#chestismsThe Department of Redundancy Department

10 comments | January 15th, 2013

cloudy talk burst

(by Mir) I have something of a reputation when it comes to words. What, that I always know just what to say? That I'm prolific and insightful? Nope. It's more like... there's nothing that can be said in 15 words that I can't turn into a 1,000-word block of text. I'm loquacious. Verbose. Not prone to self-editing. Pick your adjective or descriptive phrase; basically, I like to Make With Many Words, and---as a person who also Has Many Feelings---I often have more than the strictly-necessary number of words to share on any given topic, because this is how I not only express myself, it's often how I process things. (Do not get me started on that whole thing about learning that different people process in different ways. When I'm processing, I'm talking or writing. When my husband is processing, stuff is happening inside his head where no one can see it. I think that's weird, but apparently it's normal. Whatever.) In my younger days, there was no topic about which I didn't natter on endlessly, if it held some sort of interest for me. So if, say, you liked pie and ...

Love & SexMy BF’s Porn

22 comments | August 12th, 2012


(by Katie, a 25yo Chestist)

There's so much about this story sent us by one of you we think is important, let's just let her do the talking:

I don't know if I'm upset right now. Or even if I should be.

I hopped on the BF's laptop to check email this morning (his was on and I was lazy enough to not want to turn mine on) and saw he had some... ahem... visual aids... up in the tabs. Now, we have frequently used porn of various kinds as foreplay ("Do you like this? Why? Why not?") so me checking out what was selected has positive precedent with us.

But these were all "Barely Legal!" and "All Horny Teens!" sites... Not the usual variety pack of mid/latetwenties, obviously adult bodies. Im willing to enjoy the blanket assumption that all of these girls are fully legal and do this to support their own, noncoerced sexuality, but all I can see is the girls in the teen Girl Scout troop I volunteered with last year. I texted him to ask about it (nicely, I swear) and he called not ...

#thecumulativeeffect1 Reason We Shouldn’t Compare

14 comments | July 18th, 2012

compared to what

(OOC via CNN)

Keeping up with the Joneses has been part of the American way since at least the 50s.  We compare oursleves to what they havem he, has, she has almost incessantly and certainly inextricably.  There was less to compare ourselves to, fewer data points and inputs and our social circles were limited to who we knew in the physical world, pre facebook et al.  But now, oh girl.  from the CNN report:

"Because of social networks, though, the field of competition has expanded dramatically. Now you're competing with the best pictures and the ebullient status updates of every girl you know. 'It's as if somewhere along the line, Facebook became the encyclopedia of beauty and status and comparisons.'"

If we've got a minute to spare we might just check out what's up on FB (or tw, or whatever).  And BANG BOOM ZIP, all of a sudden we're confronted with what she did, he did, she has, the party we missed and weren't invited to, the dinner that those guys had together, the fun, the laughter, the the the the...everything we weren;t ...

Happy MakingCultivating Happyness?

6 comments | July 17th, 2012


(OOC via Psychology Today)

Like Juliet calling for Romeo, if you're like us, there are times when you find yourself wondering wherefore art thou, oh ever increasing happiness? 

According to this article, part of our challenge may be that we define happiness as a result or conequence of something else that needs to happen first.  So, as they ask in the original, which comes first for you: happiness or success?  From the original:

"My guess is that you have already answered that question several times today. You answer it every time your brain says, "I'll be happy when I find a job." "I'll be happy when I get a promotion." "I'll be happy when my dissertation is finished."

The formula is clear: work harder, then you'll be successful, then you'll be happier....'I'm working my butt off now so I can be happy when...[fill in the blank with a six figure banking job, make a scientific breakthrough, get into medical school, etc.].'

Well, if that's the bad news, the Psychology Today story also serves up a fresh plate of the good's all ...

#chestismsRaindrops on Roses and Whiskers on Kittens

44 comments | July 2nd, 2012


(story by Mir, form Woulda Coulda There's any number of perky aphorisms and directives designed to help you turn that frown upside-down. Don't worry, be happy! Choose joy! Do what you love and everything else will follow! Make a vision board! Develop an attitude of gratitude! None of these sorts of things is necessarily wrong or bad. Sometimes they're even helpful. But the flip side of a society that encourages mindfulness and self-actualization is that it tends to be very unforgiving when someone won't---or simply can't---pull themselves out of a hole. And depression is one heck of a deep hole. Never did I feel more self-loathing than when I was a deeply depressed teen, and my inability to "shake it off" felt like yet another personal shortcoming on top of everything else. Granted, I was a teen a long time ago, but even in today's society (which embraces both psychopharmacology and therapy to a much greater degree than the world I grew up in) there seems to persist a notion of personal control, and some sort of weakness if you can't exercise ...

#chestismsHappier, Later. A Chestism.

12 comments | June 27th, 2012


(submitted anonymously, by a Chestist)

One of you wrote us with this.  It's so simple, true and important to remember:

Sometimes you have to do something that hurts now to be happy later. {end story}  

When have you had to do something that hurt now to be happier later?  Remember, if you share your story you can help change hers.

Love & SexLow Self-Esteem, No More.

7 comments | May 13th, 2012

Chestist Shares

(story submitted by Alicia, a 21 yo Chestist, on OOC rewind )

What we love about this is that it's 1 of you talking to and sharing with all of us. Nice, right?  Here's her story:

I've always been a person with low self-esteem and used to think nobody could love me with all my flaws and my negative view of life.

But now I've learned the lesson: you don't have to be perfect to love and be loved back.

I understand life is unique, and I'm the best me. There's no other you in the world, so play your best role. Now I'm with a boy that loves me for who I am and understands beauty is something relative. He thinks I'm beautiful and that I'll always be.

I hope this helps you. {end story}

We love this, and like Alicia, we hope it helps too.  And again, we also want to throw some love to Alicia for writing and caring enough about others to share what she's learned and learning.  That's cool.


Love & SexI Had Sex With Your Cousin.

5 comments | April 16th, 2012

Chestist typewriter 2

(story submitted by RES, a 19 yo Chestist)

Sometimes our past can intrude on our present.  Here's her story:

The guy I've been dating wants to make it official and is getting upset that I keep putting my decision off. I really do want to be with him because he's great, but before I ever knew he existed on the planet I slept with his cousin (two night stand, two years ago)...I don't want to bring it up, but I also do want him to just magically find out 2nd hand. I don't know what to do. {end story}

Here at OOC HQ, we don't think RES has anything to be uncomfortable with, and that she should say something because a lie of omission is a lie nonetheless.  But some people react strangely to things like who else we've slept with.  What do you think she should do?

#chestismsWhen Things Don’t Go The Right Way

8 comments | April 7th, 2012

chestist threads

(story submitted anonymously, by a Chestist)

There's something so sweet, simple and inspring about this reader's advice to all of us.  Here's what she wrote:

You can take as many quizzes as you want or go to as many fortune tellers as you please but life isn't as easy as 1-2-3. You never know what's going to happen, no matter how much you wish you would.

You never can predict what will happen in life. Don't be so hard on yourself when things don't go the right way for you. And as much as it is hard to, you have to believe. I know how corny it sounds and how ridiculous it is. But it's the truth. Insecurity is just a way to doubt yourself. Don't doubt.  (end story}

Don't doubt.  Such simple advice, sometimes so hard to do.  You doubt yourself much?  When?  Why?  What's it going to take for you to stop?  Go on and do as she says...believe in you. 



12 comments | March 29th, 2012

Get Busy Living

(story by 'A Mountain Momma', a Chestist; originally 4.25.11)

I have things I need to do. Supposed to do. Have to do. They are not done. I think about them constantly, but I do not do them. And I feel guilty about it. All. The. Time

I thought if perhaps I unloaded here and made a list it might prompt me into doing these things, these chores, these monkeys on my back.

I am going to print out this list and put it on my fridge and check them off as I do them. Let's hope it works and this list does not instead start mocking me instead of helping me.

Here goes:

1. I need to change my name. It has been 2.5 years, really get on it Girl!

2. I need to change my oldest daughter's name. **See above.

3. I have to call the cable company and bitch at them about our bill. I just need 3 hours to set aside to be on hold is all.

4. I have a laundry basket, dryer, and washing machine upstairs full of laundry in various stages. Calling my name.

5. I need to ...

#chestismsDespair Ain’t Got Nothing on Me

4 comments | March 19th, 2012

Chestist Shares

(story submitted anonymously, by a 22 yo Chestist)

You know that expression about every journey begins with a single step?  Sounds like she's quite a few into her's and she has some advice to share:

I've spent a lot of time over the past few years punishing myself for not being good enough in each and every way. I've been feeling so low for a very long time.

But by making an effort to understand myself, I've come to accept the experiences of my past and look to the future. I felt like i'd failed at life.  Despite only being 22, the future looked bleak, and there was a voice inside my head telling me that I wasn't good enough or capable enough to do the things I wanted. Then there was the guilt that came with it, because I also didn't feel I deserved to feel this way, I was healthy, had friends and freedom.  I only now am starting to feel like I'm no longer beating myself up. I came to a realization the other day and thought here would be a good place ...

Love & SexFalling In Love

15 comments | March 16th, 2012

cloudy talk burst

(story submitted anonymously, by a Chestist, an OOC repeat)

Falling in love is the most easy and most amazing feeling in the world.

Falling out of love is the hardest and most painful.

What is love though? You can't see it, you can't touch it or smell it or hear it or any other senses. You can only feel it. Bond with it. Understand it. But to fall correctly and to fall greatly are two completely different things. But only when you fall utterly and irreplacably in love is when you have it right. But how do you know? You don't. There is no signs that say I'm the one. No messages in a bottle showing up at your doorstep giving you the secret to love, life, and laughter.

With that said, I have always had difficulty telling the difference between crushes and love. I always thought falling in and out of love was the hardest experience that affection and attraction gives to you. I was wrong. The absolute worst is when you're completely unsure. When you fall head over heels for someone only to realize you may also ...

#bodiesNo Such Thing As Balance

8 comments | March 14th, 2012

ying yang

(story by OOC via, first posted 8.29.11 and again now))

We bumped into this on our travels around the interwebs, really loved it, and thought you would too.  Here you go:

"I interviewed  a researcher about attaining a work-life balance. Her first words to me were: There’s no such thing as balance.

And trying to reach a so-called balance is akin to reaching perfection. In other words, it’s not going to happen, and we’re going to drive ourselves insane along the way..."

No here's where the article get's really interesting and provocative (to us, anyway).  The author, a body image blogger, begins to explore balance in the context of body image.  We dig her take...a lot.  Here she goes:

But when people say balance, I think what they typically mean is a happy medium or not residing on either side of the spectrum. At least that’s the way I view balance.  With body image, I see a deeply negative body image at one end of the spectrum – where you hate your body, ignore its signals and rarely look after it – and an unrealistically positive ...

It’s Only Hair…Right?

89 comments | March 13th, 2012

chestist soup

(story by Mir, from WouldaShouldaCoulda)

No one is ever going to accuse me of being easy-going; my teenager's favorite thing to say to me, these days, is "Geez, Mom, CHILLAX." (I am, I suspect, the only person with whom she uses that word, and the humor is partially because of that, of course.) I can be a bit persnickety, yes. A little high-strung at times, sure. I have strong opinions on many things. I'm okay with this.

One of the issues on which I cannot be bothered to feel strongly, however, is hair. Hair grows. No hair decision is irreversible; even if you're terribly unhappy with your choice, eventually you can do something else. It's just... not that big of a deal.

To me, this makes sense. To some folks who know me, though, I guess it was a little surprising when I let my young son grow his hair long. Or when I let my daughter dye a streak in hers. But to me, it was a easy way to let the kids have a bit ...

#lifestagesISO: Housemate and Advice

1 response | December 29th, 2011

chestist sad

(story submitted by Sara, a 20 yo Chestist)

Have you ever been hesitant to do the right thing - because you think it's the wrong thing for you?  She ias and here's her story:

My friends and I are looking for an extra housemate for next year. A girl we all know has asked if she can live with us. We have always been good friends, but she has taken this year out to have therapy. She had depression and has a personality disorder. She says she is doing much better, and is taking medication etc, but I am cautious about living with her.

I really want to help her out, I'm just wondering whether it is a good idea. We all like her a lot, so it may well be better than if we had to live with a stranger, but if it turns out that coming back to study is too much for her, I don't want to have to deal with it too much. I have also suffered from stress and anxiety related problems, although not to the same extent, and I know ...