Thursday, March 28, 2013

On Surviving. Again.



I've talked about survival before. Clearly I have some sort of fixation with concept. I did name this blog City Girl Can Survive, after all.

It still fascinates me, though. How do people manage, time and time again, to survive something terrible?

I keep going back to grief. It is commonly said that everyone grieves differently--I believe this is true. But I also have to believe that once grief fades away, survival is what sets in. And surviving? That is something we all do differently as well.

Some of us pour our hearts out. Some make light of their hardship. Others pour their energy into their work. Some keep it all inside. Some become angry. And unfortunately, some self-destruct.

There's no right way to survive--just like there's no right way to grieve. But this is the fascinating part: no one ever teaches you how to survive. No one sits you down as a small child and explains that life won't always be fair.

No, no one does that. At least no one I've ever met. Our parents arm us with what they believe are the skills we need to survive life. But they cannot anticipate what lies ahead--and they will never truly know.

And really? Neither do you. You cannot prepare for everything; which pretty much means you cannot prepare for anything.

I remind myself of this over and over again. Because if anyone is bad at taking my advice, it's me.

I'm terrible at taking my advice because life, if you haven't noticed, is a very fluid thing. It expands and contracts and spins in all sorts of directions almost constantly. And the moment you think you have your act together, you don't.

Because no one does--even the ones who seem like they do. And that's just as frustrating as it is comforting.

Some days, knowing that something terrible is part of a greater plan pisses me off. Other times, it's incredibly comforting. Either way, it's never the same feeling.

What I know for sure is this: you shouldn't just try to survive, you should try to live. Every day. With meaning. Substance. And a hunger to survive everything thrown your way.

Monday, March 4, 2013

The 10 Commandments of Fashion

The 10 Commandments of Fashion

In the world of fashion, trends can change in a heartbeat. To help you avoid fashion faux pas that will leave you at the bottom of the style food chain, here are the 10 commandments you should follow:

1.  Avoid ill-fitting underclothes

It can be easy to think about the fit of your clothes when buying tops or jeans, but what about what you wear underneath? Always buy the correct size underwear to give your body the best shaped silhouette.

2.  Go for clothes that fit.

Clothes that are too big or too-small look terrible. Be careful while shopping, and don’t be afraid to ask the assistant for help. Remember that clingy material tends to show up bulges or layers of fat, so avoid these if you have problem areas you’d like to hide.

3. Match the material

If it’s a slim look you want, stay away from heavy materials like tweed and wool. Instead, we suggest you go for crepe or linen, etc.

4.  Go for a look that suits you

Your clothes should reflect your own personal style so don’t try and mimic someone else.

5.  Contrast the shapes and sizes.

If you’re wearing a tight top, don’t wear a tight pair of trousers but go for a looser pair.

6.  Add splashes of colour

Don’t be afraid to experiment with colours. Adding a dash of bright red or blue to a plainer outfit of black or white is sure to impress.

7. Don’t follow, lead

Fashion is about setting trends; not following them. Embrace your own unique style in everything from
new ladies dresses to jeans and tops; you never know, you might become the next big thing.

8. Accessorise

Your shoes and your bag are the first things that people will notice about you. Often a great outfit is ruined because of tacky shoes or a shabby bag so invest in good brands that match.

9.  Dress appropriately for the occasion

Don’t wear jeans to a formal function and similarly, don’t wear something overtly revealing to an office party. Always consider what sort of clothing everyone else will wear and dress appropriately to give the right impression.

10. Be confident

How you look can affect how you feel but ultimately confidence comes from within. Be proud of your sense of style and wear all outfits with a carefree and confident attitude – nothing looks better.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Marriage, Work & Ben Affleck

During his Oscars acceptance speech on Sunday, Ben Affleck said something very profound to his wife. This caused many people to freak out:

"I want to thank you for working on marriage for 10 Christmases. It’s good, it is work, but it’s the best kind of work, and there’s no one I’d rather work with."

In a world where 50% of marriages don't work out (and even fewer in Hollywood) the world seemingly read way, way too far into what he said. He didn't imply his marriage was on the rocks. He wasn't saying his relationship was suffering.

He was telling the truth.

And I'm glad he said it in such a profound way. Marriage IS work. So is every other meaningful relationship in your life. And if you think it isn't, you are sadly mistaken.

I don't talk about my marriage in a serious or personal manner for a few reasons:

1. You probably don't care

2. It's none of your business

3. It's disrespectful to my relationship

But talking about marriage as a scenario that involves work is a universal idea that applies to each of us. That is, if we plan on being married for an extended period of time.

You see, we all dream (or at least think) about getting married. We plan a wedding (which is a ton of work and incredibly stressful) and then take a relaxing honeymoon. Then what?

Well, you start your life. Maybe you think about having kids. Perhaps you move a few times. Get a new job. Lose a job. Go through something terrible. That's the way life works, right? You deal with it as best you can.

But it's easy to move your relationship to the back burner when dealing with life in general. Because you're busy. You are stressed. You have obligation after obligation that pulls you in so many directions that working on your relationship feels like something that you don't have time to do.

It seemingly doesn't matter, but it matters more than anything else you'll ever do. Because you chose to be with that person through everything life throws your way. And you have to figure out how to do it together.

You won't always agree. You probably will not get along sometimes. You'll clash over opposing personality traits and different upbringings. You will say or do things you'll likely regret later.

You do thos things because you are a human being. Marriage is about getting along most of the time. But more importantly, it's about being willing to understand your faults. Thinking about feelings and words and actions and throwing them in a pot with every other thing you deal with in your life.

But more than anything, it's about taking the time. Every time.

So I salute you, Ben Affleck. You are a smart, smart man.

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