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Love & SexToo Soon To Marry?

6 comments | March 15th, 2012

kiss

(story submitted by Kristina, a Chestist)

Sometimes we get what we think we've always wanted only to find out maybe it's not what we want now.  Here's her story:

I'm engaged to a loving, wonderful man. But I find myself thinking about a friend of mine an awful lot. 

I wonder if I'm not in love with my fiance..or if it's my insecurity about myself. Am I really marrying someone I don't love....or do I just want to make sure I could get someone else if I wanted? He was my first boyfriend. Maybe I feel like he's the only one I could get, because I don't think I'm beautiful. He could have anyone...but I don't feel very chosen...and my friend makes me feel like a rare jewel.

I don't know. I'm still young and maybe I'm just not ready to submit myself to the will of another yet.  I've barely touched freedom to my lips and I'm giving it up before I even take a bite? {end story}

While we're pretty sure "submitting to the will of another" ought not be part of any marriage, we ...

Happy MakingWant to Live Longer?

5 comments | March 15th, 2012

happiness

(story by OOC, via CBSNews, on OOC repeat)

The key to your life's longevity just may be your happiness according to research from the U.K.  Talk about a marriage of qaulity and quantity, according to the study published here (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences),  "those who reported feeling happiest had a 35 percent reduced risk of death compared with those who reported feeling least happy."

And 35% ain't nothing.

The researchers came to their conclusions, which they shared with CBS This Morning, by tracking participants 52 to 79 years old for 5 years, finding that those who'd been the most positive on the first day of the study also were the least likely to die over the five year period, and those who were most "negative" were more likely to die.

If not for nothing, the lead researcher shared her conviction that "happiness makes a profound difference on overall health...(and that) literally, being happy saved their lives."

Well, the happy story has a hiccup we explore a lot here @OOC...what exactly are the keys to happiness?  While no easy answers come from this research, they did point to things like ...

#bodiesNo Such Thing As Balance

8 comments | March 14th, 2012

ying yang

(story by OOC via psychcentral.com, 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 ...

Love & SexScared to Leave

16 comments | March 13th, 2012

chestist sad

(story submitted anonymously, by a 22 year-old Chestist)

We couldn't help but think of that Jack Nicholson line "you can't handle the truth."  Sometimes the truth is hard to handle.  Here's hers:

My story: I think my relationship is over and I'm too scared to leave. [end story.]

12 words, and a whole big story.  Ever been in her shoes, Chestists?  Knowing or at least being pretty sure something's over...a relationship, a friendship, a job...but being too scared to leave because of what may or may not be on the other side?  What was it?  What'd you do?  Sounds like sister could use some advice, so please, share...

Love & SexWhy Can’t Women Sleep Around?

51 comments | March 13th, 2012

chestist blue

(story submitted by KSE, a Chestist)

This writer's wondering why her BF has a problem with the number of guys she's been with.  Here's her story:

I've been with a lot of guys.  Not hundreds but a lot.  I like sex and I like men and I like having sex with men.  I've been with my boyfriend for 3 years.  He hasn't slept with that many women and I think it freaks him out that I've had so much more sex and so many more partners than he has.  Isn't that so sexist of him?  His being all freaked out about my past make me wonder if we can have a future. If the situations were reversed, and he'd had slept with a lot more people than me, he wouldn't think twice and wouldn't expect me to either.  It's 2012.  Why can't women sleep around and have it be as much of a no-biggie as when guys do? 

We agree @OOC HQ agree...there's still this cultural double standard about women and sex that doesn't exist for men.  You agree or disagree?  Why do you think the double ...

#lifestagesWhy Not Happier

4 comments | March 12th, 2012

chestist swirl2

(story submitted anonymously, by a 26 yo Chestist)

When I take the time to look at my life in an objective and considered way, I know I have most everything anyone could want.  I have a boy I love and who loves me, a job that pays me well and keeps me interested, family and friends that support me without indulging me.

If everything's so good why do I feel so bad?  Why am I not happier?  {end story}

Sometimes there can be a big disconnect between what we have and how we feel about it.  Is there in your world?  When you stop and look at what you have - and maybe even what you don't yet - how's it make you feel?  What's great?  What's missing?  Let's #discuss.

#bodiesEVERY TIME!?! (Rated R)

21 comments | March 9th, 2012

WTF Burst

(submitted anonymously by a Chestist.  Posted 5.20.11 and again now)

This reader is getting if off her chest, though it sounds like that  may be the only place she's getting it off.  Her (very short) story is rated R.  We have a feeling she's not alone.  Is she?

"Do I have to show him where my clit is EVERY TIME??? " [end of story.]

What frustrates you in bed (or on the floor or...)  if he (or she) doesn't get where you want them to go, are you comfortable speaking your truth and showing them the way?

Remember, you can always comment anonymously.

 

#lifestagesNot Getting Any Better

8 comments | March 8th, 2012

chestist sad

(story submitted anonymously, by a Chestist)

This story's heartbreaking.  The writer's best friend has been in and out of hospitals because she's been self-harming and is suicidal.  And as most of us can probably relate, when someone we love is hurting - we can feel the pain and hurt as if it were ours.  And sometimes it is. This is but a small part of her story:   I feel worse everyday, I hate waking up only to discover my dreams are better than reality- my crush is there, my friend is happy, and if my dreams are what Heaven's like, then God just let me die. I love my best friend, and it's literally KILLING me that she wants to kill herself.... and I have the feeling she's really NOT getting better. {end story}.

What words can you offer, what experiences or stories can you share that might help?  Have you ever loved someone - whether a friend, a parent, a child, a grandparent, a sibling - who is struggling as this writer's friend is?  Did you feel it as acutely as she does?  How'd you ...

#thecumulativeeffectGiving Away Our Self Esteem

11 comments | March 7th, 2012

Chestist typewriter 2

(story submitted by Sueann, a Chestist)

Do advertising and the images you see in popular culture affect how you feel about how you look?  Sueanne worries you might.  Here's her story:

I just saw a segment on a morning show about the new Levis ad campaign "women come in all shapes and sizes".

I constantly hear psychologists, doctors, sociologists, etc commenting on how the media affects our self esteem and how we start as young girls to look at advertising images as how we should be.  I want to remind EVERYONE that it is an industry that cares about making money NOT shaping your developing mind!!!!  Don't look to the pages of a fashion magazine for role models!  Look instead at the people in your world who love and care about you. 

Look to our teachers, health care providers, social workers, and the all the people in your lives who make a difference.  The change can start right now with each one of us.  Don't comment on someone's acne, weight gain, or wrinkles. Have an open mind and an open heart to the kindness and wisdom that ...

#thecumulativeeffectSmile When Happy

5 comments | March 5th, 2012

chestist swirl2

(story submitted anonymously, by a Chestist)

We pretty much love this, sent in by one of you. Here's what she's thinking about "hi, how are you?"

Sometimes I think politeness has ruined honesty.

It's expected that you ask someone how they're doing whether or not you care and that they say "fine, thanks" whether or not they are. It doesn't mean much when someone says "have a nice day," because in the service world, it's basically a verbal twitch. Also, not to hate on one of my all time favorite things, but smiling (not the real ones) is getting a little out of hand. I think all this fake-happy, fake-fine, fake-consideration is making people feel lonely and get in the practice of lying to people.

I think that if we were all honest and just stopped using ridiculous words like "fine" altogether, smiled when happy, and asked questions when curious, we'd all feel a lot more at home in the world.  

You find yourself hiding yourself behind false platitudes and politeness?  Is it hiding or is it just being part of society?  Do you think we'd (you'd) feel ...

#lifestagesI Don’t Want To Have Babies

17 comments | March 3rd, 2012

chestist enthralled

(submitted by Angela, a Chestist.  Originally posted 5.18.11, and again now)

I'm a 35 year old female, married to a wonderful man, educated, working at a good job, but I have a confession to make.  This confession has taken me several years to actually realize.  Here it is...ready? (You may think you are, but I don't know!)

Okay...I don't really want to have babies!

There, I said it.  Do I still get to keep my Woman Card?  I feel like I’ll be booted out of the club for daring such a thought, the lone woman out in a world obsessed with fertility.

What I do know is that my hubby and I have been trying to get pregnant for about 5 years now - our progress is one ectopic pregnancy and...well, that's it!  He and I both have some fertility issues, meaning our reproductive organs aren't exactly working in rabbit-like fashion.  Okay, so no big deal, right?  Take some fertility drugs, try a couple (or more) of In-Vitro fertilizations, and just pop some out!  Or adopt a bunch, there are kids everywhere who don't have families!  Or get your mom ...

Love & SexSexually Confused.

14 comments | March 3rd, 2012

Chestist typewriter 2

(submitted anonymously, by a Chestist.  Oringinally 5.11.11 and again now)

Have you ever wondered about your own sexuality?  She's wondering about hers and shares this:

"I am struggling with my sexual orientation.  I don't know what I am. I think I may be bi, since I had a pretty strong crush on my college roommate for several years.  I've only been in one relationship, and that was with my ex-boyfriend, who is still a good friend of mine.  We're just not right for each other. 

Things are even more complicated because I'm a Christian, and I'm not sure what to believe about whether it's ok to be with the same sex...although my heart tells me there's nothing wrong with it, I'm afraid of going against God.  I have always been in the minority...I'm different in a lot of ways from the main crowd in my beliefs, so I just don't know who to trust.  I'm trying to let God speak to me, but all I hear ...

#lifestagesNot Enough Keggers?

4 comments | March 2nd, 2012

Sketch 2011-01-27 12_15_17

(submitted by OOC)

According to this NYT article 39% of college women reported feeling overwhelmed versus only 18% of men.  Yup, 2x as many women.  Why?

It hasn't been all that long since some of us here at OOC were in college, and while there were certainly pressures in those years, we'd have had a hard time believing that nearly 40% our peers were feeling 'overwhelmed.'  What gives?  Is it really the economy hating on our happy?  Or is it bigger than that?  Let's #discuss.

#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 ...

#bodiesMy Little Sister’s Body

24 comments | February 29th, 2012

chestist swirl

(story submitted by Emily, a Chestist.  Originally on 6.6.11 and again today)

It can be really hard to admit that you're competitive with a sibling - especially when they're the younger one.  OOC reader Emily gets her Chestism on here and now:

A great deal of my body worries, at age 21, don't come from Hollywood stars or even that classmate who does part-time modeling. Because I know that I'm this way naturally, genetically. But the story doesn't end there.

I'm ashamed to admit that a great deal of my insecurity about my body comes from my 16-year-old sister. Why so? Her body has developed radically differently from mine.

At her age, I was pretty much the height and weight I am now: 5'10" and a size 10 on average. It distressed me for a bit, but in my mind I viewed it as just genetics. I thought, when my sister gets older it'll catch up with her too.

Of course, though, it didn't. For whatever reason, in the genetic lottery my sister lucked out on body type. Although she's only around 5'5", she is also still a petite size 6, and ...

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