the little guys would always out-run and out-swim the rest of the crews. “Nothing mattered but your will to succeed. Not your color, not your ethnic background, not your education, not your social status.”

We are all one in the same. My size of my flippers is a reflection of my anatomy, not of who I am inside.

4. If you want to change the world get over being a sugar cookie and keep moving forward

Several times a week the crew would get uniform inspection. Just like making the bed, the standards were unbelievably high. No matter how polished your belt buckle nor how starched your uniform, it was never enough. If inspection was failed, the students had to run fully clothed to the surf zone, and while wet, roll around on the beach until every part of their bodies was covered in sand. This effect was called the “sugar cookie”. Some students struggled with the fact that the instructors were never going to let them succeed. They couldn’t accept that their uniform would never be perfect. Those students didn’t make it through training. “Sometimes no matter how well you prepare, or how well you perform, you still end up as a sugar cookie. It’s just the way life is sometimes.”

Yeah, not those kind of sugar cookies.

5. If you want to change the world don’t be afraid of the circuses

As one would assume, training was consumed with daily physical events. Long runs, long swims, obstacle courses, etc. If your times were not met, your name was posted on a list. At the end of the day, every name that was posted on the list was invited to a “circus”. An additional 2 hours of hard work formulated to test your mind, break you down, and make you want to quit. It was inevitable. At some point during training, every student would make the circus list. But see, for those that were constantly on the list, they got stronger. “Life is full of circuses. You will fail. You will likely fail often. It will be painful. It will be discouraging. At times it will test you to your very core.”

But you can be afraid of clowns. Because clowns are creepy.

6. If you want to change the world sometimes you have to slide down the obstacle head first

During training all of the students were required to complete a 25 piece obstacle course. The most challenging obstacle was the “slide for life”. Combined with a 3-tiered 30 foot tower and a 200 foot long rope, the record for best time had been untouched for years. Until one of Admiral McRaven’s class members went down head first. It seemed dangerous, foolish, and put the student at risk for injury. Nonetheless, he braved the challenge and cut the record time by half.

And you know how us Longhorns are. We like to be the best.

7. If you want to change the world don’t back down from the sharks

Part of their time at camp was spent on San Clemente Island, where the waters served as breeding grounds for great white sharks. Long swims were required to pass training, including night swims. As if this wasn’t terrifying enough, the instructors made it a point to educate them on the all the different species of sharks right before their journey. They would reassure that no student has ever been eaten by one. Or at least, not to their knowledge. They were told to “stand your ground” if a shark appeared to start circling your position. To not swim away or act afraid. “There are a lot of sharks in the world. If you hope to complete the swim, you will have to deal with them.”

Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming.

8. If you want to change the world be your very best in the darkest moment

Navy Seals have a job to conduct underwater attacks against enemy shipping. To practice, during training they would be dropped off outside an enemy harbor and swim over 2 miles underwater using nothing but a depth gauge and a compass to get to their target. There is always SOME light that comes through throughout the swim. But when approaching the ship, the light begins to fade. The Seal divers are expected to swim under the ship and find the “keel”, the centerline of the ship. The darkest part of the ship. Where you can be easily disoriented. Where you can fail. Every Seal knows that this is a time when you need to be calm. When you must be calm. And composed. “When all your tactical skills, your physical power and all your inner strength must be brought to bear.”

You will never regret being the one who was calm and collected during moments of crisis.

9. If you want to change the world start singing when you’re up to your neck in mud

“Hell Week” started the ninth week of training. Six days of no sleep, continuous physical and mental harassment, followed by a day at the Mud Flats. A swampy patch of land where the mud can literally eat you alive. The students were expected to spend 15 hours in the freezing cold as the instructors persistently pushed each member to quit. As his team was engulfed in mud, they were told that they could leave if only five men would quit. With eight hours to go. Through chattering teeth, one voice began to sing. One voice became two, and then two become three. Before long, everyone in the class was singing. Admiral McRaven remembers thinking that the mud seemed a little warmer, the wind a little tamer, and the ending closer. “If I have learned anything in my time traveling the world, it is the power of hope. The power of one person. A Washington, a Lincoln, King, Mandela, and even a young girl from Pakistan, Malala. One person can change the world by giving people hope.”

Even if you’re off-key, sing to those in need. So that they may find hope.

10. If you want to change the world don’t ever, ever ring the bell 

In training there is a brass bell that hangs in the center of the compound. All you had to do to quit camp was ring the bell. And you no longer have to wake up at 5 am. No longer have to swim in the freezing water. No longer have to do the obstacle courses. No longer have to endure the hardships of training. “All you had to do was ring the bell to get out. If you want to change the world, don’t ever, EVER, ring the bell.”

So there you have it. Ten simple tasks that, if executed appropriately, can change everything in your life from this point forward. Start each day with a task completed. Find someone to help you through life. Respect everyone. Know that life is not fair and that you will fail often. But if you take some risks, step up when times are the toughest, face down the bullies, lift up the downtrodden, and never ever give up. If you do these things, the next generation and the generations that follow will live in a world far better than the one we have today.

I re-watched this speech for weeks following graduation. Call me corny, but it really had an effect on me. Here was a man whom has accomplished so much in his life, achieving goals most of us can only dream of. Yet his advice is simple. It focuses on how one’s ability to be able to change the world resides in their character. Their humbleness. Their will to selflessly act for the greater good. I think it is important that we remember how vital the little things in life really are. We all have different goals. Whether your goal is to be a business owner, a housewife, or the future president. Never forget how far the little things can get you. To say that this graduation day speech changed the way I viewed my future is an understatement. I hope this year’s commencement ceremony has a similar effect on you.

Congratulations to the class of 2015! You’ve been given the building blocks for ways to change the world during your days spent here on campus. Now is the time to put what you’ve been taught to use. And as you go forward as an alumnus, never forget to give back to future Longhorns, in return for what others have given to you.

Hook’em forever! \m/

-Hayley Gail

18 times El Arroyo made you literally laugh out loud

OK. Why don’t more people talk about how awesome the El Arroyo marquee is?! Have you ever driven by it without doing a double take?! Exactly. Those people sure as hell know what they are doing. I am determined to find the mastermind behind this glorious piece of art.

1. The time they laid out what it’s like to be an Austinite

2. The time they put all the health nuts on blast

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But seriously. Do you have 13.1 or 26.2 on the back of your car

3. When they reminded everyone how much OU sucks

Not like we need a reminder, but it’s still funny

4. The time they had nothing to talk about so they went the bilingual route

5.  Or when they helped Keep Austin Weird


6. The time they proved how real the struggle can be for those sneaky Facebook tags

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Come on ladies. There’s privacy settings for that.

7. The time they reminded everyone that they are often times late and really good at math

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Don’t lie. I know I’m not the only one!

8. When they tried to distract determined Yogis with Tex Mex

Hey man, that’s just being a Good Samaritan.

9. Or when they are just really clever

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10. How about that one time Jay-Z cheated on Beyonce?! Yeahhhh… we see you all the way down here in Texas, J


11. The time they used reverse psychology on all you Snapchat addicts

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12. And then reassured everyone that the iPhone and queso mix really well together

And yes, they have Wifi

13. That one time they were trying to act all nostalgic

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Nameste on my red circle, bitches.

14. Or that one sign because, you know… Texas and weather don’t go well together

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15. The time they tried to keep the animals from starving

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I mean you can’t lie, that’s pretty damn funny

16. More rivalry shit talkin’

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17. When they announced that it was officially Fall

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18. Or when they confessed that they too care about how many FB likes they get

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Gotta keep that social media game strong

I literally take the long way to work so that I can drive by this damn sign everyday. It honestly makes me stop worrying about how late I am, or how shitty my hair looks, or how much I already hate what I’m going to have for lunch. It’s my little “that shit is so funny that I can’t even” time that I get every morning. Bobby Bones is hilarious, don’t get me wrong. But no one keeps it more REAL than the El Arroyo sign. Except maybe NeNe Leakes.


xoxo, H

Things Only Longhorns Understand

Being a part of the Longhorn family means understanding certain things that most people don’t find important. We take pride in not only the big things, but also the little things. If you don’t bleed orange, don’t even try to understand.

1. Burnt orange has basically become a wardrobe primary color

There is no “burnt orange doesn’t look good on me”. There aren’t moments of “I can’t match ANYTHING with burnt orange”. Burnt orange has just become a good portion of your closet. And you’re okay with that.

2. Tailgating is not an event, it’s a lifestyle

When will people realize this?! It’s not a choice on whether you want to go tailgating or not for all of the football home games. It’s a decision on where you want to end up on the UT Tailgating map. Usually influenced by what selection of food will be available, and what other college football games will be playing. The more flat screens, the better.

3. Parallel parking is a piece of a cake


You’ve already mastered this. You were forced to.

4. 4th of July fireworks are just a tease

After seeing a UT graduation show, all other firecrackers seem sub par. Once again, Longhorn nation setting the bar just a little bit higher. I’m pretty sure we give Disney a running for their money.

5. Having more pets with names that represent UT than actual degrees from UT

Bevo, Hook ’em, Tex, etc. Fur babies serve as yet another way to express obsessive pride with UT. Plus, how cute are those little outfits the Co-op makes?!

6. Having a whole new meaning for the phrase “little fish in a big pond”

It doesn’t even phase us anymore. It’s literally possible to wear pajamas to class without anyone noticing. Any ordinary day of class just feels like Black Friday all over again.

7. Austin withdrawals

Regardless if you’re from here or not. Regardless if you stay here after graduating or not. It has been scientifically proven that those who stray away from Austin for whatever reason, go through symptomatic Austin withdrawal. Outbreaks occur mainly during Football season and spring time.

8. The struggle of having to decide between ACL or OU weekend

Thankfully ACL got their shit together and created two weeks, so this is no longer as big of an issue. But man were those times hard. It’s basically un-American to have to choose between two of the most important weekends of the year.

9. Babies are capable of sign language at a much younger age than most think

Everyone should know that. It’s not “starting them early” if they are the ones making the decision. But of course there’s a lot of encouraging.

10. Mistaking the Olympics for a University sports event

Anybody else often times forget who you are supposed to be rooting for while watching the Olympics? “Oh wait, it’s our nation we are cheering on. Guess I forgot with all of the UT medals flowing in”. Mad RESPECT.

11. January 4, 2006

No need to explain this one. \m/ We love you Vince.

12.Tiff’s Treats has their own spot on the food pyramid


I tried to go without these heavenly delights one semester to see if it was even possible. For all of you wondering, it’s not. Don’t even try. Am I the only one that has considered buying stock for this company?! If it’s wrong to eat my weight in Tiff’s Treats, well then hell, I don’t want to be right.

13. Anything is possible in a Dobie dorm room

Two words: Michael Dell. It’s true what they say. “What starts here really does change the world”. I mean, you can’t really argue with that, can you!?

14. Intramural championship shirts are hard to come by

These shirts are definitely a rarity. Making them way more valuable than a $10 t-shirt really should be. Let’s be honest, it’s really about the bragging rights.

15. The best lessons are taught by Navy Seals

It really is an honor to hear wise words from such a prestigious man. “If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed”.

16. Matthew McConaughey feels like a long-lost relative

But really. Are we related or something bro!? Or are you the undercover university vice president? Or our celebrity mascot? Nonetheless, we can’t get enough of you.

17. Hearing the word “strong” and immediately dreaming of football season


18. Gregory gym has it’s very own rush hour


And let me tell you, the struggle is most definitely real during those times. In my seven years spent at the university, I NEVER saw the weight room that empty. This is totally a misleading picture.

19. “Hook ’em” is an acceptable email signature

Why say sincerely when you can end an email with hook’ em?! No shame in my game.

20. Orange+ is a blood type 

Also scientifically proven. You don’t just chose to become a Longhorn. You ARE a Longhorn.

21. No one knows the extent of OU suckiness better than us

Other schools may agree with us. Some get pride out of doing the best they can to inform us that OU actually doesn’t suck (we like to laugh at these people). But in the end, no one will ever be able to know how much OU really sucks as well as we do. I mean, it’s what rivalry is all about.

There are just some things that only make sense to us Longhorns. And that’s okay. Because as I’ve stated before, there’s a reason we are better, different, and envied more than other schools.

Hook ’em! \m/

-Hayley Gail

18 things that suddenly become important for every girl in her mid to late 20’s

As a lady transitions into her later 20’s, her age isn’t the only thing that changes. Her priorities adjust as well. One day the only thing that seems to matter may be bottle service, and the next day it’s botox. The saying “you’re becoming a woman” makes more sense now than it did when we got it constantly thrown at us through that god awful puberty stage. I truly believe aging gracefully can feel like a full time job. But thankfully, us girls have each other to joke with as it happens.

So I decided to put a list together (go figure, right?!). Highlighting the things that every girl in her mid to late 20’s begins to care about during this time time in her life. Ladies, do you feel me on this one?!

1. Brunch

Call me cliche, but a good Sunday brunch gets every girl in her happy place. Why has it taken me so long to figure out the magic of what a carafe of mimosas and french toast can do!? Was it because I was often hungover in my early 20’s? Or just broke? Maybe I should start a Sunday Funday fund, because a nice refreshing brunch is just too good for any of you to miss out on, ladies.

2. Credit score

Five years ago the only thing I could have told you about my credit score was that it existed. And now I have this lingering number staring at me in the face, dictating some of my biggest life purchases and decisions. What is this, George Orwell’s 1984 theory?! Giving us all some arbitrary number. Please don’t hold my irresponsible college days against me foreverrrrrr.

3. Quality time spent with friends/loved ones

By about 25, I think it’s safe to say that most girls have filtered out the acquaintances. Don’t get me wrong. I love to run into an old friend that I haven’t seen in years. But the days of “dude we totally have to bring that one girl because she knows all of the hook-ups” are long gone. I’m talking full blown, tipsy on Deep Eddy grapefruit vodka, laughing until the mascara starts running, making fun of who your friends dated in high school, type of quality time. I live for that shit.

4. Benefits

Because there is nothing I would rather talk about than 401K’s, health insurance, and disability. Yeah freaking right. I would rather eat cold ramen than discuss all things responsible. However, it is nice when you know that if something happened to you, SOMEONE would care enough to pull you out of it. Finances are alright, I guess.

5. Good TV shows

Netflix, Hulu, HBO. Hell, even Top Chef has me committed in a way that is probably considered unhealthy. Who else are you gonna eat dinner with on a Monday night? Plus, your TV shows encourage you to stay home and wear pajamas. And you’re only getting older, so you wouldn’t want to miss out on that.

6. Healthy-looking skin

If your energy level doesn’t remind you of the fact that you’re aging, your skip will help by drawing distinct lines in places all over your face. Thanks mother nature, you SOB. The closer I get to 30, the more valuable face masks and spa treatments become. No one is ever going to argue with “it’s great for my skin”. We can’t all be Brooke freaking Shields.

7. Anything DIY

Whether it be to save money, or to work on perfecting those domestic lady ways. Pinterest has begun to feel like a distant relative, the older I get. Nobody hates the bitch that gives homemade rose salve and photograph coasters for Christmas.

8. Vacation and weekends

Time off is SACRED. While it’s all very nice to transition into adulthood and the wonders of work life, it can be way too overwhelming sometimes. That’s why every girl needs a cute little agenda, to mark all upcoming events using pens of varying colors. You know, to always have something to look forward to it. Don’t lie ladies.

9. Chemistry in a relationship

I think most girls would agree that they have figured out what they are really looking for in a relationship by the time they hit their mid to late 20’s. All of the materialistic things don’t seem to matter as much anymore. Yeah, it may be cool if he drives a Range Rover. But if he can’t spend time with me without judging the fact that I like to use cheetos to make a walrus face, then honestly what’s the point?!

10. A good cry

A good, ugly ass cry. One of those cries that you end up counting as your work out of the day. Don’t hold it in, y’all. The struggle is real, and sometimes the best thing to do is cry about it.

11. Your routine

Practice makes perfect. There’s a reason that book club is always on Tuesday nights. And there’s a reason that rent is due the 1st of every month. There is most definitely a reason every girl acts bat shit crazy the week she gets called in for jury duty. Don’t intrude on my daily regimen. My inner Kate Spade lady feelings might take things a little personal.

12. Self discipline when it comes to diet and exercise

Jillian Michaels is a freak of nature. Of course we all want to look that good. And some of us might even end up looking that good. But it sure as hell is not going to happen overnight. Blood. Sweat. Tears. Withdrawals from pizza. I think that’s why the Instagram gods have given us those few friends that document every accomplished pound loss. For constant motivation, of course.

13. Standards

Because you are now old enough to know how important it is to have self-respect. Sure, you may have days where you feel like scum at the bottom of the ocean. But you’re in this little thing called life whether you like it or not, so you might as well be your biggest advocate. From relationships. To being treated equally at work. To only accepting friend requests from people who will actually entertain your news feed. Keep that shit 100. Not only with yourself, but everyone else.

14. Random dance parties

Because life. This is obvious, am I wrong?!

15. Good parking situations

Valet. Uber. Or even just parking that is really close to where you are going. I’m not trying to get in a hike before dinner. Momma can only wear these stilettos for so long.

16. Beauty sleep

It takes a lot to look this good. Also, pants are not required while you’re sleeping. And naps have hands down been the most underrated pastime since Kindergarten.

17. Knowing which alcoholic drinks will get you “sophisticated drunk”

One that gets the job done with no consequences. Now that the days of “let’s get stupid and drunk eat an entire pizza” are over, ones choice of drink is very important. Am I wrong?! You know. Like you can have a shot or two, but not after midnight. And it’s okay if you want to drink vodka, but do so with tonic or soda, not Dr. Pepper. Oh, and not the cheapest vodka they’ve got.

18. Understanding what Amy Poehler was getting at when she said “There’s power in looking silly and not caring that you do”

Because we don’t have to worry about impressing Regina George anymore. You are who you are. You’ve made it this far, so it’s pretty safe to say that most of your best and worst traits won’t change much. But that’s what makes you memorable. So twerk if you want to. Overreact if you want to. Complain about your age if you want to. As long as you lay your head on your pillow every night knowing that you are as much a hott mess as the next girl, we’re all better off.

Do your thang ladies!

xoxo, H