Same Love

I can’t even begin to describe how much I love this song. The music industry needed something like this for a long, long time.

I’m a huge advocate for equal rights, especially when it comes to love. Marriage is about love, not about a man and a woman. I’m so proud of Rhode Island, my neighboring state, for passing the law to allow same-sex marriage, and I’m even more happy to see my friends getting married and picking up marriage licenses who have been waiting far too long for this moment.

How to Stop Complaining In a Relationship

Last week I started a new blog series of letters from me to the people who find my blog by googling random terms. This week is the second installment.

To the person who found my blog by searching for……

how to stop complaining in a relationship

First, I want to commend you for recognizing that you may be complaining too much, and searching for guidance. While I am by no means a psychologist or a behavior therapist or a relationship counselor, I might be able to help you through this one. There is something you should know about me… I am a serial whiner. I chose the word whine, rather than complain, because I think there is a bit of a difference. I whine about everything: I whine if my belly hurts, if it is too cold. I whine about flossing before bed, about the fact that my dog loves Mr. O more than she loves me. However, I do try not to complain. In my mind, complaining is whining to the extreme without doing anything to change your circumstances. I might whine about flossing, but I’m usually whining about it while I’m flossing my teeth. I might whine about it being too cold, but that’s after I put up the heat and put on a sweatshirt. If there is anything in my life that I feel needs changing– especially in my relationships– I make an effort to make things better.

And that is all that you have to do. Put in some effort. I don’t know what your relationship is like. I don’t know if you’re a person who worries too much and thinks that you might be complaining too much, even though you barely complain at all. I don’t know if you are in fact the biggest, rudest complainer in the whole wide world and your significant other is a saint for staying with you. Either could be true. But if you do feel that you want to change, and you do think you complain too much, I promise you that a little effort does in fact go a long way.

We’re all intelligent enough individuals to know and understand our own thought processes. If you can recognize that you are about to complain about something…. then just pause for a bit. Think about what it is you were about to say, and what your motivations are behind the comment. Let’s just pretend you were about to complain that your significant other spends too much time with his or her friends. Well, why do you feel like that? What is your motivation behind this statement? Do you miss spending quality time with your partner? Are you envious of the close relationships your partner has with other people? Do you wish your relationship with your own friends we are strong as your partner’s relationships? Instead of complaining, think about these questions and then try to figure out a way to CHANGE things. If you identify with any of the above questions then maybe you could: 1) Ask your partner on a date. Tell your partner you’d like to spend a little more time with him or her. Don’t mention their friends. 2) Consider what makes you envious. If you want a closer relationship with your partner, then YOU can make the effort to open up to them. Share a secret with them. And never forget to acknowledge them when they do open up to you. 3) Spend time with your own damn friends. Your relationship will benefit if you both have healthy friendships as well. Follow your partner’s example and nurture your own relationships. Now, these are all just random examples… You could be complaining about anything. I just hope you take away from this letter that you have control over your complaining. You are the person who thinks the thought and then you are also the person who has control how you FEEL the thought. Remember, change always starts with you. If you want your relationship to change, then be the spark that ignites the flame.

Before I end this letter, I want to acknowledge one more quick thing. I think a lot of people complain just to do it or because they don’t know how to change things, but I also think that a lot of people complain because they truly aren’t happy. If you are complaining about your relationship and you know deep down that you honestly aren’t happy with your partner, then… get out. I’ve spent time in useless relationships where I accepted less than I deserved or I just assumed that was the best I could do. What a silly girl I was. If you are complaining because you sincerely don’t wish to remain in your relationship, then don’t waste your time and don’t waste your partners time. Get out there and start living authentically. If you’re honestly happy, you shouldn’t be complaining. You might whine like I do, but you won’t complain.

Best of luck.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope the blog contents didn’t disappoint you,
Erin

Like last time, I googled this search term and here is what I found on page one, as the fourth link from the top (which linked the searcher to this post):

Like this post? Want to read more “To the Person Who…” posts? Click here to learn about: Dinosaur Language

Fierce Love

If there is one thing I know all about, it is how to love deeply and strongly. When I first heard that Molly was starting up a Fierce Love course this month, I was intrigued. I read her blog posts, signed up for the emails and thought to myself, “Nah, this isn’t for me… I don’t have time right now to learn about to love and take care of myself.”

Yes, I actually thought that. I made the decision that I don’t have enough time to spend on myself, and then I forgot about the course and went on with my life.

Well, that isn’t true. I tried to forget about the course, but all these blog posts kept popping up in my reader. All these people talking about the ABC’s of Self Love. I was like “Cool it ladies! I’m trying to forget all about this self-love stuff.” I’ll tell you though, one of the greatest things about Molly’s ABC’s of Self Love Blog crawl was finding so many new and incredible (and inspirational!) blogs to read. I love a scavenger hunt, which is how I got hooked, but I’m really glad I put the effort in.

Why? Because I couldn’t get self-love out of my mind ALL MONTH!

Like I said in the beginning. I know ALLLLLLLLL about fierce love. I could write a book on it. I put it into practice every moment of every day. I love Mr. O with such an intensity that it would overwhelm an average human. I cherish his existence on this planet. I literally wake up and fall asleep every day thanking the Universe for allowing him to be in my life. And it isn’t just my significant other I love fiercely. I love his son (aka Wolverine), my family, friends, sometimes even strangers with an enormous intensity. I’ve written about my overwhelming love before. A lot of people don’t understand this Little Miss Sunshine mentality of mine, but I value that personality trait above all others.

I LOVE. I have the capacity to love deeply and love purely and love strongly. How lucky am I?

So why has Molly and her Fierce Love class been bothering me so much? I hate to admit it, but I don’t ever love myself the way that I love others.

Sad, huh?

I don’t. I care about myself, sure. I think I’m pretty fancy, oh yes. I know I’m smart and a good person, but when it comes to love?  I’m lacking. I don’t treat myself even close to how I treat the people in my life. And that is just so sad. I love my life. I appreciate my life, but yet, I won’t get any further in life until I learn how to love myself and honor myself better than I am doing right now. So you know what I did this morning? I signed up. I owe it to myself.

Don’t we all need to treat ourselves better?

Anyway, I challenge you to give Molly and her Fierce Love Course a shot. I doubt you’ll regret it.

new around this neck of the woods?

Bonjour!

Have you recently found your way over here from Erin or Ashley’s blogs? If so, welcome! Make yourself at home. I bet you’re wondering, “Who is this Erin character?” Now, that is a good question. The easiest way to get a brief overview of who I am is to check out the “About the Girl” tab at the top of this page (which really does need to be updated, sigh). However, I’ve provided a short list below because I like to make things nice and simple for you.

  • I’m afraid of bees. However, alligators are my favorite animals.
  • I am a graduate student studying creative nonfiction and I do a lot of whining about how I procrastinate too much. (I also don’t have good grammar on this blog, beware!)
  • Besides my day job, I have a part-time gig as a relief worker for adults with mental illnesses, and I also coordinate and plan events such as weddings and concerts. (I’m available for hire! Wink Wink)
  • If I told you that I was a great cook then I’d be lying to you, and I really am an honest person. I can however tell you that I want to be a good cook one day. My boyfriend makes fantastic meals; he’s teaching me what he knows, and the rest we plan on learning together. I’ve been updating this blog with all the cooking I’ve been doing. I cook every single week. Occasionally I’ve been recooking some previously attempted meals, but I like to try new things best.
  • I think everyone really should have a lucky number and a favorite color.
  • I also really want to know people’s middle names. I try to imagine what the middle names might be if people don’t tell me.
  • If it wasn’t for 20 Something Bloggers, I don’t know if I would have continued to blog since I first started in 2008. I also owe a lot of my blogging gratitude to my 101 in 1001 goals list and NaBloPoMo and NaNoWriMo and Grace in Small Things as well.
  • I love everything about home improvement. However, I still do not own my own home. Still, I fantasize about home design projects and knocking down walls and painting and everything that could have to do with houses. Mr. O and I are trying to buy a house right now,  but the process isn’t as glamorous as it may seem.
  • I love to travel. Anywhere.

And here are some of the key players on this blog:

  • Mr. O: The most wonderful man in the world (at least in my eyes). As corny as it may sound, Mr. O is my boyfriend and my best friend. I tend to profess my love for him on here.  I’m apologizing for that ahead of time.
  • Wolverine: The most wonderful boy in the world. Wolverine is Mr. O’s son, and he truly makes every single one of my days better by just being in it. I try not to write too much about him on the blog, but I occasionally profess my love for him as well.
  • Fairfield University MFA Program: I write a LOT about my grad school experiences, and on top of that, you have the chance to get to know some of my classmates, like Phil and AJ and Reuben (who was a guest blogger twice!) and Brooke and Ioanna.
  • Fenway: My Chihuahua/Terrier mix. She’s a rescue dog I adopted while living in Virginia. She definitely keeps me on my toes.

Oh…and these things happen often around these parts.

  • The Defining Moments Guest Series: So far Amanda, AJ, Phil, Brooke, Reuben, Heidi ,Kat, Micaela, Justin, Michaela (with an ‘H’), Holly and Ioanna have all posted about moments of reinvention or inspiration. This series has been a big hit for my readers, and I am always looking for more people to write a guest blog on this topic. You don’t have to be a regular blogger to do this. Kat wasn’t a blogger when she first wrote her post for me… now she has a Tumblr. Micaela still isn’t a blogger, but enjoyed the experience.
  • My Lessons- The Thoughts on Love Series: Now, I’m not an expert, but I’ve been thinking a lot about love this year…what it takes to be in a relationship, choices people make, how other people can affect your relationships, etc. I started this series to share my observations, thoughts and feelings.

So… That’s all folks! I’d love it if you introduced yourself, because I love to check out new blogs. Have an amazing day!

sometimes you have to be a dirty dancer

Thoughts on Love: Lesson #2- Sometimes You Have to be a Dirty Dancer

Mr. O and I began at a comedy show a mutual friend was in. I had broken my foot a couple of weeks prior, and one of the comedians saw my crutches and started teasing me during his act. My love was sitting at the table across from me. I thought he was so handsome and in truth, had my eye on him all evening. The way his face lit up when he laughed was incredible, but back to the story…

“How’d you break your foot?” the comedian asked.
“Dirty dancing,” I answered immediately.

Did I really break my foot dirty dancing? No. Did the people at the comedy show want to know how I really broke my foot? Doubt it. I thought quick. It got everyone’s attention; I was only hoping it would get Mr. O’s. Then the moment was over. The show went on.

At the end of the night, Mr. O had escaped before I could introduce myself, but that didn’t stop me. I found a way to get in touch with him…sent him a message…told him he looked familiar…suggested a few ways we might know each other. When he responded, he knew exactly who I was: the Dirty Dancer from the comedy show.

The point of the story is simply that sometimes you have to try on other “shoes” (like walking casts for example). The Old Erin would never ever try to seek out Mr. O that night. She also definitely wouldn’t have sent him a message (knowing well enough they didn’t actually know each other). But the Dirty Dancer felt unstoppable. In fact, the Dirty Dancer didn’t stop to think about her actions, like Old Erin would have done. The Dirty Dancer simply acted, and that is what captured Mr. O’s attention.

Sometimes, that is just what you need when it comes to love: a new perspective, a road you haven’t traveled before, a different “type” than you are used to. Sometimes, even if you feel vulnerable and insecure, you’ve got to put those emotions aside and pretend that you aren’t. Sometimes, you just have to pretend to be a dirty dancer.

What about you? Have you ever stepped out of your comfort zone in a relationship?

stop complaining and start watering

I’ve been drafting these thoughts about relationships for a week or two now, but I just can’t seem to merge them all into one blog post. The topics are quite varied: what I’ve learned in my own relationship, complaints I hear about people’s significant others, what it takes to make a relationship work, cheating, marriage, etc. So I’ve decided, instead of trying to merge a bunch of thoughts into one post, I’m going to try to compile a mini-series of my “thoughts on love”. Today will be quick and painless:

Thoughts on Love: Lesson #1- Stop Complaining and Start Watering

I didn’t realize how cynical people are about love and relationships until I got into my own serious relationship this year and started paying attention to how much people complain. It seems like everywhere I look, people are whining about their significant others or whining about how much work it is to be in a relationship. They say life is much easier when you’re single. They think the person they are with isn’t who they actually want to be with. No matter what, their opinion is that relationships are hard, and many of them feel like it isn’t worth the work. Everyone is out there comparing their relationships to other people’s relationships, trying to size up what’s “normal” and if they are “happy.”

I’m here to set the record straight once and for all. Life is good. If you can find a good person who you care about that also wants to be with you, then be grateful. It is that simple. Do relationships take work? Of course! Is it hard work? Well, folks… I think that answer is a bit subjective.

Lets consider a plant as an example. You find a plant you really like and bring it home. All it needs to live is sunlight and water, so you put it on a windowsill and you water it every couple days. Tada! Healthy plant! Lets say you bring that plant home, put it on a windowsill and forget to water it for two weeks. The plant wilts and loses some of its beauty. Well, now you have to work twice as hard to pull that plant back to life. It’s possible, it just takes more effort.

So the answer is subjective, like I said before. Relationships are about choices. How much effort are you willing to put in?

Stay tuned for more……