#bodiesI Am

14 comments | March 8th, 2012

chestist threads

(story submitted anonymously, by a Chestist; posted originally in May and again now)

When we saw this from one of you, we smiled. BIG.  Here's her short (just 9 words) and wonderful story:

I love my body, just the way I am. [end of story.]

Her feeling good made us feel good.  So let's talk about feeling good.  Name one part of you (or as many as you want) that you LOVE (or like) just the way it is.  Could be a body part or your generosity, creativity, or fashion flair.  Whatever.  Us, we hope it's the whole of you, because we think you're awfully swell.  XO

#lifestagesNot Everyone With Depression Is a Quiet Kid

4 comments | March 1st, 2012

black explosion chestist

(story submitted anonymously, by a Chestist)

No matter how open-minded and conscious we may be, we can all fall back to judging books by their covers and people by what we see sometimes.  But, we're reminded by this story that never know anyone's real story until they share it. She shares hers here:

When you can convince people you are shallow, no one bothers jumping in.

When the surface is shiny, no one looks beyond.

Sometimes it's the ditzy sugar-coated valley girls who are deeply unhappy. Not everyone with depression is a quiet kid who wears all black. Sometimes the best way to go unnoticed is to wear hot pink and contrary to popular belief, guys look at you less if you show some cleavage (no one's ever gonna look you in the eyes if you're givin em a free show). I hide behind popularity. I am not who I present myself to be. I'm not confident. I'm not vapid. I'm not stupid. I'm not happy. I'm not even a real blonde. I'm just a girl who's had way too much practice lying. I had to hide the bruises ...

#lifestagesA Thank You Note

8 comments | February 16th, 2012


(story submitted anonymously, by a Chestist)

From one of you to some of the rest of you, a thank you note.  Here you go:

To those of you who are in recovery from addiction of any kind: Every day that you choose to lead a healthy life, you inspire someone. Thank you for showing all of us who are still living in sickness that there is hope. I love you all and am very grateful to you for being who you are. {end story}

Gratitude is a key to being a happier you.  Who are you gratfeul for?  Share it here; you might just feel better for saying it.  

Happy HatingA Survivor’s Story; In Progress

4 comments | January 23rd, 2012

chestist black scratch

(story submitted by Bee, a 22 yo Chestist)

When we explain Off Our Chests to people, we've said there are few issues germane to the experience of having been a girl or being a woman that we haven't had addressed, here, in our little more than a year online.  Then we get a story like this from one of you, and realize how sheltered our view of "experience" can sometimes be.   

Rape.  Assault.  Abuse.  Surviving.  We're not sure which is (are) her curcumstance, but this is her story:

Sometimes I feel like Tom Hanks at the end of 'Cast Away'. Everyone is flying around me and going about their lives not really remembering to integrate me. And in fact, sometimes they're awkwardly tip toe-ing around me.

And then making me feel like an idiot when I find enough strength in myself to tell them that rape jokes aren't funny. They think I'm socially overbearing and too sensitive. But then remember what happened and give me this awkward face like they want to run away and feel sorry for me at the same time.

But, unlike Tom Hanks ...

#chestismsIf You’re a Mom, or Might 1 Day Be

3 comments | January 16th, 2012


A bunch of you flipped this to us (thank you).  From the's about raising a child confidently in the absence of knowing what to do situationally.  Some stories just need to be read, not introduced so here you go:

#chestismsTom Ford, a Chestism

3 comments | January 7th, 2012

older men

We'll admit it unhesitatingly; we're crushing on Tom Ford big time.  Someone flipped us the documentary OWN (that's Oprah's network in case you were wondering) did and it's amazeballs.  In it Tom says this:

A few times in my life I've had moments of clarity; where the silence drowns out the noise and I can feel rather than think.

We thought it was so simple - yet so elegant and say nothing of an acknowledgment of how hard it can be for all of us to feel...truly feel and just BE...rather than think.  But enough about Tom...let's talk about you. Can you remember moments of real clarity in your own life (you like how we worked "own" back into it)?  What did it FEEL like?  Where did it lead you?  Let's #discuss.

#chestismsI’m Normal

2 comments | January 6th, 2012

chestist soup

(story submitted anonymously, by a Chestist)

Oh how we love this story sent in by one of you, let us count the ways:

What if they find out I'm worried about what they think about me? What? Seriously, tha's about as anxious as you can get - worried that they'll know I'm worried. It is twisted.

That's what's been going on in my head lately. Here's the deal. I have been working really hard the past 2.25 years or so, at cleaning up my life. After a decade of living like the long lost member of Motley Crue (circa 1985-1989ish), I kicked the booze, cigs, bad food, naughty friends, and replaced them with water, chewing gum, healthy food, and well, nobody. I'm OK though. I have a couple girls at work that I'm close with, great parents, and a couple of awkward online dating dates here and there. That's enough for now. What I am struggling with, however, is trying not to make this recovery turn into the never ending quest for perfection.

Right now, I'm in the so-proud-that-I've-got-things-together-don't-ever-let-anyone-know-I'm-still-human mode. Somewhere along the line, in my life cleaning, I ...

#bodiesMust Watch Video

5 comments | January 3rd, 2012

FLY post

This was sent to us by one of you...and it's just such an inspiring bit of self-acceptance and self-love we wanted to share it.  And then be it.  Just click on the link.  Totally, totally uplifting.  I Am Who I Am

#chestismsWhat Movies Inspired You?

7 comments | January 2nd, 2012


First, we owe a big apology to whomever the original source of these specific quotes was, because when we first clipped it (months ago), we clipped carelessly and left out the original url.  We know, not cool. But whomever they are, they did such a nice job pulling a handful of inspirational lines and thoughts from the archives of film, that we hope they won't mind if we share them here even without proper attribution.  If it was you, please forgive us - and please let us know and we'll modify right away. Everything that follows, until our questions, is from the original piece:

"You get what you settle for." This inspirational quote was in the film "Thelma and Louise", starring Susan Sarandon. It's a pretty straight forward quote, with a lot of meaning behind it. What you get out of life is what you try for. If you settle for less, you will get less.

"Do or do not. There is no try." This quote comes from "The Empire Strikes Back", and the famous Yoda recites this inspirational message. ...

#chestismsAdele Has Insecurities…

2 comments | December 31st, 2011


...which makes her oh-so-human, no?  Maybe even super-human for speaking them outloud (you know how we feel about that here.)

In this little sinppet found somewhere in our travels across the interwebs, she says this about the pressures to be perfect while living in the public eye:

“I’ve seen people where it rules their lives, who want to be thinner or have bigger boobs, and how it wears them down. And I don’t want that in my life. I have insecurities, of course, but I don’t hang out with anyone who points them out to me.”

What do you say, let's do like Adele does and inthe new year, resolve to spend time only with those who build us up, and don't tear us down.  That means ourselves too, of course.  'Tis human to be insecure.  'Tis self-defeating and punishing to to spend undo time with those who make us feel worse not better. 

Happy 012, Chestists. 

#lifestagesSurvivor’s Pride

10 comments | December 5th, 2011

chestist blue

(story submitted by Matsu, a Chestist)

Her story is equal parts horrifying and inspiring.  It begins here:

I used to joke that getting married was something my mother would do for fun on weekends. 

She was a child of the 70's, whose own mother ran with greaser boys and regularly flipped off social norms and had a joyfully combative relationship with her husband. Maybe un-choosing that for herself, my mom decided that she wanted a 1950's marriage in the 1980's, and ended up in a series of marriages and years-long relationship searching for one that fit her ideal.

It was her lifelong dream: to have a husband she could rely on and children she could care for, a stable family in a stable home. But the longer she went without finding it, the more she relaxed her standards.  After her second divorce, she was a lonely and vulnerable single mother of a preteen daughter who, she thought, needed a father at a crucial time in her life.

So she found one.

Her third husband was abusive, but intelligent and trained to read the reactions of others. Like most abusers, he ...

#chestismsBuddha, a Chestism

10 comments | November 24th, 2011


We first posted this Chestism in August.  As we go into the Thanskgiving holiday, we're reposting some of our OOC Faves, some of the thoughts we're thankful for having been able to share, and this is one of them. Happy, happy, you guys.  XO, OOC








"Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment."


Buddha has wisdom and game.  Presence is hard.  For us any way.  We also consider it one of the most important parts of living fully and happily, and not spending untold amounts of time on worry and wonder.  But that's just us.


What about you?  You as present as you want to be?  When you find yourself less than present, what brings you back to the moment?  Any tips on presence and NOW you care to share with the crowd?   

#bodiesI Cut Myself

4 comments | November 17th, 2011

black explosion chestist

(story submitted anonymnously, by a Chestist)

We're guessing this was sent to us by you, one of our younger Chestists.  We're old enough here 2OOC HQ, that we don't recll cutting being anything anyone we knew gorwing up did.  Now it seems almost epidemic...whether it's physical cutting or emotional cutting.  Here's a story from one of you:

Every morning, i wake up feeling terrified.

I get scared.

I get worried something bad is going to happen.

I  feel invisible, and a waste of space. I guess i have gotten to an age where you start realizing things.

I cut myself, hoping that i will get attention. Obviously, not. After a counselor called from the school, i was a bit overwhelmed and worried that this was it. My mom was going to find out, and i was going to die.

On the bright side, i talked to a psychiatrist. Then from there, they told me that i needed extra help, so my mom took me to see a therapist.

I'm actually very thankful for all the support i have been getting. Although this is killing me inside, i know that this ...

Happy MakingProfessional Difficulties, Overcome.

7 comments | November 8th, 2011


(story submitted by Goshawk, a 25 yo Chestist)

Work can sometimes be, well, work.  Whether it's office politics, finding the time to be great at what you do and still have a life, or dealing with career  challenges, it ain't always a bowl of cherries in and around the office.  Here's one reader's story:

I just worked through a really difficult time professionally - I failed a professional test. In my line of work, you only get to do that once before you're standing in front of a review board deciding if you're worth keeping.

As you can imagine, the upcoming training and re-test ate my life, and every day I seemed to have less and less confidence in my abilities. It was awful. I doubted my work ethic, my competence, my capabilities. I cried myself to sleep - I love this job and I can't think of anything I'd rather do with my life. The idea of failure was crushing, yet every day felt like it brought me closer to that finish.

But when it came to the re-test, as soon as I sat down to begin...I ...

#chestismsThe Dalai Lama, a Chestism

9 comments | March 1st, 2011


"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions." 


What action can you take right now?  Right now?  Big or small, we bet there's something.  Come on, declare it and then make it so.  X