And I talked in REAL LIFE with a blog friend for the first time. (You people are real...)
When I emailed Heather over at Unlikely Oilfield Wife to tell her she had won the contest, she immediately responded with her phone number.
Who does that?
So of course I had to call. My Angeleno butt rang her up in Texas and we chatted, guffawed and snarked for almost TWO HOURS. You know you've found a member of your tribe not when you like...but when you hate the same things. (And by things I mean people.)
Since we're both PC chickens on our blogs who are afraid of offending our readers, I won't share exactly
"I'm Heather, live in the Houston 'burbs, originally from southern Louisiana. I'm an aspiring author, blogger, and retro housewife. Where I come from there are a lot of oilfield wives and families, and husband and I aren't like them at all. We're liberals, we listen to indie music, we watch Wes Anderson movies. We don't hunt, I've never fished, and we hate Louisiana State University football (if you lived here, you'd know why that's strange). I come from a strange back ground of a Creole mother and German father, the most hilarious people I know. I graduated from cosmetology school, craft up a storm, helped start a roller derby team, and my new obsession is hula hooping. And trying to decide if going to Burning Man is a good idea. I haven't slept past 8:30am in 10 years, and while once I was the girl who at 17 took a bus from Louisiana to New York City to meet a boy, I'm now the woman in bed at midnight threatening to call the police if the neighbors don't turn down the music. That does NOT make me a square! :)"
52 Faces: You won this contest because I resonated so much with the following suggestion: "Get rid of the negative people. life is too short to hear people complain all the time. no one can be positive all the time, but no one should be negative always either."
What made you write this?
Heather: I spend way too much time on social networking, and it seems the running themes are blatant bragging about one's house, husband, kids, friends, job, whatever (followed with the most annoying phrase of 2010, "be jealous!") or constant negativity. Facebook and Twitter give people an outlet to bitch about things that are so minuscule, that it seems to fill up so much of my life, because I check updates on these sites too much. The older I get, the shorter I realize life is, and time spent complaining could be spent appreciating. Releasing negative people from my own life (even if it just means blocking them on facebook) has greatly improved my own attitude. Misery loves company, and I would just rather not be on the guest list.
52 Faces: I've struggled my whole life with internalized negativity inherited from my parents. Any tips for being more positive ourselves? And please don't say "gratitude journal" - if I hear those words one more time from a blogger...:P
Heather: My dad is German, and I inherited one of the worst traits of the German people, and that's always assuming the worst will happen. My dad often tells me he was the same way, but living in the south has cured him of that. Unfortunately, it didn't cure me. I don't know if I have an answer to this really, other than making a conscious decision to eliminate the things that cause negativity, when it's possible.
If a job or a relationship has you crying at night, you have to exit the situation, for your own sanity. Friends who do nothing but dis you, have to be let go as well. And while I don't want to suggest a "gratitude journal" (LOL!), putting pen to paper and writing down those things that make you happy, even things like hearing a song you forgot you loved on the radio, CAN help. Seeing it in writing is often the kick in the pants people need to realize that things don't suck nearly as much as they think. Also, people have got to turn off the news. God knows I love the news, but it does nothing for anyone's mental health.
52 Faces: Random love advice time: how do you know when you've found The One?
Heather: I don't think anyone ever knows they've found the one. My husband and I have been together for nearly 8 years, married for nearly 5, and while if anyone were to ask me "is he the one?" I'd say "yes, of course". But I've heard that from people only to see them divorce a year later. I guess when someone is the one, the relationship is easy. People say marriage is hard, but for my own marriage, it's not. We get along very well. When one of us has a concern, we bring it up, fix it, then move on. I think if you can hang out with your significant other for a couple weeks, day in and day out (as my husband and I did when he was working offshore and would be home for 2 weeks straight), and not hate each other, then that's someone you can be with forever.
I'm not a fan of the term "the one", because it implies that there is only one person for everyone, and that is terrifying. I don't want to equate a relationship to alcoholism, but the mantra of "one day at a time", not worrying about the future, is something I think a lot of women, and men, need to repeat to themselves. And to just be cool and not take everything so seriously. Enjoy the person and have fun, and they just might turn into "the one".