Best H.S. Valentine’s EVER.

comment | February 15th, 2013

2 hearts

(A friend sent us this Valentine's from the head of the Santa Monica HS PTA to their students.  Best Valentine's ever.) Dear Santa Monica High School Students, We love you. But today, it's not enough that we love you; it's important to tell you that we love you and why we do. We love you because you're trying hard. Because you're all different. Because you're perfect the way you are. Because you're our future. We love you because you make us happy.And we love you because you make our community whole. It doesn't matter whether anyone outside our community doesn't love you, or wants to change you, wants you to be something you're not, or wants you to listen to what they say no matter how offensive or ignorant it is. In our community, you are welcome, you are accepted, your opinions count, your beliefs are sacred, and you can love whomever you choose. You're one of us, and we love you for that.Take this message from this love letter: we don't want you to change, but we want you to grow. Just the way you've been growing, in the same directions and with ...

The Fierce Urgency Of NOW

11 comments | January 18th, 2013

King and Son Walking Up House Steps

By Seth Matlins (We first posted this piece on Father's Day 2011.  In honor of MLK Day, we're reposting it now.)  A father walks down the path to his house with his son.  A simple and quiet moment captured, that stands in relatively stark contrast to the images of MLK we all know so well. Dr. King was a parent; sometimes we can forget that about him. A person and a parent who looked at the world and knew he needed to stand up and speak up for change, for justice, and for truth. For a lot of people.  For his children. And Dr. King didn't just have a dream, he had a timetable.  The changes he spoke for, dreamed of, and fought to create, needed to happen "now".  He didn't just urge us to end discrimination and economic injustice, he urged our embrace of "the fierce urgency" of the moment. As we look at this picture of Dr. King walking up the steps to his home with his baby boy, we're reminded that life changes quickly and sometimes irrevocably, sometimes ...

#chestismsRaise Your Effing Hand

11 comments | December 8th, 2012


This was submitted anonymously, as a comment to another reader's story about "Playing It Much Too Safe".  Here's how we got it:

I won't lie, this quote is a little harsh; but goddamnit, it's true. It's by an author named Christopher Gutierrez. He's amazing.

"you know that feeling when you're in class and you want to raise your hand to disagree, to add to the discussion? that nervous energy that prevents you from raising your hand and hearing your own voice? the one that makes your heart race? that nervous energy wins when you keep your hand safely on your desk and miss the opportunity to add your two cents. thats what failure feels like. thats the feeling of you giving up a little more of your life. thats when you throw away your votes. and unless you want to take your place in the list of billions of fakes, sheep and ****, the next time you have something to say, raise your f*cking hand." {end story}

Doesn't matter how long it's been since you've been in class, or a meeting, or at a dinner with family and friends, or riding on ...

#chestismsDefine happiness. What Do You Need to Be Happy?

19 comments | December 6th, 2012


Nope, there's no article, no story - just the question in the headline. Let's think about it...what do we (that means you too) need in our lives to be happy?  What do we WANT in our lives to be happy? Deep stuff, right?!  But what question could we ask ourselves where the answer could be more important, more essential, more fundamentally our happiest version of ourselves? Throw down, Chestists, throw down.

#chestismsJump, a Chestism

9 comments | December 4th, 2012











"It's when you make the decision to jump, that the net appears." (Julia Cameron, The Artist's Way)

We've about worn this chestism thread bare over the years.  You agree or disgaree with it?  Is it inspiring, cock-eyed and foolhardy optimism that's bound to get someone hurt, or...what do you think?  is there a decision you need to make (or not make) that feels like a jump?  Why not make it?

The Secret of Thankful

23 comments | November 20th, 2012


(by Mir) I don't know about all of you, but I'm spending a good part of this week getting ready to host Thanksgiving dinner. For me this entails a complicated process of meal planning, grocery shopping, pre-emptive experimentation and ahead-of-time cooking, more grocery shopping, house cleaning, freaking out about cooking, looking for the serving pieces I only use once a year, running to the grocery story for that last thing I need, and finally, the meal itself. Does that sound like I'm complaining? I'm not, not really. Because this year, I am absolutely at peace with all of it. We talk a good game, most of us, about being thankful. This month, in particular, with Thanksgiving coming up, I see many of my friends and family doing a "daily thankfulness" practice on Facebook or their blogs. The idea is that when you stop to be thankful, you are happier overall and more grateful for the good things. And that makes sense, I guess, though I worry that making it a "thing" makes it yet another exercise rather than a true spiritual practice. But I've done my fair share of this; said grace before a ...

The Strongest Woman

3 comments | November 14th, 2012


(by Theresa) Someone whose opinion I respect a great deal recently told me I am the strongest woman she knows. I wanted to tell her she was wrong. How could I be the strongest woman she knows? My mother was the strongest woman I have known, and she to my knowledge never had a panic attack. In fact, I don't think anyone in my immediate family has. I can remember the first time I had a panic attack. I was at a band rehearsal after school, struggling with one specific measure in the music. I was also in college credit courses and working at Wendy's, so I had a lot on my mind. When it came time for me to play the measure, I flubbed it badly and got a lot of what I perceived as negative attention. I ended up in tears, hyperventilating, and shaking so bad the section leader told me it was ok to go home. I felt like a failure and that added to my panic. How could I be considered strong? My mother never to my knowledge battled depression. My brothers seemed impervious to those demons. Sure my biological ...

#chestismsTime Is What We Make Of It.

2 comments | October 6th, 2012

annie dillard1

We pretty much love this.  Succinct and to the point.  Oh, and right too.  What do you think?  How are you spending your days, and what would you do differently - now that you've stopped to think about it????

Get Vulnerable

5 comments | September 13th, 2012

50s chestist

(by AKM, 17)

You need love. You get scared. You hide.

If that's true for you, congratulations! you are a member of the human race. My advice to you is simple but not easy...if you want love, you have to let people know you and you have to let yourself feel deeply. No one can love YOU if you're pretending to be someone else and you can't numb yourself to strong emotional experiences and still be able to receive heartfelt, warm, sweet love. Get honest with yourself. Get vulnerable with your true friends. Get loved on a soul level. {end story}

 You feel like you're doing what AKM says ~ or that you're able to start?

#lifestagesIn It Together

3 comments | September 6th, 2012


(by Abbie, 17)

i believe that everyone in the world is interconnected, so I think of each of you who are reading this as my sister. as part of your universal family, i feel it's my responsibility to each and every one of you to say that it' okay to not know. i've spent the past five years driving myself crazy trying to make sense of everything in my life but, the thing is, life doesn't always make sense.

That's okay. It doesn't have to be understood to be experienced. There is a reason for everything and I truly believe that. The misconception, for me, lay in feeling the overwhelming need to always know the reason. It got to the point that I was willing to settle for believing something other than the truth.

From trying to make sense of my physical and sexual abuse as a child to trying to make sense of my eating disorder and PTSD today, I think I've finally seen a little bit of truth. The truth, my truth and maybe yours as well, is that sometimes logic can be what we use to color ourselves and ...

#chestismsSummer Bucket-List

3 comments | August 27th, 2012


(by Jenna, 26)

I did it!  I finally got over myself long enough to get through my summer-bucket list.

There were 3 things (only 3!) I wanted to do that i thought would help me look back on this summer as a good one.  I challenged myself to do things that make me uncomfortable so that even if they didn't work out I would grow from the experience.

1. Ask out one guy I met during the summer.  I never ask guys out, but I did. I wanted to ask someone out who I didn't know, as a way of practicing spontaneity and seeing what would happen.  I asked R out (by text, of course) after a summer BBQ at a mutual friend's.  We only went out 3 times but I'm so glad I did it!

2. Not spend summer weekend's hiding my bigger-than-I-want-it-booty. My butt's big.  There it is.  I refused to stay away from the pool or the beach or wear things that I hid behind.  YES, I'd wrap a sarong or something on sometimes but I didn't let my body-anxiety and fears of what-will-they-say-will-they-think-I-am-ugly keep me from having fun.  Yoiu ...

#lifestagesRaising Our Girl Not To Have Low Self~Esteem

comment | August 3rd, 2012

ella f

(by seth/FMB)

Unconditional love’s a funny thing.

It can take your world and toss it upside down. And it can take your view of the world and shake it like a Maraca. It did mine.

The thing is, I never really felt the need to be a father, to have kids, to change a life and a partnership with my wife that was amazing and missing nothing.  I thought maybe we should just get another dog, but wasn’t able to convince her of that.  Then our daughter was born and BANG, everything changed.  She’s now 6 years old and along with her 5-year-old brother, she’s changed the way I look at the world, walk through the world and what I want from the world.  That’s not bad from someone who got out of diapers not all that long ago.

It took us 8 years to have a baby, which was plenty of time for our gestation as parents – even for someone like me who needs remedial help in most other parts of life.  Along the way, we had plenty of time to define what it is we wanted to do and ...


8 comments | August 3rd, 2012

exploding flowers

(story submitted by E, a 32 yo Chestist)

Oh, hello:

I had my first orgasm ever last night!  I'm 32!  I was alone!  I may never leave the house again!  {end story}

Is it easier for you to orgasm with or without a partner (if at all)? P.S. yay for E.

#bodiesNudity: The Great Equalizer

9 comments | July 27th, 2012

misery loves company

(by @Laurenne from

A man crossed the street in front of my car yesterday. Since I was hiding behind my windshield, I had a rare opportunity to stare at him without the possibility of awkward accidental eye contact. He had what some call a FUPA, or Fat Upper Pussy/Penis Area.  It was as if he had a monster truck tire strapped into his underwear, and he had to hobble across the street with a cane in order to carry all that extra weight. I stared without shame and followed his body from the very bottom of his ankles up. And at the top, I saw his face (Obviously. If his face weren’t there, I would have screamed). His huge bottom lip sagged down as if it were pulled by the extra weight of his FUPA. His mouth hung open, surely sloshing fellow pedestrians with uncontrollable drool.

I wanted to run out of my car and talk to this man. I wanted to know what it’s like to grow up with such a FUPA and such an uncontrollable ...

Life Can Be Funny

5 comments | July 12th, 2012

chestist blue

(by J., a Chestist)

Life can be funny.  Then it can be full of greatness and then sadness and then bordeom and then exhaustion.  Then either way it can turn around and surprise you in so many ways. 

The thing I've learned about life is you never know what's coming next and all you can do is get ready for it.  This probably sounds like one of those bad posters you'd buy at an airport, with people parachuting out of a plane with something like "Teamwork" written across it.  I'm okay with that.  {end story}

What's the one thing you've learned ~ or maybe haven't yet ~ about life?