On “Getting Over It” & Related New Year’s Shit

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Carrie does NYE.

The most appropriate photo – Carrie does NYE.

A lot of people think it’s very important to set goals. I think I’m one of those people, but I’m not entirely sure. Over the past year I’ve learned that I think things about myself that aren’t necessarily true. I make lists a lot. I try and get a better grade than I did before or run an extra half-mile at the gym. I set standards for myself. I put pressure on myself. When I mess up, I tell myself I’ll never make the same mistake again. Literally, I make promises to myself in my mind. Obviously, I don’t always get where I wanted to be. But I think about it, and that counts for something, right?

Today, people are concerned with two things: 1) gaining weight over the holidays, and 2) making New Year’s resolutions. I make resolutions every year. I don’t ever look back at them, or keep them in mind as the snow melts and the sun takes me out of social hibernation, but I sit and write a few things down on the last day of December.

I always knew I loved to write. Writing was the one thing people told me I was good at. I didn’t always want to be a writer, though. I went through the usual career phases–National Geographic photographer, marine biologist, professional dancer, etc. But as I’ve gotten older, I realized something: I had a lot to say. Therefore, I had a lot to write.

Last New Year’s Eve I decided I would start a blog. I would post every Sunday (eventually, I decided to post on Wednesdays, too) and I would write about things people would actually want to read and say the things people didn’t always want to say. The Fro-Yo Diaries was conceived and before I knew it, I was a teen mom to this baby of a blog.

Spike Jonze’s recently released film, Her, is about a guy that falls in love with a computer operating system. Think Plankton and his wife Karen circa Spongebob. The FYD has been that thing for me. I’m not in love with it, but it’s the most constant thing there is. We have dates every Sunday and Wednesday. And I’m a great girlfriend. I never cancel (fine, I only cancelled once, but rescheduled for Monday) and I even kept the relationship going long distance when I was out of the country for two weeks. I didn’t realize how people come and go in life until I had something that stayed for as long as I wanted it to. Perhaps this is also because a lot of people came and went this year. That’s ok, though.

This is my last post for 2013. For some reason, I feel like I need to make it a big deal. There are two parts to New Year’s Eve: what goes on internally, and what goes on externally. Everyone loves the partying and the dressing up and the kissing. And if you so choose, you can live that to its fullest. But the internal part only happens to some people. It happens to the dramatic people like me, people who like making lists and having fresh starts even though when you wake up on January 1st, you don’t feel so fresh and you’re still the same person you were the night before. My mom tells me that things get different as you get older. Birthdays aren’t as exciting (or, people don’t give as much of a shit about you); Christmas isn’t so magical. Life is kind of different, too. 

A lot has happened in the past year. Sometimes, I wish I was a Kardashian just so I could have gotten it all on tape. Unfortunately I’m too poor and not nearly beautiful enough for that, so I was forced to discreetly scribble conversations and important moments on my iPhone notepad so I wouldn’t forget a thing. I get criticism for writing about opinions that clash with other people’s, or sharing personal stories that others prefer not be shared. I’ve been told I’m a tad bitchy or rude. I’ve also been told to “build a bridge and get over it.” I’ve received my fair share of “go f*** youreself” and other lovely, lovely words. But I’ve also been told I’ve made people smile and laugh. I’ve been thanked for saying things other people hadn’t, and commended for being so open about some of the things others would rather lock away like an old pair of boot cut jeans.

I learned a very important lesson over the last year: life happens, and if whatever happens is important, I should write about it. I write about what is important to me. If I don’t write about something, then I’m going to forget it. No matter how shitty something is, I don’t want to forget it because it’s a lesson and a blessing and it takes me somewhere else. I call them The Fro-Yo Diaries for a reason. Duh.

Recently, I’ve been having this huge problem where I either can’t sleep at all or I can’t stop sleeping. My insomnia is brought on by this mental and infinite to-do list that keeps running through my mind. But I don’t really want to do any of it at all, and so instead, I sleep because I feel bad just being awake. I sleep all day sometimes. Some nights, I don’t sleep at all.

If you were to ask me this second what my New Year’s resolutions were, I would tell you that I don’t have a frickin’ clue. If you asked me three years ago what my resolutions for that upcoming year were, I’d have the list memorized and edited for grammatical errors. I’ve changed a lot, but that probably isn’t a bad thing. Maybe while I’m awake, I’ll give it a good thought.

Happy New Year’s.
Love,
Hannah

Flavor of the Week: Eating Stuff Out Of The Jar

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I decided to get creative. Instead of blurring out the photo, I “anonymified” it. As I sit at my computer screen, hysterically laughing at this devious creation (thank you photo editing apps), I can’t help but recall when this photo was taken: four days before I broke up with my boyfriend. We went into the city for a night, and all I kept saying was that I wanted to buy a pint of Chocolate Fudge Brownie Ben & Jerry’s and eat out of it with a spoon. Needless to say, we bought the pint at 2 a.m., shared a sparse amount (whatever I was willing to give up) with some friends, and finished the entire thing. Therefore, I can scientifically prove to you that eating stuff out of the jar is a comfort, easing some of the most difficult curveballs life throws our way.

My first instinct was to write about Nutella. But honestly, what am I going to tell you about Nutella that you don’t already know? Nutella and the young woman are inseparable. We rely on Nutella like we rely on tampons. To put it bluntly, they just soak everything up.

If you’re happy, you might celebrate with a thing of Nutella. If you’re high as hell sad, you’ll head right for the Nutella. But in reality, it isn’t the hazelnut that gives you a sense of satisfaction. It’s eating shit right out of the jar that does.

For being obsessed with being skinny, we seem to let all f**** go when a jar of something yummy comes our way. Ben & Jerry’s just isn’t the same in a cup or a cone or a bowl. It’s only great out of the tub. Bethenny Frankel says that “naturally thin” people never eat stuff out of the jar. You end up eating without thinking, eating too much, and getting fat, and dying alone. Or, god forbid, you might decrease the size of your thigh gap. We all know that a decreased thigh gap is only good for catching crumbs of food as they fall on the way to your mouth. So not worth it.

In honor of the food coma that Christmas instills in all people–if you aren’t eating a ham right now, then you’re definitely going ham on kosher Chinese food–it’s important to come to terms with the fact that we love eating shit out of the jar. I spend most of my weeknights on the floor on my room sticking my fingers in a jar of Justin’s almond butter with my best friend. We love getting dirty with some Nutella, ice cream, almond butter, and obviously peanut butter (the indulgent version of almond butter). Eating out of the jar, for most girls with ridiculous body image issues, is the closest you’ll ever get to going skydiving or something like that. Risky as hell. Living life on the edge. Not counting calories for a slim (or not so slim) second.

On a day like today when I’m having serious trouble coping with my own #fatgirlproblems, I’m going to give you shitty advice: eat out of the jar. But keeping “thin” in mind, maybe only have a few bites. Also, remember that committing to not eating out of the jar is, by association, committing to not taking swigs out of the bottle. Now that is a bond I’m not sure any of us are ready to break.

On The Selfie

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selfie of me with popcorn

selfie of me with popcorn

Oxford Dictionary named it 2013’s word of the year. I name it the word of the f****** century. It’s about time I covered the selfie–a bit of life that unintentionally has grown to define a generation.

If we are two things, it is communicative and narcissistic. Combine these concepts and the selfie is born. In 2006, Apple released the first MacBook installed with iSight. In 2010 the iPhone 4 came out with two cameras–one front facing–and a year later the iPad 2 was produced with the same camera model. In 2007, my mom decided she wanted to start taking what would eventually be given the name “selfies” with her Nikon digital camera (these were the days before DSLRs) and claimed that one day, she would publish a book of photos titled “At An Arm’s Length.” And now, as we near the end of 2013, the selfie has become a socially acceptable reason to make an odd face while staring longingly into your iPhone camera. Oh, onlookers think, it’s just a selfie.

selfie of feminism, power women, and all things great about life

selfie of feminism, power women, and all things great about life

We love the selfie so much that we decided to make it transportable. At one point, we were satisfied with opening an application on our laptops and having the ability to give ourselves a good “check out” in the middle of class or while trying to get shit done at Starbucks. But Photobooth wasn’t enough. We needed to look at ourselves on our tablets; on our phones. Suddenly, everything became a mirror with which we could capture moments of life we wanted to keep forever (or until your iPhone lays itself to rest).

Selfie etiquette is a whole other topic in itself, but I suppose I can squeeze in a quick summary… don’t mupload solo selfies–you aren’t Kendall Jenner. Make sure your albums are a solid and equal combination of selfie and regular pics. Make the selfie comical and cute. Emphasize the skinny arm. Document crucial events with the selfie.

Example: selfie of the time my friend vomited in the back of a cab and I sat shotgun because I didn't want to deal with it

Example: selfie of the time my friend vomited in the back of a cab and I sat shotgun because I didn’t want to deal with it

I love the selfie more than I love a good Free People sale. Does this make me obsessed with myself? I’m not sure. My mom says I think I’m a princess, which is half true, but I don’t know if I’d go far enough to say I’m obsessed with myself. I don’t know if I’d go far enough to say that all of the people who take selfies are obsessed with themselves, either. Samsung says that 30% of photos taken by people between the ages of 18 and 35 are selfies. 75% of “normal weight” women say they constantly think about their weight and appearance. So why do the statistics say we’re self-loving when it seems like we’re in an era of incredible self-loathing?

The link between body image issues and selfies exists but is almost as incomprehensible as the Bound 2 music video. I’d like to propose a new angle on selfies: maybe they’re a good thing. Maybe we should let ourselves soak in the good lighting and flattering effects that iOS 7 provides (bitches love chrome). Maybe getting a good look at ourselves in the mirror–making ourselves look Instagram-worthy or mupload material–could help to battle this self esteem. It may be a good thing to get a look at ourselves from the shoulders up. Maybe this post is heavily influenced by the intense food coma I’m suffering right now. Maybe the diet starts tomorrow. Maybe tonight I’ll take a really great selfie and feel better about myself.

Maybe we should just let the selfie be.

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