Yeah I'm Extra But, Like, I'm ~Chill~ About It

Yeah I'm Extra But, Like, I'm ~Chill~ About It

When and why the heck did it become uncool to be passionate, to have passion?
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Ever feel like Ross from "Friends" when he starts talking about science? That feeling you get when everybody in the room is either literally telling you to stop talking or you can just feel the annoyance radiate around the room.

Let me explain, there are people in this world who will inspire the absolute f**k out of you. And once you find them, once you find your tribe, it's an incredibly freeing experience.

It's as if your lungs are just being introduced to air and that tension that you've created as a protective layer to shield the real you from the world melts away.

These are people you can bounce ideas off of, disagree with, laugh with and the best part? There's this warm circle of respect that surrounds you.

With that in mind, in life, it's likely that at least on a few occasions you've found yourself surrounded by toxicity instead. And instead of relief you feel closed off. You find yourself around people who discourage you and hurt you with systematically belittling and shrinking you.

Often, it's not something these people are conscious of but knowing that doesn't make the alienation less painful. Over time, those types of relationships weigh on you, corrode you.

Unfortunately, the latter of these two types of people seem to be the most common. Those people who make you feel extra when you're actually just passionate.

So, my question is: when and why the heck did it become uncool to be passionate, to have passion? I mean, it should be a crime to squash someone's enthusiasm.

I'll give you a personal example from my sophomore year of college. I studied abroad in Florence, Italy for a semester followed by a month long trip around Europe. I lived with a host family and studied Italian, architecture and art history. I had my breath taken away on the daily...walking across the Ponte Vecchio to get to class.

This experience changed my life, I'd even go as far as to say it gave me life. But coming home wasn't an easy adjustment. First of all, I didn't want to leave, and second, I found out that most people don't want to hear about it.

I could hear myself talking about my experience with every other sentence that left my lips, but I couldn't stop. I was bitten hard by the travel bug, and I wanted to keep my trip alive.

I could hear people start to ignore it when I talked about Europe or places I wanted to travel next. And when their annoyance turned to frustration, people actually started to make fun of how often I spoke about it.

My response was to stop sharing my passion for travel with others. Until I found the study abroad club on my campus.

The club became my way of connecting with others who loved to hear about my experience and felt comfortable sharing their own. It was a haven for me. A place I felt safe expressing that side of myself.

If you can relate to this feeling at all, I have some advice for you: you may feel like a salmon swimming upstream, but don't let generation apathy rob you of your passion.

As Flogging Molly sings, "A passionless life has no words to write." And that couldn't BE more true.

Truth is, those people who roll their eyes at your excitement are probably just jealous, which is an insecurity that they're projecting on you.

So, f**k 'em. You do you. Be extra. Be fearless.

Be beautifully and relentlessly you because your people will find you. Your tribe will be drawn to the real you, I promise.

Cover Image Credit: 123rf

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Dear Mom, Now That I'm Older

A letter to the woman who made me the woman I am today.
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Dear Mom,

Now that I'm older, I definitely appreciate you a lot more than I did as a kid. I appreciate the little things, from the random text messages to constantly tagging me on Facebook in your "funny" photos and sending me pins of stuff I like on Pinterest. Now that I'm older, I can look back and realize that everything I am is all because of you. You've made me strong but realize it's okay to cry. You've shown me how a mother gives everything to her children to give them a better life than she had, even when she's left with nothing. And, most importantly you've taught me to never give up and without this, I would not be where I am today.

Mom, now that I'm older, I realize that you're the best friend I'm ever going to have. You cheer me on when I try new things and support me in deciding to be whatever person I want to be. Thank you for never telling me I can't do something and helping me figure out ways to be the best woman I can be. Your love for me is unconditional. They say true, unconditional love can only come from God, but mom, I think you're a pretty close second.

SEE ALSO: An Open Letter To The Cool Mom

Now that I'm older, I don't get to see you as much. But not seeing you as much just makes the times I do get to see you the absolute best, and I look forward to it every time. Now that I'm older, I'm not going to live at home. But, I promise to always come back because I know the door is always open. Your house is always going to be my home, and no other place is going to be the same.

Now that I'm older, I realize how much I miss you taking care of me. I miss you making me dinner, making sure I was doing well in school, and taking me to endless appointments. I miss you waking me up for school and then waking me up again because I didn't listen the first time.

But, Mom, now that I'm older, I can see all that you've done for me. I can look back and see how big of a brat I was but you still loved me (and let me live) anyways. I can understand why you did certain things and frankly, you're one bada** of a woman.

To have you as my mom and my best friend has been the best thing that has ever happened to me. So, Mom, now that I'm older, thank you, for everything.

Love,

Your Daughter

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As Girls, We'll Talk About Our Ex-Boyfriends — But Never Our Ex-Best Girl Friend

Growing up means constantly changing. As a result, the best friend we understood better than anyone else can slowly become a stranger.

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As girls, it is rare we discuss ending a friendship with the girl we consider a sister. How exactly do we end a friendship with the girl who truly understands and appreciates us? What causes us to break the bond we share with her? The answers are what cause us to not express our feelings on this.

Rarely do we think about "the why" behind this decision. Yet, breaking up with her feels more devastating than saying it's over to a boyfriend.

I'm still young but noticed that this is something we as girls just do. While speaking to multiple friends this year, there was a good number of girls who either called-it-a-wrap or experienced a girlfriend breaking up with them instead. If any apparent traces of a conversation surfaced, then it usually came far after the initial breakup or happened with everyone but this girl.

However, us girls are a friend of the drama and will end these friendships in a few different ways. I explain them in a different POV because I kept thinking about: how would I feel if someone I care about just decided to drop off the face of the planet without at least a warning? Like, okay bet.

We're all too familiar with ghosting

This happens without any warning. One day you will be laughing together at a party, kickback, or while going out for drinks and then, poof! All of a sudden their existence becomes a myth. The adopted sister who you spoke to every day becomes nonexistent and doesn't grant the opportunity for closure.

Ghosting can occur because of multiple reasons. Maybe she was harboring some long-time resentments that caused her to say no more. Maybe it was jealousy (which causes us to make some ugly decisions and not enjoy the people who remind us of our insecurities), misunderstandings, or just not-clicking. This act screams drama and "I'm done." (Roll curtains). Perhaps, she felt you would be too immature to respect an emotional conversation. Maybe she just couldn't admit that you hurt her.

Don't be so quick to blame yourself though. Being "ghosted" doesn't automatically mean you've done something wrong. A girlfriend who ghosts you instead of just being upfront is also an immature person. She might believe that a discussion is not necessary because confrontation is too intimidating. She's not planning to tell you "the why," either. At this point, all she's doing is opening the door for you to enjoy last-minute shopping with another girl.

Sometimes it's a painful withdrawal

Different from ghosting, withdrawal does not happen as abruptly. It is a slow depart from the friendship in which this girl will progressively begin to ignore you. This can be more bothersome than ghosting because it's ripping the band-aid off slowly. The first sign of her looking for an 'out' from being your friend is minimal effort to keep in touch.

If she is not interested in speaking to you, then it's clear she wants to leave this friendship behind. Obvious signs are no longer responding to phone calls, rarely replying to texts (their messages will also be quite dry), engaging with you less on social media, and always being "busy, sorry." A girl who slowly pulls away from a friendship instead of expressing herself or even ghosting is definitely more comfortable with being passive. She might think you won't allow the friendship to end well.

This breakup tactic gives you enough time to ask her to open up. Ask in person, because their response will be more honest than over text. If bestie decides she won't be telling you the truth and is extremely rude during that conversation then it would be best to just keep it moving.

When it's upfront and personal

This girl does not have a problem expressing her feelings to you. She will let you know exactly what's on her mind. Our besties often range between being the type of girl who asks to speak in private or start a scene.

Moderating this discussion is always possible. If she feels the need to deliver her message in a way that's loud and hurtful rather than helpful... issa "no" from me champ. Unless you were intentionally hurting your friend, you don't need to be treated as a criminal. There is not a need for her to put you on trial and attempt to condemn every single one of your missteps. Everyone messes up and if she feels speaking down to you is the answer then it's an obviously wrong one.

However, maybe the jury says there is evidence of you being a b****. Whether it was accepting the conditions of a one-sided friendship or putting up with your selfish behavior this girl has had enough. An apology may be appreciated, too.

After she's done expressing everything on her mind, the friendship might be over. Or, this conversation can lead to a better friendship for both of you.

Or just general disconnect

This isn't so much a breakup, but just life. Growing up means constantly changing. As a result, the best friend we understood better than anyone else can slowly become a stranger. Regardless if she's held the title of "sister" for years, drifting away from each other happens. You'll notice this because her new intrigues will no longer align with yours. Ultimately, the past will become the only thing you two have in common.

Signs that your friendship is losing its spark are running out of things to talk about, you're both too busy for each other, and haven't really cared to connect in awhile. You'll always have love in your heart for her if it ended well. All of those fun times are stored away as the memories for a laugh on a bad day. After enough time has passed you two will begin sharing hugs instead of awkward glances. After a million, "OMG we should definitely meet up for lunch one day," are exchanged you might actually meet-up next week, too.

Basically, the girls we invite into the more personal aspects of, well, "who we are" matter. They matter as much as knowing why we would want to end it and stop gassing each other up while throwing it back.

None of us are perfect. There are many reasons (underlying or obvious) a friendship ends. Personally, I feel talking about anything that's bothering us is valid. If you're able to resuscitate a friendship, then why not try to make its lifeline bounce back? If she's a real friend, then she'll listen and try to understand where you're coming from.

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