We Can Disagree and Still Be Kind People

We Can Disagree and Still Be Kind People

We Can Disagree and Still Be Kind People

American elections are just around the corner (by “just around the corner,” I mean well over a year away), so Facebook is filling up with lots of political opinions.  I too like sharing my opinions.  There’s nothing wrong with a healthy argument. But there seems to be this unhealthy concept floating around that if you and I share different opinions, we must spew venom on each other.

It goes like this:

I like “Presidential Candidate A.” You like “Presidential Candidate B.” Therefore, one of us is awful and probably will go to hell and should be ostracized and forced to change sides.

I hold “Religious Position A.” You hold “Religious Position B.” Since we disagree, one of us awful and probably will go to hell and should be ostracized and forced to change sides.

And we show total unkindness to that person. Because their thoughts don’t look like our thoughts. Facebook makes it easy to be cruel because we aren’t looking into the eyes of a fellow human with feelings. We’re looking at a screen.  We can’t feel love for a screen.

No person is the same with identical experiences. It makes sense that we all have different opinions. It also makes sense that we are attached to them.   We’re shouting, “I believe this – why don’t you, you idiot?!” But really what we’re saying is, “X, Y, and Z happened in my life that convinced me of this thing – when you disagree, you’re denying this deep part of my being.”

For example, my experience taught me that divorce is sometimes necessary. When people post quotes or articles that say marriage must be fought for at all costs, I sometimes feel defensive. Though I’m sure the person who posted it was talking about the normal, difficult, day-to-day fight to keep a relationship. They weren’t talking about desperate situations that lead to divorce.

Or maybe they were. And then we would disagree.  But I don’t have to hate that person now.  I can disagree and even debate the argument.  I could give examples or statistics on why divorce is sometimes necessary or share my story. But attacking them by saying or implying that they are stupid or horrible or broken or going to hell simply because we disagree would be unloving and a weakness on my part.

One rule great debaters follow is to attack the argument itself, not the arguer. When you attack the person who holds the position – their character, attributes, personalities, or family – it’s called ad hominem, and it’s considered weak.  Your debate skills are not strong enough to attack the argument, so you attack the arguer.

A family friend once told me that my family should fix me because I’m liberal. This person wondered how I could come from such a superb family and wanted to pray that I’d reconcile with Jesus so I could still go to heaven. (sigh).  This was not arguing with my points or opinions; it was attacking me.  To this person, I was oil; they were water.  We couldn’t combine.  But our opinions don’t change our makeup – we are all still people trying to figure it all out.

And opinions are, in the end, just opinions.  The second we start treating them like absolute truths for every single person on this planet is when we start to look a little more like a Vice-God-Wannabe and less like a person.

We can disagree and still be kind people. We can disagree and still rally around the things we do agree on.  We can disagree and still honor the fact that we are different people with different minds occupying the same planet, and yet still PEOPLE.  The second it becomes a personal attack, and the second kindness gets thrown out the window, the battle has been lost.

Trust me, I’m speaking to myself too.  

You know the popular bumper sticker that has all those religious symbols spelling “Tolerance”? I’ve heard a thousand times that tolerance can’t happen because these faiths are too different. Well, I agree that tolerance shouldn’t be the goal.  Tolerance simply means dealing with somebody else, allowing their existence on this planet. I think we can do better….

“If our goal is to be tolerant of people who are different than we are … then we really are aiming quite low. Traffic jams are to be tolerated. People are to be celebrated”

|Glennon Doyle Melton|

How To Procrastinate Like a Boss

How To Procrastinate Like a Boss

How To Procrastinate Like a Boss

 

Dearest readers of this humble blog,

There aren’t many things in this world that I can teach you. You should probably go to other blogs to find helpful hints on valuable things like: cooking edible food, removing toilet rings, creating vintage inspired curtain rods, and raising children that don’t suck. All these things I know nothing about.

But don’t write me off as lacking in major value just yet. I have a few tricks up my sleeve. Lucky for you, I’m gonna show you my magic.

Ready?

How To Procrastinate Like a Boss
By Taylor DuVall
(AKA – The “Is That Really Due in 2 Minutes?” Expert)

1. Distraction, Distraction, Distraction

Examples:

  • Netflix
  • More Netflix
  • One more episode on Netflix
  • Facebook
  • One more minute on Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • One more pin on Pinterest

2. Do embarrassing things that you should never post on your blog

Like this:

How To Procrastinate Like a Boss

DO allow your boyfriend turn you into “Bra Woman” to keep you from necessary packing for Costa Rica. But never post it on your blog.  Embarrassing.

3. Feel debilitating anxiety

Amateur procrastinators feel no worry about their procrastination. Expert procrastinators, such as myself, feel only the deepest forms of anxiety for putting off what could be done right this second.

Don’t worry if you feel this way.  You can procrastinate your worry!  Push it aside for another day by:

  • Going out to dinner
  • Drinking mimosas
  • Becoming “Bra Woman”
  • Eating chocolate chips while standing up in the kitchen
  • Netflix
  • More Netflix
  • One more episode of Netflix

4. Sit on the floor in the middle of the room

When in doubt, do this:

Sit on the floor in the middle of the room.  Any room you’d like.

Not only will this help you avoid all the things you don’t want to do right now, but you can also meditate by staring off into space.  See, procrastination is really a spiritual practice, being present in the moment and all that jazz.  Namaste.

5.  Go down as many trails as possible

Example:

Start off by checking work email, notice somebody tagged you on Facebook, scroll through Facebook and see a cute puppy photo, think about puppies, giggle sweetly, keep scrolling, see a great quote by a famous author, google that author to learn her biography, search great quotes by that author on Pinterest for inspiration.

While on Pinterest, find a great recipe and remember that you’re hungry.  Go to the kitchen to make cookies a salad, notice a book on the table, read one chapter, hear your phone ding, see that you have three Facebook notifications, discover a stupid political post from somebody who just DOESN’T GET IT, get really angry, decide to do yoga in the living room.  In the middle of down-dog, remember you need to check your work email.  Don’t check your email.

 

That’s it, folks.  You’re welcome.

Sincerely,

The Queen of Adult ADD

*send help*

For other accounts of barely being able to function, look here to my I Missed How To Be An Adult 101!

How To Procrastinate Like a Boss

When You’re Divorced In Your Twenties…

When You’re Divorced In Your Twenties…

When You're Divorced in Your Twenties...

Divorce isn’t rare.  But being divorced in your twenties is.  I was 22.  A couple years have gone by, and I’m far enough away from it now that I can write the things I wished I could have read then.  Here is what’s true when you’re divorced in your twenties…

When you’re divorced in your twenties, you may get lots of support.

I did.  My family was incredible.  My *real* friends were incredible.  They never made me feel like I had failed.  They laughed and cried with me.  You realize very quickly who is in your “tribe.”  These are the people who liked you when it appeared to be all good; these are the people who still like you once you’re a serious mess.  They are your people.  Hold on to them for dear life.

When you’re divorced in your twenties, you may get lots of attacks.

I did.  The emails, dear Lord above, the emails.  I promise this: you will get through it.  Feel free to defend yourself, or ignore it, but always keep your class.  The truth is some people are just plain rude and don’t know boundaries.  They don’t realize they have no right to comment on something they know nothing about.  Their judgement is actually a reflection of their own insecurities.  Cry if you want to, then dry your tears and keep being your lovely self.

When you’re divorced in your twenties, you may worry that nobody wants “used goods.”

I felt that way for a while.  Even after dating my sweet boyfriend for months, I didn’t want to talk about my divorce or remind him that he’s getting “leftovers.”  I learned to knock that off pretty quickly.  You may find somebody who has a problem with your past – DON’T DATE THEM.  Move on to greener and more open-minded pastures.  To my boyfriend, I am nothing but a strong woman who kicks butt; there really are decent people out there.  So cut the negative self-talk.  You’re not “used-up.”  You’re reinvented, sexy, smarter, and freaking awesome.

When you’re divorced in your twenties, you may feel lonely.

You look around at your peers and realize you’ve said both “I do” and “I don’t” more quickly than it took them to get into a first serious relationship.  It’s hard to find friends your age that can relate.  That’s okay.  It helped talking to older people who had gone through a divorce, and it helped talking to my peers who had gone through difficult relationship splits.   Or just talking.  Just talk to people – their situations may be different, but nobody goes through life without some serious shitstorms.

When you’re divorced in your twenties, you may feel embarrassed.

Look, it’s true.  All those people came to your wedding and bought you presents and probably wondered at some point if you were too young.  That all happened.  And you may feel embarrassed that you couldn’t make it work.  Nobody does life perfectly.  The only thing that makes you different than anybody else is a divorce is a public announcement that your life isn’t perfect.  You know what?!  Thank God.  It takes the pressure off!

When you’re divorced in your twenties, life goes on.

It does, I promise you.  We 20-somethings have age on our sides.  We can start over sooner.  Find the things you love to do and do them.  You’ll start meeting people who love those things too.  Eventually you’ll be so busy with awesome things, you will suddenly realize that your heart isn’t broken anymore and you don’t feel like an emotional wreck.  Life keeps moving on.  So keep moving right along with it.

You got this.

When You're Divorced in Your Twenties

How to be Gluten Free in NYC

How to be Gluten Free in NYC

Gluten Free in NYC

Listen.  If you’re worried about eating Gluten Free in NYC, please stop.  There is no need to fret about the glory that New York City has for its Gluten Free tourists and locals.  I ate some of the best Gluten Free food in my life and never had one gluten contamination problem.  As if I couldn’t love New York anymore…

Just download my favorite app, Find Me Gluten Free, and check to see what’s around you wherever you go!  We found one of our favorite meals this way.  We had just finished up at the Met (love), and found a Colombian place near by, Dulce Vida Cafe.  Oh.  Dear.  Goodness.  It was heavenly.  We ate cheese empanadas breaded in corn meal, tostones (fried plantains that reminded me of our trip to Puerto Rico!), and mixed grill.

Which brings me to a very important point.  Try interesting and different restaurants when you travel.  Maybe you won’t like it; maybe your mind will be opened and your mouth will have a party.  Just try new things all the time.

Though our trip was a quick 50-hour stint, and I’m sure there are so many fabulous places, these were a couple favorites:

Nizza – This great little Italian restaurant was recommended to me by a Gluten Free friend.  The whole meal was delicious (I ordered the GF gnocchi and a cab), but the highlight was the focaccia bread.

Gluten Free in NYC

Bloom’s Deli – This came from another recommendation.  I can’t rave about it enough, a quintessential NYC diner.  We got a window spot to watch the hustle and bustle and the cabs drive by.  I got Gluten Free French Toast.

I also found some Gluten Free pizza and had hot dogs with GF buns at Yankees stadium.  Everywhere I turned there were options.  Eating gluten free in NYC is a breeze, a joy, and a great way to gain a few pounds.  Can’t wait to go back.

How to be Gluten Free in NYC

Why I Won’t Sacrifice My Life For My Hustle

Why I Won’t Sacrifice My Life For My Hustle

Why I Won't Sacrifice My Life For My Hustle

Hustle is the buzzword of the year.  For those of you of another generation, I’m not talking about prostitution here.  I’m not that exciting.  Everyone’s talking about their hustle: the hard work and long hours they put into their passion project or job.  I admire this working hard thing.  There’s so much value in some good ol’ fashioned work.

I’m working really hard to build my business right now.  It’s new and fresh.  I guess as a 20-something, I’m new and fresh too.  The world is ahead of me and you better believe I’m gonna make my dreams happen!  My “hustle.”

But let me make this clear from the beginning: I will not sacrifice my life for my hustle.  Ever.

I start getting super skeptical of the push for a hustle when I see or read about people bringing their work everywhere they go: on vacations, at dinner, at the gym.  Waking at 5am, going to bed at 2am – and then recommending that others do the same to make the most of their work.  Thinking they will never be successful unless their hustle starts dripping into every aspect of their lives.

No!  I’m not buying what they’re selling. I have one life.  And yes, I’d like to use that life to pursue my passions, to work hard at them, to make money to support myself, and to gain success.  But at what cost?  And what is success, really?

It was Jesus who said, “what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?”  Many people think he spoke of the soul after death.  But I always think Jesus was talking about the here and now much more than we give him credit for.

Our souls – that’s where the good stuff is.  The likes and preferences, the passions, the unique quirks that make us interesting.  Love is in the soul; joy is in the soul; freedom is in the soul.  The fullness of life is in the soul.  What if we gain the world but lose all the wonderful things that make us interesting, alive, individual human beings?

What if I gain wild success in my career as a writer, blogger, and editor – but what if that success came with no sleep, no social time, no fun, no adventures, no silence, no stillness, no play?  My identity is not Taylor the Writer and Editor.  Writer and editor are my professions, what I do.  There is so much more to me than what I do to make money.

Work hard when it is time to work.  Give it your best.  Provide for yourself and your family.  And then stop.  Turn off the computer and live your life.  Allow your hustle to be a part of your life, even an important part.  But never more than a part.

I’m never going to sacrifice my life for the sake of my hustle.  If that means I never get as far ahead as some of my peers, so be it.  But I will have lived my life – to the very fullest!